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Premier League 2023-24: The most disappointing transfers

Premier League clubs once again broke transfer records in 2023-24 but the annual English extravaganza in the transfer market did not always lead to success stories.

Following the conclusion of the campaign, we’ve decided to pick out five Premier League transfers who disappointed.

Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United)

Manchester United brought in Sofyan Amrabat in a bid to plug their engine room issues, with the Moroccan midfielder having impressed during his nation’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2022.

Amrabat, however, has proven the pitfalls of signing players based on major tournament performances. The 27-year-old struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and looked lethargic and one-paced for much of the campaign. He was signed to shore up the side but was afforded just 10 league starts despite Manchester United’s vulnerabilities all season. To no surprise, the €20.5m fee to sign him permanently from Fiorentina will not be taken.

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Erik ten Hag can not be cleared of blame for this one. Amrabat joins Antony in the growing (and concerning) list of former players Ten Hag has sought a reunion with, despite not being up to the standard.

However, Amrabat is not alone in struggling as a new recruit at Old Trafford. Mason Mount’s forgettable debut season has been decimated by injuries and Andre Onana has failed to convince behind one of the division’s worst defences.

Matheus Nunes (Manchester City)

It’s too soon to write off Matheus Nunes, and the midfielder would not be the first player to struggle in his debut season amid the intense micro-management of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

However, Nunes will need to take significant steps forward next season to avoid being labelled a £53m flop. The Portugal international has played just 656 minutes in the Premier League, without scoring, and has shown few flashes of the talent that saw Guardiola label him as ‘one of the best players in the world’ during his time at Sporting Lisbon.

Ibrahim Sangare (Nottingham Forest)

Nottingham Forest appeared to have pulled off a transfer coup when signing Ibrahim Sangare last summer, agreeing a £30m deal for the PSV Eindhoven midfielder. Sangare had regularly been linked with some of the Premier League’s top teams in past windows, a midfielder with size, skill and experience on the Champions League stage.

However, his first season with Forest has passed without memorable impact and there is a divide between the fanbase on whether Sangare has what it takes to turn his career with the club around.

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After being hauled off at half-time of a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in March, he failed to start any of the club’s final eight games of the season and was an unused substitute on five occasions. Given Forest were scrapping for Premier League survival, it’s an indication of his current standing under Nuno Espirito Santo.

Sandro Tonali (Newcastle)

Sandro Tonali could hardly have started better at Newcastle. A dream debut saw Tonali on the scoresheet as Newcastle kicked off their campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa at St James’ Park.

That was as good as it got for the Italy international, who underwhelmed in the following weeks before being hit with a suspension. In October, Tonali was banned from football for breaching gambling rules and can not return to competitive action until August 2024.

Signed for £55m from AC Milan, just short of a club-record fee, it has been a disastrous signing for Newcastle. With financial restrictions already in place at St James’, the absence of a big-money recruit has been a bitter blow to Eddie Howe and his side.

Kalvin Phillips (West Ham)

You have to feel for Kalvin Phillips.

His career had stalled badly amid a lack of football at Manchester City and a loan move to West Ham looked to be the right step to reignite his fortunes. It proved to be anything but.

A nightmare time at the London Stadium saw Phillips give a goal away in each of his first two appearances, sent off in his fourth, and spend much of his time in Claret and Blue making errors.

The lowlight for the 28-year-old was a 4-3 defeat at Newcastle, in which he was introduced with West Ham leading 3-1, only to concede a penalty in his side’s collapse. Afterwards, the frustrated Phillips swore at a West Ham fan when boarding the bus and few in East London will be sad to see him go.

His career is at a crossroads this summer.

Read – Premier League 2023-24: The signings of the season

See more – Premier League 2023-24: The best goals of the season

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