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Five Premier League players who have regressed in 2023/24

In the never-ending bid to improve season upon season, sometimes it just doesn’t quite work out for Premier League players.

From ageing icons to young players who have stalled after an exciting emergence, we’ve looked at five Premier League stars who have gone backwards in 2023/24.

Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal

Gabriel Jesus’ arrival from Manchester City last season was hailed as one of the turning points in Arsenal’s transformation from top-four hopefuls to genuine title contenders. The Brazilian has never been a prolific presence, but he does a lot of other things very, very well.

However, this season and amid injuries, it just hasn’t worked for Jesus. He’s managed just four league goals in 25 appearances and has watched on as Kai Havertz has headed towards cult status in an Arsenal shirt. From failing to stop calls for an out-and-out goalscorer to arrive at the Emirates, to losing his place to a player perhaps even less recognised as a ‘proper’ forward than he is, it’s been a significant slump for Jesus.

He’s been left out of the Brazil squad for the Copa America as a result.

Evan Ferguson – Brighton

Last summer, Evan Ferguson was being linked with a £100m move to one of the Premier League’s bigwigs.

The Ireland international had burst onto the scene at Brighton and an early-season hat-trick against Newcastle enhanced his growing reputation. It was a record-breaking year for Ferguson, who equalled Wayne Rooney’s record for Premier League goals by a teenager in a calendar year and became only the fourth player aged 18 or under to score a treble in the division.

 

Since then, however, it’s been a sharp decline. After a foot issue curtailed his campaign, Ferguson ended the season with just six goals in 36 appearances, and none since November. The transfer talk has not quite disappeared, but the price tag has taken a knock.

Casemiro – Manchester United

Casemiro has been unable to escape the headlines following a disastrous performance in Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace earlier this week.

The five-time Champions League winner was well off the pace and attracted notable criticism from Jamie Carragher, who told Sky Sports that the midfielder to ‘call it a day’ at the top level.

“I think Casemiro should know tonight that he should only have another three games left at the top level,” Carragher said.

“The next two league games and the cup final, then he should be thinking, I need to go to the MLS or Saudi. This has to stop because we are watching one of the greats of the modern time. I always remember the saying ‘Leave the football before the football leaves you’. The football has left him. At this top level, he needs to call it a day at this level and move.

“The level of that player, he should not be putting himself through this. He is too good of a player to be putting in a performance like that being laughed at by Crystal Palace. He needs to call it a day.”

After making a big impact after he arrived from Real Madrid last season, Casemiro has looked a shadow of his old self for much of 2023/24. Erik ten Hag’s system has not helped a player who is unable to cover the ground as he once did, while recent performances out-of-position have only amplified the shortcomings of age. On a lucrative long-term deal, it is problematic for Manchester United.

Marcus Rashford – Manchester United

Casemiro is not the only Manchester United player to have struggled this season. In fact, the positive performers have been the exception. Marcus Rashford is another whose season has been a sharp decline, from last season’s exploits that saw the 26-year-old become the first player in a decade to score 30 goals in a campaign for the club.

Rashford’s return of eight goals in all competitions is the joint-lowest of his career with the exception of 2021/22, and after following a career-best campaign it points further to a player whose form is too erratic to be considered at the top level.

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His patchy performances could yet lead to omission from Euro 2024. On form, it’s hard to argue he warrants a place on the plane.

Miguel Almiron – Newcastle

Miguel Almiron’s purple patch last season contributed to Newcastle securing Champions League qualification for the first time in two decades.

The Paraguay midfielder scored 11 league goals for the Magpies, more than he had managed in his previous three-and-a-half seasons combined at St James’ Park. This season there have been flashes from Almiron, including a man-of-the-match performance against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, but the end product has again often been absent.

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Given Newcastle’s need to sell before investing in the summer, he looks a likely departure.

Read – Six of the most improved Premier League players of 2023/24

See more – Six talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

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