Every Premier League club’s slump of the season features Haaland but not Casemiro

Will Ford
Haaland, Thiago and Ferguson among under-performers.
Haaland, Thiago and Ferguson among under-performers.

Casemiro has been saved the label of slump of the season by another Manchester United ne’er-do-well but there’s no such luck for Manchester City fraud Erling Haaland.


Arsenal: Gabriel Jesus
Topped the WhoScored ratings for Arsenal last season with an average score of 7.42 – fifth highest in the Premier League behind Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Halaand, Harry Kane and Bruno Fernandes – but is now sixth for Arsenal on 6.98: level with Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final laughing stock Nicolas Jackson.

Even his outstanding form last term couldn’t prevent the discourse over Arsenal’s need for a ‘proper centre forward’, and assuming that gap is filled this summer, with Jesus a supporting character in the title race this season, he’ll surely be no more than an extra in 2024/25.

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Aston Villa: Jacob Ramsey
Tough call this one as no team has made greater strides this season, and picking Ramsey is harsh given two lengthy spells out through injury. But having racked up 13 goal contributions last season at a rate of one every 200 minutes to make him one of the first names on the teamsheet, he’s managed just two this term in 850 minutes of action, starting half of the games for which he’s been available.


Bournemouth: Philip Billing
A key cog under Gary O’Neil last season, Billing’s been a bit-part player under Andoni Iraola, losing his starting spot after the 6-1 drubbing by Manchester City at the start of November, with Bournemouth’s turnaround this season coinciding with his demotion to the bench.


Brentford: Ivan Toney
We don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that Brentford have been ever so slightly worse across the board this season, which when added together goes some way to explaining the 15-point difference in their position in the table. But perhaps even more significant was Toney’s absence for the majority of the campaign, as well as his relatively minor contribution on his return. Having finished third in the Golden Boot behind Erling Haaland (36) and Harry Kane (30) with 20 Premier League goals last term, he’s managed just four in 13 appearances this term, failing to score in his last eight appearances.


Brighton: Evan Ferguson
It’s becoming steadily more ridiculous despite the striker market and his undeniable talent that Ferguson is still being linked with a £100m transfer to Manchester United, Chelsea or other desperate suitors. The 19-year-old has 16 goals for Brighton in 65 appearances, and hasn’t scored since November.


Chelsea: Thiago Silva
Having broken down in tears after Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, Silva revealed that he’s made a decision about his future. But Chelsea really should be making that decision for him. He’s been brilliant, and no one would have thought that the Blues would get 150 appearances out of a player signed at the age of 36. But he has showed his age that season, not just through his lack of speed, but through uncharacteristic errors in judgement and a general lack of clarity in his performances.


Crystal Palace: Sam Johnstone
Having been ousted from the first team by Dean Henderson for much of last season, Johnstone came in for the last nine games and finished with the seventh best save percentage in the division (76.5%). He retained his place thanks to those impressive performances, but has once again been displaced by Henderson after a remarkable downturn in his shot-stopping sees him currently in 23rd out of 25 top-flight goalkeepers on 62.7 per cent. Only Jason Steele (60.9%) and Matz Sels (53.8%) have been worse.


Everton: Michael Keane
The emergence of Jarrad Branthwaite has rooted Keane to the bench for most of the campaign. He’s lost seven of the eight games he’s featured in this season, by an aggregate score of 20-3.


Fulham: Kenny Tete
He’s struggled at times with injuries but is also now firmly behind summer signing Timothy Castagne in the pecking order.


Liverpool: Cody Gakpo
After a difficult start following his January move from PSV Eindhoven, Gakpo set himself to really kick on in 2023/24 as favourable comparisons were drawn with Roberto Firmino in the last two or three months of his first season. But that’s not really happened, and though he’s featured in 31 Premier League games this season, he’s only started 13 and despite a more impressive display against Fulham it’s hard to shake the feeling that he’s at the bottom of Jurgen Klopp’s forwards pecking order; certainly nowhere near the level Firmino reached and maintained through the vast majority of his Liverpool career.


Manchester City: Erling Haaland
It’s testament to his extraordinary impact on English football last season, and his career in general to date, that we consider Haaland to have slumped the most of any Manchester City player while he leads the race for the Golden Boot. But he’s brought this criticism on himself  – we’re not about to judge Haaland by normal standards just because he briefly looks as though he’s made of flesh and blood rather than wires and machinery.

READ MORE: The ridiculously bad stats of Erling Haaland: Big-game bottler and ‘League Two player’


Manchester United: Marcus Rashford
There were a fair few options given United have collectively sh*t the bed this season; Casemiro can count himself very fortunate. But the Brazilian’s demise was at least half expected given the miles in his legs. Rashford has no such excuse for a drop-off that’s seen him score just eight goals in 39 games this season after 30 in 56 in Erik ten Hag’s debut season.

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Newcastle: Miguel Almiron
Just three goals in 29 Premier League appearances this term after 11 last season, it feels inevitable – if FFP allows – that he will be one of the players upgraded in the summer.


Nottingham Forest: Danilo
Many wondered whether Arsenal had made a mistake in not pushing harder to beat Forest to his signing in January after the Brazilian’s all-action displays in the second half of last season played a significant role in keeping them in the top flight, and though he’s clearly a very talented footballer, who may well be snapped up by a bigger club in the future, it looks as though the rigours of Premier League football have got to him rather more this campaign.


Tottenham: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Only Harry Kane (3408) played more minutes than Hojbjerg (3133) for Spurs last season and although the Denmark international has featured in all-but one of their Premier League games this term, Ange Postecoglou has handed him just six starts. That says more about the extroardinary change in style under the Australian than anything else, and Hojbjerg remains a good player, just not in this team.


West Ham: Kurt Zouma
West Ham have already shipped eight more goals than they conceded in the whole of last season and the dominant Zouma displays that were the norm are now far more sporadic.


Wolves: Max Kilman
We nearly didn’t bother as Gary O’Neil has got more out of pretty much all of them, but while Kilman hasn’t slumped, he also hasn’t kicked on. Previously linked with Chelsea and Newcastle, those transfer rumours have died down, as has talk of England call.

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