Tottenham's Pau Lopez and Son Heung-min during training
By their very nature, every single signing is a risk. Will they adapt to a new league? Will they fit into the tactical approach of the manager? Will they cope with a language barrier?
Therefore, for every N’Golo Kante there’s, well, this lot.
Leicester can’t say they weren’t warned. From the utterly unsuitable Kleberson at Manchester United to the spitting scoundrel El-Hadji Diouf at Liverpool, the list of unsuccessful post-tournament signings should have made Claudio Ranieri think twice before he plucked 19-year-old winger Kapustka from his homeland on the back of a promising Euro 2016 performance against Northern Ireland.
As yet, the teenager wideman is yet to be seen in a Leicester City shirt, with Ranieri stating back in October that he wasn’t ready for Premier League life. Two months later, nothing has changed apparently.
Pau Lopez – Tottenham Hotspur
Mid-level Spanish outfits a la Espanyol have grown rather accustomed to having their prized assets stripped away on an annual basis. And, when Kiko Casilla departed to replace near-namesake Iker Casillas at Real Madrid, young shot-stopper Pau Lopez was ushered in between the sticks and never looked back.
However, the 22-year-old, an alleged upgrade on the seldom-seen Michel Vorm, has remained distinctly third choice at White Hart Lane since arriving on an increasingly questionable loan deal in the summer.
According to Sport, Mauricio Pochettino is ready to refuse any offers from interested parties, such is his determination to develop Lopez long-term. Which means he will definitely play. One day. Probably.
Jonathan Calleri – West Ham United
About a year ago, Italian giants Inter and Juventus were reportedly ready to go toe-to-toe for the signature of Argentina’s next great goal machine. These days, Calleri has done very little to justify the early hype, looking distinctly more Ignacio Scocco than Sergio Aguero in his fleeting appearances in claret and blue. The Sun claimed recently that West Ham are determined to cut short his loan spell and shovel him away to Sevilla as quickly as possible. Which would be understandable.
The man who shot to stardom with a sensational 20-yard Rabona back in his native Argentina has been nowhere to be seen so far.
It’s just what Watford do. Like a kid on Fifa Career Mode, everyone is a target for the Pozzo family. So much so that they’ve bought three separate football clubs to house their endless array of signings. And while the vast majority have rapidly disappeared into obscurity over the last couple of years, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect Kenedy to be one of the few to, you know, actually wear the Watford shirt on a semi-regular basis.
As it is, the young Brazilian who impressed in his cameo appearances for Chelsea last season, featured in only 15 minutes of Premier League action under Walter Mazzarri before returning to Stamford Bridge in December.
Patrick Bamford - Burnley
Remember him? The Championship’s Player of the Year in 2014/15? It’s fair to say Burnley fans probably don’t. After all, the 23-year-old’s 32 minutes of Premier League action have yielded a grand total of zero goals. That, for the record, is exactly the same tally as he mustered on similarly forgettable loans at Crystal Palace and Norwich.
An inevitable return to Stamford Bridge beckons where first-team football is hardly going to be much easier to come by.
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