Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea: The worst XI of Premier League 'big six' players this season

  • Kobe Tong

The 2020/21 Premier League season is now consigned to the history books.

It was a break-neck few months that saw Manchester City win the title, Sheffield United crash down to the Championship, Liverpool scramble into the top four and frankly, too many other stories to list.

But if there is any positive behind the latest Premier League season being done and dusted, then it’s the fact we can now look at the entire campaign in isolation and outside the eye of the storm.

2020/21 Premier League season

No doubt you’ve seen about 10,000 Team of the Season and Player of the Season shouts by now but today, we’re flipping things on its head and looking at those who flattered to deceive.

And we’re honing in on the so-called ‘big six’, in particular, with City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal carrying the biggest expectations of all in the division.

We’re then calling upon statistics with their incredibly deep and thorough bank of data formulating average match ratings for ever Premier League player across 2020/21.

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Lowest-rated ‘big six’ XI

We’ve then selected the lowest-rated players who have at least amassed the average number of appearances across the Premier League season into our ‘worst XI’ of ‘big six’ players.

As such, it’s important to bear in mind that the 11 players aren’t inherently the 11 lowest-rated players across the entire competition because we are being strict with playing them in position.

Got it? Ok, well enough chit-chat because you can check out the full XI down below:

GK: David de Gea (Manchester United) – 6.47

Wowsers. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was choosing his goalkeepers based on data, then it simply wouldn’t be a debate because Dean Henderson finds himself 11 places above De Gea this season.


RB: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) – 6.69

‘The best of a bad bunch’ as far as the statistics are concerned because Bellerin’s 6.69 rating is the highest in the team, but rumours would suggest that his Arsenal career could end with a whimper.

CB: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) – 6.66

Fresh off the back of being ejected from Gareth Southgate’s provisional Euro 2020 squad, Dier hasn’t been at his best in 2020/21 and has tumbled down the Three Lions’ centre-back rankings.


CB: David Luiz (Arsenal) – 6.51

A top defender on his day, there’s no denying it, but the stats suggest that Arsenal fans shouldn’t lose too much sleep about Luiz – who boasts just three clean sheets in 20 league games this season – leaving the club.

LB: Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) – 6.56

It’s not been a textbook season for Davies, it must be said, because a combination of his recent injury and undulating form have prevented him from gathering any sort of momentum.


RM: Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) – 6.36

An inspired Rabona might have bagged Lamela the Premier League Goal of the Season, but his days at Spurs are numbered when you consider that was his only goal contribution in 2020/21.

CM: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) – 6.43

This seems a little cruel, doesn’t it? However, the stats don’t lie and they suggest that Elneny’s unexpected reprieve at Arsenal wasn’t a bountiful one as only the league’s 260th best player.


CM: Donny van de Beek (Manchester United) – 6.35

With just four Premier League starts to his name, Van de Beek has barely been given the chance to spread his wings at Old Trafford and endures as one of the most baffling signings of the season.

LM: Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotpsur) – 6.63

Is it just me or has Moura never really been at his best since that night in Amsterdam? Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but just seven goal contributions in 30 games is a pretty underwhelming return.


CF: Kai Havertz (Chelsea) – 6.60

There’s no denying that Havertz has shown flashes of brilliance at Stamford Bridge, but the cold hard facts of just four goals and three assists 27 league appearances make for painful reading.

ST: Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) – 6.67

Sorry… what?! I have no idea how this has happened, honestly, but WhoScored stats genuinely rank Cavani as the worst-performing number nine at a ‘top six’ club despite bagging 10 strikes in 13 starts. Madness.


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Damning stats… and then Cavani

For the most part, you’ve got to say that the stats have highlighted some of the most disappointing players at the ‘top six’ clubs, give or take the truly bizarre revelation that Cavani is leading the line.

The Uruguayan has been in sensational form over the last few months and I don’t think anybody was questioning United’s decision to extend his stay in the Premier League.

But if we skate over that cheeky reminder that stats aren’t everything in football then it really goes to show that certain players at the big-shot clubs need to knuckle down over the summer.


Then again, given their undoubted quality, we don’t doubt that they’ll be able to do exactly that and nothing would please us more than seeing that happen.

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