The 2022/23 Premier League campaign has already witnessed several stars take center stage and perform to their potential. At the same time, there have been others that have not quite found their feet yet this season.
The 2022/23 Premier League season has seen multiple stars underperform
Although it is not always easy to hit the ground running, certain stars are always expected to perform consistently for their clubs. However, when they fail to do so, their respective clubs also tend to underperform, thereby proving their importance to the side.
On that note, let’s take a look at five Premier League stars who have had a poor start to the current campaign (2022-23).
#5 Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy’s form, like Leicester City’s, has fallen off a cliff this season. The English striker has scored 15 or more Premier League goals in each of his last five seasons, but has scored none in seven games so far.
Part of the blame can be placed on his teammates, who have been less than creative and motivated early on in the campaign. It is also noteworthy that Vardy has lost a lot of pace, and rightly so, given that he’ll turn 36 in January next year.
But unlike many players, his main threat is his lightning runs behind the last defender, which helps him relentlessly press from the front. Thus, it has led to his decline in form this season and it might continue in the same manner unless he evolves his game.
Vardy is quite a smart striker and highly efficient. So, with a bit of guile, coupled with the fact that his side’s form is bound to pick up soon, he could be back amongst the goals soon.
#4 Mason Mount
Mason Mount turned savior for England recently as he scored the first goal in his country’s dramatic 3-3 draw against Germany. However, that was his first goal of the current season as he has not scored a single one for Chelsea so far.
The Blues’ two-time Player of the Year scored 11 times and produced 10 assists in 32 Premier League games last season. He did not pick up where he left off last season, with the England star looking bereft of ideas in the final third of the pitch.
The new changes, including sacking and replacing Thomas Tuchel, have not helped the situation either. But it is at such times that clubs like Chelsea turn to their most trusted players, with Mount certainly being one of them.
Regardless, his first international goal in 18 months might just be the spark he needs to get going on the domestic front as well. With the World Cup also on the horizon, Mount will be eager to impress in the coming weeks at Chelsea.
#3 Riyad Mahrez
Manchester City have started the season as they ended the last one and are heavy favorites to win the Premier League title again this season.
Erling Haaland has delivered box-office numbers, which has eased the burden of goal-scoring on his teammates. However, Riyad Mahrez, who had the third-highest goal involvement (16) in the Premier League for Man City last season, has been sub-par at the start of this season.
The winger has played six out of his club’s seven league games but has had zero goal involvements so far. In fact, his performances have also been mediocre by his standards, and he looks relatively off the pace.
Man City’s form has shadowed over his shortcomings, but Mahrez will eventually have to pick up some slack at some point.
#2 Trent Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool have had one of their poorest starts to a Premier League campaign this season, and the reasons are clear. Several players are not performing to their potential, with Trent Alexander-Arnold certainly being one of them.
The right-back’s defensive deficiencies have been well-documented in the past but have come into the increased limelight this season. Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez’s poor form, coupled with injuries to Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate, have definitely contributed to it.
But Alexander Arnold’s attacking threat has often helped him crush the criticism surrounding his questionable defending. However, those statistics cannot bail him out this season as he has only scored once and provided zero assists in six Premier League games.
The full-back is the heart and soul of Liverpool’s creative engine, as evidenced by his 44 league assists in his last four Premier League campaigns.
Hence, Liverpool need their 23-year-old maestro to fire on all engines again this season before he comes under more scrutiny. Alexander-Arnold has the potential to get back to his best, but only time will tell whether he does so this season.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo
After a summer filled with transfer speculation, Cristiano Ronaldo remained at Old Trafford at the end of deadline day. However, he is not the main man at Manchester United anymore.
Erik Ten Hag’s methods have seen the team come together as a whole and achieve results rather than relying on the individual brilliance of some stars. Although Ronaldo is also a team player to a large extent, the team is no longer catering to fit him into the system.
This has seen the Portuguese international start a single Premier League game out of his five league appearances so far. However, he has not been able to contribute to a single goal in any of them.
While his performances have been encouraging at times, his strengths are not necessarily honed in the current setup. But it is worth noting that Ronaldo remains a huge attacking presence, purely due to his goal-scoring prowess.
Hence, once Man United turn into a possession-based team, they will need their talisman’s serial presence and efficiency in the box to break teams that hold a low block. Ronaldo will also have to adapt similarly if he hopes to even score half of last season’s Premier League goal tally (18) this season.