Kolkata, Janaury 14: We have crossed the halfway stage of the 2021-22 Premier League season, with some players stepping up to the occasion and shining while there have been several players who have simply failed to live up to the expectations.
Here, we look at five players who have struggled for playing time in the Premier League this season despite their big reputation.
Timo Werner (Chelsea)
Werner made his move to Chelsea from Red Bull Leipzig in the summer of 2020 and has struggled to impress at Stamford Bridge. The German international looks to have suffered the striker curse that has been going on at Chelsea for a long time and his return of 18 goals in 69 games for the Blues is a testament of his poor showings. It is therefore not a surprise to see Thomas Tuchel opting to bench the 25-year-old on most occasions.
Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal)
The most expensive signing Arsenal have ever made, Pepe, has clearly been a flop at the Emirates. The 26-year-old has struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League despite spending three years already in English football and the Gunners will be lucky to recoup even one third of the money they spent on the Ivorian.
Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)
Ziyech made his move to Chelsea from Ajax and expectations were huge from him but the Moroccan international has struggled for regular minutes on the pitch at Stamford Bridge. The 28-year-old has made just 10 appearances so far in the Premier League this season, most of them coming from the bench and has scored just once while assisting on two occasions.
Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham Hotspur)
Just like the club record signing of Arsenal, the club record signing of their local rivals Tottenham Hotspur has also been a huge flop at the North London club. The Lilywhites broke the bank to sign Ndombele in 2019 and the Frenchman has found it difficult to impress at the English capital club. The 25-year-old has not only struggled for form and fitness but his relationship with every manager he has worked wit at the club has been poor which is quite alarming.
Donny van de Beek (Manchester United)
Van de Beek has desperately struggled for playing time at Manchester United following his big move from Ajax. The Dutchman was constantly ignored by former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but his luck has not changed despite interim boss Ralf Rangnick taking charge. The 24-year-old has made only seven appearances in the league so far and has been on the pitch for just 67 minutes, which has led to major speculation that he is looking for a way out of the club and end his nightmare spell with them.