The 2015/2016 season is just over three months old as things are heating up in the Premier League. As is the case every summer now, loads of big signings were made and while a majority of them have (mostly) succeeded, such as Petr Cech to Arsenal, Anthony Martial to Manchester United, and Kevin de Bruyne to Manchester City, there have been a fair share of transfer flops as well. This article will look at seven of the biggest Premier League transfer flops so far this season.
7. Nicolas Otamendi – Manchester City
On the back of an impressive La Liga campaign with Valencia last season, Nicolas Otamendi was subject to interest from both Manchester clubs, among many other top teams. In the end, it was Manuel Pellegrini’s City side who captured the Argentine’s signature as he made a big money move, costing the Citizens an initial fee of 28.5 million.
However, as of now, he hasn’t paid that back at all to be frank. His first two league starts for City resulted in losses including a 2-1 home loss to West Ham as well as a 4-1 drubbing to Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Despite Vincent Kompany’s recent injury, Otamendi was benched in favor of his older compatriot, Martin Demichelis for City’s 4-1 home loss to Liverpool and while he started against Juventus in the Champions League, his failure to mark Mario Mandzukic allowed the Croatian to score the winner in Turin.
In total, Otamendi has only played in seven of City’s 11 league games since joining, failing to establish a regular starting spot. It’s still early days however, and Otamendi could turn things around in the near future.
6. Pedro – Chelsea
After Chelsea’s terrible start to the season, they went all out in the market and acquired Pedro from Barcelona for a fee of £21.4 million. Things were looking good for the Spaniard as he scored on his debut, helping Chelsea get their first win of the season in a 3-2 win over West Brom.
However, it’s not been the same since. With Chelsea’s form not improving whatsoever, Pedro’s move seems to have been the wrong one, as he’s been reduced to a bit part player since. He’s only played the full 90 minutes three times in the league so far and has failed to produce a goal since his debut back in late August.
People are already stating that he should have joined Manchester United instead and some — like Dani Alves — are even saying that he should have never left Barcelona. As of now, things are looking bleak for the former Barcelona man.
5. Falcao – Chelsea
Another Chelsea player on the list only further highlights how bad the reigning champions’ season is going. Radamel Falcao was brought in on loan on some high wages and while this would have been a good move before 2014, it is simply astounding that Chelsea decided to take a punt on the Colombian especially after his dreadful loan spell at Manchester United last year.
There were hopes of Falcao being a better player at Stamford Bridge as he was recovering from a long term injury last season. But the Colombian is yet to start a league game and his only goal came in a 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace. Most of Falcao’s appearances have been in losses, as he’s been brought on to bring some goals but always in vain. The only time Falcao has ended a Chelsea game with a win was in the Blues’ 3-2 win over West Brom, where Falcao came on with 12 minutes to go.
At this rate, Falcao could be the new Fernando Torres, as he simply looks a shadow of the player who terrorized defenses in Europe only a few short years ago.
4. Memphis Depay – Manchester United
The replacement for the departed Angel di Maria, Memphis Depay arrived at Old Trafford to add some spark out wide when he was brought in on a £19m deal. The top scorer in Holland the previous season, helping PSV win the league, there were high hopes for Depay. Many already labelled him the next Ronaldo and the fact that he wore United’s famous number seven didn’t help.
But it’s been anything but for United fans. Despite a couple of goals in the Champions League, Memphis has failed to make an impact in the league with just two goals in nine games. His subpar performances even saw him dropped for youth product, Jesse Lingard who has shown more promise in his limited game time. However, Depay is still just 21-years old, clearly has potential and has time on his side — he scored in United’s 2-1 victory over Watford at the end of November, he can only go up from there.
3. Xherdan Shaqiri – Stoke City
When Shaqiri joined Stoke City, it was big news around the football world. After all, this was a major coup for a side that just got promoted to the Premier League in 2008 as they had signed a Champions League winner who had played previously for Inter and Bayern Munich.
The Swiss international though, has yet to light up the Britannia Stadium with his performances, failing to score a single goal and only registering one assist in his first 10 games. While he was signed for £12 million, time is still on Shaqiri’s side as he is just 24-years-old. But as of now it definitely looks like, the buzz from his signing aside, Stoke could have better utilized that money on other areas in their squad.
2. Fabian Delph – Manchester City
This might be a harsh choice considering he’s been injured and has barely played but former Aston Villa captain, Fabian Delph has been anything but a good signing for Manchester City since joining in the summer for £8 million.
With just four league appearances under his belt — all as a substitute — Delph was nothing more than a James Milner replacement, so that City could fill their homegrown players requirement. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll rack up the same number of appearances that he did at Villa, where he appeared 57 times in the last two league seasons. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Delph going out on loan in the near future. The England international was better off staying at Villa Park.
1. Florian Thauvin – Newcastle
Florian Thauvin is an exciting French prospect who joined Newcastle from Marseille in a £12 million deal. Just 22-years-old, Toon fans expected him to perform better than Remy Cabella, who went the other way on loan as part of the deal, who failed to make a mark in England.
But as of now, it looks like Thauvin’s Newcastle career trajectory will be exactly the same, as he has also failed to make an impact so far this season. With just eight league games so far, Thauvin is yet to register a goal or an assist and has even recently found himself resigned to the bench as opposed to earlier in the season where he was starting games. Such has been the disappointment for the former Marseille man.