Sancho, Ramos, Saul & Barcelona duo: The most disappointing XI of summer signings

  • Kobe Tong
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Jadon Sancho, Sergio Ramos and many other world-class players haven't enjoyed the smoothest of rides at their new clubs during the 2021/22 season.

Any football fan will know that high-profile transfers in the beautiful game don't always work out and sometimes that can be apparent within the first few weeks and months of the exchange.

Obviously, the likes of Heung-min Son and David de Gea are living proof that you can still succeed after a tough opening season, but that doesn't make the early warning signs any less alarming.

Major summer transfers

So, now that we're three months into the campaign and have the breathing space of another international break, we wanted to look at the summer signings who have struggled the most so far.

Whether that's down to their own subpar performances, horrendously unlucky injuries or brutal treatment from their managers, plenty of top-level signings have disappointed in 2021/22 already.

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And that key word of 'disappointing' is really important to bear in mind because we're not necessarily looking at the worst-performing signings, but rather the ones who have fallen short of expectations.

In other words, please interpret it more like falling to match what fans were anticipating at this stage as opposed to a stern parent passive-aggressively declaring: "I'm not angry, just disappointed."

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XI of most disappointing signings so far

Got it? Ok then, well, we have drawn up what we consider to be the most disappointing XI of summer signings in Europe's top five leagues so far this season and you can check it out below:

GK: Paulo Gazzaniga (Fulham)

Having started the season as Fulham's number one, Gazzaniga has now been benched for six consecutive league games behind Marek Rodák after concerns about his distribution and cross-claiming.

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RB: Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan)

Despite catching the world's eye at Euro 2020, Dumfries has failed to cement his place at the San Siro with Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that Inter are already eyeing up Nahitan Nandez as competition in January.

CB: Eric Garcia (Barcelona)

Garcia seemed to be an overlooked loss for Manchester City, but has found life in Barcelona tough so far, admitting that he must improve by saying: "I know there have been games where I could have done better."

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CB: Sergio Ramos (Paris Saint-Germain)

Ramos is a unique case in the XI because he hasn't actually set foot on the pitch this season for reasons beyond his control, but it's apparent that PSG weren't expecting things to play out this way.

In fact, Le Parsien even reported that PSG were considering terminating his contract with a string of knee and calf problems making them wonder whether signing the Real Madrid icon was a mistake.

LB: Danny Rose (Watford)

According to SofaScore, Rose's Premier League stats this season make for worrying reading with zero clean sheets, one penalty concession, a passing accuracy of just 71% and an average of being dribbled past twice every game.

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RM: Francisco Trincão (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

For an exciting young talent who featured over 40 times for Barcelona in 2020/21, Wolves fans have been left cold by Trincão's start to life in England with no goal contributions in eight league games.

CM: Saul Niguez (Chelsea)

With just 48 minutes of action in the Premier League, Saul has slipped behind Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley in Chelsea's midfield ranks as his loan move looks more like overkill by the day.

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CM: Marcel Sabitzer (Bayern Munich)

What looked to be another tantalising coup from RB Leipzig by the German champions has actually underwhelmed thus far with Sabitzer having only started a single game in the Bundesliga.

With nine of his 11 outings for Bayern having come from the bench, Sabitzer hasn't recorded a single goal contribution and stats damningly rank him as the club's third-worst player in the league this season.

LM: Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)

The extent to which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be blamed for Sancho's slow start to life at Old Trafford is up for you to decide, but there's no denying that United fans were expecting more.

Sancho has started just three Premier League games and is yet to register a goal or assist for the Red Devils, which has led to Gareth Southgate excluding him from the most recent England squad.

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ST: Luuk de Jong (Barcelona)

A seemingly doomed transfer from the start, De Jong has recorded just one goal in nine outings for the Blaugrana and Sport even reported that the club are already looking to move him on in January.

ST: Andre Silva (RB Leipzig)

On the back of 28 Bundesliga goals in just 32 games for Eintracht Frankfurt, RB Leipzig fans were expecting much more than three strikes in 17 matches from their €23 million investment so far.

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Plenty of time to kick on

Really do bear in mind the use of 'so far' because we would love nothing more than for these players to kick on at their clubs and make the most of their latest adventure.

At the end of the day, switching clubs is a big life decision for these footballers just like anybody moving for work and it's not always easy adapting to new leagues and living circumstances.

So, we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that Rose, Saul, Sancho and everybody in the XI can follow in the footsteps of players like Joao Cancelo and Robert Pires who overcame early struggles to shine at top clubs.

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