20 Players Who Have Something To Prove In The 2022/23 Season

The 2022/23 season is fast approaching and it promises to be very exciting; fans are already drooling at the prospect of witnessing one of the best seasons ever.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will also be played in between the season.

The 2022 summer transfer window has seen a lot of transfers taken place; with many clubs sparing little expense in the pursuit of recruits who will help their cause.

Equally, newly signed players are very eager to prove themselves at their new clubs, while some players who have had bad season(s) in the past want to show what they are still capable of.

The World Cup is also a big factor that will influence the performances of players next season; as no one wants to miss out on the greatest football tournament in the world.

In this article, FootballOrbit briefly looks at 20 top players who have one or two things to prove in the upcoming campaign.

1. Lionel Messi (PSG)

Lionel Messi - PSG

Lionel Messi arrived PSG on a free transfer from Barcelona amid so much fanfare. Many expected him to form a frightening attacking partnership with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe — which will ultimately lead PSG to the UEFA Champions League title.

But Messi didn’t perform up to expectations in his first season as he adapted to being in a new club for the first time in his career.

Critics went on rampage; with some pointing out that the Argentine cannot thrive outside Barcelona.

Thus, Messi has a lot to prove in the 2022/23 season to shut critics up and re-establish himself as the best player in the world.

2. Paul Pogba (Juventus)

Pogba - Juventus
(Photo credit: Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Manchester United surprisingly let go of Paul Pogba on a free transfer this summer as the Red Devils finally decided to cut their losses on a player they signed as the most expensive in the world back in 2016.

Pogba’s antics were also becoming unbearable at Old Trafford.

He might have thought that the top clubs will start fighting over him after his release from United but No!…… most top clubs weren’t ready for his shenanigans.

Former club, Juventus, eventually signed him and Pogba now has to show why United were wrong to let him go and that he’s still one of the best.

3. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)


Even the most pessimistic football fan will not have predicted what Eden Hazard is currently going through at Real Madrid.

Having established himself as arguably the best player in the Premier League, Hazard sealed a dream €100m move to Real Madrid in 2019.

Many expected him to take his game to the next level and finally win the Ballon d’Or but in one of the most bizarre stories in football history, Hazard terribly flopped in the Spanish capital.

He was battling from one injury to the other, couldn’t find his form and completely lost his place in the team.

Carlo Ancelotti is ready to show faith in him next season by giving him more playing and and it remains to be seen whether Eden Hazard will ever get back to his former best……….

4. Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)

Darwin Nunez - Liverpool _20 players who have something to prove in the 2022/23 season

Darwin Nunez scored 34 goals and provided 4 assists in 41 games at Benfica last season.

His performances convinced Liverpool to make him their club-record signing.

With the departure of Sadio Mane, Nunez is expected to slot into the first eleven straight away as the striker.

But Liverpool still have a wealth of attacking talents in their squad and the Uruguayan striker needs to be at his very best.

Nunez also needs to justify the huge transfer fee and quickly adapt to the Premier League.

5. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan)

Chelsea signed Romelu Lukaku in a club-record £98m transfer in the summer of 2021 — expecting him to solve the goalscoring problem in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

But Lukaku terribly flopped and also fell out with the club after granting a controversial interview mid-season — questioning the manager’s decisions and revealing his affection for former club, Inter Milan.

Once the season ended, he pushed for a move out of Stamford Bridge and the Blues were more than happy to let him go.

Lukaku now needs to prove critics wrong and also win back the hearts of Inter fans by showing the kind of form that fired the club to the Serie A title in 2020/21.

6. Aurélien Tchouaméni (Real Madrid)

Aurélien Tchouaméni - 20 players who have something to prove in the 2022/23 season

Many observers were shocked when Real Madrid decided to splash €100m on Monaco midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni this summer.

Madrid had identified his immense potential and were not ready to risk losing him to another top club.

Fans will be eager to see why Carlo Ancelotti’s side were keen on bringing Tchouaméni to the Bernabeu……..

7. Sergio Ramos (PSG)

Sergio Ramos was among the stars that PSG signed last summer, with the hope of winning the Champions League.

Ramos — brought in on a free transfer — was expected to marshal the defence with his vast experience but the Spaniard got plagued with injuries.

He was barely fit throughout last season.

He needs to stay fit in 2022/23 and show why he was once the most dreaded defender in the world.

8. Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

Erling Haaland has proven himself to be a goalscoring machine during his time at Borussia Dortmund but it remains to be seen whether he can replicate such form in the Premier League.

Man City have taken a gamble on him though, with Pep Guardiola confident that the Norwegian striker can easily adapt to his style of play.

Which was why Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling have been sold to Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.

Haaland needs to start firing on all cylinders at the Etihad Stadium.

9. Raheem Sterling (Chelsea)

Chelsea cut their losses on Romelu Lukaku this summer by loaning him back to Inter Milan after the Belgian striker flopped at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have brought in Raheem Sterling from Manchester City to supplement their attack.

