Several big-name players are struggling to repeat their heights of last season – but who makes our team of the Premier League’s biggest form dippers?
With the Premier League season well underway, and the table beginning to take shape, there are those who have exceeded expectations and players who have struggled to impress after starring last term.
With that, WhoScored.com have chartered the players whose rating has dipped the most of those to have made at least four league starts this season and 10 top-flight starts last season.
Heurelho Gomes – Watford (Rating dip of -0.35)
Heurelho Gomes was a stand out performer for Watford last season, with his WhoScored.com rating (7.07) enough to earn a spot in the Premier League team of the season.
However, his form has declined, with his rating dropping to 6.72 – a 0.35 dip the biggest of all Premier League goalkeepers – in part owing to the 35-year-old conceding more goals per game this term (1.63) than last (1.32).
Bacary Sagna – Manchester City (-0.43)
The Frenchman started the season as first-choice right-back under Pep Guardiola, but injury has since relegated him to backup to Pablo Zabaleta.
Bacary Sagna is a defender unlikely to rip up trees, with the experienced France international more capable of the solid than spectacular, but his WhoScored.com rating this season (6.69) has dropped by 0.43 from last term (7.12), the biggest fall of all right-backs.
Lamine Kone – Sunderland (-0.65)
Having pined for a move away from Sunderland over the summer, Lamine Kone has done little to suggest he deserves a big money move to a Premier League rival.
Despite playing a key role in the Black Cats’ successful survival bid, Kone’s tackles (1.8 to 1), interceptions (2.1 to 1.3) and clearances per game (9.2 to 7.7) have all fallen, with Sunderland conceding 11 of their 15 top-flight goals in the six games the centre-back has started.
Robert Huth – Leicester (-0.62)
The first of four Leicester players to feature in the XI, Robert Huth’s performances have dropped significantly in the Foxes’ title defence. The German is known as a no-nonsense, combative defender but his discipline has worsened as Leicester’s organisation has declined.
Having been yellow carded 10 times in 49 league appearances in the past 18 months for the Foxes, Huth has received four yellow cards in eight top-flight outings already this season.
Christian Fuchs – Leicester (-0.46)
Like Gomes, Christian Fuchs earned a place in WhoScored.com’s Premier League team of the season last term, yet his rating has dropped by 0.46 in Leicester’s disappointing start to the campaign.
He is tackling less (3.1 to 2.4) and making fewer interceptions per game (3.1 to 2.1), whilst also struggling to have a substantial impact in the final third, with his key passes per game falling from 1.4 to 1.
Mark Noble – West Ham (-0.63)
West Ham’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday ended a five-game winless winless run and will have boosted morale following a poor start. While victory was a welcome reprieve, though, captain Mark Noble is struggling to influence the midfield.
His passes per game have fallen (52 to 46.3), as have tackles (2.8 to 2.1) and interceptions per league match (2.2 to 1.1), with his WhoScored.com rating dropping markedly 0.63 as a result.
That elusive England cap looks as far away as ever….
Giannelli Imbula – Stoke (-0.62)
A January arrival from FC Porto, Giannelli Imbula made an immediate impact for Stoke with an average of 4.4 dribbles per game the best return of all players.
The 24-year-old, though, has struggled to gain any control in midfield, failing to register a single interception this season and seeing his passes per game dip from 55.1 to 36. Previously one of the first names on the team sheet, Imbula has started only four of Stoke’s eight league games this season.
Jan Kirchhoff – Sunderland (-0.59)
Following a disappointing Sunderland debut, Jan Kirchhoff rapidly established himself as a key man for the Black Cats, but has since seen his form drop, with his WhoScored.com rating falling 0.59 from last season compared to this. The German is struggling to provide the similar defensive resilience from the previous campaign, with a recurring hamstring problem hindering his consistency.
Riyad Mahrez – Leicester (-1.17)
The biggest dip in WhoScored.com rating comes courtesy of Leicester star Riyad Mahrez, whose score has dropped a whopping 1.17.
Last season’s player of the season might be excelling in Europe for the Foxes, where the club boast a 100% record, but has struggled to replicate the fine form that helped the Foxes to the title, with the Algerian scoring just one goal from the penalty spot so far this term. To put that into context, Mahrez had scored five goals and registered four assists after eight league appearances last season.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester (-0.88)
Similarly to Mahrez, Jamie Vardy has been unable to repeat his fine form from Leicester’s title winning campaign. The England international has netted just two goals this season and failed to register an assist having bagged seven goals and provided one assist after eight appearances last term.
His number of shots per game has halved from last season (3.2 down to 1.6), with the 29-year-old failing to have the same impact on the counter.
Anthony Martial – Manchester United (-0.64)
After a promising debut campaign at Old Trafford, Anthony Martial was expected to push on and improve upon his 11 goals and four assists. However, he has only netted once in the Premier League this season and appears to have fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho, though injury forced him to miss Monday’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
Nevertheless, a drop in performance levels is clear to see, with Martial enduring an underwhelming start to his second Premier League campaign.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app.