Now that the 2020/21 English Premier League season has concluded, we can reflect on a season that will undoubtedly be unforgettable for fans, critics, and players alike. The pandemic atmosphere took its toll on the beautiful, as we witnessed some unpredictable moments, depressing VAR situations and crowd-less arena’s. With the 2021/22 season a few months out and the transfer window now open, let us take a look back on last season’s worst signings.
Arsenal – Willian – (Free Transfer)
A three-year deal on Willian saw the Chelsea winger join their rival club Arsenal last season, as the fast-paced recruit was expected to be a standout player for the Gunners this term.
The Brazilian international gave much hope during his first few months at the club; his debut game versus Fulham saw him assist three goals. However, this form would soon die out as the Arsenal season progressed.
Willian has scored one goal this term, not just a goal record reflective of his EPL games but also stretching through all competitions. Nevertheless, this statistic is quite a fall from the eleven goals he netted during his final year at Chelsea.
Donny van de Beek – Manchester United – (£35million)
A betting odds calculator is the perfect tool for aspiring bettors to review their winning chances, and it’s a shame that Manchester United didn’t have a calculator when weighing up their odds-on Donny van de Beek’s success in their squad.
The hype surrounding Donny was high after his summer arrival from Ajax at a hefty price of £35million. But plans for the Dutch midfielder have failed miserably.
The 24-year-old hot prospect was seemingly worth the lump sum, but United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has neglected the new arrival, starting in just four Premier League matches all season.
During Manchester United’s Europa League final loss versus Villareal – it felt like all talent was utilized outside of Van de Beek when Alex Telles, Daniel James, Fred and Juan Mata all received some playing time ahead of the neglected youngster.
Chelsea – Hakim Ziyech – (£33million)
Another Ajax departure into the Premier League saw Hakim Ziyech arrive at Stamford Bridge last summer, and from a personal standpoint, it’s been a highly underwhelming first term.
Chelsea finished in the top-four, we’re runners-up in the FA Cup and became the UEFA Champions League trophy winners, but the Moroccan midfielder has failed to reach the standards he was expecting.
Scoring two goals and delivering three assists in domestic action seemed promising, but failing to gel into the squad with injury setbacks has provided a lacklustre year.
Manchester City – Nathan Ake – (£40million)
After joining Manchester City in a vast £40million move from Bournemouth, Pep Guardiola was hopeful that Ake would provide a solid defensive stance all season long.
The Dutchman featured in the first four EPL fixtures of the campaign, but injury woes soon plagued the defender, resulting in a mere 13 appearances across all competitions.
Ake could provide a strong 2021/22 season, but with impressive starts for John Stones and Ruben Dias, the 26-year-old may find himself fighting for an opening in the forthcoming campaign.
Manchester United – Alex Telles – (£13million)
Another disappointing arrival for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came in the shape of Alex Telles.
Telles was hired with hopes he would replace the efforts of Luke Shaw in a starting place for the team; however, this prediction failed.
The Brazilian defender appeared in nine EPL fixtures for Ole Gunnar’s side in the shadow of Luke Shaw as he turned his game around.
Telles has dramatically underperformed since he arrived from Porto, failing to impress the United brass and critics alike. Moreover, he’s shown little to no signs that he will perform as he did in Portugal.
Rhian Brewster – Sheffield United – (£23million)
When a club breaks its record signing fee, they often expect big things. But when Rhian Brewster signed for Sheffield United in October 2020, the former Liverpool man did not live up to the hype.
Brewster and Sheffield have an extremely disappointing season in general, as United fall into the Championship for 2021/22; Brewster is riding a goalless season from 31 EPL appearances during the 2020/21 campaign.
Only time will tell what the future holds for Brewster, but with a massive drop in stock, we should expect to see him play another entire season under the red and white stripes of Sheffield.