Kolkata, December 8: 2021 has been quite an eventful year in football. We saw some blockbuster deals taking place during the summer of 2021 while the winter transfer window was not quite as action-packed.
As the year winds up, we take a look at three players who have failed to live up to expectations.
Jack Grealish - Manchester City
Manchester City broke both their club record fee as well as the British transfer record fee for the services of Jack Grealish as the 26-year-old moved to the Etihad from his boyhood club Aston Villa for a fee of £100 million. The England international established himself as one of the most exciting players in the Premier League over the last couple of years and City must have hoped for the same from their stellar new arrival. Grealish has been quite a regular for the Cityzens this campaign but he is yet to showcase his true colours at his new club. He has just two goals and three assists in 17 games across all competitions this campaign which is not particularly impressive considering the fact that he plays for a free-scoring Manchester City side.
Romelu Lukaku - Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku made his return to his old club Chelsea this summer from Inter Milan for a fee believed to be around £97 million. Expectations were big from the big striker who played a key role in the Nerazzurri's Serie A winning campaign last season but he has not quite managed to live up to the expectations yet at Stamford Bridge. Four goals and one assist in 14 games is pretty underwhleming for a striker of Lukaku's caliber. The 28-year-old did have a decent start to life at Chelsea but has eventually faded while also sitting out with injury for a few games.
Lionel Messi - Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi being awarded his seventh Ballon d'Or earlier this month has invited a lot of controversy and for valid reasons. While Messi did have an extraordinary individual season at Barcelona last time out as usual, he has not managed to carry his form to PSG. The Argentine superstar was snapped up by the French giants in the summer on a free transfer and even in an star-studded lineup at Parc des Princes, the 34-year-old has looked completely out of his depth. Messi has just four goals and three assists in PSG colours in 13 games so far which is pretty poor by his standards.