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Worst European Team of the Season so far

Jacque Talbot
Mount and Bonucci
© ProShots

With everyone typically focused on a single league, FootballTransfers has decided to utilise the collective expertise of its staff and come up with the worst XI across Europe’s top-five leagues.

It’s been no easy task, and we’re sure you’re not going to agree with all of our choices.

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We have chosen each name based on the criteria of how much they have plummeted in form, their cost and salary, as well as their form so far this season.

Of course, there is still half a season to go yet but these are the names that have come up short in the 2023/24 season so far.

GK: Andre Onana (Man Utd)

Andre Onana is finally finding his feet with Manchester United, so his inclusion might seem a bit harsh. But there is simply no getting away from the fact he is ultimately the biggest reason that the club fell out of the Champions League.

The former Inter goalkeeper has pulled off some brilliant saves and it’s clear his ability on a ball is top-notch, but that just does not cut it when you’re also letting in easy goals and even costing your team games. It’s happened several times for Onana, too.

Andre Onana
© ProShots – Andre Onana

RB: Vitinho (Burnley)

Burnley has emerged as one of the most significant letdowns in the current Premier League season. Following their triumphant journey to the Championship title in the previous season, during which they showcased captivating football under Vincent Kompany, expectations were high.

And yet the Clarets find themselves entrenched in the relegation zone. A number of players have failed to hit the heights but in particular, right-back Vitinho, who looks a shadow of his former self. The former Brazil youth international has displayed vulnerability in defense and a lack of impact going forward.

CB: Leonardo Bonucci (Union Berlin)

Leonardo Bonucci has struggled at Union Berlin, being one of the worst defensive performers of the season so far. It’s thought he is already looking for a way out.

The ex-captain of Juventus sparked significant controversy among the Roma fanbase amid rumors connecting him to a potential transfer to the Giallorossi, with his agents meeting with reps of the club.

But after learning that Bonucci’s representatives pulled out the club’s supporters conveyed their displeasure by displaying a message targeting the seasoned defender in the heart of Rome on Via Ostiense.

“Bonucci, rinse our balls,” it read.

CB: Jules Kounde (Barcelona)

There are plenty of worse players at centre-back than Jules Kounde this season but Xavi’s adamance to play him in the middle has presented several problems.

The Frenchman excelled as a right-back last season, establishing himself as one of the world’s best in that role while also contributing significantly in offensive aspects.

Kounde himself claimed that his best position is down the middle. Xavi chose him there for his campaign but he’s been poor. The defender struggles in one-on-one duels in central areas and has committed several costly mistakes during crucial moments. Given just how capable he, it means a place in the worst XI so far.

Jules Kounde
© ProShots – Jules Kounde

LB: Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Dortmund)

Ramy Bensebaini joined Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer over the summer. But despite having over four years left on his deal, he could be on the way out. He’s been one of the standout worst performers in Germany this season.

He even talked up a move to Man Utd recently. “It’s always been my goal to progress and go as far as possible. That’s why I always try to choose clubs bigger than the ones I was at,” Bensebaini told La Gazette du Fennec.

“As long as my body and my legs can run, my goal is to progress. For Manchester United, we’ll see. I’m starting to get old. I’m nearly 30 years old.

CM: Sandro Tonali (Newcastle)

What a start for Sandro Tonali for Newcastle – his goal against Aston Villa set the way for a 5-1 win. His subsequent displays were up and down, some decent showers along with some poor ones.

You can only sympathise with what Tonali is going through, but it has to be said that Newcastle, stricken by FFS, have effectively ruined their campaign by choosing to sign him. He is banned from playing until next season, causing a huge loss for the club that was looking to build on their successes the season prior.

CM: Mason Mount (Man Utd)

Mason Mount’s displays this season have not done much to dispel doubts surrounding his £60million move from Chelsea.

He has faced two injuries since joining Old Trafford, but even when he has played, Mount has bene ineffective, with games often unfolding without his significant impact. He has certainly fallen short of the transformative player he was intended to be.

Perhaps the allure of the Euros 2024 could put a spring in his step heading into next year, but it would take a run of course first.

CM (Chelsea)

Enzo Fernandez has failed to live up to expectations following his move from Benfica last winter. The idea was that one of the best players in his position would come and develop at Stamford Bridge, but in both this season and last, he’s been appalling.

The youngster is still not up to scratch with Conor Gallagher being the one who has helped the Blues take control of the midfielder. At this point, it’s not clear what his future holds.

RW: Antony (Man Utd)

Antony has been so bad that it could be argued he almost cost Erik ten Hag his job this season. The Brazilian has not scored a competitive goal since April, nor has he provided a single assist in the 1,176 minutes of football he’s played so far in all competitions this season.

He is Man Utd’s second-most expensive player of all-time and he sometimes looks like the Championship would be more his level, while the numbers back it up, too. Undoubtedly his confidence is shot but even if he ups gears by several pegs it’s not nearly enough to what Man Utd needs – Rasmus Hojlund has suffered as a result, while his predecessor, Anthony Elanga, has been flying at Nottingham Forest.

Antony
© ProShots – Antony

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)

Robert Lewandowski may now be scratching his head at the decision to depart Bayern Munich for Barcelona last year. It was a move he forced, believing that he wanted a new challenge, and a chance to add to his trophy collection.

In his inaugural campaign, the Poland captain scored 33 goals in 46 matches. But this time around, he has found the net just nine times in 21 games. He has found the net outside of La Liga on just one occasion and is now linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League in the summer. Barcelona, who are financially strapped, may well look to cash in.

LW: Randal Kolo Muani (PSG )

The 2022 World Cup brought Randal Kolo Muani to public attention. In Germany, he was already tearing it up with a handful of goal contributions, but it was arguably his displays in Qatar that led to his move from Eintracht Frankfurt to Paris Saint-Germai for £64.2m plus £12.2m in add-ons.

Last season, the Frenchman netted 23 goals and provided 17 assists in 46 matches. But things have not gone as smoothly at the Parc des Princes, with eight goals and two assists in 22 games. Of course, it’s not a hard showing, but we must take into account the players the 25-year-old was supposed to be replacing.

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