With the summer transfer window edging closer, Premier League clubs are already plotting their moves in order to steal a march on their rivals and get their business over the line sooner rather than later. However, an imminent window presents the chance to analyse those who were brought in previously and have not hit the mark.
Erling Haaland, Lisandro Martinez and Sven Botman are widely regarded as some of the signings of the season and each have flourished since making the move to the Premier League. However, there have also been a significant amount of flops acquired that clubs will be hoping are simply having adjustment issues rather than being transfer funds wasted.
Express Sport takes a look at 11 flops who will be hoping to bounce back to form next season…
Raheem Sterling: In the heart of Chelsea’s spending spree, they appeared to have struck gold when acquiring the services of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City for £47.5million. However, the England international has been a shadow of his former self and Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival will be make or break for the winger.
Mykhaylo Mudryk: The storyline of Mykhaylo Mudryk’s move to Chelsea made it inevitable that he would struggle since his arrival in January. The Ukraine international has shown glimpses of talent on the few occasions he has been given an opportunity, though a serious confidence boost is required for the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk star to get his progression plan back on track.
Marc Cucurella: Ever since making a £63m move from Brighton to Chelsea, amid interest from City, Marc Cucurella has looked horrendously out of place. Boos from the crowd in recent weeks suggest that fans have lost faith in the Spaniard and his days at the club are numbered.
Kalidou Koulibaly: Once deemed one of the best central defenders in Europe whilst at Napoli, Kalidou Koulibaly has proven that the Premier League is a different animal. The Senegal international has struggled with the pace and intensity of the English top flight and promptly became a bench warmer with Chelsea; a return to Italy beckons.
Philippe Coutinho: Although his £17m price tag was reasonable, Philippe Coutinho’s recurring injuries and poor form since the departure of Steven Gerrard means that he is hard not to regard as a flop.
Arthur Melo: After being linked with several clubs, Liverpool pounced to bolster their midfield ranks by signing Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus. The Brazilian then suffered a major calf injury in November and is yet to feature in the Premier League.
Kalvin Phillips: City forked out £42m for Kalvin Phillips last summer, but his stint at the Etihad Stadium could be cut incredibly short. The England international has made nine substitute appearances for the club in the league and comments from Pep Guardiola about his poor levels of fitness have epitomised the move to date.
Anthony Gordon: Following a long-winded transfer saga, Newcastle landed Anthony Gordon for £43m in January – though he will struggle to justify that price tag if his cameos are anything to go by. The Magpies’ recruitment has been excellent since their takeover, though the acquisition of the 22-year-old felt rash and he has struggled to break into Eddie Howe’s starting XI.
Richarlison: Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has had a significant impact on Richarlison’s debut campaign at Tottenham, with the system stripping him of several key goals. Regardless, the Brazil international looks somewhat out of place in north London and his confidence levels have taken a major hit.
Gianluca Scamacca: The players spell at West Ham has been a complete rollercoaster, and it feels like only a matter of time until the striker is back in Italy. The 24-year-old was signed for £35.5m but never truly fitted into the Hammers’ system, with David Moyes also reluctant to take a chance on the ex-Sassuolo star.
Goncalo Guedes: It did not take long for Wolves to acknowledge that Goncalo Guedes was underperforming markedly. The Portuguese star was signed from Valencia for £35m before making 14 appearances for the club and being whisked away on loan to Benfica in January.