We are still fairly early into this Premier League season, and we could not be more excited. Players have been performing well all around; the big clubs finally seem to be on the same page and gunning for the top spot. Of course, that is with the exception of Liverpool, who are currently sitting well below the pack, behind Burnley. Nevertheless, the other big-time clubs are playing some exquisite football, and they are almost too fun to watch. Even the defensive-minded Jose Mourinho has been allowing his Manchester United stars to play some entertaining attacking football at Old Trafford. Believe it or not, The Red Devils have one of the most explosive attacks in the Premier League so far. They have been neck and neck with rivals Manchester City all season long.
Tottenham is up there, and have been leaning heavily on the talent of their world-class striker, Harry Kane. And boy, Kane is looking amazing this season. The last time we have seen a British player performing this well must have been when Wayne Rooney was at his prime in Manchester United.
But we are not here to talk about guys who have been performing well. We are here to talk about the disappointments. So get ready to be disappointed because here are 20 of the most overrated players in the Premier League.
20 Wayne Rooney
We talked about how Harry Kane seems to be the best English player since Wayne Rooney was in his prime at Manchester United. But one thing that Everton and England fans as a whole need to understand is that, at this point, Rooney is not even close to being a world-class player. This guy is a good veteran at best. We know the nostalgia is strong, and you want to believe that he is still as good as he once was, but father time is cruel, and he has been especially cruel to Rooney.
Last year with United, Rooney played a total of 30 games in the Premier League, scoring five goals and dishing five assists, which are not fantastic numbers considering both his history and the hype around him. This is a guy who scored 27 goals in 34 games in his prime. We know it’s hard to accept, but Rooney is overrated today.
19 Jack Wilshere
It is almost too sad to talk about Jack Wilshire these days. This was one player who showed so much promise. But the best parallel we could make for Wilshire is to compare him to England’s World Cup hopes every four years. Every time we talk about them before a competition starts, we are all hopeful that this is finally going to be the year, but their way of disappointing fans seems to be as flawless as a clock.
What makes it so sad is because we don’t think it was Wilshire’s fault that he didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded him at the beginning of his career. This is a man who has been plagued by injuries. He has missed so many games because of injuries that it is hard to tell how much that factored into his development.
18 Gary Cahill
You need to be a hard-core Chelsea fan not to see how bad Gary Cahill is. We must admit that he has evolved a lot over these past few years, but the insecurity and lack of focus during games that made him an iffy figure when he first arrived at Chelsea, are still there, you don’t even need to look that hard. We are not alone in believing this either. It’s hard to think that anyone who cheers for The Blues has spent more than a couple of games without cursing out the British defender. After all, Cahill is the one player who was named the most error-prone defender in the Premier League last season. This is bad, especially because it was during a season they won the Premier League title. So, many people could say that Chelsea won the title in spite of having to deal with Cahill’s mistakes. His defending mate, David Luiz doesn't linger too far behind, but for this list, we decided to go with Cahill.
17 Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard is one of those players whom Jose Mourinho loves, and that is precisely why the Manchester United winger is an overrated player. Technically, there is nothing bad we could say about Lingard. This is a guy who performs the duties his manager tells him to without fault. He has no problem keeping up with the opposing team’s fullback and using all of his energy to help his team get the ball back.
However, as much as he is a good player tactically, to say that he is a good player technically is almost blasphemy. His coach must love having a winger who can defend, but how many fans like attacking players who score one goal and have two assists in an entire season? Yeah, those were Lingard’s numbers in the Premier League last season.
16 Danny Drinkwater
Almost all Leicester City players who participated in their Premier League winning campaign in 2015-16 could make this list. Don’t get us wrong, all those guys are hard workers and played their hearts out during that fantastic campaign that no one who loves football will ever forget. However, with the notable exception of N'Golo Kanté, and maybe Jamie Vardy, all of the other guys got a lot more money added to their stock prices than it was warranted. Danny Drinkwater was one of those players.
Drinkwater is a good midfielder, but not much more than that. He has a good passing ability, with his accuracy hanging around 77% during these past few seasons. However, Drinkwater is not fast, and he can seldom provide key passes that break up a defense. He could end up proving us wrong this season, but first, he will have to find a way to break into that Chelsea starting 11.
15 Michail Antonio
Another British forward to make it to our list, Michail Antonio is someone who has had several chances to prove himself in England’s top stage but never really managed to translate those shots into goals.
Since 2013, Antonio has spent three seasons playing in the Championship and another three playing in the Premier League. And the trend that appears to be the case is that every time someone in the Premier League gives him a chance, it is West Ham. And time and time again, he has come up short for West Ham in terms of scoring.
During his first rodeo in the Premier League in 2015, Antonio played 26 games and scored only eight goals.
