Three Players Who Are Chasing Redemption This Season
With the new Premier League season only two weeks away, players are regaining fitness and are keen to face the season ahead.
Some players are looking to pick up where they left off last season while others push to become first-team regulars. These three players, in particular, are eager to reclaim their status in the eyes of fans and pundits alike.
Arguably the easiest inclusion in this list, Richarlison made a huge £60 million move to Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season.
Before that, the Brazilian striker joined Everton in July 2018 where he became a much-loved fan favourite.
Alongside becoming Everton’s joint top-scorer in both of his first two seasons, his cheeky antics on the pitch warmed him to the fans and he gained a reputation for his use of the ‘dark arts’ of the sport.
During his spell at the Toffees, Richarlison made 153 appearances, scoring 53 goals and assisting 13 times for the club.
Despite reported interest from Real Madrid and Chelsea, the striker stayed put and helped Everton survive relegation in the 2021/22 Premier League season, before taking his well-earned leave to pursue a chance at playing European football and winning a trophy.
However, due to some unfortunate injuries, ruling him out for a total of 59 days in the space of four months, Richarlison had to endure a tough year trying to break into Spurs’ first team and provide the level of contribution that made him so loved at Everton.
In the 2022/23 Premier League season, he averaged just 37 minutes per match, starting only 12 games and managing one goal and three assists.
Suffice it to say, Spurs fans and neutrals alike questioned his reliability and mocked a running theme of offside goals with his bit-part contributions leading some to dub him the ‘Flop of the Season’.
However, there was cause for optimism as Richarlison showed promise at the 2022 Qatar World Cup where he scored three goals, including a beautiful bicycle kick against Serbia.
Spurs fans will be hoping he can stay fit to add depth to their squad and regain his Everton form.
Another controversial figure looking to redeem himself this season is Harry Maguire.
Quite the divisive figure amongst fans, the England international and ex-Manchester United club captain has been on a gradual downfall since EURO 2020.
At the start of 2020, he was granted club captaincy by then-manager, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer. He was also considered an England favourite, being backed numerous times by national manager Gareth Southgate.
The downfall began with a legal scandal that saw Maguire arrested and charged for assaulting police officers and resisting arrest in the summer of 2020.
He was given a suspended sentence and began focusing once more on his football, but he couldn’t find respite there either.
Over the past few seasons, the centre-back has faced a plethora of criticisms and has been ridiculed by fans and pundits for countless fundamental mistakes during matches and has even fired back at fans during goal celebrations and statements during interviews.
Despite frequent criticism, and even losing his club captaincy for the upcoming season, Maguire has taken it on the chin and is hard at work during pre-season to improve and fight for his spot.
Whether he stays at United or moves elsewhere, he’s sure to put in the effort this season to prove his doubters wrong and show why Manchester United bought him in the first place and why he is a regular in the England defence.
Rounding off the list is Belgian international and Everton starlet Amadou Onana.
Brought in for a reported £33 million at the start of the 2022/23 season by Frank Lampard, the young midfielder made a bright start to life on Merseyside.
However, fans have been unable to warm to Onana with many claiming he doesn’t contribute enough to the side and is failing to show any potential.
With a new season comes the chance for players to reset and put in the work and place their mark.
With Everton needing squad depth and especially with Sean Dyche’s statement on pushing the club towards an emphasis on pace, power and energy, Onana has the stage to show Everton fans exactly why Frank Lampard forked out such a high transfer fee to secure his signature.
With Everton needing squad depth, versatility and ability on the pitch, Onana is primed to take a big step up and provide some much-needed quality to the team.
He is tall, strong, athletic and possesses a light touch and great dribbling ability.
If he can improve his defensive positioning, concentration and his decision-making in the final third of the pitch, he stands to break through as one of the stars of the season.
However, Chelsea and Arsenal have reportedly shown interest in the youngster since January 2023, so whether he stays at Everton or moves is yet to be seen.
One thing is for sure, Onana has criticism to overcome at a young age and this season we will see how determined he is to prove people wrong.