The underwhelming XI of the Premier League

If we look back to last summer, one day before the start of the Premier League season. This is always a special time of the year. 

Supporters’ enthusiasm for the beautiful game has not been dampened by the realization that their team is actually, quite not there and every player is being hyped up to superhuman levels.

“This is X’s season. This is the year when “Y” shows us what he’s made off. Honestly, “Z” is going to be our key player in this campaign.” The season begins and everyone realizes that these overly optimistic predictions were actually not even close. 

There have been many players this season, who can fill in as candidates, so many, that a starting XI is possible. Let’s see the players featuring in the “disappointment XI.”

GK- Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)

The most expensive goalkeeper in the world played nowhere near well enough to justify his price tag this season. Last season, except for the Carabao Cup final drama, Kepa started a solid start with the Blues.

It was expected that he will possibly replace David de Gea in the Spain squad too after de Gea made some constant errors in the game. However, as it stands, de Gea is without a doubt Spain’s first-choice goalkeeper and Kepa has almost lost his place in the Chelsea starting XI too.

RB- Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

Managers who spend £60m on a full-back know one thing for sure that the player will definitely be a part of the starting XI unless injured. However, things have been different for Cancelo. 

He was brought to Etihad in a swap deal, sending Danilo to Juventus, in search of game time. Cancelo has been decent but not up to the levels expected after spending a good price for it. The right-back has potential but needs to prove more to be picked ahead of Kyle Walker.

CB- Jesus Vallejo (Wolves)

Jesus Vallejo’s contribution in a Wolves shirt has been non-existent, something no one would’ve thought. 

Signed on loan from the Los Blancos, Nuno Espirito Santo’s impressive transfer record suggested that the centre-back would be a success at the Molineux. The Spaniard has made just seven appearances for Wolves before shown the exit door in January.

CB- Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City)

With Fernandinho forced into the CB slot as an auxillary, Otamendi has actually had to do some defending this season and things have not gone well. 

The Argentine has been all over the place and no one can imagine that he was once named in the 2017/18 PFA Team of the Season. 

LB- Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

After years of massive speculation, Kieran Tierney finally made the move to the Premier League with Arsenal in the summer. 

He was very unlucky as his Premier League debut campaign was wrecked by injury and thus, the player has managed only 11 appearances till now. However, he won’t be out of demand as the Foxes are already preparing a bid if Ben Chilwell leaves the club.

CM- Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham) 

When Tottenham announced this signing in the summer, they were praised because the player was considered a huge bargain. However, Spurs’ record signing has completely failed to live with Jose Mourinho’s expectations leading to even publicly criticizing the player for some poor performances. 

As per current reports, the player-manager relationship has only improved since then after a video of one-on-one training was out.

CM- Danny Drinkwater (Burnley and Aston Villa)

The Chelsea reject started the season on loan at Burnley, where he was barely anything before he moved to Aston Villa, where again, there has been no growth. 

He was one of the most influential players in Leicester City’s title-winning campaign but the player has clearly lost his mojo now and maybe a season in the Championship would help him rediscover. 

AM- Manuel Lanzini (West Ham)

In the summer various pundits were actually expecting West Ham of having a chance of a European qualification but the Hammers are in the relegation zone, which shows a huge standard downgrade but one of the chief offenders has been Lanzini. 

The once inspirational Lanzini has not been the same since a horrific ACL injury and there are doubts all-over whether the player will ever become as good as he was.

RW- Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal)

A £72m Ivorian with just four goals and six assists in 24 Premier League games this season is not what is expected. 

However, Pepe is that player who has the best chance and is probably more likely to shine in future unlike most other in the list but being a part of the Gunners, who have been dying for goals, his stats are clearly unfair to what Arsenal have paid, considering the budget they had.

ST- Joelinton (Newcastle United)

It is very hard playing as a striker for the most defensive team in the Premier League. However, a £40m striker should be scoring more than a goal in 29 games. 

The striker’s record is worse than Fabian Schar, who is a part of the backline and scores mostly via set-pieces.

LW-Moise Kean (Everton)

Moise Kean, who filled the boots of an injured Cristiano Ronaldo very well, was quickly taken away by Everton but the 22-year-old hasn’t really impressed anyone in England and his young age is probably the only motivation the player has at the moment.

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