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5 footballers from the 2019 Ballon d'Or shortlist who have fallen off

Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER

#3 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Gabonese international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has proved to be an inspired signing for Arsenal. He won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2018-19 campaign, his first full season with the club.

Aubameyang finished just short of winning it again in the 2019-20 season, scoring 22 goals in the Premier League which was one short of Jamie Vardy's haul. However, the 32-year-old's contributions waned greatly in the 2020-21 season and proved to be a liability up top for the Gunners.

He scored just 15 goals and provided four assists in 39 appearances across all competitions. Aubameyang's Premier League goal tally stood at an underwhelming 10 goals in 29 appearances last term.

Arsenal struggled greatly in the 2020-21 season and finished eighth in the Premier League table. That obviously had a lot to do with the poor form showcased by their misfiring striker.

#2 Donny van de Beek (Manchester United)

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

Manchester United announced the signing of Donny van de Beek in the summer of 2020 amid huge fanfare. However, there were apprehensions regarding whether or not Van de Beek would be a good fit for the Red Devils. As the weeks passed by, the concerns proved to be pertinent.

The Dutchman was one of Ajax's finest players as they made it to the semi-finals of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League against all odds. He scored 17 goals and provided 13 assists in 57 appearances across all competitions from central midfield for Ajax in that season.

But he had a slightly underwhelming campaign in 2019-20 before leaving for Manchester United. His stint at Old Trafford, however, has been nothing short of disappointing.

Van de Beek has largely been used as a substitute at Manchester United and has made just 39 appearances for the club across all competitions so far. He has scored just one goal, which came on his debut, and provided two assists so far.

Although the fans seem to love his work rate and eagerness, it just hasn't worked out for him at Manchester United. Van de Beek is still just 24-years-old and could be one right transfer away from reviving his career.

A reminder that Donny van de Beek was nominated for the Ballon d'Or in 2019 👀 https://t.co/kyOVEfseni

#1 Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

Real Madrid v FC Sheriff: Group D - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v FC Sheriff: Group D - UEFA Champions League

Eden Hazard was one of the best players in the world not too long ago. The Belgian international left Chelsea for Real Madrid in 2019. Los Blancos signed the then 28-year-old for a club record sum of €115 million.

However, Real Madrid seemed to have only secured the services of Eden Hazard Lite. He was out of shape as he arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu and started having injury issues on a consistent basis. Hazard was touted as the replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo but he has been more of a headache for Real Madrid than a blessing.

Hazard has, so far, made just 51 appearances for Real Madrid since joining them in the summer of 2019. He has scored a mere five goals and provided just nine assists so far. That's not the kind of output any team would pay top dollar for and Hazard is no longer in the Ballon d'Or conversation.

Check out what legendary Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o had to say about Eden Hazard back in 2019 in the tweet below.

Samuel Eto'o on Eden Hazard: "Hazard has to win the Ballon d'Or. He hasn't been valued enough but now he's at one of the best teams in the world all eyes will be on him. "He's close to Messi's level and I hope that he plays Barcelona when he's not at 100 percent." https://t.co/MVVJmF5uxJ
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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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