The 2016 season was just more of the same as he scored nine in 29 games. This year, over a month of football has gone by, and the only stat he has to show is one yellow card.
14 Santi Cazorla
Every year people come up with lists of players who are overrated in the FIFA games. If there is one player who could have been in every single one of those lists for the last four or five years, it is Arsenal’s midfielder, Santi Cazorla.
This Spanish central midfielder is a dream of a player when you look on paper. He is a solid passer who seldom misses, he can break a defense with well-placed through balls, he is a master at holding onto the ball in the midfield, he is even good at taking set pieces and long shots.
So why does he seem unable to work any of that magic when he comes onto a field playing for Arsenal? We don’t know, but hopefully for the Gunners, he will prove us wrong when he comes back from injury in December.
13 Georginio Wijnaldum
A lot of people will debate the choice of placing Georginio Wijnaldum on this list. However, as much as we cannot say that Wijnaldum is a terrible player, he certainly is not someone who lives up to the hefty expectations people and coaches have of him. Since arriving at Liverpool, this man has clearly won Jurgen Klopp over. Still, he has yet to become a sure thing in the eyes of Liverpool fans, who more than often have asked for new signings for their midfield.
Despite the fact that Klopp seems to like him, Wijnaldum is not someone who really fulfills the duties that Klopp himself asks of him. Whether he likes it or not, it is one of Wijnaldum’s primary responsibilities to be tenacious when playing defense. However, more than once every game you will see him lacking concentration and opening up chances for the opposition. His tackling can be terrible as well.
12 Andros Townsend
It is a bit painful for us to add Andros Townsend to this list because he seems to be one of the nicest guys in the Premier League. Just try to catch this guy on an interview or being funny on the web, you will not regret it. However, that same lively and exciting style that makes Townsend a hit with the fans both on and off the field might just be his most significant weakness as well. Even though he plays for Crystal Palace, this guy is still good enough to be called up for the national team time and time again. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter where he goes, the same mistakes follow him.
Townsend is an exciting dribbler who also helps a lot on the defensive end. But that tendency to dribble more often than he should, leads Townsend to make a lot of mistakes, like losing the ball in areas where he shouldn’t, and missing easy passes.
11 Ross Barkley
Suffering from a hamstring injury, Ross Barkley is still a little far from recovering, and we have yet to see him on the field for Everton this season. His recovery is something we cannot wait because we want to watch this 23-year-old talent trying to play alongside Wayne Rooney. But, just like Rooney, we firmly believe that Barkley is one of the most overrated players in the Premier League.
The biggest example of that? He is still playing at Everton, isn’t he?
Yes, for a couple of seasons there have been many rumors of big-time clubs trying to sign this young British midfielder. And yet, here he is. Barkley still has a lot of time to develop, but he is one of those guys who constantly lacks concentration and has no apparent interest in helping his team defend. That last one is something that doesn’t fly in football these days and could be keeping those rumors from becoming true.
10 Michy Batshuayi
According to Transfermarkt, Michy Batshuayi is currently worth somewhere around €25 million. The only question we ask is: why?
We know how much fuss and fun people had putting up Belgian players as the next big thing in football over these past few years, but Batshuayi is not someone who should be worth that much.
Since he arrived at Chelsea, he played 24 Premier League games, scoring five goals and tallying one assist. Is that worth €25 million? We know the Neymar transfer bloated the market, but putting this much value on a guy who has yet to prove anything is just ludicrous.
Batshuayi is a good finisher, but you cannot hope to have him holding onto the ball for more than two seconds because he will lose it, that’s how bad his control is. He is tall, but he also loses most of the aerial battles against defenders.
9 Wilfried Bony
Good-old Wilfried Bony is one of the most entertaining players in the Premier League. But most of the entertainment lies in the fact that you cannot wait for his next astonishing miss. It seems like Bony has been around forever, but he is still only 28 years old, believe it or not.
Still, what is most amazing about this Côte d’Ivoire striker is that somehow people still think he is worth €18 million. Yes, this is a guy who is playing in Swansea and is worth almost 20 million. By now a lot of people count on him because of his experience, but his track record is not amazing in comparison to some other strikers in the Premier League. Just to put it in perspective, we pulled up the statistics for his Premier League play including all Stoke City, Manchester City, and Swansea City stints. The total was 34 goals in 104 matches.
Pep Guardiola’s team is so stacked that it is hard to point out a lot of people’s flaws. That is especially true of their defense, which has only allowed a pair of goals this season over seven matches. However, we are here to give City fans a warning. Danilo is one of those guys who has been living off his fame. He suddenly appeared in Brazil as the next best right-back the country would produce, and people have not been shy of paying enough for him to warrant that claim.
