With the season nearing an end, we are taking the chance to look back at the worst signings of the season from the Premier League and Championship. Like every year, there are a number of players who arrive at clubs with huge promise, but simply fail to deliver on the big stage.
In no particular order, here are the five players we believe to be the worst signings of 2017/2018…
England veteran Joe Hart will have signed for West Ham hoping to reignite his Premier League career and secure a spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Russia this summer. Unfortunately for Hart, the first hope has definitely not happened, and whether he will be on the plane to Russia remains to be seen.
The Manchester City owned shot stopper was thrust into the West Ham starting line-up at the beginning of the season, only to be axed for former number one Adrian after a long run of poor performances. The psychological damage inflicted on Hart when he was humiliatingly dropped by Pep Guardiola last season has clearly taken more of a toll on the ‘keeper than first anticipated, and the once dominant figure looks a shell of the man he used to be on the pitch.
Hart was brought back into the West Ham side later on in the season after Adrian experienced some poor form himself and, despite showing glimpses of the quality he still possesses, Hart’s costly mistakes have not been eradicated.
Ty Browning joined Sunderland on loan from Everton last summer, as the youngster looked to pick up some valuable first-team experience and help lead the Black Cats back into the top flight at the first time of asking.
Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, things could not have gone much worse as Sunderland have experienced one of the worst seasons in their entire history, stuck to the bottom of the Championship table.
The centre-back has made 29 appearances for Sunderland this season and has been a member of the defence that has conceded some 80 goals in the league. It is safe to say that Browning has not exactly cemented himself in Sam Allardyce’s Everton plans for next season.
Another loan player, Renato Sanches has been a huge disappointment this season, and probably arrived at Swansea as one of the brightest prospects in the entire Premier League.
Arriving from German giants Bayern Munich, big things were expected of the Euro 2016 champion, but unfortunately for the Swans, the youngster has missed much of the season through injury and has offered little in terms of a threat when he has played. Having made only 15 appearances in all competitions for his loan club, it remains to be seen whether or not Swansea will try to turn his signature into a permanent one. However, given his season, it is more likely that he will be sent back to Munich.
That being said, Carlos Carvalhal will be well aware of his compatriot’s capabilities, and could be willing to offer Sanches a shot at redemption next term.
Scottish youngster Jason Cummings arrived in Nottingham with a huge amount of expectation after three stunning seasons with Hibernian. However, the step up from the Scottish Championship to English Championship is clear for all to see, and the striker was unable to adjust quickly to the demands of EFL football.
Cummings has proved himself to be a prolific goal-getter in the past, however, his record of one goal in 14 appearances in the league for Forest led to him being loaned out to Rangers in January, where he has also experienced mixed fortunes. Aged 22, Cummings still has a chance to turn his Forest career around, but will need to hit the ground running next season and find his scoring boots if Aitor Karanka is to consider him as a starting player in his side.
Everton fans will have been ecstatic at the prospect of Barcelona youth academy graduate Sandro Ramirez lining up alongside Wayne Rooney this season. However, things did not quite go to plan for the Toffees.
Having netted 16 goals for Malaga in the previous campaign, Ramirez was brought in last summer but failed to make any sort of impact at Goodison Park. The 22-year-old has netted only one goal for Everton since his arrival which came in the Europa League, and failed to score on any of his eight outings in the league.
Having proved to be a flop, he was quickly whisked away on loan to Sevilla in January where he has experienced even worse fortunes, playing less than a handful of times for the Spanish outfit. Ramirez still has his whole career ahead of him and his Toffees career is by all means salvageable, but that does not detract from his highly disappointing first season in English football.