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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Premier League 2018-19: 10 Summer signings who are struggling to adapt to EPL

Premier League 2018-19: 10 Summer signings who are struggling to adapt to EPL due to League unpredictable and antagonistic fast-paced nature. It serves the football fraternity with a premium brand of exhilarating, mouth-watering football week-in-week-out.

On one day, a club might be writing its own history whereas on the other, it might be facing skittish battles to reserve their status in this arduous league. What goes into the development of a team? Well, most definitely, its the cohesion between the players, a master tactician to lead them, fans and individual potential.

The individual potential of players is a major talking point. Every transfer window, the teams look to strengthen their ranks and replace one type of a player with another who possesses better quality. A team might also beef up their squad as per the demands of the manager's desired squad structure and style of play.

While some teams spend big and rely on their new signings to achieve targets, other opt for different routes in their quest to success. The Premier League has seen some world-class players enter and leave the scene this season. Some of them who have switched to English football have already started to make a telling impact.

On the other hand, others have either been shorn of opportunities or simply have not been able to find their feet. Whether it is lack of favour from their gaffer, personal morale or simply a dip in performance levels, these players have failed to impress.

Here are 10 such players who came with a lot of promise but have not made a significant impact to their side's progress.

10 Max Meyer

[caption id="attachment_898" align="alignnone" width="575"]Max Meyer came with a lot of expectations Max Meyer came with a lot of expectations[/caption]

Max Meyer joined Crystal Palace for free on 2nd August after having seen out his contract with Schalke 04. Since 2013, he had been a vital cog in their midfield as he seemed to be getting better with each passing term.

The versatile player can operate in a box-to-box role, attacking position or as a defensive midfielder. The latter brought the best out of him, where he would take on players in the middle of the park, foil his back line and create plenty of chances owing to his dribbling finesse and creativity.
Roy Hodgson chooses to play a 4-4-2 system, which involves two central midfielders. While many would tip Meyer to thrive in that sort of a position, he has unfortunately fallen behind Luka Milevojevic, James McArthur and Senegal captain Cheikhou Kouyaté.

There no doubts regarding his talent, but Meyer will have to find a way out and impress if he has to avoid becoming a 'forgotten' man at Selhurst Park.

9 Ramadan Sobhi

[caption id="attachment_897" align="alignnone" width="578"]Huddersfield Town v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly Huddersfield Town v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly[/caption]

For a player with decent Premier League experience such as Ramadan Sobhi, it is a shame that he isn't able to break into Huddersfield's starting line-up. Although he is not yet match fit, six minutes off the bench against Manchester City is all he has managed this term.

Signed for a fee of £5.7 million, Sobhi was purchased to shore up the attacking firepower of a side that doesn't score too many goals. Owing to his vision, ability to flip-flap past opponents and direct nature, Sobhi is considered as one of the emerging talents in Egyptian football.

In each of the last five league outings, he hasn't even featured on the bench and at the moment, it seems like there's no way out as far as his career progress is concerned. Should he live up to his comparisons with the great Mohamed Aboutrika, the 21-year-old will have to press restart and serve the Terriers as they fight a strenuous battle for survival.

8 Sergio Rico

[caption id="attachment_895" align="alignnone" width="558"]Sergio Rico was one of the most important players from Sevilla Sergio Rico was one of the most important players from Sevilla[/caption]

A lot of eyebrows were raised were Fulham managed to snap up Sergio Rico from Sevilla on loan. Although he had supposedly endured a rift with the manager and a few supporters at the club, there were a variety of potential suitors for the Spaniard.

However, Marcus Bettinelli has exceeded all expectations and kept Rico on the bench. The Englishman has been one of the best shot-stoppers this season and has made some remarkable saves over the last few weeks, which also earned him a senior call-up.

Not much can be done about the defensive frailties by the glove men, but Rico clearly seems to be second choice at the moment. Should Bettinelli continue to impress, it will be hard for Rico to kick-start his career at Craven Cottage.

Many would argue that his time at West London has come to an end, even before it has started!

7 Andre Gomes

[caption id="attachment_896" align="alignnone" width="572"]Andre Gomes hasn't found his feet in the PL yet Andre Gomes hasn't found his feet in the PL yet[/caption]

To say the least, Everton raided Barcelona this summer transfer window and bought three players from the Catalan giants. One of them was Andre Gomes, who has spent just 82 minutes on the pitch so far this term.

Having made just 16 league appearances for Barcelona last season, he was sent out on loan to the Toffees. Although he was nursing a supposed leg injury earlier this summer, his snub from the Portugal World Cup squad and the lack of opportunities at Goodison Park mean that the 25-year-old's career has lost its track to a notable extent.

He can operate both as a central midfielder and a right back. He impressed on his debut against the Eagles this weekend and it will be interesting to see if Marco Silva makes him a mainstay at the club.

According to the readers of Marca, he was voted as the worst signing of the 2016-17 season. He might have made a fine debut for the Merseyside team, but there is a long way to go for the Portuguese midfielder to stamp his authority

6 Caglar Soyuncu

[caption id="attachment_894" align="alignnone" width="593"]Soyuncu has earned 20 caps for Turkey Soyuncu has earned 20 caps for Turkey[/caption]

Caglar Soyunku was the first Turkish player to sign a contract in the Bundesliga directly from the TFF First League. In 2016, he joined SC Freiburg, who were then a newly-promoted side. In two seasons, he made an impressive 55 appearances in all competitions for them.

