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12th Nov 2015

5 Premier League summer signings who haven’t impressed

Kevin Beirne

The optimism of summer has given way to the harsh reality of late autumn.

It’s easy for football fans to get over-excited during the summer break. New signings stir fans into a frenzy as the pain of last season slowly fades away.

‘This year will be our year,’ say fans of every single team in every league. But it can’t possibly work out that way.

There are always some players who fail to live up to expectations – and here are five yet to impress this season…

Memphis Depay


When he signed for Manchester United in May, Memphis was heralded as the next big thing. The hype around his arrival only increased when he was handed the iconic number seven shirt as fans christened him the “new Ronaldo”.

But 12 games into the season, the Dutch youngster has been overshadowed by another summer signing – 19-year-old Anthony Martial. While United fans were originally willing to give Depay time to adapt to the Premier League, Martial’s meteoric rise has made the Old Trafford faithful somewhat less patient.

Struggling for form, the 21-year-old Memphis has been publicly called out by his national coach (and father of a team-mate) Danny Blind. While he still has plenty of time to come good, the fact that he appears to have fallen behind Jesse Lingard in Louis van Gaal’s immediate plans is not a good sign.



When it was rumoured that Pedro might be open to a move to the Premier League, fans of every top side were climbing over each other to profess their love for the Spaniard. While he was strongly linked to Arsenal and then Man United, it was Chelsea who finally brought the World Cup winner to England.

He immediately impressed, scoring a goal and assisting another on his debut against West Brom – Chelsea’s first win of the season. But since bagging another assist in his second league game, the former Barcelona winger has struggled with injury and looked off the pace as Chelsea have slipped down the table.

While Pedro is clearly not solely to blame for the champions’ struggles this season, Jose Mourinho was surely expecting the 28-year-old to have more of an immediate impact after splashing out nearly £20m on the player.

Xherdan Shaqiri

When he arrived for £12m from Inter, Shaqiri immediately became the face of a changing Stoke City team. With the likes of Bojan Krkic, Marko Arnautović and Ibrahim Afellay also in the starting line-up, Mark Hughes was looking to put the “wet, windy night in Stoke” cliche to bed.

It hasn’t really worked out that way, with an injury-prone Shaqiri struggling to make any real impact on the Premier League as of yet. Like Pedro, things started out brightly as he assisted Stoke’s only goal on his debut against Norwich – but he has not been involved in a goal since.

The Swiss forward has shown flashes of the player that inspired FC Basel to a 2-1 win over Manchester United in 2011, most notably in his man of the match performance in Stoke’s win over a struggling Chelsea. But the Potters are still languishing in bottom half of the table, and need Shaqiri to build on last weekend’s performance.

Roberto Firmino

Liverpool’s big summer signing, Roberto Firmino has been entirely forgettable in his first few months at Anfield. His poor form since arriving from Hoffenheim was likely a contributing factor in the decision to dismiss Brendan Rodgers in October.

With a £29m price tag, the pressure was always going to be on Firmino to perform immediately – but the Brazilian has yet to get on the score sheet in any of his 12 appearances this season.

The arrival of Jurgen Klopp – who apparently coveted Firmino when the pair were both in Germany – will hopefully spark the 24-year-old’s Liverpool career into life. With the revival of Philippe Coutinho under the German, hopes are still high.


Steve McClaren

Newcastle have seemingly been in a state of total disarray for over a decade now. The decision to part ways with John Carver at the end of last season was unsurprising considering the Magpies’ poor form since Alan Pardew’s departure, but Steve McClaren has been unable to stop the rot.

With just two league wins from 12 games, McClaren’s Newcastle now sit in 17th place – just two points outside the relegation zone. It’s not just the defeats which annoy fans, but the manner in which they are happening.

The team’s uninspiring play, coupled with a general distrust of owner Mike Ashley, means that the decision to allow Pardew to leave for Crystal Palace is looking worse by the day.