Richarlison, Antony, Brenden Aaronson & the 21 most disappointing Premier League signings of the 2022-23 season - ranked

Premier League Disappointing Signings GFX
GOAL ranks the most underwhelming Premier League transfers of the campaign after record-breaking spending by English clubs

When it comes to transfers, it was a truly remarkable year in the Premier League, as spending across the division reached never-before-seen levels. It wasn't just the usual suspects who splashed the cash, either, with the likes of Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves going big, too.

Indeed, Premier League clubs obliterated the previous record for expenditure across two outrageous transfer windows; £2.1 billion ($2.6bn) was splurged in the summer alone, with that figure rising to £2.8bn ($3.5bn) in January as Chelsea in particular went on a shopping spree.

But with such a phenomenal amount of money spent, there has inevitably been some big misses among the hoard of incoming transfers. Below, GOAL ranks the 21 most disappointing Premier League transfers of 2022-23...

  1. Lucas Paqueta (West Ham, £51m)
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    #21 Lucas Paqueta (West Ham, £51m)

    The jury is out on whether Paqueta will be a success at West Ham, but what is certain is that you expect more from a player who could end up costing as much as £51m ($63m). The Brazil international has contributed four league goals, but has only showed anything close to his best form towards the end of the season having finally adapted to the Premier League after moving into a deep-lying midfield role.

  2. Brenden Aaronson (Leeds, £25m)
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    #20 Brenden Aaronson (Leeds, £25m)

    Aaronson made a fast start to life at Leeds following his £25m ($30m) transfer from Red Bull Salzburg, but his season tailed off somewhat and he found himself completely out of favour under Sam Allardyce in the run-in.

    Although the United States international was always an energetic presence and willing runner, more would have been expected from him than just one goal and three assists given the outlay Leeds made on signing him.

  3. Matheus Cunha (Wolves, £44m)
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    #19 Matheus Cunha (Wolves, £44m)

    If you'd looked at Cunha's stats at Atletico Madrid, expectation might not have been too high for his January move to Wolves. However, struggling in the Premier League at the time, the Midlands club turned to the Brazilian forward in their desperate search for goals.

    Despite a turnaround in their fortunes under Julen Lopetegui, Cunha hasn't contributed all that much - scoring just twice and generally flattering to deceive. Despite that, it has been suggested that he has met the requirements for his initial loan move to be made permanent at what looks a hefty price.

  4. Paul Onuachu (Southampton, £18.6m)

    #18 Paul Onuachu (Southampton, £18.6m)

    A signing that is yet to pay off for Southampton after they tried in vain to save themselves from relegation. Onuachu caught the Saints' eye as he rattled in 17 goals in the first half of the season for Genk in Belgium, but the striker was unable to translate that form to the Premier League when he mad the switch to St. Mary's in January, failing to score a single goal as Southampton went down.

  5. Darwin Nunez (Liverpool, £85m)
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    #17 Darwin Nunez (Liverpool, £85m)

    It was a strange season for Nunez, certainly failing to live up to his massive £85m ($107m) potential transfer fee, yet still scoring 15 times for Liverpool and demonstrating that there is potential there for him to become an elite Premier League striker.

    Some glaring misses are certainly cause for concern, but he has endeared himself to the fans and is still young. After all, it was always going to take some time for him to adapt to English football.

  6. Georginio Rutter (Leeds, £35m)

    #16 Georginio Rutter (Leeds, £35m)

    Leeds hedged their bets by splurging a club-record £35m ($43m) on Hoffenheim prospect Rutter in January as they looked to stave off relegation, but the striker has so far failed to justify that lofty price tag.

    While he wasn't exactly prolific in Germany, Rutter has failed to scored in 10 Premier League appearances for the Whites, and has not even been given a chance off the bench during the final weeks of the season despite Leeds looking destined for relegation.

  7. Gianluca Scamacca (West Ham, £35.5m)

    #15 Gianluca Scamacca (West Ham, £35.5m)

    Landing Italy striker Scamacca for £35.5m ($44m) was considered to be a huge coup for a club the size of West Ham, but he has failed to hit the heights in east London. David Moyes' loyalty to Michail Antonio saw Scamacca's game time limited at first, and he struggled to find any goalscoring form before a season-ending knee injury.

  8. Anthony Gordon (Newcastle, £45m)
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    #14 Anthony Gordon (Newcastle, £45m)

    Gordon finally forced through the transfer he had been desperate to make back in January, but it hasn't exactly gone to plan for Everton's former 'star boy'. Despite costing a cool £45m ($56m), the winger has failed to nail down a starting place at Newcastle in the second half of the season and hasn't made a single goal contribution, even lashing out at loveable manager Eddie Howe after being substituted on one occasion.

  9. Goncalo Guedes (Wolves, £35m)
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    #13 Goncalo Guedes (Wolves, £35m)

    A relationship that started and ended so swiftly that you may not even know it happened. Wolves inexplicably splurged £35m ($44m) on the infamously inconsistent Guedes last summer, adding to their abundant Portuguese contingent. The forward scored just twice before being shipped off on loan to Benfica in January having failed to settle at Molineux.

  10. Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa, £17m)
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    #12 Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa, £17m)

    Having just about done enough to earn a permanent transfer from Barcelona in the summer, Coutinho was supposed to be a key figure for Villa. However, he continued to struggle to recapture his best form, only providing one assist and no goals in all competitions, and was absent from late February onwards following a muscle injury. Given what he is capable of, it was very much a sub-par campaign.

