The old saying is that form is temporary and class is permanent, though no one has thought to tell this bunch of under-performing Premier League stars.
Each season we see new players emerge from nowhere to become household names, but what about those below-par stars struggling to hit their previous heights?
We’ve decided to look at some of the names far from their best during opening months of the campaign, here are five Premier League players whose form has fallen off a cliff this season…
Luke Shaw – Manchester United
What a difference a year makes.
Luke Shaw seemed to have finally found himself as a Manchester United player last season, being named as the club’s Player of the Season after recovering from an injury-plagued spell and producing some impressive displays.
This season, however, has been one of struggle once more, Shaw making just eight league appearances and failing to make an impression so far. The emergence of teenager Brandon Williams has further increased doubts about his long term hopes at the club, the 19-year-old having delivered some tireless and dynamic performances that have magnified the holes in Shaw’s often lacklustre game.
Once regarded as a player who would become a fixture for club and country, the 24-year-old is heading to a crossroads in his career and must begin to deliver sooner rather than later.
Christian Eriksen – Tottenham
Tottenham have struggled to replicate their best form thus far, the club’s indifferent displays leading to the sacking of the popular Mauricio Pochettino as manager and subsequent appointment of serial winner Jose Mourinho.
The north London side’s struggles have been well documented, though their below-par showings are down to a host of their leading stars enduring difficult periods of form.
One such player is the soon to be out-of-contract Eriksen, who has long informed the club of his desire to leave in search of a new challenge and recent performances suggest his head is firmly elsewhere.
Once regarded as one of the leading creative talents in the Premier League, the Danish international has just two league assists from 18 appearances this season, a series of half-hearted displays evidence his commitment to the cause has waned.
A hugely popular figure at the club during his best years, there are now sections of the crowd beginning to turn on the 27-year-old for his ineffective displays and a parting of ways soon would be the best solution for all parties.
Europe’s elite have monitored his situation closely with Inter Milan possessing the strongest interest at present, though the Italian giants will hope Eriksen’s recent performances are solely down to the uncertainty of his current situation.
Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth
Fraser’s combination play with Cherries’ teammate Callum Wilson saw Eddie Howe’s side comfortably finish clear of relegation worries, but it has been a different story this time around with the club struggling in the bottom three at present.
Linked with moves to a host of the division’s leading clubs, the 25-year-old has opted not to extend his deal at the Vitality Stadium and is out-of-contract at the season’s end.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool have all been reported to have held an interest in the Scotland international, though are likely to now approach with caution for a player who has scored just a single league goal so far this term.
Whether the turning of Fraser’s head is the reason for his poor form remains to be seen, though he is unlikely to be attempting to rediscover his best in Bournemouth colours next season.
Felipe Anderson – West Ham
West Ham‘s former record signing enjoyed a brilliant debut campaign in the Premier League, the winger producing a series of starring displays and scoring ten goals in all competition for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Despite holding ambitions of pushing towards the top six, the ambitious Hammers have regressed this term, struggling near the foot of the division following a torrid opening to the campaign.
The London side boast a squad possessing the talent to achieve much more than their current 16th-placed standing, but will need their brighter talents such as Anderson to begin to show what they’re really capable of.
The 26-year-old has scored just once this season and took five months to open his account for the campaign, the Brazilian finally ending his drought with a goal against Bournemouth on New Year’s Day.
New manager David Moyes must now try to coax the best from a player who was linked with moves to the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool last summer, though those clubs will perhaps feel they dodged a bullet based on current displays.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton
Once the go-to man for Everton‘s search of creativity, the Icelandic international has become an increasingly peripheral figure on Merseyside in recent times.
The club’s record signing scored 13 Premier League goals and provided another six assists last term, but its been a different story this time around with just one goal and one assist from 21 appearances.
Sigurdsson’s struggles have coincided with the Toffees poor start to the season, however, the 30-year-old is now facing a fight to save his future at Goodison Park.
Speculation has arisen that new manager Carlo Ancelotti may be willing to allow the playmaker to leave, Sigurdsson looking a shadow of his former self at present despite the club’s mini-revival since the Italian’s arrival.