Premier League flops who looked great in pre-season: Nunez, Jesus and Richarlison will hope to avoid emulating Aspas and Ndombele after impressing in friendlies

    Premier League fans have been enjoying watching new signings as debate wrangles on about when is the earliest a player should be judged.

    Darwin Nunez scored FOUR times in a friendly win over RB Leipzig after doubts were expressed following successive blanks in his first two Liverpool games.

    Ndombele and Aspas both flopped after impressing in friendlies

    Ndombele and Aspas both flopped after impressing in friendlies

    “That’s the best way obviously to stop all these discussions,” reacted manager Jurgen Klopp, when asked about Nunez’s blistering display.

    Time will tell whether rival fans were right to doubt the Uruguayan forward or if it was ridiculous to judge a player on a game used primarily for fitness.

    But what’s for certain about these following players is that glittering performances in pre-season is not always enough for Premier League gold…

    Iago Aspas

    Firstly, someone Liverpool fans will be desperate Nunez does not emulate!

    While Aspas has since revived his career in Spain, his legacy in England remains the architect of one of the worst corners in Premier League history…

    But it was hard to envisage that the striker would only last one solitary season at Anfield after scoring four times in his first pre-season at Liverpool following an £9million move from Celta Vigo in 2013.

    However, Aspas was then forced to wait until January for his one competitive goal for the club – in a 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup.

    Aspas managed just one goal during the 2013/14 season for Liverpool

    Getty

    Aspas managed just one goal during the 2013/14 season for Liverpool

    Tanguy Ndombele

    Tottenham’s record signing got off to an impressive start as he grabbed an assist with his first touch in a Spurs shirt against Juventus in 2019.

    And it looked as if Ndombele could carry over that form into the Premier League as he scored on his debut during a 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

    But the demands of English football soon caught up with the midfielder, whose last appearance for Tottenham saw him booed off the pitch during an FA Cup clash against Morecambe in January.

    Ndombele, 25, spent the second half of last season on loan at Lyon and did not travel with Spurs for their pre-season tour of South Korea.

    Unfortunately for Tottenham, one of their previous club record signings followed a similar pattern as Roberto Soldado scored on his pre-season debut in 2013.

    The striker followed that up with another goal on his Premier League bow, but only managed another SIX in the next two seasons.

    Ndombele has failed to impress Conte

    getty

    Ndombele has failed to impress Conte

    Andreas Pereira

    Bizarrely, the midfielder has had so many false dawns ahead of new seasons that Manchester United fans dubbed him the ‘pre-season Pirlo’.

    Pereira will now be desperate to shed that moniker after sealing a £13m switch to Fulham, having never quite made the grade at Old Trafford.

    The 26-year-old managed just 75 appearances for the Red Devils after joining back in 2011, being shunted on loan four times.

    But upon every return to United, Pereira seemed to shine in pre-season, with his most memorable contribution being a stunning volley against Brentford last summer.

    Andreas Pereira was the star of many pre-season showdowns for United

    getty

    Andreas Pereira was the star of many pre-season showdowns for United

    Yaya Sanogo

    The former Arsenal striker has now been without a club for over a year after his short-term contract at Huddersfield ended.

    And it’s almost been a decade since Sanogo played alongside Paul Pogba and Lucas Digne in France’s Under-20 World Cup win in 2013.

    He then secured a dream move to Arsenal and had fans expectant after smashing in four goals in a 2014 Emirates Cup win over Benfica.

    But the 29-year-old only managed to play 20 times over four years for Arsenal, scoring just once albeit in a Champions League game.

    Yaya Sanogo scored his first competitive goal for Arsenal in his 19th game for the club

    Getty

    Yaya Sanogo scored his first competitive goal for Arsenal in his 19th game for the club

    Franco Di Santo

    The Argentine seemed destined to make the grade at Chelsea after being included in the club’s pre-season tour of China in 2008.

    Di Santo had impressed Luiz Felipe Scolari with 12 goals in eight reserve team appearances and then took his form into the Far East as well.

    The now-33-year-old scored twice on Chelsea’s tour but then managed eight forgettable league appearances without finding the net the next season.

    Di Santo’s Premier League dreams ended in 2013 with his record across spells with the Blues, Blackburn and Wigan standing at 14 goals in 122 games!

    Franco Di Santo failed to start a game for Chelsea

    Franco Di Santo failed to start a game for Chelsea

    Jerome Boateng

    The World Cup and two-time Champions League winner may never have found his feet at Manchester City but he did still show flashes of class.

    After arriving for £10.4m from Hamburg in 2010, Boateng was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Valencia in pre-season.

    He showed off his versatility in playing both centrally and right-back while he even registered an assist after crossing for Gareth Barry to score.

    But injuries and disagreements with City manager Roberto Mancini prevented him starring in the Premier League and he joined Bayern Munich after one year in England.

    Boateng combined effectively with Micah Richards in defence during that win over Valencia

    Getty

    Boateng combined effectively with Micah Richards in defence during that win over Valencia

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