He joined Leicester City this summer on a five-year long contract, but hasn't played a single minute in the Premier League so far. The Foxes have a star-studded center-back list, which includes the likes of Wes Morgan, Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans and Daniel Amartey (who has also been used as a right back).

Thus, considering the fact that he is not even included in match day squads bu Claude Puel, it is presently a herculean task for the 22-year-old to find a way through. Also to mention, his current situation at the King Power is like a speed-breaker to his career, which was on the up a few months ago.

Given the world-class abilities of the other defenders in this Leicester squad, Soyuncu might have to wait for a long, long time to get his chance.

5 Alfie Mawson

[caption id="attachment_893" align="alignnone" width="634"]Fulham have already conceded 25 goals already this season Fulham have already conceded 25 goals already this season[/caption]

Till now, our focus was on players who haven't quite spent enough time on the football pitch for their respective new sides. But here, we are talking about a player who has simply not been good enough so far.

Alfie Mawson was a revelation for a struggling Swansea side that suffered relegation last season. He was deployed in a five-man defence as a left center-back and consistently, he would provide stellar performances for the Swans. In simple words, he was a symbol of solidity for the Swans.

For a player with such abilities, Mawson was snapped up by Fulham for £20m. However, he has been all over the place. There are no questions about the front three, who have been scoring goals on a regular basis. It is the back line that has faltered Fulham's progress this season.

They have conceded 25 goals already, more than any other side. Individually and collectively, the Cottagers have made way too many mistakes. You don't survive in the Premier League with so many errors and Mawson is and should be well aware of that.

4 Lucas Perez

[caption id="attachment_892" align="alignnone" width="615"]Lucas Perez has been on the fringes of the squad Lucas Perez has been on the fringes of the squad[/caption]

After a rather poor stint at Arsenal, Lucas Perez joined West Ham United in the summer. On paper, the Hammers are arguably the best side outside the 'big six'. With players such as Marko Arnautovic, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere, Pedro Obiang, Javier Hernandez and Mark Noble, the are one of the most feared attacking sides in the division.

Perez has struggled to find minutes due to the presence of other signings and the manager's preferences. He has made just four appearances so far, all coming from the bench. Although he is a natural goalscorer, powerful and smart with his link-up play, the former Gunner striker is second choice to the all-round capabilities of Arnautovic.

Not many expect him to start the forthcoming matches either. He will have to make a significant impact off the bench, whenever he gets a chance. Otherwise, it might not take a lot of time for him to become a Premier League flop.

3 Yerry Mina

[caption id="attachment_891" align="alignnone" width="591"]Yerry-Mina-was-a-World-Cup-hero-for-Colombia Yerry-Mina-was-a-World-Cup-hero-for-Colombia[/caption]

Yerry Mina absolutely shone at the World Cup. Be it while defending or attacking set-pieces, the former Barcelona man fired from all cylinders. Due to his successful exploits, he holds the record for most goals in a single World Cup by a defender. (three)

After just five league appearances and a few months at Spain, he was purchased by Everton for a heavy price of £27.19m. However, the in-form defender hasn't managed a single minute in the league thus far. Presently behind Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane in the pecking order, the 24-year-old hasn't been favoured by Marco Silva.

The Toffees possess a squad with fine depth and many would argue the Colombian deserves a go. But three wins on the spin now and a settled center-back pairing only imply that it is going to get tougher for Mina. Although there are no doubts over his abilities, he needs to start playing before his story with Everton turns out to be a sad one.

2 Fred

[caption id="attachment_890" align="alignnone" width="584"]Manchester-United-v-Wolverhampton-Wanderers-Premier-League Manchester-United-v-Wolverhampton-Wanderers-Premier-League[/caption]

Fred started the first three matches for Manchester United this term after having made the switch from Shakhtar Donetsk. He came with a lot of promise, owing to his attack-minded nature of approach. The midfielder is good on the ball, innovative, strong and someone with astute awareness of proceedings.

However, in the last six league outings, he has only played 82 minutes. Lack of an impact and defensive discipline has force Mourinho to look for other options in midfield. The Portuguese has often gone with Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini in his three-man midfield.

Fred does appear in league games and some UCL encounters, but on an overall note, the Brazilian has seen his performances dip. For a man worth £47m, this is just not good enough. One goal is all he can boast about, since joining the English giants.

1 Fabinho

[caption id="attachment_889" align="alignnone" width="572"]Fabinho-has-spent-most-of-his-time-on-the-sidelines-for-Liverpool. Fabinho-has-spent-most-of-his-time-on-the-sidelines-for-Liverpool.[/caption]

Apart from the 21 minutes he got against Huddesfield Town this weekend, Fabinho, who joined for a whopping £39m fee from Monaco, hasn't played in the Premier League at all.

Liverpool were arguably the best team in terms of business in the transfer window as they covered their weaknesses by signing the likes of Alisson Becker, Xhersan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and Fabinho. While all the others have played their part in the Reds' successful season so far, the latter hasn't found too many minutes.

Not only is he solid and reliable, but also more watchful than many others in his position. Safe with the ball, strong in terms of physicality and an excellent passer, Fabinho is too good to be sitting out.

James Milner, Jordan Henderson and the rest have performed extremely well in the middle of the park, which had led to the Brazil international's frequent exclusion. He has certainly not started life at Anfield on a quick and happy note.

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