The summer of 2023 witnessed its fair share of high-profile incoming and outgoing transfers in the Premier League.
While clubs were eager to strengthen their squads with strategic acquisitions, not every outgoing transfer proved to be a masterstroke.
We have cast a critical eye towards the summer window, analysing several departures that have done more harm than good for the respective clubs involved.
Here are our top five worst outgoing transfers of 2023 in the Premier League.
David De Gea – Manchester United to free agent
It’s no secret that David De Gea’s departure from Manchester United last summer didn’t resonate with a large chunk of the club faithful.
Andre Onana, who replaced the Spaniard, has been on the receiving end of relentless criticism this season for a handful of below-par performances.
The Cameroon international has sabotaged United on several occasions, particularly in the Champions League, where the Red Devils failed to qualify from the initial phase after finishing bottom of their group.
Despite Onana’s recurring blunders and mishaps, the ex-Inter Milan shot-stopper tops the chart for most clean sheets in the Premier League this season.
Nonetheless, many people feel the £45 million spent on Onana could have been more wisely utilised to reinforce other areas of the squad.
Iliman Ndiaye – Sheffield United to Olympique Marseille
After firing Sheffield United to the Premier League with 14 goals and ten assists in 46 Championship outings, much was expected from Iliman Ndiaye in the top flight.
Envisioned as a key figure in United’s survival ambitions, Ndiaye’s departure to Olympique Marseille during the summer dealt a massive blow to the club’s prospects.
United have certainly felt the impact of his departure, with goals now a rare commodity at the club, having scored just 15 goals in 20 games – the lowest tally in the Premier League this season.
The silver lining for United is that Ndiaye has struggled to adapt to life in France, but the void left by his goalscoring prowess is undeniable, and they could use someone of his skillset to bolster their chances of survival.
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur to Bayern Munich
There is the supposition that Tottenham Hotspur are playing a better and more eye-catching brand of football without their record goalscorer Harry Kane, who joined Bayern Munich in the summer.
While there’s an element of truth to those sentiments, losing a player of Kane’s profile represents a massive blow to Spurs, who have had to rely on Heung-min Son and Richarlison for goals.
Spurs kicked off the campaign as title contenders, but a drop in form has seen them plummet to fifth place, although they’re just one point off the top four.
Ange Postecoglou has pioneered a revolution at Tottenham, but there’s no telling what could have been for Spurs if the Australian was given a chance to work with a goalscoring and creative phenom like Kane.
Granit Xhaka – Arsenal to Bayer Leverkusen
Since switching Arsenal for Bayer Leverkusen last summer, Granit Xhaka has become a vital cog in Xabi Alonso’s side that is on course to dethrone Bayern at the pinnacle of the Bundesliga.
Xhaka played a crucial role in Arsenal’s title challenge last term, but not enough to earn a new and improved contract from the club hierarchy.
Arsenal spent £60 million to replace Xhaka with ex-Chelsea flop Kai Havertz, who has proven to be a downgrade for the Gunners with five goals in 28 games this season.
Arsenal’s midfield have sorely missed a player of Xhaka’s profile – someone willing to do the dirty work in the middle of the park while contributing to both attack and defence effectively.
Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City to Barcelona
Ilkay Gundogan was an unsung hero of Manchester City’s treble-winning campaign, notching 11 goals and seven assists in 51 appearances across all competitions.
The German maestro was the perfect link between midfield and attack, and his late runs into the box were a potent weapon for Pep Guardiola.
City have missed someone of Gundogan’s profile, a player that offers fluidity and control in the middle of the park with Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes struggling to assert themselves in the team.
Perhaps the Cityzens can take some respite from the fact that the German international hasn’t overperformed for Barcelona amid issues with Xavi Hernandez.
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