After all, he was barely 20 years old when Porto splashed €13 million to bring him to Europe. Just a few years later, Real Madrid bought him for €31.5 million, and now, Manchester City has done the same for €30 million. Still, Danilo never managed to solidify himself as a starter in Madrid, and given the way things are going in Manchester, he won’t do it with City either.
7 Danny Welbeck
For a while it seemed like the British people’s dream was to have the next best striker in the world. They have hyped so many guys for so many years that when Harry Kane came along, our first instinct was to write him off as another British failure-to-be. As we all know, Kane might just be the best striker in the world today, but we mentioned him because, on the road to get to Kane, there were casualties left by the high expectations people put on young British strikers.
One of them was Danny Welbeck. After appearing to the world in a Manchester United uniform, Welbeck was signed by Arsenal for a hefty €20 million. And he has been good for the Gunners. Still, nothing he does ever seems to be enough to live up to the expectations he carries.
6 Jordon Ibe
Jordon Ibe might have just been the best bit of business Liverpool ever made. In our last entry we talked about a guy who could never live up to the expectations put on him, now let’s make a prediction and talk about a player who WILL never live up to the expectations. It is still unbelievable for us that Bournemouth agreed to pay €18 million for this guy a season ago.
We get it, the physical attributes are there, the dribbling skill is there, but any decent scouts should be able to see that the football IQ necessary for the game is not there when it comes to Jordon Ibe. We know how much Premier League teams love athletic wingers who can beat defenders off the dribble, but what is the point of having one of these guys if he can’t even cross the ball?
5 Dejan Lovren
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that Jurgen Klopp is not a world-class manager. He is one of the best we have in the world today. But somehow, even a guy like Klopp seems to be hell-bent on committing the same mistakes over and over again.
When you look at his Liverpool front three and how they play, you cannot think of anything but magic. The guy who put these three to work this well together can’t be anything other than a genius, right? Then you look at his midfield and think: “okay, he doesn’t have that much to work with, and these guys can still get it done if given enough space.”
And then you look at his defense. That’s when you shake your head and just ask, “why, man, why do you do this to yourself?” And a big reason why we ask ourselves that, is because we have to watch Dejan Lovren play every week.
4 Kelechi Iheanacho
Remember how we talked about that for a while it seemed like England wanted nothing but to find the new best striker in the world? Well, for at least the past decade, the entirety of Europe appears to have set their eyes on finding the next great African player. And we have had some good ones like Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Aubameyang, and others.
Sometimes, however, it seems like a few clubs try to force this issue and promote a player just for the sake of attracting more African fans to their side. That seems to have been the case with Kelechi Iheanacho. And yeah, some people will say he is a good finisher who can connect on a long shot here and there, but really try to look at how this guy plays. Iheanacho is a terrible striker when you compare him to the majority of his Premier League peers.
3 Andy Carroll
What can we say about Andy Carroll that you don’t know? Everyone knows that this guy is the ultimate overpaid striker in the world. Yes, we are even considering the guys who are playing in China, receiving ridiculous amounts of money that they clearly do not deserve.
Tall and powerful, Carroll is the ultimate target man. At least that is what every single club that has splashed money on him must have thought. Can you believe that Liverpool spent €41 million on this guy? That is beyond ridiculous. It might have just been the worst signing in the history of the Premier League.
We can say that with certainty because the stats back us up on this one. How many goals do you think those €41 million translated into? A staggering six goals in 44 Premier League games.
2 Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge is one of those rare guys whom we feel bad for. This is a man who has never really gotten a real chance to prove his worth. And that worth is a lot if you consider the expectations fans had of this guy. Unfortunately, what seems to have happened is that one amazing season was enough for people to think that Sturridge was actually the next big thing. This guy did score 21 goals and had seven assists in 29 games during Liverpool’s 2013-14 campaign.
The problem for Sturridge is that those numbers never repeated themselves. Worse than that, as time went by he started getting plagued by little injuries here and there, which kept him from maintaining a good run of form. Eventually, he even lost his starting spot. But the one thing we know for sure is that Sturridge is no longer a guy who can score 21 goals in a year.
1 Moussa Sissoko
A lot of transfers have been scrutinized and categorized as some of the worst ever, as transfer fees get higher and higher and the market more active. We talked about the Andy Carroll to Liverpool drama, but when we talk about more recent transfers, none of them seems to come even close to the terrible mistake Tottenham made when they signed Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle.
The French midfielder is a solid player who could help a lot of Premier League teams. The problem is that most of those teams are the ones trying to avoid relegation or fighting for a top half spot. Tottenham is not one of those teams. And to think that they allocated a large chunk of their transfer budget to this guy is almost laughable. The bill came at €35 million, and let’s just say the return has not been anywhere near what Spurs’ fans expected.