We might have only played one game of football in the 2019/20 Premier League season but already players are being threatened with the axe.
There were some good, some bad and some ugly performances on the opening weekend – and numerous top-flight managers are considering ringing the changes.
Already clubs have suffered defeat and fearing they could be in for tough seasons unless they make important alterations to their starting XI.
But who are the Premier League players who are already facing being dropped to the bench?
Here talkSPORT.com take a look at 10 players who may not make the first XI this weekend despite starting in gameweek 1.
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Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal)
With the Armenian dropping a poor showing against Newcastle United it really makes you wonder why the club chose to sell Alex Iwobi and not the ex-Manchester United man.
Nicolas Pepe won’t have to do much to improve on Mkhitaryan’s efforts last Sunday and we won’t be surprised to see the Ivorian in the starting XI.
Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa)
The winger was always going to have a tough time upon promotion to the Premier League and it showed on Saturday.
Against Spurs he just couldn’t get going and wasn’t a great help defensively either.
If so, Jota could be the man to benefit after his cameo in the 3-1 loss.
Jurgen Locadia (Brighton)
His move to the Seagulls just hasn’t quite worked out for all parties and it can’t be too long before the Dutchman is ditched by new boss Graham Potter.
Neal Maupay’s brilliant substitute appearance in the win over Watford could see Locadia lose his spot in the first-team.
Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)
It’s not been a great week for the French centre-back.
He looked like he’d turned a corner at Everton, while the sale of David Luiz paved the way for him to be a regular in the starting XI.
His display against Manchester United might have supporters and manager Frank Lampard worried, despite an improved showing against Liverpool.
Fikayo Tomori looked good when he got off the bench in the UEFA Super Cup though and might get a run out against Leicester ahead of Zouma.
Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)
A baffling signing in the first place, he’s surely only good enough for a spot on the bench even in this Eagles team.
Wilfried Zaha should return now his future is at Selhurst Park, until January at least.
A fine player to have coming off the bench for manager Marco Silva but he’s just not cut out for starting role in a team attempting to crack the top six.
Alex Iwobi should replace him, if fit enough, and will be a big improvement
Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City)
The talented youngster is likely to see his minutes curtailed by the arrival of Belgian midfielder Dennis Praet.
Signed from Sampdoria, he could usurp Choudhury as soon as the weekend and leave the England Under-21 ace on the bench.
The Foxes youngster still has a major role to play for Brendan Rodgers this season, mind you.
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
It’s not that the Brazilian deserves to be dropped, it’s just you never know what Pep Guardiola’s thinking will be.
The Citizens face a tough Tottenham Hotspur test on Saturday evening – live on talkSPORT – and the Spanish managed may opt for the experience of Aguero ahead of the spritely No.9.
Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City)
Had the German been wearing his shooting boots last Friday, the Canaries could have been involved in a real ding-dong high-scoring thriller with Liverpool.
Instead, Stiepermann skied a couple of decent chances and might see himself replaced by Moritz Leitner, as he was in the match.
We’d like to think Daniel Farke will give him another chance, though.
Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United)
Watching the English left-back being torched by Kyle Walker on Saturday was one of the stand out moments of the weekend.
Cresswell looked totally helpless and he now seems a long way from the player who has previously earned three England caps.
Manuel Pellegrini may now turn to Arthur Masuaku as the Hammers take on Brighton.
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The closing stages of the 2018/19 season is round the corner so for some players it’s time to reflect on how they feel they’ve performed.
There have been great performances this campaign, however, others have not been so good, including Tottenham full-back Kieran Tripper, who admitted he could have done “a lot better” in 2018/19 in an exclusive interview with talkSPORT.
And Trippier’s comment got us thinking, which other players have not performed to the standard that is expected of them?
Below you can see one under-performing player for every Premier League side this season.
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AFC Bournemouth (Asmir Begovic)
Asmir Begovic had a decent 2017/18 season but he has been far from his best this campaign, so much so that the Bosnian has lost his place between the sticks to veteran Artur Boruc, 39.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe denied reports of a bust-up with the goalkeeper in February but admitted Begovic’s future is in his own hands.
Arsenal (Mesut Ozil)
However, it’s pretty obvious that there’s friction between Arsenal star Mesut Ozil and manager Unai Emery.
The German’s work-ethic has been questioned for a number of seasons and Emery has done what Arsene Wenger didn’t have the stomach to do and has dropped Ozil from the team and sometimes from the matchday squad altogether.
But Ozil has started the last few games for the Gunners as they mount a challenge for the top four so the No.10’s season could finally be on the up.
Brighton (Jurgen Locadia)
Brighton are not blessed with huge amounts of talent so when they splashed out on the Dutchman for a club-record fee of £14million, you’d have thought they would be getting a bit more back.
But forward Jurgen Locadia has been a bit of a disaster since moving to the Amex from PSV Eindhoven in January 2018, scoring just four goals this season and six overall.
Burnley (Joe Hart)
Joe Hart was handed a lifeline at Burnley, who signed him in the summer following injuries to goalkeepers Tom Heaton and Nick Pope.
And he got off to a storming start, making saves that he would have made during his peak years at Manchester City.
However, just as Heaton started to get fit again, Hart went back into the rut he was experiencing during his bad loan spell at West Ham last season and Hart has now been demoted to the bench with seemingly no way back into the first-team.
Cardiff City (Oumar Niasse)
It may be a bit harsh to judge Oumar Niasse’s Cardiff career as he’s only made seven appearances since signing on loan in January.
But Cardiff are in a relegation battle and don’t have the time to let him settle in so the striker needs to start scoring promptly especially given Niasse’s new team-mates are limited in terms of their quality.
