Sheffield United

The Premier League season is not at its midpoint in this unprecedented year. Nevertheless, to mark the end of 2020, Football Castle has put together a list of the worst players in the 2020/21 Premier League season albeit after 16 match days. 

Gareth Bale: The Winger rejoined Tottenham on loan to much fanfare but the Welshman continues to look a well-paid flop with each passing Premier League game week he fails to feature.

The 31-year-old left Real Madrid in order to play week-in week-out and recover his love for the game at a club he is loved and adored. Instead, Bale has continued to live his injury hell from his last active seasons in Spain as he has only featured 11 times in all competitions and scored once in the Premier League.

Bale, who has only one Premier League start, is currently sidelined after going off at halftime having scored the opener against Stoke in the EFL Cup quarterfinals. A dream link up with Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son has so far yet to feature adequately as Bale’s misfortune with injuries threatens to spoil his much-heralded return.  

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Kai Havertz: One goal and two assists in 14 Premier League appearances is a low-key return for a man who headlined Chelsea’s massive summer transfer splurge, costing £71million amidst interest from all over Europe. Havertz endured a difficult debut at Brighton and has only been able to show flashes of his undoubted quality in the league, losing his starting place recently. 

However, the 21-year-old moved to a new country in the middle of a global pandemic and had to battle serious symptoms of Covid-19 just when his form was picking up in November. He is expected to live up to his potential as he adjusts fully to his new league and surroundings.

Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez
Adama Traore has fallen off the heights of last season.

Adama Traoré: Traore has no goal or assists in 15 games this season as he has now gone a full year without a Premier League goal. A stark contrast from 2019/20 where the 24-year-old scored four and delivered nine assists to produce the most prolific duo – 11 goal combinations – with Raúl Jiménez, as Wolves also made it to the Europa League quarter-finals.

Donny van de Beek: Eyebrows were raised when Manchester United forked out £35million for the Dutchman’s services over the summer transfer window. Some of those doubts have proven true as Van de Beek’s role is yet to be truly established in United’s starting eleven due to the vast variety of midfielders available in the United setup. Although the 23-year-old scored on his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace, it might take until the summer, or Paul Pogba’s looming exit, for Van de Beek to truly stamp his quality in Manchester.

Aaron Ramsdale
Ramsdale conceding Everton’s late winner on Boxing Day. (PA)

Aaron Ramsdale: The goalkeeper rejoined Sheffield United following relegation with Bournemouth last season. However, Ramsdale has so far failed to replace Dean Henderson’s heroics in the Blades’ rearguard as they have suffered at the bottom of the table in 2020/21. 

The 22-year-old is without a clean sheet in 16 games having conceded 27 times as Sheffield’s defensive resilience has evaporated this season. The Blades simply cannot reproduce the solidity which was the hallmark of their successful season back in the Premier League, as Ramsdale’s influence on his team has waned.

Paul Pogba was expected to kick on in 2020/21 after many fitness issues last season. The Frenchman was supposed to be enjoying his promising linkup with Bruno Fernandes, but has otherwise spent most of the season on the bench due to the form of Fred and Scott McTominay; as well as his non-stop philandering with transfer speculation. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Much was expected of The Arsenal captain after his Golden Boot and FA Cup heroics in successive seasons were rewarded with a three-year deal in September. The Gabon International went on an 11-game goal drought from open play and has only scored three goals this season. 

Much of his poor scoring form is down to the lack of creativity and incisiveness in Mikel Arteta’s squad, as they also went on a run of eight games without a goal from open play.

Aubameyang was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s first league win in seven games against Chelsea, and would be looking to enter a rich vein of form with the team.

Sheffield United: Chris Wilder’s Blades returned to the top flight in spectacular fashion after a long time away in the lower leagues. Sheffield were resilient, calculated, and innovative with their style of play and particularly the overlapping centre backs, as they won plaudits from all over the world.

The current season has been a completely different story for the South Yorkshire side, who are rock bottom of the Premier League with the third-poorest defence and the second-worst attack. Scoring goals has been the main problem for Sheffield as the goals from midfield have dried up and the attack lacks balance.

Who is your flop of the ongoing season? Add yours in the comments below


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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