The old saying is that ‘form is temporary class is permanent,’ and this selection of Premier League players will certainly be hoping that is the case following underwhelming campaigns this season.
English football’s top division is currently littered with several stars struggling to recapture their finest form, a selection of talents whose form has dropped drastically in 2019/20.
Here is the Football Faithful’s Premier League XI from players whose form has nosedived this season:
Goalkeeper: David de Gea – Manchester United
The Manchester United goalkeeper was lauded as arguably the finest on the planet for several seasons, but few are comparing the Spaniard to the game’s best at present following a number of high-profile errors.
No goalkeeper in the Premier League has made more mistakes directly leading to goals since the start of last season, with last weekend’s howler to gift a goal to Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin his latest calamity.
De Gea no longer possesses the aura he once held, and there are increasing calls for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to hand youngster Dean Henderson a chance next season, the 22-year-old having starred on-loan at Sheffield United this term.
The former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper is facing a fight to save his future at Old Trafford, a huge turnaround in fortunes for a player reportedly the highest paid in the Premier League.
Centre-back: John Stones – Manchester City
Another player facing a battle to save his future, Stones’ position looks uncertain for both club and country.
The England international has struggled to convince Pep Guardiola of his qualities at the Etihad, playing a bit-part role this season with midfielder Fernandinho having been preferred as an auxiliary central defender.
Form and fitness have plagued the 25-year-old, his mistake in last weekend’s Carabao Cup final the latest error added to a growing collection. Once a first-choice for Gareth Southgate and England, the defender must surely be fearful of his place in the squad ahead of Euro 2020 following a hugely disappointing campaign on a personal level.
Centre-back: Issa Diop – West Ham
The young defender would make a huge impression following an impressive debut season at the London Stadium last season, producing a series of towering performances to attract interest from some of the division’s leading sides.
Manchester United and Chelsea were both linked with big-money moves to sign the 23-year-old last summer, and that interest could have served as a distraction for a player who has failed to replicate his displays during the current campaign.
Diop has formed part of a West Ham backline that has been vulnerable all season, with only three teams having conceded more than the Hammers’ 49 goals against.
The Frenchman was dropped over the festive period before returning to the side in recent weeks, where he has since responded at the opposite end of the pitch with three goals in seven appearances.
Centre-back: Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham
Jan Vertonghen’s stellar Tottenham career seems to be heading towards a disappointing final chapter, the Belgian defender having struggled for form for much of the current campaign.
The veteran is out-of-contract in the summer and there have been no signs of an extension, Jose Mourinho set to sanction the departure of the centre-back who has looked nowhere near his best of late.
Vertonghen’s emotional reaction to his substitution against Southampton in the FA Cup last month looked to be the beginning of the end, and whilst he has since returned to action his days in north London look numbered.
Midfield: Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton
Once the go-to man in Everton‘s search for creativity, the Icelandic international has looked a shadow of his former self on Merseyside this season.
The club’s record signing scored 13 Premier League goals and provided another six assists last term, but it’s been a different story this time around with just one goal and two assists from 25 appearances.
Speculation has arisen that new manager Carlo Ancelotti may be willing to allow the playmaker to leave, Sigurdsson failing to make any sort of impact despite the club’s mini-revival since the Italian’s arrival.
Midfield: Jesse Lingard – Manchester United
Out of form and out of the England squad, the Man United midfielder’s poor run of form has been well documented amongst rival fans.
Lingard, simply, does not contribute enough for an attacking midfield player at one of English football’s biggest clubs. In 20 Premier League appearances this season (nine starts) he has failed to register a single goal or assist, his lack of tangible output enhancing his critics with each passing performance.
Home-grown status and a high work-rate will only allow the 27-year-old so many chances, and unless things change drastically he could be left behind for both club and country.
Midfield: Dele Alli – Tottenham
Once tipped to become one of the world’s best following a meteoric emergence at Tottenham, Alli’s career has proven to be one of struggle and stagnation over the past two seasons.
After scoring 18 Premier League goals and being named as the PFA Young Player of the Year for the second successive season in 2017, Alli has failed to hit double figures in each of the past three campaigns.
The 23-year-old’s fearless approach and unwavering self-confidence has been replaced by performances on the periphery with minimal impact. Despite an initial upsurge in form after Jose Mourinho’s arrival as Spurs boss, Alli has now failed to score in his past eight and is cutting an increasingly frustrated figure in north London.
Overall Alli has registered a respectable seven league goals in 19 starts this season, but his performances have not been of the level once expected and he looks unlikely to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad this summer.
Right-wing: Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth
The Bournemouth winger was one of the shining lights of the season last term, with only former Chelsea star Eden Hazard registering more than Fraser’s 14 Premier League assists last season.
Fraser starred alongside teammate Callum Wilson last season, but it has been a different story this time around with the club struggling in the bottom three and facing a fight to survive.
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.
North London duo Arsenal and Tottenham have been reported to have held previous interest in the Scotland international, though each are likely to now approach with caution – if at all – for a player who has scored just a single league goal so far this term.
Left-wing: 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 competitions for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The ambitious Hammers have struggled this season despite significant investment, however, Pellegrini axed in favour of former manager David Moyes with the club in the midst of a relegation battle.
Arguably possessing the most talented squad of the bottom six, West Ham have been let down by below-par showings from their leading lights – including Brazilian international Anderson.
The 26-year-old has scored just once this season and took five months to open his account for the campaign, ending his drought with a goal against Bournemouth on New Year’s Day.
It’s a meagre total for a player of his calibre, and part of the reason for the London club’s current plight.
Forward: Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha’s big-money move away from Crystal Palace (pt.2) looked set for last summer, only for interested parties to baulk at the Eagles’ huge demands for their prized asset.
The Ivorian has long voiced his desire to test himself at the highest level possible, having developed a reputation as one of the Premier League’s most exciting attacking players at Selhurst Park.
Any clubs still interested in a deal for the 27-year-old will be concerned following his performances this season, however, Zaha having scored just three league goals for a Palace side lacking both a cutting edge and goal threat.
So often the talisman for Roy Hodgson’s side, Zaha has struggled for output this season and it remains to be seen whether suitors will once again come calling this summer – the player having made no secret of his ambition to play Champions League football.
Priced at around £80m last summer, it is unlikely any club would be willing to match that figure for a player with just six Premier League goal involvements this season.
Forward: Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal
Last season’s Arsenal Player of the Season has failed to reproduce his best form this time around, scoring just six Premier League goals so far this season and just one since netting against Brighton in early December.
Lacazette’s lack of form has seen him overshadowed by the emergence of Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli, whilst recalled loanee Eddie Nketiah has also shown promise under Mikel Arteta with three goals in six appearances since returning from a spell in the Championship at Leeds.
Arsenal’s transitional team is lacking leadership and Arteta will no doubt have expected more from one of the club’s most talented and senior players, a series of ineffective displays leading to speculation the Frenchman could depart at the end of the season.
Arteta has insisted his sides will be picked on merit and not reputation, and the 30-year-old faces a fight to regain favour under the Spaniard’s new regime.