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Emerging stars or shadows of the past?

Throughout the 2017/18 season, plenty of star players disappointed after they were expected to perform at a much higher level. These players are being given a second chance this season in order to redeem themselves for their new clubs and remove all of the negative tags that they received during last season.

Alexis Sanchez (12 league appearances and 2 goals)

The Chilean hero had a very underwhelming second half of the season in 17/18, as once he joined Manchester United his end product seemed to die out. He constantly worked to get the ball, but once he did get it, he rarely produced anything of note. For a large part of the season, fans were signalling for him to be dropped in order to make room for Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford, yet Mourinho stood by him and continued to use him as one of his main attacking players. However, Sanchez has had a very good preseason with the club so far, scoring a couple of goals and assisting another, as he is on course to prove to the Manchester United faithful that he is worthy of wearing the legendary number seven shirt.

Alvaro Morata (31 league appearances and 11 goals)

Morata started off very brightly for the Blues, scoring plenty of goals in the first few months of the season, yet that form soon died out. His finishing was often suspicious, as most of his goals came with his head rather than with his feet. As his form worsened, Conte started to utilise Eden Hazard as his main striker, and after the transfer of Olivier Giroud in January, Morata's hopes of getting back in the first eleven were minimal. He has recently put to bed several rumours suggesting that he will leave Stamford Bridge, saying that everything is perfect at the club, and that he will look to kick on and have a good season.

Andre Silva (24 league appearances and 2 goals)

The young Portuguese international had a torrid first season at AC Milan, often having to content with a place on the bench in the league. Whenever he came on, he did not have that much time to make his mark on the scoreline, yet there were glimpses of his brilliance. Once Patrick Cutrone started to flourish, the Portuguese striker's chances of cracking into the first eleven looked even glimmer. However, whilst he was disappointing in the league, he did well in the Europa League, scoring an impressive 8 goals in 14 appearances, suggesting that when he is given the chance from the start, he will do his job.

Tiemoue Bakayoko (29 league appearances, 2 goals, 2 assists and 1 red card)

Bakayoko proved to be one of the worst signings of the season, in what was a truly disappointing summer transfer window for Chelsea. Many thought the defensive midfielder would shine for the Blues and be the one to accompany N'golo Kante in midfield, yet they were very wrong. He was constantly caught on the ball, played lots of misplaced passes and was often reckless when going into challenges. Overall, the French midfielder was stripped off of his place in the first eleven and he did not even get a glimpse of Premier League football for a while. While he may have had one of the worst seasons one can have, he will be keen to put everything from last season behind him and instead be the midfield partner to drive Chelsea back into the Champions League.

Nikola Kalinic (31 league appearances and 6 goals)

The Croatian endured a truly horrific season with AC Milan. For the amount of playing time that he had in the league, his tally of just 6 goals is dreadful, especially with the quality chances that his teammates created for him. He was often booed by his own fans, and he often made mistakes that lost the Rossoneri the whole game. His negative attitude was carried on in the World Cup, when he was sent back home after the first match, as he did not want to come on for Croatia. While it is extremely likely that he will not be with AC Milan next season, he must still show the world that he is capable of repeating his previous goal-haul for Fiorentina for another season.

Davy Klaassen (7 league appearances and 0 goals)

With Everton putting plenty of faith in Ronald Koeman in the transfer market last summer, the Dutch manager wanted to bring in a familiar player to his side, former Ajax captain Davy Klaassen. Klaassen had impressed with Ajax and the Netherlands, but he did not repeat the same form for Everton. Klaassen started in the first eleven during Koeman's reign in the club, yet with plenty of turmoil in the Everton management, the changing of managers did not help the midfielder, as he was edged out of the team immediately, not appearing for the side in a very, very long time. He has managed to get a move away from the Premier League, as he has joined Werder Bremen, yet it is unclear whether he will manage to pick up the form he had in the Eredivisie.

Renato Sanches (12 league appearances and 0 goals)

The Euro 2016 star was sent out on loan to Swansea City by Bayern Munich for the 2017/18 season in order to gain some first team appearances and mature. However, Sanches did everything but mature and work for the appearances. He looked slow and reckless on the ball, often giving the ball away to the opposition. The Portuguese international's form and constant injury problems symbolised Swansea's torrid season, as they were relegated from the Premier League. Even after the horrible time he had in Wales, Bayern Munich are looking to keep the midfielder in order to gain some experience at the club, but it will be up to him to determine whether he deserves to be at such a prestigious club or not.

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