The Premier League has been put on ice for the foreseeable future.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the lives of millions across the world, football has rightfully taken a backseat and is unlikely to return until the summer months at the very earliest.
However, there are still supporters across England and abroad who have the Premier League on their minds and this break from the action has allowed for a time of reflection.
And while it looks certain that the 2019/20 campaign will return at some point, there’s certainly been no harm in drafting answers for the Team of the Player and other awards ahead of time.
The team at the Mirror have jumped on that bandwagon, too, although they’ve taken a slightly less positive route by taking a look at each Premier League club’s most disappointing player.
Most disappointing Premier League players
With the money in football growing and growing, the expectations surrounding player performance are inflating in tandem and all 20 teams have squad members that have struggled in 2019/20.
So, without further ado, check out the 20 players in question who can use this break from games to ready themselves for an improvement on what has otherwise been a disappointing season:
Arsenal: Nicolas Pepe
Just four goals and six assists in 24 Premier League games has left Arsenal fans underwhelmed with a player they shelled out a club-record £72 million to sign.
Aston Villa: Bjorn Engels
Villa have conceded more goals than any other Premier League side this season (56) and it’s fair to say Engels hasn’t been the rock-solid defender Dean Smith thought he was buying from Reims last summer.
Bournemouth: Ryan Fraser
Fraser has openly admitted that he allowed transfer links with Arsenal to affect his game and he’s essentially gone missing amid Bournemouth’s plight this season with just a single goal.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Many thought the Seagulls’ record signing was simply taking time to adapt to English football, but just two goals this season suggest he’s suffered from both first and second season syndrome.
Burnley: Matej Vydra
Aside from grabbing the latest Premier League Goal of the Month award, Vydra has endured a frustrating season playing second fiddle to Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez.
Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga
It’s astonishing how much Kepa has struggled in his second at Stamford Bridge, going from a superb debut season – give or take to the Carabao Cup final – to the transfer list in an instance.
Crystal Palace: Andros Townsend
Just one goal, a single assist and a bout of injury troubles have made 2019/20 a campaign to forget for the former England international and Puskas award nominee.
Everton: Moise Kean
Having arrived in England with a huge reputation from his time with Juventus, Kean has proven a gigantic disappointment with just a single goal and THAT sub-sub departure at Old Trafford.
Leicester City: Demarai Gray
When will the season where Gray really kicks on at Leicester finally arrive? Just two Premier League starts in 2019/20 suggests even Brendan Rodgers might not know the answer.
Liverpool: Naby Keita
Mixed form and injury issues have made £60-million-buy Keita something of an anomalous failure amidst an otherwise perfect season for Liverpool.
Manchester City: John Stones
Despite Vincent Kompany’s departure and Aymeric Laporte’s injury layoff, Pep Guardiola simply hasn’t trusted Stones and that should emphasise just how far backwards he’s gone this season.
Manchester United: Paul Pogba
In Pogba’s defence, injuries have kept him away from the team for the most part, but it’s frustrating nonetheless that he hasn’t had the chance to build on his 2018/19 PFA Team of the Year inclusion.
Newcastle United: Joelinton
When the often-rapacious Mike Ashley forks out £40 million for a striker, you expect results and just a single Premier League goal from 25 games is nowhere near good enough.
Norwich City: Marco Stiepermann
Not everybody can make the step up to the Premier League and Stiepermann’s drop from 39 starts last season to merely 11 this years puts him firmly in that category.
Sheffield United: Luke Freeman
There’s been very little disappointment to talk about at Bramall Lane this season, but Freeman’s fall from chief creator at QPR to a bit-part player for the Blades hasn’t been ideal for anyone.
Southampton: Che Adams
It goes to show that scoring 22 goals in the Championship doesn’t guarantee success in the top flight and Adam’s goalless streak in 27 first-team appearances is woeful to say the least.
Tottenham Hotspur: Tanguy Ndombele
Nobody seems to have ticked off Jose Mourinho at Spurs more than their record signing and we’re yet to see much in the way of proof that he was worth parting with £55 million for.
Watford: Roberto Pereyra
Three goals and zero assists underlines just how much Pereyra has dropped off this season having formerly been the main man during Javi Gracia’s tenure.
West Ham United: Felipe Anderson
It must be infuriating for Hammers fans that they’re involved in a relegation battle when they have a Brazilian international in their midfield, but with just one goal and four assists to his name.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Morgan Gibbs-White
A tough call considering the biggest disappointments of all – Jesus Vallejo and Patrick Cutrone – were shipped off, but greater consistency and ender product is still wanted from Gibbs-White.
Still time to improve
So, there you have it, let’s hope these 20 players have been swatting up in lockdown.
The likes of Arrizabalaga, Pepe and Ndombele are damning proof that spending big money isn’t a guarantee of success and that the Premier League is an unforgiving mistress for new arrivals.
That, and the fact Adams, Freeman and Stiepermann serve as evidence that making the step up from the Championship isn’t an easy task for everybody in a promotion-winning squad.
But in these unique circumstances, the 20 players in question have the unprecedented opportunity to turn things around and perhaps the list will look very different when the season finally ends.
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