The 2017/18 Premier League season had its own highs and lows similar to every other campaign where a few teams exceeded the expectations, some underperformed and also witnessed a downfall beyond they fancied.
All three boys (Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town) retained their top-flight status whereas admirable English forces of Stoke City, West Brom and Swansea City’s stature had to digest an unforeseen demotion. A few Premier League signings uplifted their respective outfits to achieve seasons goals, whereas some of the high-profile and big-money transfers failed miserably. Here we have enlisted five such names who gathered attention but could not meet the expectations.
The Spaniard had a blistering 2016-17 season with Swansea City where he netted 15 goals in the league and guided the struggling Swans to script a late escape. The 33-year-old forward was a man in-demand back in summer as both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur chased his signing. Llorente, surprisingly, rejected a move to Stamford Bridge and opted to join Spurs in a £12.1 million deal to deputize Harry Kane in a ‘number 9’ role.
The decision, however, did not work out as he only managed to score once in the league in 16 appearances – 15 of which took place as a substitute. He is now reportedly open to a move away from Tottenham to end his frustrating spell in North London.
Was termed as the ‘next-gen’ superstar of Portuguese football only a couple of years back when he played a major role in Portugal’s incredible 2016 European glory and also won the Golden Boy award. However, a deal worth up to €80 mil to Bayern Munich did not work out as the Bundesliga champions could not offer him the game-time he used to have while at Benfica.
This led to a summer loan to Premier League outfit Swansea City under the then boss Paul Clement in search of regular minutes, but the spell proved to be a nightmare for the 20-year-old midfielder who only made 9 starts as he could not cope up with the fluidity of Premier League football. He will return to Bayern Munich this summer and his long-term future with the Bavarians now hangs by a thread.
The €35 mil summer move from Benfica was thought to have solved the defensive conundrum of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, but the 23-year-old Swedish centre-back struggled to settle in Premier League circuit and only made 13 league starts all season in the Red Devils backline. He failed to fit in Mourinho’s system and fell down the pecking orders behind Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo.
Lindelof, therefore, is likely to be loaned out next season with new boys Wolves reportedly keen on landing the youngster which, in turn, might salvage his Manchester United career if he manages to perform week in week out for the West Midlands outfit.
One of the many exciting deals Everton struck last summer but failed to deliver in adverse circumstances. Klaassen, who captained Ajax prior to his £23.6 mil Goodison move, saw his game-time significantly limited in Merseyside where he played only 249 minutes of Premier League football and the last game he started was back in September. He was brought in by ex-boss Ronald Koeman, but the further addition of Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson jeopardized his place in the squad which did not alter even after the appointment of Sam Allardyce following the dismissal of the Dutch boss.
The midfielder was involved in their last couple of fixtures but proved to be a massive let down considering his reputation back in his own country. Klaassen, meanwhile, is not giving up his Everton future even now and wants to start afresh under new gaffer.
Chelsea, the league triumphant of the of 2016-17 season, missed out several of their prime transfer targets in summer but managed to tie down the £35 mil Englishman from Leicester City. He was partnered with N’Golo Kante, his former teammate, as the duo played a pivotal role in Leicester’s miraculous Premier League win a couple of seasons back.
The deadline day transfer, however, did not work out for the Blues as Drinkwater found it hard to settle in, had his injuries and was not handed enough minutes in the middle of the park. The 28-year-old midfielder made only 12 league appearances, 7 out of those were from the bench. He, therefore, is now frustrated at Stamford Bridge and wants to move out to seek first-team opportunities elsewhere.
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