Well, it has been a season like no other so far. The usual order has been disturbed in the Premier League and La Liga and we have unlikely league leaders. The Covid-19 break did upset the rhythm of most teams and it sent all our schedules for a toss.
Consequently, the 2020-21 season had to start shortly after the last one ended. As such, players had to cope with a very short season break. Several players contracted the virus too and had to go into recovery. Cristiano Ronaldo is still sidelined after testing positive for the virus.
As a result of all that has unfolded over the past several months, a lot of players have found it hard to hit the ground running in the new season. Here, we take a look at five top players who have underperformed so far this season.
#5 Roberto Firmino
The question that keeps popping up is whether or not Liverpool need an out-and-out striker. Mohamed Salah is as lethal as ever in front of goal and has been scoring some beauties this season. Sadio Mane does the same too.
While Mane and Salah have gone from strength to strength, it's hard to say the same about Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian has scored just two goals from his last 21 appearances.
Firmino's contribution on the goalscoring front has dwindled to a trickle and his role as a false nine or attacking midfielder has not been anything to write home about either so far this season.
While Firmino's importance in Jurgen Klopp's system has been extensively discussed, it's hard to see why Liverpool shouldn't be looking to sign a player who can do all of it, i.e, take the lead role in pressing, creating opportunities and scoring goals.
In six appearances so far, Firmino has scored just one goal and provided two assists. That's not good enough when you're playing for the Premier League champions.
#4 Paul Pogba
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might not exactly look it with his baby face and that million dollar smile but you can bet your behind that the man hides an iron fist under his velvet glove. Paul Pogba has been world-class on one day and pedestrian in the next for way too long now.
Manchester United have been waiting to see Pogba consistently performing at the levels that he is capable of for ages. However, now that Bruno Fernandes has come in and the rest of Ole's midfield choices have levelled up, Pogba finds himself fighting for a place in the starting XI.
Natural ability and finesse doesn't count for much when you don't put the hard yards in. Pogba was abysmal in his first three outings of the Premier League season and was demoted to the bench. This possibly had a lot to do with his recovering from Covid.
Anyway, Pogba was demoted to the bench and has excelled as an impact substitute so far. He's yet to score or assist in the Premier League and it's about time that Pogba puts his foot down and show us if he can be a game changer over the course of the season.