Friday, June 2, 2023

West Ham United And Liverpool Stars Amongst Bundesliga Players Who Have Faltered In England

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

In our last article, we talked about three former Bundesliga players who were successful after moving to the Premier League, with the likes of Mesut Özil and Joel Matip featuring in the list. This time, however, let’s turn the tables and talk about three ex-Bundesliga players who failed miserably, on English soil. As the pressure of playing in the pronounced best league in the world, becomes seemingly immense, not everyone tends to live up to the billing and some fail more cynically than the others.

So without further ado, let’s begin the countdown!

3. Philipp Wollscheid – Stoke City

Wollscheid came to Stoke City in the summer of 2014 from Bayer Leverkusen, after struggling to find enough game time following the rise of Ömer Toprak(currently in Dortmund). He was mostly used as a backup defender in his first season in the Premier League, where he made only 12 appearances. That was, however, enough to convince the Potters to permanently sign the former Nürnberg defender for a fee of €3.5m, it was thought to be a bargain deal at that time.

However, what followed was certainly beyond expectations. Wollscheid completely failed to team up with partnering centre backs to form a solid foundation in the Stoke backline. He was then loaned out to VfL Wolfsburg, which made matters even worse for Wollscheid. The 28-year-old was largely ignored by then coach Valerien Ismael. In fact, left back Ricardo Rodriguez was preferred ahead of Wollscheid in the centre back position. The two time German International is once again back in the Premier League with Stoke City. It remains to see whether will he manage to reinvigorate his career as the new season beckons.

2. Loris Karius – Liverpool FC

Loris Karius’ poor show was perhaps one of the most unexpected things last season for Liverpool. The 24-old year arrived at the Merseyside being one of Bundesliga’s most promising goalkeepers, for a transfer fee of €6.2m from Bundesliga outfit Mainz.

But the former Manchester City reserves goalkeeper faltered terribly in the Premier League. He was given a handful number of chances in early stages of the season but Karius could only manage three clean sheets in a stretch of 10 consecutive Premier League outings, conceding 12 goals in the process. Since then, coach Jürgen Klopp had no second thoughts opting for often scrutinized, Simon Mignolet. Fortunately for Liverpool(and unfortunately for Loris Karius), Mignolet’s good form somehow managed to keep Karius out of the equation, with the latter only managing a few outings in the cup competitions.

1. Håvard Nordtveit – West Ham United 

A transfer story is basically incomplete without the inclusion of West Ham. The Hammers signed up Gladbach midfielder Håvard Nordtveit last summer for free.

Nordtveit was an important part of the Gladbach midfield at that time, as the departure forced the Foals to shell out about €15m for finding the replacement in Christoph Kramer. He was thought to be a great addition to Slaven Bilic’s troops. The Norwegian International made only 11 starting appearances for West Ham and struggled with pace and mobility throughout the season. Kouyate’s emergence also substantially limited Nordtveit’s first team appearances. He even had to play for West Ham reserves once.

That is, however, before he realized that he’s not Premier League material and made a move back to the Bundesliga with TSG Hoffenheim. The former Arsenal youngster could be a smart acquisition for Julian Nagelsmann as he tries to replace Sebastian Rudy.

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