  11. Yves Bissouma (Tottenham, £25m)

    #11 Yves Bissouma (Tottenham, £25m)

    A player who was supposed to contribute to Spurs becoming serious contenders in 2022-23, Bissouma had looked a shadow of the player he was at Brighton before an ankle fracture caused further disruption to his season. Right now, Spurs will be glad that they only shelled out £25m ($30m) to land him.

  12. Raheem Sterling (Chelsea, £47.5m)
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    #10 Raheem Sterling (Chelsea, £47.5m)

    Landing a player of Sterling's pedigree and experience was seen as a real coup for Chelsea - especially for a relatively low fee from a Premier League rival. However, while he has been the Blues' best player in spells, Sterling has come nowhere close to matching the consistently high level he demonstrated at Manchester City, while uncharacteristic niggling injuries have also disrupted his campaign.

  13. Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea, £33m)
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    #9 Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea, £33m)

    The capture of Napoli stalwart Koulibaly was heralded as a marquee signing as Chelsea looked to replace Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, but he has often looked a shadow the defensive colossus that Serie A viewers were so accustomed to. A number of shaky displays and errors have led to talk that his future is already in doubt after a forgettable debut season at Stamford Bridge.

  14. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Chelsea, £12m)
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    #8 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Chelsea, £12m)

    It's been a nightmare season for Aubameyang; signed only to see the manager who wanted him, Thomas Tuchel, sacked a week later, before being ousted from the club's Champions League squad by Graham Potter when Chelsea didn't even have another recognised No.9.

    He barely played in the second half of the season, reflected in his paltry return of three goals in all competitions, and will be on his way again in the summer.

  15. Arthur Melo (Liverpool, loan)

    #7 Arthur Melo (Liverpool, loan)

    That's right, Arthur was at a Premier League club this season, not that you would have known it! His loan to Liverpool from Juventus has to go down as one of the worst in history, and he departs having made just two first-team appearances for the Reds, although surgery on a thigh injury earlier in the campaign didn't help his cause.

    The only reason Arthur doesn't feature higher on this list is because no-one truly expected this move to work out in the first place.

  16. Antony (Man Utd, £85m)
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    #6 Antony (Man Utd, £85m)

    How do you assess Antony's debut season at Manchester United? On the one hand, the winger seems to have adapted to the rigours of English football and has contributed eight goals, but on the other he hasn't come anywhere near justifying his £85m ($105m) price tag, struggling for consistency, frustrating with his end product and only demonstrating his enormous talent in flashes.

    After a fast start, the goals dried up, and he and United would have expected a better return than just two league assists, but - like Liverpool's Nunez - he is still young and will surely improve.

  17. Jesse Lingard (Nottingham Forest, free)

    #5 Jesse Lingard (Nottingham Forest, free)

    Among the raft of new signings at Forest last summer, Lingard's name leapt out as the newly-promoted side demonstrated their ambition and desire to stay in the top flight by snaring the sought-after free agent after he departed Manchester United.

    Despite signing a relegation-proof one-year contract worth £120,000 per week, Lingard barely featured after a hamstring injury at the start of 2023, having rarely shown his best form and seemingly lost the trust of his manager Steve Cooper.

    With his unusually short contract now over, Lingard is set to find himself in the transfer wilderness again this summer.

  18. Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea, £88.5m)

    #4 Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea, £88.5m)

    Mudryk was supposed to be a game-changing arrival for Chelsea as they pipped Arsenal to his signature in January after his explosive Champions League performances for Shakhtar Donetsk saw his stock rise exponentially over the summer. However, he has found the going tough since arriving in England, struggling to justify his £88.5m ($110m) price tag.

    To give him the benefit of the doubt, the winger hadn't played since November when he arrived at Stamford Bridge, and the step up from the Ukrainian league to the Premier League was always likely to be tough. Nevertheless, it's been underwhelming.

  19. Kalvin Phillips (Man City, £42m)
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    #3 Kalvin Phillips (Man City, £42m)

    It was a strange and mightily underwhelming season for Phillips, who went from making a dream transfer to a top-six club to being called overweight by his own manager. A shoulder problem disrupted the start of his season and he never truly came back from that, with his first Premier League start for the club not coming until May when the title was already wrapped up.

    Remarkably, it's possible he's already playing his final games for the club having failed to earn Pep Guardiola's trust.

  20. Marc Cucurella (Chelsea, £63m)

    #2 Marc Cucurella (Chelsea, £63m)

    As a full-back, it was always going to be difficult for Cucurella to live up to his huge £63m ($79m) price tag when he swapped Brighton for Chelsea. However, an alarming dip in performances has brought that fee into sharp focus.

    Although he hasn't made any glaring individual errors, Cucurella's defensive positioning and physicality have been called into question, and with Chelsea struggling throughout the campaign, he has been unable to replicate the attacking threat we saw from him last season on the south coast.

  21. Richarlison (Tottenham, £60m)

    #1 Richarlison (Tottenham, £60m)

    It feels like a long time ago now since everyone was raving about Tottenham's 2022-23 summer transfer window. With Antonio Conte at the helm, Spurs were expected to be serious title contenders having added Bissouma, Cristian Romero and £60m ($75m) Richarlison to their ranks.

    The reality has been a far cry from that, and Richarlison has personified their struggles in what has been another chaotic season in N17. Despite becoming the second-most expensive signing in the club's history to much fanfare, Richarlison has just one Premier League goal to his name and has failed to nail down a starting place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.