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The EPL’s Most Disappointing S-11 of 2020-21

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We take a look at the EPL stars who failed to live up to our expectations.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Arsenal FC - Premier League
Aubameyang was backed for a big season but fell flat as Arsenal struggled.
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

We had many great performances in the EPL 2020-21 season, but of course every season also has its share of flops who fail to live up to our great expectations. Some may be “ones to watch” in the future, but others look like their time in the EPL is at an end, so you may say “dead to me”. Here is our starting-11 of disappointment:


Goalkeeper

David De Gea (Man United): When Dean Henderson returned to Old Trafford after his loan spell with Sheffield United, De Gea faced real competition for his #1 place in the side. After he disappointed in the early stages of the UCL, De Gea took a brief trip back to Spain. Henderson got his shot in the side and impressed, with De Gea featuring only sparingly thereafter.


Defenders

Matt Doherty (Tottenham): Doherty had been a player worth his weight in fantasy gold in previous seasons, but this seems like a distant memory since his move to Spurs. With Aurier preferred by both Mourinho and Mason, the Republic of Ireland international never got up and running in the side. Two assists in a side with Kane and Son for targets says it all.

Enda Stevens (Sheffield United): To be fair to Stevens, this could’ve been any of the Blades’ defense. Rock-bottom Sheffield United is a mere shadow of the previous season, and most of the collapse went down to poor defending after having been so solid at the back prior to the Covid break. Stevens had also been a great attacking option in 2019-20, but he managed only one assist this last season.

Patrick Van Aanholt (Crystal Palace): Another player who had previously been a great fantasy defender with attacking threat. Van Aanholt missed the first few game-weeks injured, finding his way back into the side but not into form, replaced by the younger Mitchell as the season went on. Since that happened, Palace looked better value.


Midfielders

Willian (Arsenal): Willian looked like an exciting signing for Arteta, promising to provide great consistency and experience, like he had at Chelsea where he was one of the very top fantasy producers in 2019-20. However, as soon as he arrived at the Emirates, Willian’s career looked washed up and on his way out, never really offering Arsenal anything during the season. He was given plenty of opportunities early on by Arteta, but was soon surpassed by the likes of Smith-Rowe and Saka. He may have setup a few goals early on, but only scored once himself.

Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool): It’s fair to say that Thiago struggled in his first season in England. This of course wasn’t helped by the many injuries to those around him, but he took a long time to show signs of the assured player he was at Bayern Munich. He did pick up towards the end of the season, so there may be hope yet.

Donny van de Beek (Man United): United’s big money signing from Ajax was barely given a chance to impress. Van de Beek saw the full 90 minutes in only three league matches, clearly not trusted in the side so used very sparingly. He may yet impress in the future, but he’ll have to do a lot to nudge out the current midfield.

Dele Alli (Spurs): A poor season from a young player who looks to have peaked early in his career. Mourinho clearly disliked Alli and didn’t even try very hard to hide it. Alli’s playing time really was shocking, especially when you consider Spurs’s drop in form. Alli undoubtedly has quality, but may need a fresh start to prove it. PSG awaits.


Forwards

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal): Here’s a man whom many of us tipped to win the Golden-Boot and earn most points in FPL, especially with his move to midfield in the game. Arsenal’s (former) talisman exemplified the Gunners’ poor form, looking out of ideas at times. This isn’t the only time Arsenal has given out a big-money contract only to be disappointed by the result. Ten goals doesn’t seem like a disaster, but it’s way short at the point of attack on a supposedly “top-six” club.

Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United): Such talented youngster, such a disappointing season. £20+ million is a lot of money to pay for a striker who delivered zero goals plus zero assists on the whole season. Brewster never got a good amount of game time, and he struggled when he did go in, much like a lot of the Sheffield United players. Hopefully he’ll bounce back against softer opposition in the Championship and build the confidence he will need to crack the Top Flight in the future.

Aleksandar Mitrović (Fulham): After having scored 18 goals last time he was in the EPL, he was one of my go to bargain picks at the beginning of the season. Just three goals this time says it all (both for him and for Fulham). The big Serbian scored only once after GW-2, also missing a penalty in the process. Scott Parker soon saw that this wasn’t going to be his season, reducing Mitrović to limited minutes.

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“Subs” (also disappointing): Pickford, Abraham, Diangana, Martial, Egan, Loftus-Cheek, Lewis.


What do you think of our selections? Any other players who failed to live up to their promise or massively declined in this season? Any over-hyped fantasy investments you regret buying? Please let us know in the comments!

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