The top 6 flops of the 2017-18 Premier League season so far
Premier League clubs have dramatically increased their transfer spending in the past decade, with most of the 20 clubs in England’s top flight willing to spend big bucks trying to secure a signing. There is a huge risk attached to these signings, with the flops adding very little value to the playing squad and being hard to sell on without making a huge loss.
Manchester City are one of the biggest spenders this season, having spent around £280 million on transfers; predominantly on defenders. The outlay has so far seen impressive results, with City the current runaway leaders in the league and favourites to win the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup according to their odds and the football bets punters are making.
For other clubs, their outlay has not seen such positive results and we have compiled a list of what we believe are the six worst signings made this season. We’ve included expensive players who have performed well but not good enough for their fee, to some of the cheaper signings who have managed even less.
We are kicking this list off with Wilfried Bony, who re-joined Swansea City from Manchester City for £12 million after failing to impress at the current league leaders following a £25 million transfer in January 2015. In his first spell at the Swans the striker scored 35 goals in 70 appearances and his return was seen as a potential coup even though during his time with City he could only muster 10 goals in 46 appearances.
After one-and-a-half seasons with City, he was sent on loan to Stoke City, although his form failed to pick up and the Ivorian international finished his spell having managed to find the net on just two occasions in 11 appearances. In August he agreed a deal to return to the Liberty Stadium, but has struggled to rediscover his form, having so far only been able to score three times in 15 games.
Kelechi Iheanacho looked to have a bright future at Manchester City following some impressive displays for the first team. However, Gabriel Jesus’ arrival in January 2017 left Iheanacho third in the pecking order with Sergio Aguero still City’s main striker. The Citizens accepted a bid of £25 million for Iheanacho from the 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester City and the deal was completed on 3 August 2017.
The Nigerian striker has yet to score for the Foxes in the league, despite making 11 appearances, although he has found net on four occasions in the FA Cup and once in the League Cup. Despite his poor league form, at only 21 years old, he still has the time to turn from zero to hero at Leicester.
Former-Everton manager Ronald Koeman signed Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen for £24 million on 15th June 2017 and the fans had high hopes of having secured a top-quality midfielder. On October 23rd Koeman was sacked and replaced with former-England manager Sam Allardyce, which did not improve Klaassen’s form. To be fair to the Dutch midfielder, he has only played four games in the Premier League, but the fans have certainly been disappointed with what they have seen so far. Allardyce though has yet to write off Klaassen by suggesting that foreign players often struggle in their first season and it will be the second season that decides whether he is a flop or not.
Although the next player on the list was a free transfer, he has certainly not lived up to the reputation he brought with him. Jermain Defoe left Sunderland at the end of the 2016/17 season following their relegation to the Championship and while there were many suitors for the English striker, it was Bournemouth who secured his signature. Known for being a natural goal scorer he has thus far struggled to find the net, managing an incredibly poor three goals in 17 games up front. Defoe is now 35, however Bournemouth fans will be surprised at how sudden his ability to score goals has gone from his game.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Arsenal for Liverpool despite being offered a new deal worth around £180,000-a-week. The deal saw the English midfielder move to the North West for £35 million and Oxlade-Chamberlain was looking to play in a central midfield role, which was not happening at the Gunners. Despite breaking his Premier League scoring record, when he scored his third goal during the 4-3 win against runaway league leaders Manchester City, he has been less than convincing and Liverpool fans must be wondering if they could have spent that money on a better alternative from the continent.
Stoke City are not loaded with cash like Manchester City and Chelsea, however they parted with £18 million to sign Austrian defender Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham Hotspur. Despite making only 15 league appearances in two seasons at Spurs, Stoke manager Mark Hughes felt Wimmer was worth a chance. He has made 17 league appearances for the Potters; however, he has come in for criticism for his performances, in particular in the 7-2 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Should Stoke decide to part with Wimmer, it is unlikely that the club will be able to recoup that kind of money.