There are several examples of teams who have spent huge amounts of money to sign players, only to barely use them in the starting line-up.
Ousmane Dembele has yet to settle at Barcelona, while Manchester City can’t offer Riyad Mahrez the role he had at Leicester City and Luka Jovic has yet to find playing time at Real Madrid.
MARCA present you some of the players, whose transfer costed more than 40 million euros, but they haven’t managed to establish themselves into their teams’ first XI.
Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona, 125 million euros from Borussia Dortmund)
The Frenchman has had his opportunities at Barcelona, but he hasn’t managed to find consistency.
Injuries were and still are his major issue, as he has yet to justify his price tag.
Following Antoine Griezmann’s arrival in the summer, he has featured in just three games in LaLiga Santander.
James Rodriguez (Real Madrid, 75 million euros from Monaco)
Although he came close to departing from Los Blancos this summer, the Colombia international stayed at the club, and Zinedine Zidane appeared to count on him at the start of the season.
His quality is undoubtable, along with his cultured left foot, but his physical condition remains a problem.
James has started four league games this season, but he hasn’t featured since the match against Real Mallorca.
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, 67 million euros from Leicester City)
With David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva ahead of him in Pep Guardiola’s pecking order, the Algerian has played only 458 minutes so far this season, starting in five games.
Joao Cancelo (Manchester City, 65 million euros from Juventus)
Guardiola admitted that Cancelo has struggled to settle in his new team and numbers confirm it, as he has featured in the starting line-up three times in the current campaign.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United, 60 million euros from Monaco)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t seem to count on him and he has barely played since the season kicked off, though that has also been down to injuries. He has scored three goals and has started five games.
Luka Jovic (Real Madrid, 60 million euros from Eintracht Frankfurt)
He arrived in the Spanish capital as the striker who would offer Real Madrid the goals that they had been missing since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, but he has only netted once and started three games so far.
Naby Keita (Liverpool, 60 million euros from RB Leipzig)
He hasn’t managed to recover his form since last season’s injury and has played 14 minutes in the league this season, as Jurgen Klopp favours midfielders such as Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Eder Militao (Real Madrid, 50 million euros from Porto)
He has started a couple of games, but the centre-back duo of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane appears inseparable for the moment.
Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid, 48 million euros from Lyon)
Zinedine Zidane gave him a spot in Los Blancos’ starting line-up on three occasions, but injuries haven’t help him to find consistency.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal, 47 million euros from Real Madrid)
He barely shows his quality on the pitch and this is one of the reasons why he has only featured in two league games so far this season.
Shkodran Mustafi’s case
There are several more players who, although their transfer exceeded 40 million euros, are not starting as regularly as their price tags would suggest they should.
Arsenal centre-back Mustafi joined the English club from Valencia for 41 million euros, but has yet to feature in the Premier League this season.
Meanwhile, Chelsea paid Borussia Dortmund 64 million euros for Christian Pulisic, who hasn’t settled in.
Nemanja Matic start Manchester United’s games on the bench despite the 44 million euro fee of his move from Chelsea.
Niko Kovac didn’t count on neither Corentin Tolisso, who moved from Lyon to Bayern Munich in exchange for 41 million euros, nor Javi Martinez, whose transfer from Athletic Club cost 40 million euros.