Manchester United’s recruitment in the past two years has come under plenty of criticism, and now three of their recent acquisitions have been ranked among the Premier League’s 20 biggest under-performers.
A graph containing data from Twenty First Group has compared the two-year average ratings of all Premier League players and plotted it against their current nine-month ratings.
The chart then works out the difference in ratings, and attributes the player with a numerical value to show how far short of the norm they have been playing, tallying this against different rankings, ranging from ‘League Two Average (300)’ to ‘Ballon d’Or Contenders (1000+)’.
This as a result highlights just how far short each player has come from what they are fully capable of, thereby showing the biggest underperformers in the top-flight this term, with Man United stars featuring three times in the top 20.
Chief among those is Antony, who is rated at -119, which is to say he is falling 119 rating points below what he has shown himself capable of over the last 24 months with his below par displays so far this season.
Antony has only scored nine goals and assisted four since his £85.5million move to United
Burnley’s Josh Cullen is currently playing at below the average level of a Championship player, according to the data
Chelsea star Enzo Fernandez has also been shown to be under-performing despite his £107 record-breaking move last term
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The Brazilian in fact ranks as the sixth-highest under-performer with his performances rated at the level of a bottom half Premier League star, while Burnley’s Josh Cullen tops the list, playing at below the average level of a Championship player.
Second and third are Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (-160) and Harrison Reed (-152), while perhaps a surprise entry at fourth is Andy Robertson (-122).
The Scotland international has perhaps been victim of his own previous outstanding levels as well as a long term injury.
The data shows that he had been performing at just short of the 900 points that would earn him ‘World Class’ status, but is now at about 770, making him an average top five player in the league.
Aston Villa’s Moussa Diaby has also dropped off by 122 points, having been ranked just shy of ‘World Class’ for his performances in the last two years, before Antony takes sixth and Emerson Royal seventh on -109.
Nottingham Forest’s Ibrahim Sangare is in ninth, sandwiched by Man United stars Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, who have both fallen from their previous heights in the last two years.
Casemiro has fallen 106 points from a ‘Big Five Elite’ player to ‘Big Five average’, while Eriksen’s 97-point drop-off takes him towards the 600-point mark attributed to ‘Big Five Bottom Half’ players.
Next comes Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez, who may have scored a sensational free-kick in midweek, but is shown to be 96 points worse off than his form of the last two years – not great returns from a £107m investment.
Sven Botman, another to have been sidelined for some time with a long-term injury, is in 12th (-90), Luton striker Carlton Morris 13th (-89) and Callum Wilson 14th (-88), although the two Magpies stars are still considered to be playing at ‘Big Five average’ level.
Casemiro has fallen away from the form that saw him reach the pinnacle of the game at Real Madrid
Andy Robertson ranks as the fourth-biggest under-performer in the last nine months in the top-flight
Callum Wilson ranks 14th, playing 88 points below his two-year average score at Newcastle
Lloyd Kelly (-88), Tim Ream (-87), Jeffrey Schlupp (-87), Phillip Billing (-83) and Gustavo Hamer (-81) rank in places 15-19 in the table, although none of them have stooped to the level of ‘Championship average’.
Last on the list is another Chelsea star, Marc Cucurella, who has dropped 79 points from his two-year average, and is now rated below a ‘Big Five average’ player at the Blues.
The Blues have spent close to a £1billion since Todd Boehly’s arrival – the same summer as that of Ten Hag – and have performed even worse than their rivals in the top-flight, but the list would highlight poor recruitment at both clubs with their players making up 25 per cent of the list.
Only Arsenal, Brentford, Manchester City, Brighton, West Ham, Everton and Wolves had no players featuring on the top 20 biggest under-performers.