The 2022-23 transfer window was one of the most unpredictable in recent times, with eye-rolling figures and poor decisions at the center of it. Very few clubs managed to ace the summer transfer window, especially since nearly every transfer fee was arguably over-priced.
While the jury is still out on some of them, a few have already proved that they were certainly the wrong choice for their current clubs.
Big money transfers or offering huge contracts to over-age players are seldom a good decision. This is because driving value out of them is a hard job. It is even harder to get them off the books due to their massive wages or their declining economic value. The 2022 summer transfer window encapsulated the same.
On that note, let's take a look at the five summer transfers that have already flopped.
#5 Jesse Lingard to Nottingham Forrest
Jesse Lingard finally sealed a move away from Manchester United last summer after spending more than a decade in the club's youth setup and senior squad.
Despite having suitors like West Ham United, the England international decided to join newly-promoted Nottingham Forest. The Tricky Trees made him their highest-paid player by offering him a one-year deal for £ 200k per week, which Lingard readily snapped up.
The Hammers were unwilling to offer similar wages to the player. However, Lingard found success at the London Stadium during his six-month loan spell in the 2021-22 campaign.
Regardless, he made the move to Nottingham Forest and that has turned out to be one of the biggest disasters of the season. The winger has made 14 Premier League appearances over the past seven months but has not managed to contribute a single goal till now.
He has only managed two goals and two assists in two EFL Cup games but that is certainly not why Forest shelled out the big bucks on him last summer.
Additionally, the 29-year-old has been out with a hamstring injury for nearly a month and is yet to recover from it. With just four months left in the season, Lingard has proved to be quite the transfer flop for the Reds.
#4 Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea
Kalidou Koulibaly might have scored his second Chelsea goal recently but the defender has been a shadow of the player he was at Napoli for nearly a decade.
The Blues signed the centre-back for £33 million in the summer as they hoped to add another leader like Thiago Silva to their ranks. However, Koulibaly has looked unorthodox, brash, and horribly inconsistent during his first seven months at Stamford Bridge.
His red card early on in the season against Leeds United was evidence of the same and there has been very little change in his game since then. Although he still has the experience to help the side, he seems to have lost some pace. He also seems unable to cope with the physicality of the Premier League.
Chelsea also jumped at the opportunity to sign Benoit Badiashile from AS Monaco in January, which was a bad sign for the Senegalese. With Wesley Fofana set to return from injury soon and Levi Colwill hoping to break into the senior squad next season, Koulibaly's time in West London might be short-lived.
#3 Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa
Philippe Coutinho looked like one of the most promising loanees of last season. He snapped up five goals and three assists in 19 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa after joining them from Barcelona. This included a strike against Manchester City on the last day of the season, which nearly handed his former club, Liverpool, the league title.
However, Coutinho's form has fallen off a cliff since that game. The attacking midfielder seems to have lost his guile on the ball, as well as his vision to pick the right passes. His goal threat has also become negligent. This has led to him registering zero goals and assists in 18 appearances across all competitions this season.
Although Villa only paid £17 million for his transfer in the summer, he signed a four-year contract, which makes him a tough asset to offload. Barcelona have also included a 50% sell-on clause for any future sale of the player. Hence, the Villans are going to make very little money even if they can get him off their books.
#2 Franck Kessie to Barcelona
Barcelona lifted the Supercopa de Espana trophy as they triumphed 3-1 over Real Madrid in the final on January 15. They showcased that they are still one of the big boys in Spain.
However, Franck Kessie played a very small role in ensuring this victory. This has been the case with most of his performances since his transfer to the Nou Camp last summer.
The former AC Milan midfielder arrived on a free transfer as he formed part of the seven players the club signed despite their financial turmoil. Only a few of them have proven to be good signings, but none of them have looked as bad an investment as Kessie.
The central midfielder was a great box-to-box option for the Rossoneri but has not been able to translate the same in Spain. His style of play has so far not suited the way Xavi wants his team to play as he is ineffective in a possession-based game.
His strengths favor a counter-attacking side as he can transition from defense to attack quickly. Moreover, with the rise of Pedri and Gavi, not to mention Frenkie de Jong's resurgence, it looks like an uphill task for Kessie to redeem himself anytime soon.
The Ivorian has even been linked with a transfer away from Barcelona in the January transfer window itself.
#1 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea
Chelsea splashed the cash last summer as Todd Boehly & Co. roped in eight new signings. This includes the transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona for €12 million.
For a player of his quality, the fee seemed to be a bargain. However, given his performances over the last seven months, it is starting to make sense why Barcelona wanted him off their books.
Aubmeyang had previous experience of playing in the Premier League and was prolific during that period. However, his transfer to West London has not worked out due to multiple factors, as he has scored just three goals in in 17 appearances.
Thomas Tuchel, who was keen to land the player, was sacked seven days after Aubameyang moved to Stamford Bridge. This would have been a huge blow to the striker's confidence.
Regardless, Graham Potter continued to select the striker, who pulled off decent performances. However, it soon became clear that the centre-forward was not somebody who could press from the front and keep up the intensity for 90 minutes.
This led to Potter deciding to play Kai Havertz through the center, as has been the case since domestic football resumed three weeks ago. Additionally, the club have since also signed Joao Felix on a loan deal while also bringing in Mkyhyalo Mudryk and David Datro Fofana as attacking reinforcements.
Hence, Chelsea now have the bulk of young attackers in their ranks. Now, with Aubameyang's ineffectiveness, it might be safe to say that the Gabonese is unlikely to become a success at Chelsea.