We’ve seen enough debate on what the best Premier League XI for the season is. It’s time now to move over the Salahs and De Bruynes, and take a look at some players who were expected to shine, but ended up falling smack down on their faces.
Here’s the Premier League flop XI for the 2017/18 campaign. There could be a lot of names thrown other than the ones mentioned here, but hey, that’s something we’re not going to be able to avoid.
- 1 Goalkeeper
- 2 Right-back
- 3 Centre-back
- 4 Centre-back
- 5 Left-back
- 6 Central midfield
- 7 Central midfield
- 8 Central midfield
- 9 Forward
- 10 Forward
- 11 Forward
Joe Hart (West Ham United)
The former England number 1’s fall from grace has been spectacular. After being ousted by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, he spent an underwhelming season at Torino in Serie A last season. This season, he was signed by West Ham as a potential upgrade to Adrian. Unfortunately, he has been anything but that. He conceded ten goals in his first three league appearances, and has had to share responsibilities with Adrian, making 19 appearances compared to the Spaniard’s 17. Hart has failed to shine big-time, and has made a lot of untimely and basic errors. It will be very surprising both to see him feature for England in Russia this year, as well as keep goal at Man City ever again.
Cedric Soares (Southampton)
Soares started the season in dreadful fashion and in December, had more individual errors leading to an opposition goal than any other player. He has steadied the ship since, but has still not lived upto his own heights from the previous season. With The Saints looking very likely to get relegated, Soares’ inclusion in this team is more than justified.
Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)
Manchester United spent £35 million to bring in the Swede from Benfica in the summer, and he was tipped as the able partner for Eric Bailly at the heart of the defence. After an error-strewn start though, he was quickly replaced by Chris Smalling. He is still young and could yet be a star at Old Trafford once he gets used to life in the Premier League, but certainly a lot more was expected from him this season.
David Luiz (Chelsea)
After being an integral part of the title-winning team last season, Luiz seems to have had a falling out with Antonio Conte. He has played only 10 teams in the league, and despite reportedly being out with an injury, there are question marks over his absence. He has been replaced by Andreas Christensen in the starting line-up, and the Dane doesn’t look like being displace anytime soon.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Shaw has fallen prey to Mourinho’s dislike, and is almost set to leave Old Trafford in the summer. Makeshift left-back Ashley Young has been preferred to the Englishman, who has made only nine league appearances despite being available for most of the campaign.
Renato Sanches (Swansea City)
On loan from Bayern Munich, Sanches was expected to be one of the brightest prospects in the Premier League this season. Instead, he turned into quite the opposite. He dreadful right from the start, and was notably substituted at half-time against Chelsea after passing the ball to the advertising boards on the side of the pitch. After 12 league appearances, he suffered a hamstring injury in January and is now back in his hometown of Portugal to recuperate. From what we saw of him, it is unlikely he’ll be playing either for Bayern or for Swansea next year.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
This may be a controversial addition because there is no denying Pogba’s talent. But he has been below-average at best over the course of the season, despite showing flashes of brilliance here and there. Jose Mourinho still hasn’t found his best position, and the Frenchman has found it difficult to exert his influence on games when it has mattered most. And of course, he cost United £90 million. Six league goals is hardly any way to repay such a ridiculously gargantuan amount of money.
Tiemoue Bakayoko (Chelsea)
Chelsea spent around £40 million on bringing Bakayoko to the club from Monaco. After impressing in the Champions League last season, he was seen as an upgrade to the outgoing Nemanja Matic. He has been anything but. The Frenchman has just not been able to get to terms with Premier League football, and has been lethargic and demotivated right from the start. Despite being afforded opportunity after opportunity by Antonio Conte, there have been no signs of improvement. Clearly, someone needs to step in and shake him up a bit, because at the current rate, he will be shown the Stamford Bridge very soon.
Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City)
Stoke really needed Diouf to step it up this season, with the club facing relegation. The likes of Jese, Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Allen have certainly worked to create opportunities to score, but their striker has been missing chances at the rate of knots. Diouf has scored six league goals so far, but should have had a whole lot more. The Potters will be playing in the Championship next season, and should be on the lookout for a better striker if they want to return to the top-flight soon.
Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
From Diouf we come to a striker whose poor form didn’t fatally impact his team’s fortunes in the end. But it easily could have. Benteke was clearly going to be the main man for Palace, having scored almost a third of their Premier League goals the season before. But incredibly, the Belgian has found the back of the net only three times this campaign. It’s not like he’s been injured either. He has just not been converting his chances, some of which have been extremely easy. This was a big reason for The Eagles’ dreadful start to the season when they lost their opening seven matches. Fortunately though, the likes of Luka Milivojevic, Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur have taken up the goalscoring responsibility and taken Palace through to safety.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Even though he had an unbelievable season at the Emirates, it became very apparent to everyone that Sanchez wanted to leave Arsenal. He scored seven goals in 19 league appearances for The Gunners, but even his own club’s fans were asking for his sale due to the negative vibes he was carrying. He made the switch to Manchester United in January, citing the reason to win more silverware. He has been Mourinho’s first-choice left-winger from the off, but has failed to deliver, scoring just twice for his new club thus far. It remains to be seen if he can pull it back next year, but this season, he has definitely been a huge flop.