It’s often said in football that form is temporary and class is permanent, with a number of Premier League names hoping that notion rings true after disappointing spells this season.
A number of names who shone last season have been unable to replicate those performances this time around, struggling to find the form which lit up the Premier League in 2021/22.
We’ve picked out some of the stars enduring indifferent spells, here are five Premier League players whose form has dipped this season.
Chelsea’s season has been far from plain sailing, with the west Londoners languishing in tenth following a difficult start to the Graham Potter era. The club’s remarkable recruitment drive adds some reasoning to their struggles as Potter looks to bed in a host of new faces, but Chelsea’s squad is no doubt better than their current level of performance.
Mason Mount has perhaps summarised the struggles at Chelsea this season, with the midfielder having fallen below the excellent standards he has set in recent campaigns. The 24-year-old has won Chelsea’s Player of the Season accolade in consecutive campaigns, but this season has failed to find the form which saw him among the Premier League’s most productive players in 2021/22.
There’s still big gap in the negotiations between Chelsea and Mason Mount, as new deal is again far from being agreed 🚨🔵 #CFC
No final decision yet but chances of MM leaving Chelsea are increasing — Mount will be on the market if new deal is not agreed before the summer. pic.twitter.com/FQySU5gxh9
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 13, 2023
Last season Mount was one of just three players, alongside Mohamed Salah and Jarrod Bowen, to record 10+ goals and 10+ assists in the Premier League, but the midfielder has managed just five goal involvements in 23 appearances this time around.
With the ongoing distraction surrounding his future – he enters the final 12 months of his deal this summer – it has been a challenging period for the Cobham graduate.
Is there a player who divides opinion quite as much as Trent Alexander-Arnold?
Alexander-Arnold’s strengths are championed by his supporters, while each fault is placed under the social media microscope by those in the opposite camp. This season there has been rather more of the latter, as the right-back has formed part of a Liverpool side operating far below their best.
Jurgen Klopp’s side face a fight to secure Champions League football and are sixth in the Premier League table, their defence too easily got at during the current campaign. Alexander-Arnold has often found himself a target for opposition sides, with criticism over his one-vs-one ability defensively and lapses in concentration.
Alexander-Arnold’s creative threat has long compensated for his defensive flaws, but this season the 24-year-old has struggled to produce his usual output. He has recorded just two assists in the Premier League this season, having not recorded less than seven in a league campaign since his breakthrough in 2017/18.
The underlying numbers remain positive – he ranks fifth in Europe’s top five leagues for big chances created this season – but Klopp will want defensive improvement and more tangible attacking output from Liverpool’s chief creator.
Jarrod Bowen’s brilliant form last season earned England recognition, with the West Ham winger handed his senior debut for the Three Lions last summer.
Bowen was one of the leading lights in an impressive season for West Ham in 2021/22, one which saw the Hammers reach the Europa League semi-finals and secure European qualification in the Premier League.
The 26-year-old scored 18 goals in all competitions and provided a further 13 assists, each leading totals among David Moyes’ squad. Only Mohamed Salah and Mason Mount also reached 10+ on each metric in the Premier League, but Bowen’s numbers have dropped markedly this season.
He has scored just four goals in the Premier League so far this season, with West Ham mired in a relegation dogfight after the success of the past two campaigns.
The club’s expensive summer signings have failed to find their feet to date, while established names including Bowen have been below their best. Bowen’s modest form saw him miss out on England’s World Cup squad and he faces a fight to regain his place in Gareth Southgate’s plans. There have, however, been more positive signs in recent weeks.
Son Heung-min could do little wrong last season. The South Korean’s spectacular form fired Tottenham into the Champions League, as he became the first Asian footballer to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
Son scored 23 league goals to share the accolade alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, outscoring teammate Harry Kane in the Premier League to win Spurs’ Player of the Season award for a third time.
Son’s shooting boots have not been quite as productive this time around, with the 30-year-old enduring – by his standards – a barren run. He has just six league goals in 25 appearances for the north Londoners and is on course for his lowest goal return since a difficult debut season in 2015/16.
His league-leading goal total last season came following an extraordinary end to the campaign, which saw Son score 12 goals across his last ten appearances to ensure Spurs pipped Arsenal to fourth. Another purple patch would be timely for Antonio Conte’s charges, as Spurs battle once again for Champions League football.
Fabinho’s form has been one of the great mysteries of the Premier League season. Liverpool’s ‘lighthouse’ has been one of the most authoritative defensive midfielders in Europe in recent campaigns, but this season has resembled a shadow of his former self.
In a midfield lacking intensity and too often bypassed with ease during the current campaign, Fabinho has been a pale imitation of his best. His presence once provided security to the Liverpool backline, but this season he has appeared cumbersome, out of gas, and drained from past exertions.
Liverpool’s impending midfield overhaul has been discussed and debated, with the expectation that major surgery will take place at Anfield this summer. The ageing Jordan Henderson and James Milner, alongside the out-of-contract Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita, have been among those expected to be eased out of the picture.
Fabinho’s form has posed another problem and it remains to be seen whether the Brazilian’s difficult spell is a brief blip or longer lasting decline. Liverpool will hope it is the former, given his contribution to the cause in recent campaigns.