5 high-profile players in Europe whose performances dropped in 2022

Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently without a club.

2022 has witnessed some spectacular footballing moments, which have thrilled fans across Europe and the world at large.

For some players, this year could go down as one of the most fulfilling calendar years of their careers. Notable mentions include the likes of Lionel Messi, who finally won the World Cup with Argentina, and Karim Benzema, who was awarded a well-deserved Ballon d'Or.

But for some, it wasn't a year to be proud of in terms of performances. This article will take a look at five players who are playing in Europe whose form suffered a drastic drop this year.

#5 Jadon Sancho - Manchester United

Sancho has had a disappointing campaign 2022
Sancho has had a disappointing campaign 2022

Manchester United star Jadon Sancho has been far from his best this year. The 22-year-old's time in Manchester has been extremely disappointing so far.

Sancho was the subject of a £73 million transfer move from Borussia Dortmund in 2021. The forward hasn't been able to justify the huge amount Manchester United spent to procure his services.

When will Jadon Sancho be back? Erik ten Hag: “It’s unlikely that Jadon will be back for the game against Nottingham Forest on Dec 27”. 🚨 #MUFCTen Hag clarifies that Jadon Sancho will now continue his rehabilitation, reports via @ChrisWheelerDM.

He ended the 2021-22 football campaign on a disappointing note with just five goals and three assists in all competitions for the Red Devils.

Sancho's poor form has continued in the ongoing 2022-23 campaign as well. He has scored just two league goals this season. His recent performances also meant that he wasn't a part of the 26-man England squad for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

#4 Edouard Mendy - Chelsea

Mendy was one of the best goalkeepers in Europe in 2021
Mendy was one of the best goalkeepers in Europe in 2021

Another high-profile player in Europe who suffered a drastic drop in form in 2022 is Senegalese shot-stopper Edouard Mendy.

The Chelsea goalkeeper had a remarkable 2021 in which he won the UEFA Champions League. He was also voted UEFA's best shot-stopper for the 2020-21 football campaign.

✅ Champions League✅ UEFA Super Cup✅ The BEST FIFA Men's Goalkeeper✅ AFCONEdouard Mendy adds another trophy to his collection 🏆

However, the 30-year-old has failed to replicate that form for the majority of 2022, with both club and country.

Mendy lost his starting position to Kepa Arrizabalaga at the start of the current season at Chelsea. His goalkeeping for Senegal at the recently concluded 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was also called into question.

#3 Romelu Lukaku - Inter Milan

Lukaku has struggled for form this year
Lukaku has struggled for form this year

The Belgian striker has endured a very difficult spell in the past couple of months for both club and country.

Starting with his time at Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku was considered to be a huge flop during the 2021-22 football campaign. He scored 15 goals in all competitions for the Blues, which was way short of his previous campaign in Italy.

After several criticisms of his performances with the Blues, Lukaku returned to Inter Milan on loan during the 2022 summer window.

The Belgian is still struggling to prove himself at Inter Milan this season, with injuries limiting his game time. He has registered just two goals and one assist for the Nerazzurri.

Inter CEO Marotta on Romelu Lukaku loan deal expiring in June: “We know that Romelu loves Inter, he loves the club. We can feel that”, tells Sky Sport. 🔵🇧🇪 #CFC“He’s motivated to do great things, he’s working to be back in good form as soon as possible”.

His most recent outing with Belgium in Qatar summed up a frustrating 2022 for Lukaku. He ended the competition without a goal and was guilty of missing multiple clear cut chances against Croatia.

#2 N'Golo Kante - Chelsea

Kante is one of the best midfielders in Europe on his best day
Kante is one of the best midfielders in Europe on his best day

Another high-profile player in Europe who hasn't been at his best in 2022 is Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante.

Injuries have taken their toll on the highly-rated French midfielder, who has seen a drastic drop in his performances this year. Injury issues also meant that he missed the World Cup in Qatar after having played a major part in their 2018 title winning campaign.

N’Golo Kanté will not be back from his injury until end of February or probably March, Graham Potter has confirmed. 🚨🔵 #CFCSources confirm feeling reported for weeks and months: Kanté could leave as free agent at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old has played only 175 minutes for Chelsea during the ongoing 2022-23 campaign. He is yet to feature in any competition since his last outing against Tottenham in August.

#1 Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo could leave Europe for the first time in his career
Ronaldo could leave Europe for the first time in his career

Not many would have envisaged Cristiano Ronaldo ending the year without a club. The Portuguese forward has suffered a drastic fall from grace this year.

Despite ending the 2021-22 football campaign with 24 goals, the arrival of Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford bought a new twist to his fortunes. Ronaldo was limited to a bit-part role under the Dutch tactician which saw him register just three goals and two assists in all competitions.

His contract with the Red Devils was eventually terminated after a mutual agreement was reached in November.

He also failed to make a huge impact in the World Cup, scoring just one goal for Portugal as they crashed out in the quarter-finals.

Al Nassr have confirmed to Cristiano Ronaldo’s camp their intention to push and insist in the next days. The bid until June 2025 is still valid on the table, no plan to give up. 🇸🇦 #transfersCristiano will decide his future in the next days, after waiting for European clubs.

Ronaldo is currently without a club and could be forced to secure a move outside Europe for the first time in his career. He is being heavily linked with Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

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Edited by Arshit Garg
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