The definitive list of the 20 worst players in the Premier League this season from Claudio Bravo to Vincent Janssen

We analysed data from the 2016/17 Premier League season to find the worst five players in each position on the pitch. Yes, Claudio Bravo appears among the twenty

Tuesday 23 May 2017 10:33 BST
Spoiler alert: Claudio Bravo features on this list
Spoiler alert: Claudio Bravo features on this list (Getty)

The end of the season is a time for celebration. A time to hand out the glittering Premier League trophy, to dish out the respective player of the year gongs, and for John Terry to impertinently hold up a professional match so that he can receive a few pats on the back. Go on, John!

But it is also a time for reflection. And as the players who have excelled should be celebrated, those who have underperformed and underwhelmed must be castigated in equal measure.

Naturally, many players turning out for clubs struggling at the foot of the table have played poorly. And with Premier League spending topping £1bn in the summer transfer window along in 2016, it was inevitable that a number of big-money signings were going to flop, too.

And yet, which Premier League players were the very worst this season? Who made Ricky van Wolfswinkel look like Ruud van Nistlerooy, and Bosko Balaban like David Beckham? Here we reveal the five worst top-flight players in each position.

But wait! Rather than compile a subjective list, we have analysed data from the football database WhoScored, who use a complex algorithm that feeds in multiple data points to spit out an individual player rating for every performance. From this we filtered out the lowest scorers in the league. Every player that had featured in more than 500 minutes of the Premier League this season was eligible for a spot on the list of shame.

And mother statistics does not care for petty allegiances or personal preferences. Only cool, hard data. So no complaining with the outcomes, please.


Asmir Begovic is statistically the worst keeper in the league according to the data. Which isn’t too much of a surprise, giving that he only appeared in two league games for Chelsea this season, and conceded five times. However, his total of 180 minutes means he’s spared his place in the above gallery.

It’s equally not too surprising to see Claudio Bravo take up his spot on the list of five worst shot-stoppers this season, largely owning to his dreadfully low average saves per match percentage. But he isn’t the worst keeper on the list.


Data analysis has more difficulty accurately reflecting the performance of defenders than any other position on the pitch, because so much of what makes a good defender – positioning, influence, communication – is at this stage impossible to quantify.

So, more full-backs appear lower down the list of WhoScored ratings than central-defenders. Also, defenders are penalised points for goals conceded, meaning many of the players on this list feature for clubs lower down the table.


Midfielders are judged on just about every facet of the game, meaning both defensive midfielders and traditional number tens and wingers crop up on this five-man list.

Perhaps harshly, the worst midfielder on this list is just 21-years-old and playing in his first ever season in England. But statistics do not care for petty human feelings. Deal with it.


Strikers are meant to score goals, and so the men in the shameful gallery above have all struggled to hit the target this season. No forward on the list has scored more than three times this league season. Obviously cup goals do not count.

But it’s not all about hitting the back of the net. It’s also about how you perform with your back to goal. With many Premier League teams playing systems with just one recognised striker in the starting line-up, it is also important for the modern forward to have a good aerial presence, a strong pass success rate and to embark on a few successful dribbles per game. None of the lads on this list managed particularly excelled in those areas.

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