9 worst Premier League transfers of the season – from van de Beek to Willian

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The 2020/21 Premier League season is unlikely to be remembered fondly by supporters in years to come.

With no supporters in stadiums and controversial VAR decisions taking centre stage each week, there has been little to celebrate over the course of the campaign.

One talking point of every season is assessing how summer recruits at each club have fared, a topic that often divides opinion up and down the country.

Ruben Dias, Diogo Jota and Edinson Cavani are three examples of players who certainly lived up to expectations – but what about those who disappointed at their new clubs this season?

We have taken a look at the ten worst signings of the season…

Donny van de Beek – Manchester United (£35m)

There were high hopes for Donny van de Beek after his summer arrival from Ajax.

But things have not worked out in the way the Dutch midfielder would have hoped.

The 24-year-old arrived at Old Trafford for a hefty £35m fee but has been overlooked by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all season, starting in only four Premier League matches.

Van de Beek did not make it onto the pitch in United's Europa League final defeat to Villarreal, with Fred, Axel Tuanzebe, Daniel James, Alex Telles and Juan Mata all introduced ahead of the former Ajax man.

Willian – Arsenal (Free)

Though recruited on a free transfer, Willian had so much more to offer than he delivered at the Emirates Stadium this season.

The Brazilian got off to the perfect start to life as an Arsenal player, assisting three goals on his Premier League debut against Fulham but slowly fizzled out as the season progressed.

Willian managed one goal for the Gunners in all competitions, a significant drop-off from the 11 he scored during his final year at Chelsea.

Ben Davies – Liverpool (£1.6m)

A puzzling transfer completed by the Reds.

Recruited from Preston in the January transfer window to ease Liverpool's injury crisis in defence, Ben Davies did not play a single game for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Davies was named on the bench for eight fixtures and left out of the squad entirely for the remaining games he played no part in.

Hakim Ziyech – Chelsea (£33.3m)

It has been a fairly underwhelming first season for Hakim Ziyech from a personal point of view.

Despite claiming the Champions League, the Moroccan midfielder has not hit the heights expected of him in the Premier League after moving from Ajax.

Ziyech scored two league goals and produced three assists in the league but could not develop any rhythm due to injury setbacks.

Nathan Ake – Manchester City (£40m)

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Ake joined Manchester City in a mega £40m move from Bournemouth and featured in the first four league games of the campaign for Pep Guardiola's side.

The Dutch defender soon found himself out of the team due to injury struggles, resulting in Ake only featuring 13 times in all competitions.

Ruben Dias' instant impact and John Stones' unlikely revival has only pushed the 26-year-old further down the pecking order at the club.

Rhian Brewster – Sheffield United (£23.5m)

Rhian Brewster became Sheffield United's club-record signing when he joined the Blades in October 2020.

It has been a season to forget for both the club and Brewster, following the club's miserable campaign.

The 21-year-old played 31 games in all competitions and failed to score a single goal during that period as the club suffered relegation to the Championship.

Alex Telles – Manchester United (£13.6m)

Brought to the club with the view of challenging Luke Shaw for a starting place in the team, this was a battle Alex Telles lost early on at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian full-back made just nine league appearances all campaign for Solskjaer's side as Shaw enjoyed an unexpected revival at the club.

During his cameo appearances for the Red Devils, Telles has done little to impress and is showing no signs of becoming the player he was at previous club Porto.

Karlan Grant – West Bromwich Albion (£15m)

Karlan Grant penned a six-year contract at West Brom in October, joining the club in a £15m deal from Huddersfield Town.

Goals are required for any newly-promoted side to survive, but the 24-year-old forward managed to find the back of the net just once in 21 Premier League outings.

This poor goalscoring return saw the Baggies head straight back down to the Championship.

Matt Doherty – Tottenham Hotspur (£14.7m)

Matt Doherty has not looked the same player he was at Wolves since moving to Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the season.

The Irish full-back has struggled to adapt to his new role in a traditional back-four and his positioning has been a cause for concern.

He has been unable to secure a consistent place in the team and has not kicked on since leaving Molineux.

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