These players are currently not having a similar impact for their new employers as they did for their previous one.
The summer transfer window of 2021 was exhilarating to say the least. There were a lot of high-profile transfers despite a pandemic-affected market. The clubs went all out in bringing in preferred footballers ahead of the new season to achieve success. However, a risk with new signings is that they do not immediately bear fruitful results.
Some footballers, regardless of their talent and achievements in the past, take time to adjust to their new surroundings. Finding their feet and building chemistry with new teammates takes time and effort. Similarly, there have been a few footballers who have not hit the ground running since their transfers in the summer window.\
There are many factors, which contribute to an underwhelming performance. It is either fitness, lack of understanding of new competition, a new style of play, or a combination of multiple factors. Here are the top five footballers, who have struggled since moving to new clubs.
5. Eric Garcia
The youngster made a move to FC Barcelona from Manchester City in the summer transfer window. The 20-year-old moved on a free transfer after his contract expired with the Premier League giants. The center-back’s long wish of securing a move to the La Liga outfit finally came to fruition but it has not started on the best note.
In his first four appearances for the Blaugrana, he has won only once and failed to keep any clean-sheets. Garcia also played the UEFA Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich. The match saw Garcia play 66 minutes in a 0-3 defeat at home. Clearly, the young defender is part of a team that is struggling on all fronts. His individual performances have been symbolic of the overall mess at FC Barcelona.
4. Andre Silva
The Portuguese secured a move to RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021/22 campaign from Eintracht Frankfurt. He had a very successful season in the league last season at Frankfurt when he scored 28 goals (second-most) and eight assists in 32 league appearances. However, Silva has not hit the ground running for his new employers.
Out of seven overall appearances in all competitions, the 25-year-old has only scored one goal. Perhaps settling in a new side with new teammates will take time for the striker. But, his start with RB Leipzig leaves a lot to be desired. The outfit itself is going through a troubling phase after losing their manager and key footballers in the summer.
3. Ben White
The Englishman was the fifth-most expensive signing in the summer transfer window. The center-back moved from Brighton & Hove Albion to Arsenal in a €58.50m move, making him the fifth most expensive British transfer. Mikel Arteta wanted to overhaul the defence and White was the key signing to that effect. Fans had a lot of expectations from the defender but the initial stage of his career at Arsenal has started on a rocky note. Ben White’s debut for Arsenal was one to forget. The outfit lost their opening Premier League fixture to newly-promoted side Brentford.
Defeat by two goals to nil was tough to digest for the fans and White also came under criticism for being weak in the air. The 23-year-old missed the next two games, also defeats, due to contracting COVID-19. However, his last two appearances, both of which were wins and clean sheets – are a definite improvement. Although Arsenal are still underwhelming in their performance and their defence needs to find consistency, along with Ben White.
2. Jadon Sancho
The 21-year-old’s move to Manchester United finally came to fruition in the summer of 2021. The transfer saga with Borussia Dortmund, which lasted two years, came to an end after both clubs agreed on an €85m transfer fee, making Sancho one of the most expensive transfers in Premier League. The Englishman’s arrival at Old Trafford sent a wave of excitement among the club’s fans. Having said that, Sancho’s Manchester United career is yet to take off.
Jadon Sancho has made six appearances for the club and is yet to score a goal or make an assist. Furthermore, he has not played the full 90 minutes in a game in his first six appearances, which could be detrimental to his confidence. However, a player of Sancho’s quality would not like to stay away from the spotlight for too long.
1. Lionel Messi
The Argentine superstar left FC Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain in one of the most iconic transfers of all-time. Messi’s departure from the La Liga outfit where he has won many accolades and created a legacy caused a huge stir. However, due to several circumstances, Messi joined PSG in Ligue 1 on a free transfer. The move led to a widespread increase in PSG’s popularity and the club added perhaps the biggest gem in a star-studded squad.
Having said that, Messi has yet to find his feet at his new club. He has not scored a goal or provided an assist in his first three appearances for the club. PSG fans have been critical of the overall performance from the team after failing to win their opening UCL game against Club Brugge. The front-three of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi were not able to secure the three points.
Furthermore, Lionel Messi’s first start in Ligue 1 saw him substituted at the 76th-minute mark by Mauricio Pochettino. The 34-year-old looked visibly upset and did not shake the manager’s hand while making his way to the bench.