We’re getting into the thick of things in this year’s Premier League season. With the international break done and dusted, all focus is turned to the next set of fixtures before the enforced World Cup winter break. No excuses can be made about teams shaking off cobwebs now and the table is finally starting to take shape, with talking points at the top and bottom of the league.
Given that three teams have already changed managers this season, you wonder where things are going wrong. Over £1.9 billion was spent by Premier League teams in the transfer window, with some sides addressing the issues they had on the pitch and some big names flattering to deceive.
While there’s plenty of time for them to turn things around, the challenge of finding form after failing to hit the ground running is one that could potentially decide a player’s future. With that in mind, read on as we take a look at some of the most disappointing transfers from the Premier League this season.
Darwin Núñez – Liverpool
It was always going to be challenging for Liverpool to replace Sadio Mané. The Senegal forward was a figure of consistency throughout his time at Anfield, but when Jürgen Klopp opted to spend a club-record fee on Darwin Núñez, it looked as if there would be no trouble in the goalscoring department. The Uruguayan looked to fit the bill as a marksman joining a side on the cusp of a quadruple after impressing at Benfica. However, things have been far from straightforward for Núñez after an indifferent introduction to England. The Reds have struggled in the league and that is notable for those that bet on football at SkyBet.com
Goals in pre-season, as well as a debut equaliser against Fulham showed he could adapt to the Premier League, but a flash of temper against Crystal Palace saw him banned for headbutting Joachim Andersen, with the 23-year-old failing to find the back of the net since. Klopp is known for showing patience with his strikers, but considering the good form of Roberto Firmino and the return to fitness of Diogo Jota, it might take some time for Núñez to regularly lead the line for the Reds.
KalidouKoulibaly – Chelsea
Having been linked with a Premier League move for a number of years now, KalidouKoulibaly finally parted ways with Napoli, joining Chelsea for £33 million. The deal looked like a steal considering the Blues would throw double that at Wesley Fofana a few weeks later, but the Senegal international has really struggled to establish himself as the colossal defender we thought the English game was getting.
Despite finding the net against Tottenham Hotspur, the 31-year-old looks rash in the tackle and a liability when pressed high up the pitch. With Graham Potter replacing Thomas Tuchel, it will be interesting to see how Koulibaly will be used, especially since he has played in a back three for the majority of his career.
Dean Henderson – Nottingham Forest
There was a time towards the end of the 2020-21 season that Dean Henderson looked destined to be Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper. An injury to David de Gea coincided with Henderson’s great form but after Erik ten Hag was appointed as Red Devils boss, Henderson’s permanent departure from Old Trafford was all but confirmed. The 25-year-old, who spoke openly about his United frustration, became one of a number of signings at newly promoted Nottingham Forest but has struggled to make an impression at the City Ground.
Henderson has been at fault for a number of goals already and with the East Midland outfit desperate for points, Steve Cooper would be hoping a permanent successor for Brice Samba would have shown more quality. If Forest are to beat the drop, Henderson will need to get his act together sooner rather than later.