The 2022-23 campaign has already seen a number of players hit the ground running and have impressed early on in the season. However, some players will look to right the wrongs of their previous campaigns by performing to their potential this season.
Some players often do not adjust to the new surroundings of a new league or a new country, and are later labeled as flops. But there is a new beginning for everybody. Some of these individuals have a chance to turn their careers around this season, especially after sealing a move away from their former clubs.
On that note, let’s take a look at five flops who could revive their careers this season.
#5 Luka Jovic
Luka Jovic has not enjoyed his time on the football field ever since he decided to leave Eintracht Frankfurt to join Real Madrid for €60 million in 2019.
The striker only managed 51 appearances for Los Blancos and only scored thrice while providing five assists during that period.
With Karim Benzema still the top dog at the Santiago Bernabeu, Jovic could never carve a place for himself in the squad. However, not all is lost for the Serbian, who left the 14-time Champions League winners to join Fiorentina this summer.
The Italian side lost Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus earlier this year and have now replaced him with Jovic. The Serbia international might not have hit the ground running but his performances have been encouraging. Despite only scoring once in six Serie A appearances so far, the striker has looked threatening in counter-attacking situations.
Similarly, his pace and work off the ball is a useful asset for a side that does not excel at keeping possession for long periods of the game. Moreover, the limelight shall also not be on Jovic anymore, which will allow him to find his feet again. This season could be a turning point for the centre-forward, especially since he still has time on his side.
#4 Riqui Puig
Riqui Puig was one of the few players that Xavi decided to let go from his Barcelona squad this summer and many were confused by the youngster’s departure.
The Spaniard decided to join LA Galaxy and will now look to prove his mettle in the United States of America. Although the MLS is not a European league, some of the top clubs in Europe will be keeping an eye on the Spanish midfielder. His performances at Barcelona were well above average and he does possess the smooth touch and passing abilities of any La Masia graduate.
Additionally, Puig is likely to punch above his weight in the MLS by utilizing his talent and experience of playing in La Liga. Hence, this seems like the perfect platform for the player to revive his career before playing at a top European club again.
#3 Timo Werner
Timo Werner is bound to make this list following his impressive start to the 2022-23 campaign with RB Leipzig.
The striker, who left Leipzig to join Chelsea for £45 million in 2020, returned this summer after two uneventful years at the English club. Werner did win multiple trophies, including the Champions League, during that period but hardly contributed statistically to those triumphs.
The German ace only managed to score 23 times and provided 21 assists in 89 appearances for the Premier League side in all competitions.
However, he has looked at home since his return to Leipzig as he has already scored four goals and provided three assists in nine appearances across all competitions. With the German still having plenty of fight & pace in him, he could use this season to get back to his very best.
#2 Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard has blown hot and cold ever since he was promoted to the first-team squad at Manchester United nearly a decade ago.
While he often played under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rarely favored the England international. This led to Lingard going away on loan to West Ham United in January 2021. He performed splendidly for the Hammers in the second half of the 2021-22 season, bagging nine goals and five assists in 16 games.
However, the attacking midfielder stayed put at Old Trafford last season and ran down his contract before joining Nottingham Forest on a free transfer this summer.
The versatile forward now has a chance to prove himself by becoming the main man in the newly-promoted side. Although Lingard has not produced any goal contributions in the six games he has played so far, he could grow into his role at the club.
But with the player turning 30 in December, this might be Lingard’s last chance to make something of his career. The England star has a lot of potential and talent and is a seasoned Premier League player. He could use this experience to guide a relatively inexperienced team before he hangs up his boots.
#1 Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku’s club record £9.5 million move to Chelsea from Inter Milan last summer was expected to propel the Blues to their first Premier League title in five years.
Despite starting brightly for the west London club, it all ended in anarchy for the Belgium international. His interview with Sky Italy in December 2021, featuring him talking about a return to Inter Milan, did not go down well with Chelsea.
Lukaku also struggled to find form in the second half of the campaign and was often overlooked by Thomas Tuchel during the big games. Hence, he sealed a loan move back to Inter Milan this summer.
Lukaku has only scored once in three Serie A appearances so far and has struggled with injuries. It is worth noting that during his two seasons at the Italian club, he scored 64 times in 95 appearances across all competitions. Hence, the player can certainly find some good form again alongside a group of players that play to his strengths.
But Lukaku will have to revive his career this season. Otherwise, a loan back to Inter next season could be hard to negotiate. If he does not fall into Graham Potter’s plans at Chelsea, it could be back to square one for the striker.