Chelsea (Marcos Alonso)
This was a difficult one as the only Chelsea player who can really say they’ve played consistently well this season is Eden Hazard.
Jorginho has been nowhere near the player he was at Napoli and Chelsea fans are still wracking their brains about just what Mateo Kovacic’s purpose is.
But we’ve given this prize to Marcos Alonso, who’s form really has dropped this season.
When you compare how good he was in the days under Antonio Conte where Alonso played as a formidable left-wing back, he has looked out of his depth as an out-and-out full-back.
Crystal Palace (Max Meyer)
A few players for Crystal Palace have not been at the races including Christian Benteke, who is a shadow of the player who bullied defences and scored many goals at Aston Villa.
However, Benteke has been awful for a while so we’ve given this award to Max Meyer, who has really struggled to adapt to the Premier League despite his good reputation in Germany.
The former Schalke man has made 18 appearances in all competitions this season but has only scored twice and made two assists in a frustrating campaign.
Everton (Cenk Tosun)
Again, there were almost too many players to choose from at Everton, who have been in free-fall ever since they were beaten by Liverpool in cruel fashion in December.
And it seems almost harsh to give this award to Cenk Tosun as new manager Marco Silva doesn’t give him many opportunities to play but when the striker has come on, he just can’t give a good account of himself.
Tosun has scored just two Premier League goals in 21 appearances this season, awful stats for a striker who had a fierce reputation in his homeland Turkey.
Fulham (Luciano Vietto)
Fulham made 12 new signings last summer and very few of them can be considered a success, however, we’ve picked out Luciano Vietto as the biggest let-down at Craven Cottage this season.
Vietto, 25, arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid but judging by how he’s played this season, it’s easy to see why the LaLiga giants allowed him to leave.
The Argentine, who plays as a forward only has one goal and four assists this season in all competitions. A poor campaign for Vietto and Fulham.
Huddersfield Town (Aaron Mooy)
To pick out Huddersfield’s most under-performing player was also quite difficult as the type of play at the club is very workman-like let’s say.
So we’ve gone for Aaron Mooy, who produced a few magical moments last season as they somehow managed to maintain their status in the top flight.
The Australian has not been at his best this season but let’s face it, even Lionel Messi would struggle to keep the Terriers up.
Leicester City (Kelechi Iheanacho)
Kelechi Iheanacho’s move to Leicester in the summer of 2017 seemed a very astute signing as he showed signs of being a natural goalscorer at Manchester City.
But things just have not worked out for the Nigeria international and he’s been a huge let-down for the Foxes this campaign, making just nine Premier League starts in 2018/19 and scoring one goal.
Liverpool (Naby Keita)
There was huge build-up to Naby Keita arriving at Liverpool and it was heavily implied he would take the Premier League by storm.
But the midfielder, 23, has struggled to make an impact at Anfield so far, showing only snippets of what he is capable of. Keita has yet to score a goal this season which will bother him.
Manchester City (Nicolas Otamendi)
Nicolas Otamendi played a big part in Manchester City coasting to the Premier League title last season but this time around he’s been more of a fringe player.
It’s not really Otamendi’s fault he’s only made 15 league appearances this campaign but John Stones and Aymeric Laporte have forged a very effective partnership at the back together.
However, most of City’s players have been right on it this season so Otamendi is the unfortunate recipient of this prize.
Manchester United (Fred)
Signing a player for over £50million is not as significant as it would be ten years ago, but Manchester United midfielder Fred has still looked like a complete waste of money so far.
The Brazilian has had a pretty torrid time at Old Trafford but admittedly has played his way back into the fold in recent games. He Still needs to improve hugely though.
Newcastle United (Kenedy)
After a good loan spell at Newcastle last season, Kenedy was brought to St James’ Park on a season-long loan this campaign.
Although the Magpies may wish they hadn’t bothered as the Brazilian has been ineffective, scoring just one goal in 22 Premier League appearances this season.
His second spell at Newcastle was arguably epitomised by his poor penalty miss at Cardiff earlier in the season – just a bit rubbish frankly.
Southampton (Alex McCarthy)
Alex McCarthy appears to go through spells where he looks unstoppable at one point and then other points where he seems like a distinctly average goalkeeper.
And this season, McCarthy is not in a particularly good way and his form has led to new Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl playing Angus Gunn between the sticks instead.
Tottenham Hotspur (Kieran Trippier)
Kieran Tripper is big enough to admit he’s not done as well as he would have liked this season but he said it with good reason.
It’s been a stop-start campaign for the full-back who has had a number of injuries probably due to him not having enough time off following England’s semi-final performance at the World Cup.
Trippier has made sloppy mistakes though, including a daft own goal against Chelsea and a penalty miss during Tottenham’s FA Cup exit at Crystal Palace in Feburary.
Watford (Isaac Success)
It’s ironic that Isaac Success has been a failure this season!
But this is no laughing matter for the Watford striker who only has one goal in 15 Premier League appearances this season.
The Hornets are stuck with him for a while though as Success signed a five-year contract with the club in November.
West Ham (Lucas Perez)
Lucas Perez’s move to West Ham last summer seemed like a fresh start for the striker following his unsuccessful two-year spell at Arsenal.
But the Spaniard has shown very little to suggest he’s cut out for the Premier League, scoring just two goals in the league all season.
During a win at Everton in September, it appeared Perez refused to warm up after Marko Arnautovic needed to be substituted off but this is something both Perez and West Ham both denied.
Wolves (Adama Traore)
It’s been a wonderful season back in the top flight for Wolves but this is not the case for Adama Traore.
The former Barcelona man signed for Wolves last summer and was expected to provide more goals for the Molineux-based club.
However, Traore has only scored one goal for Wolves, which was all the way back in September against West Ham.
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