The 9 worst Premier League signings of 2016/17 so far
Arguably only Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton can be said to have acted expertly in the summer window, with nearly all the remaining 16 teams all making costly mistakes. For those supporters hoping to see their side splash the cash this month, let this lot serve as a warning that spending big is no guarantee of success...
9. Sofiane Boufal (Lille to Southampton, £16m)
Southampton’s 23-year-old attacking midfielder has suffered two knee injuries in 2016/17, helping to explain his slow start under Claude Puel. The Moroccan has looked exciting in flashes – his match-winning performance against Middlesbrough in December springs to mind – but overall he's yet to hit his stride.
In some cases quite the opposite, in fact – his lacklustre display in Saints' 4-1 home defeat to Tottenham was described by Soccer Saturday's usually-neutral Jeff Stelling as "the most disgraceful performance by a professional footballer I think I've ever seen in my life".
Having had an operation on his knacked knee in May, Boufal spent four months on the treatment table and, worryingly, suffered an inflammation of the same area last week. His transfer from Lille will prove to be disastrous if injuries and an iffy attitude continue to trouble Saints' club-record signing.
8. Jordon Ibe (Liverpool to Bournemouth, £15m)
Eddie Howe has had to deal with a player who spends too much time with his head down, running blindly into cul-de-sacs
Bournemouth expected big things when they broke their transfer record to bring Ibe to the south coast for £15 million in July. At 20, the winger had already racked almost 60 first-team appearances for Liverpool, and the chance to play week in, week out would surely aid his development.
Within Anfield, though, there were concerns that his occasional flashes of technical quality weren't supported by an astute football brain. As such, Eddie Howe has had to deal with a player who spends too much time with his head down, running blindly into cul-de-sacs.
“He hasn’t been a regular in the team so that would be a disappointment for him and us,” Howe told the Bournemouth Echo after his side's FA Cup trouncing at Millwall this month. In 16 matches for the Cherries, Ibe has failed to record a single goal or assist.
7. Andros Townsend (Newcastle to Crystal Palace, £13m)
Townsend’s one-dimensional attacking play and defensive laziness have shown why Spurs fans were happy to see him leave
At the time, £13 million for Townsend looked like a smart piece of business. Alan Pardew’s wing-focused, counter-attacking Crystal Palace needed a speedy winger to ease the pressure on Wilfried Zaha, and the ex-Tottenham man's directness seemed to fit the bill.
However, after just one goal and one assist in 20 league games, Townsend’s one-dimensional attacking play and defensive laziness have shown why Spurs fans were happy to see him leave. According to reports, Sam Allardyce isn't a fan and could sanction his departure this month – back to Newcastle.