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Worst 5 Summer Signings of the 2023/24 Premier League season — Ranked 

Worst 5 Summer Signings of the 2023/24 Premier League season — Ranked 

May 10, 2024

With just a fortnight to go before we wrap up another exhilarating Premier League season, I feel it’s the right time to look at the bigger picture and evaluate which of the 2023 summer signings have failed to deliver on their promise in their debut campaign for their respective new clubs. 

For compiling this list, I’ve taken into account the players’ performances, their value for money, and whether the fee paid could have been spent better elsewhere.

So without further ado, I present to you my five worst summer signings of the 2023/24 Premier League season. 

Note: Base salary for each player has been sourced from Capology

Also read: Top 5 Summer Signings of the 2023/24 Premier League season — Ranked 

#5 Brennan Johnson 

Fee: £47 million | Salary: £70k/week 

#5 Brennan Johnson 

Brennan Johnson’s rise from a League One loanee in 2021 to a £47.5m signing for one of the biggest Premier League clubs in 2023 has been rapid, but has he really made the big step up? 

Known for his rapid pace as a winger, Johnson is a quality crosser of the ball with an eye to find his man from cut-backs. However, his game is not just limited to crossing. He’s got an eye for goal but there’s much room for him to grow especially in regards to his composure in front of goal. 

This has also reflected in his performances this season. While the numbers might suggest that he’s had a decent season with five goals and eight assists, Johnson’s performances have been all over the place. Although age can earn him some leeway, we all know what some elite professionals in the same age bracket are doing elsewhere. 

Thus, the onus now falls on Daniel Levy and Ange Postecoglou as to how they go about addressing their forward line this summer. 

#4 Lesley Ugochukwu

Fee: £23 million | Salary: £45k/week

#4 Lesley Ugochukwu

With Chelsea seemingly looking like the club next on the Premier League’s PSR’s (Profit and Sustainability Rules) scrutiny list, their summer signings are now coming under the firing line.

Although not quite high-profile like some of the rest of their summer signings, French defensive midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu, arriving from Stade Rennes, has been nothing short of shambolic. 

Todd Boehly’s youth project looks in tatters, with the club now needing to cut their losses before the PSR hit arrives with a points deduction next season.

For a £23m signing, Ugochukwu has only started six games this season and played a total of 541 minutes. Although he does exhibit solid tackling skills and is decent aerially, it’s quite evident the 20-year-old is far from the standards required to be challenging for a place in the Chelsea matchday squad. 

#3 Matheus Nunes 

Fee: £53 million | Salary: £130k/week

#3 Matheus Nunes 

Matheus Nunes was primarily brought in into the Manchester City set-up as an asset that could be deployed as a double pivot alongside Rodri during in-game situations while having the situational awareness to operate as a No. 8 looking to get forward and contribute to the attack. 

However, his first season with the Cityzens has been anything but comfortable. Nunes has rarely been effective for Man City, both as a starter and as a substitute. In 33 appearances across all competitions (which includes 18 substitute appearances), he is yet to score for City and only has three assists against his name. 

Although he is known for his impressive off-the-ball work rate, Nunes’s momentary in-game lapses in concentration as well as a weaker physique do not do him any favours. 

Given the Portugal international was brought in as a long-term replacement for someone like Ilkay Gündogan, the fact that City would have to dip their toes into the market for a central midfielder again this summer will make it difficult for Pep Guardiola and his backroom staff to strengthen other key areas of the pitch, like recruiting a defensive midfielder or a quality right-back. 

#2 Mason Mount 

Fee: £55 million | Salary: £250k/week

#2 Mason Mount 

Mason Mount has had a terrible start to life at Man United. Although he has had some decent games in between, it has rather been a frustrating season, which has further been marred with injuries, limiting his first-team action considerably. 

However, the reason he’s on this list is simply because of the hefty £55 million Manchester United paid for him, as well as the fact he usually plays in a position his current side simply didn’t need to bolster when you take their other problems into account.

Mount, who has just one assist to his name, has been played in a multitude of positions since arriving. It’s almost like Erik ten Hag himself is at a loss as to where to position the England international. Thus the question rises: why was he bought at all?

#1 Moisés Caicedo

Fee: £115 million | Salary: £150k/week

Worst Premier League 2023/24 summer signing: Moisés Caicedo

It is hard to believe what can happen in just a year and a half. This time last summer, Moisés Caicedo was one of the hottest Premier League commodities on the market.

The start of 2023 saw Chelsea and Arsenal go head-to-head for the signing of the combative Ecuadorian midfielder. Although both teams failed to land him during that window, it was Chelsea who blinked first and paid over the odds to sign him last summer in a British-record £115m deal. 

However, after watching Chelsea slowly disintegrate before our eyes, it is fair to say that teams wouldn’t even pay half the money Chelsea paid to prize him away from west London. The Ecuador international hasn’t been able to dominate the midfield like he did for Brighton, implying his performances had more to do with having a solid system in place rather than his own individual brilliance. 

Moreover, given the fact that he’s on a eight-year-long £150k-a-week contract, Chelsea will have to find a way to make it work with Caicedo. 

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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