The Premier League’s Golden Boot winner and the best goalkeeper of 2021-22 feature among the greatest slumps of the season.
This lot, by contrast, have turned things around.
Arsenal – Takehiro Tomiyasu
The Japan international was among Arsenal’s top performers last season, particularly at the start of the campaign, but has seen his game time limited in this title charge. But then what chance did he have up against The Best Premier League Right-Back, who definitely actually doesn’t need upgrading.
Aston Villa – Philippe Coutinho
The third most expensive player in history is yet to score or assist a goal this season after Aston Villa paid Barcelona £17m for his permanent signing in the summer. His only start under new manager Unai Emery came in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Stevenage.
Brentford – Pontus Jansson
It’s not a hugely good look for the club captain that he fails as a centre-back to get into a team that typically plays with three of them.
Brighton – Lewis Dunk
There are a couple of very prominent Brighton players of last season who have deteriorated significantly, but both Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissouma no longer play for them. Dunk’s aerial win percentage has dropped from 68.6 to 49.1, which seems like an unworthy reason to have chosen him, and probably is.
Chelsea – Mason Mount
Despite Chelsea’s demise as a whole being among the most significant in the Premier League, there aren’t many individuals available for selection who were markedly better last season. Reece James, Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante have been injured, Antonio Rudiger’s gone and Thiago Silva’s been similarly brilliant. Mount has probably still been Chelsea’s best forward, but had 12 Premier League goal contributions at this stage last season, compared to just five this term.
Crystal Palace – Marc Guehi
His partnership with Joachim Anderson looked last season as though it could flourish into something special, but Guehi has had more than a few tough moments this term while his fellow centre-back continues to trend upwards.
Everton – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
The only way Everton weren’t going to be entirely f***ed by Richarlison’s departure was through either signing a suitable replacement or Calvert-Lewin returning to goalscoring form. They signed Neal Maupay and Calvert-Lewin has scored once. Everton are entirely f***ed.
Leeds – Patrick Bamford
Jesse Marsch must have thought Bamford would be better than he has been, having waited until January to sign another striker. Injured for most of last season, it was hoped Bamford would rediscover the form of 2020-21 which earned him an England call. He’s had a nightmare.
Leicester – Jamie Vardy
It had to happen at some point, but you would have thought more people would be talking about it when it did. Vardy scored a Premier League goal every 120 minutes last season and has scored his only goal this term in 1,136 minutes of action. Could this be a reverse Cristiano Ronaldo, where a player can be p*ssed off at no-one talking about them being past it?
Liverpool – Trent Alexander-Arnold
Nineteen assists in total last season and just two this term. What came first, Alexander-Arnold’s deterioration or Liverpool’s?
Manchester City – Joao Cancelo
Pep Guardiola isn’t one for blind loyalty, and despite Cancelo being among Manchester City’s best players last season, he’s now out of favour, with centre-backs more recently preferred in his position.
Manchester United – Harry Maguire
It’s more his career that’s deteriorated rather than his football, but he surely won’t stay at Old Trafford beyond the summer.
Newcastle – Allan Saint-Maximin
No-one expected the Miguel Almiron glow0up but Saint-Maximin would still have expected to start more than four Premier League games this term. The fact that they don’t really play with a left winger while he sits on the bench doesn’t say much for his future under Eddie Howe.
Southampton – Jan Bednarek
So Jan, how did you enjoy your loan at Aston Villa? He was recalled by Southampton after one start for Villa in which he was taken off at half-time, and has little chance of more action for his parent club, who had the cheek of signing better centre-backs.
Tottenham – Son Heung-min
Last season’s Golden Boot winner has already failed to score in 17 of his 19 Premier League games this season. If Son scored once in every game from now until the end of the season he would still be two goals short of his 2021-22 tally.
West Ham – Jarrod Bowen
There was a very real chance Bowen could have ended up in Qatar with England after his displays last season. That all feels a bit silly now, with his lack of goals and assists this term proving to be a real problem for David Moyes.
Wolves – Jose Sa
£7m for Sa was arguably the bargain of the 2021 summer transfer window. Only three goalkeepers made more saves than his 121 and he had by far the best save percentage of anyone with 80.6 per cent. In quite the stunning fall from grace, his save percentage is now just 66.7 per cent, which is bettered by 15 others in the top flight.