Premier League 2017/18: 5 summer signings who haven't lived up to expectations
It might be a little hard to believe, but when the next set of Premier League fixtures take place after the current international break, we’ll be over a quarter of the way into the season. Time flies, basically, and it’s likely that just a few weeks later, thoughts will turn to the upcoming January transfer window.
But what of the previous summer transfer window? While it still seems like only yesterday that the Premier League’s biggest clubs splashed a record amount of cash, the players signed have now had a few months to bed into their new surroundings. And while it’s a bit early to judge any of them as outright flops, some of the most expensive players certainly haven’t lived up to their price tag.
Here, then, are five players who haven’t lived up to expectations....yet.
#1 Davy Klaassen
A Dutch international and the former captain of Ajax, Klaassen was signed for £23.6m in the summer for Everton by his compatriot Ronald Koeman, with the idea being that as an attacking playmaker, he’d probably act as a replacement for Ross Barkley, who was expected to be leaving either in the summer transfer window or later on in the January one. He brought quite the reputation from Holland, too – he was basically an ever-present for Ajax over the last four seasons and also contributed 20 goals in 2016/17.
Koeman described Klaassen as leader on the pitch, but unfortunately for Toffees fans he’s proven anything but thus far. Klaassen simply hasn’t looked to be at the level of a Premier League player, and he was way off the pace in his initial few games before sliding down the pecking order.
In Everton’s most recent 1-0 loss to Burnley, the Dutchman didn’t even make it off the bench. Everton currently languish in 16th place – not where they expected to be after making expensive signings like Klaassen.
So what’s the issue? Klaassen could still come good I guess, time is on his side, but it’s more likely that – in a similar vein to his fellow Dutch international Vincent Janssen, who endured a horrible season at Tottenham in 2016/17 – the step up from the Dutch Eredivisie to the Premier League is just a step too big for him to take.
The days of the likes of Ajax and PSV Eindhoven being Champions League powers are long gone, and now it’d be almost impossible to rank the Eredivisie within the top five leagues in Europe.
Unfortunately, Everton may be paying a high price for risking a lot of money on an Eredivisie star unable to cut the mustard at the top.