Six summer signings who are barely playing
This past summer saw some of the biggest transfers in football history.
Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku moved for over €100 million, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made shock switches to Man Utd and PSG, respectively, while the Premier League continued to splash the cash at unprecedented level.
But while some new signings have immediately hit the ground running, like Lukaku and Ronaldo, others are yet to find their feet.
Below are six summer signings who are yet to establish themselves and get the playing time they will be expecting.
Jadon Sancho (Man Utd)
Massive things were expected of Jadon Sancho after he finally made his big-money transfer to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund.
Man United paid a whopping €85m for the England winger but he has endured a miserable start to life at Old Trafford.
He has failed to break into the first team and has started just two of United’s six Premier League matches, registering no goals or assists.
Already Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing criticism over his underuse of Sancho.
Gigi Donnarumma (PSG)
After a brilliant performance for PSG in the 2-0 Champions League win against Manchester City, Donnarumma hit back at the media circus over his lack of game time this season so far.
The goalkeeper tweeted: “People were talking on social media about me leaving PSG because of Keylor Navas playing as starter. I was laughing looking at social media. It’s full of fake news! I’m totally happy to be at PSG, let them talk - the club is supporting me.”
However, the reality is that Donnarumma has played only four of PSG’s 12 matches compared to Navas’ eight.
Part of this was because Donnarumma arrived later for pre-season following Euro 2020 duty but it is still a far from ideal situation for such a world-class signing.
Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool)
Ibrahima Konate was Liverpool’s only senior signing this summer as they spent €40m to bring him in from Leipzig.
So far this season Konate has only played once in the Premier League and once in the League Cup as Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip have been selected as Jurgen Klopp’s first choice centre backs.
There is nothing unusual about Konate not playing much so far. Klopp often waits a long time before regularly playing new signings and we’ve seen the likes of Fabinho and Andrew Robertson play little after joining before becoming stars.
Cristian Romero (Tottenham)
Cristian Romero was named as Serie A Defender of the Year last season after a brilliant solitary season at Atalanta.
He followed that up by starring in Argentina’s Copa America victory and impressing Lionel Messi so much that the attacker asked Barcelona to sign him.
Romero eventually made the move to Tottenham in a massive €55m deal but his only consistent action so far has been in the cups. In the Premier League, the defender has started only two league games for a team who are already in something of a mini-crisis.
Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico Madrid made a string of impressive signings this summer, including Antoine Griezmann, Rodrigo De Paul and Matheus Cunha.
The latter was signed from Hertha Berlin for €26m after impressing for Brazil in their Olympics triumph this summer.
But the 22-year-old has barely got a look-in so far amongst a stacked attacking roster that features Griezmann, Luis Suarez, Joao Felix and Angel Correa.
The Brazilian has yet to start a match and has played only 96 minutes worth of football for his new team.
Sergio Aguero (Barcelona)
There is nothing Sergio Aguero nor Barcelona can do about the Argentine’s lack of playing time so far this season!
Soon after arriving at the club on a free transfer from Manchester City, Aguero suffered a calf injury that was to rule him out for two-and-a-half months.
The 33-year-old has already missed nine games at the start of the campaign, and he is yet to make his debut for the club.
It is estimated he could make his long-awaited bow on October 17 away at Valencia.