The most disappointing Premier League transfers in 2018/19, including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United flops

21 May

When Sir Alex Ferguson signed Eric Cantona for Manchester United in 1992, few anticipated just how much of an impact the striker would go on to have.

Having failed to sign Alan Shearer and David Hirst, the Scot found his team slumped in eighth place in the Premier League and floundering behind their rivals.

Eric Cantona went on to become a legend at Manchester United
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But the enigmatic Frenchman saved the Red Devils’ season and proved to be (at just £1million from rivals Leeds United) to be a truly remarkable signing.

However, this is a rarity in today’s market and United are a prime example of that.

While their financial clout is certainly not to be sniffed at, the club’s policy of splashing the cash has seen them slip behind rials Manchester City and Liverpool.

United are not the only side to have fallen victim to this. With the influx of television money, clubs can afford to spend more money on signings than in previous years – meaning their transfer mistakes are all the more scrutinised.

This season has been no different and talkSPORT.com has compiled a list of the 10 most disappointing signings from the 2018/19 season.

Scroll down to see if any of your club’s signings feature!

Jack Wilshere – West Ham United (Free)

Injuries have continued to plague Wilshere in the East End
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After being informed by Unai Emery he was surplus to requirements at the Emirates, Wilshere decided to hop on the London Overground and join Manuel Pellegrini’s revolution at West Ham United.

However, after starting the first four games of the season and losing every single one, the England international underwent ankle surgery.

Speculation he would miss the rest of the season began to intensify, but the 27-year-old returned to action in April.

Appearances from the bench during the wins against Southampton and Watford suggest those who have written Wilshere off may be premature, but he has a lot to prove next season.

Gonzalo Higuain – Chelsea (Loan w/option to buy)

The Juventus striker has struggled against the best teams in the Premier League
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When Maurizio Sarri took over in the summer of 2018, it became apparent he wanted to replicate his success from Napoli.

‘Sarriball’ initially thrilled Blues fans, but as Jorginho began to suffer, so did the team.

Recruiting the Argentina international may not have been a long-term option, but Sarri hoped he would at least provide some short term relief.

But with a transfer ban incoming and with just five goals from 15 Premier League appearances, it is safe to say the Italian’s gamble on Higuain has not paid off.

Kenedy – Newcastle United (Loan)

Kenedy had an afternoon to forget in Wales – a game which summed up his season
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Kenedy’s loan move from Chelsea to the Toon in 2018 proved to be a masterstroke by Rafael Benitez as the Brazilian (alongside Martin Dubravka) helped secure Premier League football.

However, a return to St James did not prove to be as successful for the 23-year-old.

His season at St James Park can be best summed up by one unforgettable afternoon against Cardiff City in August.

Having not completed a single pass in the first half and after having lashed out at Victor Camarasa, Kenedy then inexcusably missed a 95th minute penalty and the chance to secure all three points – disappointing to say the least.

Jean Michael Seri – Fulham (£25million)

Once courted by Barcelona and Arsenal, Seri looked out of his depth at Fulham
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Fulham beating top clubs to the signing of Seri was probably the highlight of their season.

The Ivory Coast international shot to international prominence with Nice in Ligue 1 and had the biggest sides in Europe fighting over him.

However, it was Slavisa Jokanovic who pounced first and brought the 27-year-old to the Premier League.

The central midfielder looked off the pace and never adapted to the demands of English football.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh – Brighton and Hove Albion (£17million)

The Iranian is Brighton’s record signing and must start delivering for whoever replaces Chris Hughton
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With skills as complicated as his surname, Brighton thought the signing of the Iranian trickster would take them to the next level in the Premier League.

But with Pascal Gross and Glenn Murray failing to fire, it became clear goals were hard to come by for the Seagulls.

Jahanbakhsh failed to record a single assist, nor did he score in his debut season in England.

Whoever replaces Chris Hughton at the Amex must now choose whether to stick with the 25-year-old or try and recoup some of the record £17million for him.

Stephan Lichsteiner – Arsenal (Free)

Unai Emery’s face says it all really
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If you had told an Arsenal fan before the start of the season they would be signing a serial Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia winner from Juventus, few would have believed you.

If you had then said the player in question has more than 100 caps for his country and was known as ‘Forrest Gump’ in Italy, chances are the Gunners fans would have entered meltdown.

