With 2020 now well beyond us, the Premier League has almost reached it's the halfway mark. A lot of unexpected results and nail-biting matches have come to pass. This season's title race is shaping up to be much more intense and unpredictable than the previous one.
With the Premier League getting so competitive we have witnessed some magnificent performances. However, on the flip side, we have also seen some rather disappointing performances too.
Quite a few players who were touted to make a mark this season, or carry forward their form, have failed to do so. Today we analyze five such Premier League players who have failed to hit the ground running.
#5 Adama Traore
One of the fastest footballers in the world currently, Adama Traore took the Premier League by storm last season. He recorded 9 assists last season and scored against big teams like Manchester City and Spurs. His exploits even earned him a place in Luis Enrique's Spain side for the UEFA Nations League matches.
Traore has been far from his best this season, not registering a single assist or a goal across any competition for Wolves. Traore has appeared in every single Wolves game so far this season and has started 9 of them, but is yet to open his account in the Premier League.
Traore started the season as a starter for Wolves. However, he has slowly been shunned to a substitute role, with his place in the eleven not fixed. Traore was replaced by the more in-form Pedro Neto, and it wasn't until Raul Jimenez's long-term injury that Traore was brought back into the starting eleven.
While Traore has still excelled in other departments like completing the most dribbles and take-ons in the Premier League in 2020, his profligacy in front of the goal has hurt Wolves a lot, with the team currently in the bottom 5 for goals scored. Traore has to have a much better latter half of the season if he hopes to make it to Spain's Euro squad.
#4 Mason Greenwood
Mason Green garnered immense plaudits from footballing pundits all over the world last season. The latest talent to emerge from the prestigious Manchester United academy, Greenwood was ranked amongst the best teenagers in 2020. The teenager scored 10 goals in the Premier League alone and 24 goal contributions in all competitions last season.
Greenwood has scored 8 league goals in 2020, but only 1 of them belongs to this season. Since the start of the new season, Greenwood has struggled to find the back of the net, his only goal so far in the league was a magnificent effort against West Ham. Across all competitions, he just has 3 goals and is yet to provide an assist in the Premier League this season.
Considering that Manchester United are the second-highest scoring team in the Premier League, Greenwood's solitary one goal seems worrying.
One may put forward the case that he is still 19 years old and is forced to play most of the games out of position. Although if Greenwood is to keep his reputation of being one of the best youngsters in world football, he has to start finding the back of the net.
#3 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Heading into the season, Aubameyang had scored an impressive 54 goals in 85 Premier League matches for Arsenal. He had even won the Premier League golden boot in 2018/19 and finished runner-up last season. He was even made captain midway through last season and was instrumental in Arsenal's FA Cup, and Community Shield wins.
A lot of hopes were pinned on Aubameyang to lead a rather underwhelming Arsenal attack, especially after he signed a new contract with the club. However, this season hasn't gone according to the plan for either Aubameyang or Arsenal. The Gunners find themselves in the bottom half of the Premier League table after a long winless streak, which unsurprisingly corresponds to Aubameyang's goal drought.
With 3 goals and 1 assist from 14 starts so far, Aubameyang has experienced one of his worst starts to a campaign. His goal against Southampton marked his first goal from open play after 11 Premier League matches. It wasn't just the case of bad luck in front of the goal, Aubameyang struggled with all attacking aspects and at times couldn't even manage to get a single shot on target.
At 31 years of age and a new contract already signed, Aubameyang has to improve most importantly for the sake of Arsenal and the fans. After the win against Chelsea, Arsenal are slowly trying to get their season back on track. But to salvage anything out of this season, they need their talismanic striker back in form.
#2 Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz had a brilliant start to 2020 with Bayer Leverkusen. The German youngster scored 10 goals and 5 assists in his final 16 league matches in the Bundesliga. His versatility across the front line and his attacking genius attracted many top clubs towards him in the summer transfer window. Ultimately it was Chelsea who brought him to the Premier League for a massive transfer fee of 72 million pounds.
Even with the large transfer fee, it still looked as if Chelsea pulled off a bargain getting such a talent to Stamford Bridge. However, all hasn't gone well for Havertz in the past 4 months. After 14 Premier League appearances, Havertz has only scored one goal and assisted 2, and is without a goal contribution since mid-October.
Havertz did start well, especially getting a hat trick on his EFL Cup debut against Barnsley, but it has all spiraled downwards for him since then. His poor performances even saw him spending time out of the starting eleven, as Lampard opted to start him on the bench for the last three Premier League matches.
Havertz is new to the Premier League and most definitely would require time to settle in, but his performances so far have been poor. Pundits are wondering if Chelsea overpaid for Havertz, and a surge in form is needed if these questions are to be kept at bay.
#1 Bernardo Silva
Most Premier League viewers would remember Bernardo Silva's magnificent 2018/19 season. It was a season of joy for the Portuguese as he was awarded Manchester City's player of the season, PFA team of the year, 9th place in Ballon d'Or, and the best player in the UEFA Nations League. Bernardo Silva justified his big-money move from Monaco and proved that he was the perfect replacement for the ageing David Silva.
Since then, all hasn't gone well for the Portuguese. The goals and assists have dried up, and his place in the starting eleven has become unstable. This season, Bernardo Silva is yet to provide a goal contribution after 16 appearances, which has resulted in Pep Guardiola benching him in multiple matches.
Even the newly signed youngster Ferran Torres has been given the nod over him in the last few matches.
Bernardo Silva is 26 years old right now and is soon going to enter his peak years. If he is to continue playing football at a club like Manchester City and be a part of the Portuguese National team for the upcoming Euros, he has to do better in the second half of the Premier League season.