Sterling — with more than a decade experience at the highest level — is expected to lead Chelsea’s young attackers next season.

He has little margin for error as failure to shine at Chelsea could see him miss out on England’s squad to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

10. Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Anthony Martial was once a darling of Man Utd fans when he was signed as a youngster from Monaco.

His maddening inconsistency at Old Trafford frustrated the United faithful.

Even the managers and board ran out of patience with him last season and moved him on — albeit on loan to Sevilla, with the expectation of selling him permanently.

Martial failed to impress at Andalusia and Sevilla allowed him return to Old Trafford.

The arrival of Erik ten Hag as the new manager now gives Martial a huge chance to impress — he has taken the opportunity with both hands in pre-season so far.

His performances have convinced the new manager to give him another chance and the French forward must not disappoint!

11. Dean Henderson (Nothingham Forest)

Dean Henderson came through from Manchester United’s academy but the goalkeeper couldn’t find enough chances at Old Trafford.

He went on several loan spells and impressed, which made United recall him to challenge David de Gea for the No.1 spot.

But Henderson couldn’t displace de Gea as he got little chance to prove himself.

With the upcoming World Cup in mind, Dean Henderson pushed for a transfer and finally got his wish when he was loaned to newly promoted Nothingham Forest.

He needs to be at his best at Forest to be part of Gareth Southgate squad in Qatar and to also show that he is ready to be play for Manchester United.

12. Jack Grealish (Manchester City)

Last summer, Manchester City made Jack Grealish their club-record signing and the most expensive English footballer in history with a £100m transfer from Aston Villa.

Grealish didn’t perform up to expectations in his debut season but with City’s wealth of attackers, he was spared much criticism.

After a season of adaptation, he is now expected to hit the ground running in 2022/23, especially with the departure of Raheem Sterling to Chelsea.

13. Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)

Manchester United forked out £73m last summer to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. Sancho was expected to be the final puzzle in United’s attack.

But the English forward failed to live up to the hype and struggled to find his feet in the Premier League.

Some attributed his struggles to the managerial changes and overall troubles at Man U, the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo and the fact that he was mostly played out of position.

With a new manager and being played in his favourite position, Sancho needs to start delivering the goods.

He also cannot afford to miss out on England’s squad to the FIFA World Cup.

14. Paulo Dybala (AS Roma)

Due to loss of form, wage demands and availability of other options, Juventus decided not to renew Paulo Dybala’s contract at the end of the season, and allowed him leave on a free transfer.

Jose Mourinho and Roma quickly pounced and signed him — believing he still has much to offer and can take take them to an higher level.

The Argentine now has to prove Roma right and Juve wrong.

15. Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Maguire endured a nightmare campaign in 2021/22; with some fans even demanding that he should be stripped of the captaincy at Man Utd.

Ahead of the 2022/23 season, his confidence has been boosted by the arrival of Erik ten Hag and more defensive reinforcements at Old Trafford.

Maguire now needs to be at his best or risk being a bench warmer and losing the armband.

Worst still, he might miss out on the World Cup as England have a lot of centre-backs.

16. Takumi Minamino (Monaco)

Takumi Minamino arrived at Liverpool after impressing at RB Salzburg. But he soon realised how tough the EPL is and struggled to even get playing time.

He would be finally relieved after Monaco came calling for him this summer and now has to reward the faith of the Ligue 1 side.

17. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Rashford battled with injuries last term and totally lost his form.

The forward is now back to full fitness and has a new coach at Old Trafford in ten Hag.

He will be eager to impress the new manager and re-establish himself in the starting eleven — especially as the World Cup looms.

18. Joe Aribo (Southampton)

Nigerian fans got excited when Joe Aribo secured a transfer to Premier League club, Southampton.

Eagles’ fans have longed waited to see the midfielder in England, after impressing in Scotland with Rangers.

Aribo now has to show that he is of Premier League class.

19. Taiwo Awoniyi (Nothingham Forest)

Taiwo Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi was signed as a youngster by Liverpool after impressing with the Nigerian U-17 team.

With the calibre of attackers at Liverpool, the young striker went on several loan spells before being finally sold to Union Berlin.

He was on fire for Berlin last season and helped the club qualify for the Europa League.

Newly promoted Premier League side, Nothingham Forest, made him their club-record signing this summer.

Having now realised his dream of playing in the EPL, Awoniyi needs to prove himself on the pitch and justify his transfer fee.

20. Jesse Lingard (Nothingham Forest)

Lingard returned to Manchester United last summer after a productive loan spell at West ham.

He was promised more game time at Old Trafford but didn’t even get much chance to show what he is capable of last season.

He was then unceremoniously released at the end of the season.

West ham were in the driving seat to capture him back but Nothingham Forest offered to make him their highest paid player — which he accepted.

He will earn around £200,000 per week and got criticised for joining Forest because of money.

Lingard now has to meet the high expectations at Nothingham which made them pay him so much.

He also need to silence his critics as well as force his way back into England’s squad ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Leave a Reply