Alas, 35-year-old right-back Stephan Lichsteiner was never going to set the world alight, but his performances this season have been woeful.

With time not exactly on his side and Hector Bellerin closing in on a return from injury, do not expect to see the ‘Swiss Express’ feature too prominently at the Emirates next season.

Fred – Manchester United (£52million)

The diminutive midfielder will be desperate to show his quality next season
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The last time Manchester City signed a Brazilian defensive midfielder from Shakthar Donetsk it ended up being rather beneficial.

But with Fernandinho nearing the end of his career, Pep Gaurdiola identified compatriot Fred as the ideal replacement.

But, as with Alexis Sanchez six months prior, United gatecrashed the party and pounced with a colossal £52m bid and snared the 26-year-old.

Fred surely has more to offer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the United boss begins his rebuilding job, but he must do so quickly or else find his name associated with the likes of Eric Djemba-Djemba and Massimo Taibi amongst those who frequent Old Trafford.

Mohamed Elyounoussi – Southampton (£16million)

As the season wore on, the Norway international’s confidence drained away
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Southampton thought they had snared a potential world beater when they made a £16million move for Norway international Elyounoussi last summer.

Tricky, skilful and with an eye for goal, the Basel forward earned comparisons with Mohamed Salah who also earned a Premier League move after impressing in Switzerland.

But unlike the Liverpool forward, Elyounoussi has struggled to carry his good form over to the Premier League with him.

The 24-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance at St Mary’s, but desperately needs to work on his consistency if he is to make it in the top-flight.

Joe Hart – Burnley (£3.5million)

Hart will surely struggle to get regular game time at Turf Moor now
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When Pep Guardiola ruthlessly cut Hart from his Manchester City squad at the start of the 2016/17 season, fans and critics were stunned.

The England international had arguably been City’s most consistent player for several years and was England’s No.1

Fast forward three years and after loan spells at Torino and West Ham it is hard to argue with the Spaniard’s decision making.

Times have been equally tough at Turf Moor for the shot-stopper, who instantly usurped between the sticks by Tom Heaton upon his return to full fitness.

Max Meyer – Crystal Palace (Free)

Meyer hasn’t shown what all the hype is about at Palace yet
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Should you search online for videos of Max Meyer you will be inundated with compilations of goals, skills and technical brilliance.

Despite being linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, Schalke never cashed in on their star midfielder and he was allowed to run his contract down.

Having shown the technical ability to play as a both a holding or an attacking midfielder, Crystal Palace fans will surely have been delighted to see Roy Hodgson gleefully posing next to the 22-year-old.

But doubts about Meyer’s physical attributes have continued to blight the youngster and he has struggled to feature consistently for the Eagles this season – despite all the hype.

Arsenal FC news: Potential 2018/19 lineup including Fellaini, Cillessen and Lichsteiner

5 Jun
Arsenal FC news: Potential 2018/19 lineup including Marouane Fellaini, Stephan Lichsteiner and more transfer targets
Will this be how the Gunners linE up next season under Unai Emery?

After 22 years of Arsene Wenger at the helm, Arsenal will have a new boss in the dugout for next season.

The Frenchman created a legacy in north London, implementing a style of football which reinvigorated the club and revitalised the Premier League and English football as a whole.

While the appointment of former Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery certainly was met with cautious optimism, there is an acceptance from those close to the club it will take time to sort out the issues at the Emirates.

While the rumours linking Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini with a move have been met with hilarity by the vast majority of fans, the free transfer of Stephan Lichsteiner represents a shrewd piece of business.

A move for a new goalkeeper has also been mooted, with rumours of Barcelona back-up shot-stopper Jasper Cillessen arriving in north London gathering momentum.

Defensive reinforcements will also be a priority for Emery, with a move for Borussia Dortmund centre-half Sokratis Papastathopoulos expected to be completed by the end of the week.

So just how could they look before the Premier League season kicks off on Saturday, August 18? Scroll down to have a look at talkSPORT.com’s potential Arsenal 2018/19 lineup.

GK. Jasper Cillessen

RB. Stephan Lichsteiner

CB. Sokratis Papastathopoulos

CB. Shkodran Mustafi

LB. Nacho Monreal

CM. Granit Xhaka

CM. Aaron Ramsey

CAM. Marouane Fellaini

RAM. Mesut Ozil

LAM. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

ST. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

 

POTENTIAL ARSENAL LINE UP FOR 2018/19?