Published on 13 April 2024 at 16:00

This has been one of the most captivating Premier League seasons for the ages: providing a three-horse title race, battle for Europe, several financial embargos and a closer relegation battle than expected. The business end of the season means only one thing besides trophies, promotion and relegation an annual recap of the year to decide which transfers have truly flopped this season. What determines a failed transfer is variable from a lack of impact or gametime, poor form and heightened expectations to a terrible injury record destroying a debut season. So without further a do, here are the worst transfers of 2023-24... look away Manchester United fans.


6. tyler adams:

After a stand-out maiden Premier League campaign resulted in relegation with Leeds United, the 25 year old secured a £19m transfer to the Vitality Stadium on the South Coast this summer.

The Americans arrival brought optimism from Cherries fans, showing the clubs ambitious and bold strategy in the transfer window and he represented a pedigree addition possessing potential with the capabilities of replacing the departed Jefferson Lerma.

Unfortunatley, his second season in the English top flight has been tarnished by a recurring hamstring injury which sidelined him for up to six months while at Leeds United.

Before, March he had only made a 20 minute cameo appearance in the EFL Cup third round against Stoke City and he sustained a further set-back with his hamstring recovery in this game which prolonged his return until March 9th.

It seems harsh to include the midfielder on a list for the worst transfers this season because of injuries, but expectations for Adams were so high at the start of the season and even though he still has so much potential to become a star player he has been unable to help his new club so far.

He has shown glimpses of the talented player Bournemouth signed in August in recent weeks scoring a goal on his first start of the season for USMNT during the March international break and then he put in a man of the match performance on his first league start against Everton last week.


5. robert sanchez:

Sanchez was signed for £20m as competition for Kepa Arrizzabalaga in August, but became Chelsea's first-choice keeper after Kepa joined Real Madrid on loan. 

The Spaniard was not even in favour under Roberto De Zerbi last season and yet he started the season as the Blues number one, but instantly failed to impress. He was culpable for a howler against Arsenal in October which led to Declan Rice's goal where he carelessly passed it straight to the midfielder and cost Chelsea the win.

His poor consistency and shaky performances led Mauricio Pochettino to drop the 27 year old for young Serbian goalkeeper Djorde Petrovic and then he later sustained a knee injury missing 17 games.

Petrovic has risen to the challenge in his absence starring for Chelsea in the EFL Cup final defeat and even now that the former Brighton keeper is available he is secondary in the standings.

In his 16 Premier League games this season he has made just three clean sheets, and it is evident Chelsea will be shopping for a new goalkeeper in the summer. He was a rushed signing intended to provide support, but instead he became their number one due to a shock exit and has failed to excel at a higher level proving he is merely an average Premier League goalkeeper.


4. matheus nunes

How embarrassing in early September Pep Guardiola singled out his new signing saying he is "one of the best players in the world", just 26 days later he was backtracking stating "he's not" and that he had mistakenly over-exaggerated.

Nunes was a surprise blockbuster signing from Wolves for Manchester City late in the summer transfer window, and there were high expectations. He had demonstrated his technical ability and creative skills last season in the Premier League and was seen as the ideal long-term successor to Kevin De Bruyne.

When offered the perfect opportunity to seize his chance in the first team during De Bruyne's hamstring injury he struggled with Guardiola's tactical demands and gradually his game time has reduced as the season has gone on.

While, he's not been terrible it seems similar to a lot of big money signings at Manchester City like Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips he is suffering from a first-season syndrome where he's been quite average.

This is expected when you join the reigning treble winners, they make a star player look normal but it is concerning for the Portuguese youngster how quickly Guardiola seemed to change his opinion on him.

He has made only eight starts in the league this season and his performances in the league specifically have dwindled across the season. As long as he is given time there is definitely a world-class talent in there but currently he's almost become a forgotten man on the City bench.


3. mason mount:

Just one season ago, Mason Mount was a regular international starter for England and a key player for Chelsea. It appeared sacrilegious from Chelsea's hierarchy to allow their homegrown star to join rivals Manchester United for £65m this summer.

Just one week ago, it was the Chelsea fans who were laughing as they booed Mason Mount's late introduction in the game and mocked him after they scored two late goals to beat United 4-3.

It has gone awfully wrong, the 25 year old was supposed to be a marquee signing for Erik Ten Hag this season but a calf injury has sidelined him for most of the season.

In his first few games fans applauded his work rate, but he was wasteful in front of goal and struggled to adapt to a new system at his new club where he looked lethargic and slow. His criticism among fans was exacerbated by the toxic atmosphere embroiling the club and the teams poor performances including an early group stage exit in the Champions League.

His long-term absence, has enabled Kobbie Mainoo to flower in midfield and the number seven currently cannot get into the starting eleven recently confined to late cameo appearances.

Manchester United believed they were signing a player who made 35 goal contributions in his last two seasons at Chelsea but instead it looks like they have overspent on a player whose stardom they cannot unlock. 

He has played just 420 minutes with four starts in the league, and while he can still turn his career around at United, the club if anything have declined this season rather than close the gap on the leaders.


2. sandro tonali

He joined Newcastle United as a marquee signing; Serie A Champion with AC Milan and Euro 2020 winner with Italy, they believed he was the star who would elevate the team for their first season in Europe for 11 years.

The Italian became their second most expensive player of all time joining for £60m and he impressed instantly scoring on his Premier League debut in the 5-0 despatching of Aston Villa on the opening day.

However, in October he was banned for 10 months for betting breaches and recently was found guilty of 50 further betting breaches by the FA who could still extend his intial ban.

As a result while the 26 year old has not been able to play he has to be one of the worst transfers of the season from a financial perspective with Newcastle currently embroiled in strict FFP regulations as a result of spending £60m on a player they cannot use.

It's been a monumental mistake from the Newcastle board, with many speculating the board must have been aware of Tonali's long-standing gambling addiction prior to the transfer.

From a onfield perspective its harsh to include Tonali and only further rubs salt into Newcastle fans wounds, but the unexpected nature of the ban has de-railed Newcastle's entire plan this season which has significantly contributed to their disappointing campaign.


1. sofyan amrabat:

A national hero for Morocco, during the Atlas Lions fairy-tale journey to the semi-finals at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Last season the 27 year old had a stand-out campaign playing 57 matches and he became a target for the European giants.

After refusing to train after Fiorentina rejected Barcelona's January deadline day approach he eyed the summer as his opportunity to depart the Serie A side but surprisingly didn't get the instant attention he expected.

After holding out for a top flight team reportedly rejecting Fulham, Galatasaray and Nottingham Forest he agreed on deadline day to join Manchester United on loan. He was hailed as the missing jigsaw piece which would solidify Manchester United's midfield.

However, unexpectedly his first game for the Red Devils was at left-back to deputise for injuries until eventually he was given his opportunity in central midfield.

A player who was highlighted at the World Cup for his defensive capabilities, quick turnovers and strength on the ball in his opening games in midfield he looked a player void of confidence who was shaky on the ball.

He has given one-off performances, but generally he's become a squad player overlooked for a 18 year old academy graduate where he has made just seven starts in the league all season.

For a player who was championed so vehemently as a difference maker for Manchester United this season, he has to top this list because he's been so underwhelming. He has shown that he is not a Premier League quality player and it is likely United will not even activate his buy-clause for next season. 


Written by Lewis Eadie

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