Over £1 biliion was spent by Premier League clubs this summer as English investment reached record heights.
£300m of that was spent in Manchester as José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola looked to shape United and City respectively in their own image, with a majority of clubs breaking their own clubs breaking their own transfer records (repeatedly in some cases).
Of course, with that level of spending squads can tend to become bloated, or managers can stumble upon systems that place new signings on the bench, or not in the squad altogether as the case may be.
Some high-profile signings at Premier League clubs are already finding life difficult, and while a few will invariably force their way into their managers’ plans, others could find their stays at their respective clubs to be painfully brief.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United)
Premier League Minutes Played: 104
Something has broken down in the relationship between Mkhitaryan and Mourinho and nobody’s quite sure what it is. The Armenian international had his fitness issues at the beginning of the season but is fit to play now, as has been shown by his appearances in the Europa League and on international duty. And yet he is being consistently ignored when it comes to league action.
Already demoted to the role of a fringe player, just months after signing in a £27m deal from Dortmund, the 27-year-old is being linked with a loan move back to the Bundesliga side. Fans are desperate to see him given a run in the team, and Mourinho could yet relent, but the manager’s stubbornness is proving to be a roadblock.
Lucas Pérez (Arsenal)
Premier League Minutes Played: 87
It’s somewhat typical of Arsenal that the minute they sign a striker, they realised that they already possessed a quality option in Alexis Sánchez. The Chilean international’s form has completely changed how Arsenal’s attack operates, and his central role has sent Pérez and Olivier Giroud each move one rung down the ladder.
Pérez, a £17m signing from Deportivo La Coruna, is now Arsenal’s third-choice centre forward, with starts reserved for EFL Cup games and dead rubber Champions League games. He is currently injured, which will rule him out for the next few weeks, and by the time he returns to the first team squad Danny Welbeck won’t be too far from coming back from his own injury.
Not to suggest he’ll be sold in January, but his hopes for a long Emirates career might be in trouble.
Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)
Premier League Minutes Played: 76
The records show that Batshuayi has made eight Premier League appearances from twelve this season, but the reality is that every single one of those appearances has been for less than twenty minutes (three have even been for less than five minutes).
The £33m signing has been one of the biggest casualties of Antonio Conte’s settled lineup at Chelsea, with a strong suspicion that even if Diego Costa were to be ruled out injured for a game, a false nine like Eden Hazard would be more likely utilised up front.
Now just imagine if Chelsea had signed Romelu Lukaku as well, like they were trying to do.
Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Premier League Minutes Played: 293
Janssen is a bit different to most of the other names on this list insofar as he at least has been starting games (though three from twelve isn’t much to write home about), but his Spurs career has started badly.
Big things were expected of the Dutch international following an £18m move from Eredivisie side AZ, but his lethal form in the Netherlands has translated to just just one goal (from the penalty spot) in the Premier League.
At just 22, he is definitely capable of turning it around, but he is beginning to feel the pressure from the stands and that rarely works out well for a player.
Janssen is doing his best to make Soldado look a good signing.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 19, 2016
Christian Kabasele, Stefano Okaka, Brice Dja Djedje (Watford)
Premier League Minutes (Combined Total): 70
Three for the price of one to finish. Watford’s high turnover of players (and managers) means that something like this tends to happen fairly regularly. As such, the fact that they signed ten first team players means that places in the starting eleven are extremely limited.
As usual, the Hornets appeared to have stockpiled more players than they know what to do with. As if to highlight this further, Brice Dja Djedje, a £4m signing from Marseille, wasn’t even registered in Watford’s 25-man Premier League squad so is stuck at Vicarage Road until January (at least) unable to see one second of Premier League action.
Kabasele, meanwhile has started just once (and lasted just 50 minutes in that) since making a £6m move from Genk in the summer while Okaka, despite scoring 15 goals for Anderlecht this season, has been restricted to just 12 minutes of Premier League football this campaign.
Expect some (or all) to be moved on within the next two transfer windows to make room for the next batch of generic players to be unceremoniously dumped into the squad.