The 2018 Formula One season got underway last weekend, and there are sure to be hundreds of pit stops made as each driver tries to win each race over the next few months.
With the 2017/18 Premier League season, meanwhile, drawing to a close, it won’t come as a surprise to see that a fair number of players need their own pit stop treatment and a bit of fine-tuning ahead of next term.
With that in mind, here’s nine stars who we think need to be given a look over in a bid to rediscover their best form in 18/19:
9. Lewis Dunk
A bit of a harsh one to start off with, but the Brighton centre-half does unfortunately lead the way in the most own goals netted in England’s top flight this season.
Dunk has put four balls past his own keeper in the 31 matches for the Seagulls, and did have the sense of humour to joke he was only on minus 3 after he bagged a goal at the right end recently.
He’s had a decent campaign in Brighton’s maiden Premier League venture, but Dunk must have a slight tweak if he is to eradicate those oggies next term.
He began the season in fine fettle following his £11m switch to Hertfordshire but, as the past eight months have gone on, Watford starlet Richarlison has struggled more and more.
The Hornets’ poor mid-season form and the departure of fellow Portuguese speaker Marco Silva won’t have helped, but the forward’s end product has all but dried up in recent months.
Five goals and five assists in his first season in the UK isn’t to be sniffed at but, with nothing to show for his efforts in his last 14 appearances, Richarlison could do with some work over the summer.
7. Alvaro Morata
He was the subject of intense speculation throughout the summer before Chelsea swooped ahead of their rivals to land Morata for a fee of £58m.
The Spanish striker, though, has struggled to notch the goals necessary for the reigning champions to truly defend their league crown amid rumours of him not enjoying the weather or feeling that referees aren’t as lenient as they should be.
Morata has bagged 10 goals in 24 league matches – a decent haul if nothing else – but needs to switch to a higher gear next term to make his mark on the Premier League.
6. Jack Butland
He’s one of six hopefuls vying for the England keeper jersey this summer, but Stoke custodian Butland may end up heading to the World Cup as a Championship player.
The 25-year-old has often been the only player to come out of the Potters’ abject season with any credibility, but he hasn’t entirely been faultless in Staffordshire.
Only five clean sheets have been chalked up by Butland this term and, with mistakes creeping into his game in the losses to Manchester City and Everton, he’ll need to do better if he is snapped up by a top flight club next season – providing Stoke don’t stay up, of course.
5. Paul Pogba
Rumours of an Old Trafford departure have circulated in the past couple of months for Manchester United’s most expensive signing.
Pogba’s season has take a nosedive off the cliff after speculation over a massive falling out with Jose Mourinho hit the headlines in early February, but there’s no reason to suspect he won’t stay in Manchester past this summer.
If the French midfielder does, he’ll need to rediscover this season’s early dominant form to truly leave his mark on this United team – and the Premier League to boot – in a bid to end the Red Devils’ barren title spell. It’s time to take the handbrake off, Pogba.
4. Morgan Schneiderlin
Speaking of Manchester United, what on Earth has happened to Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin?
The ex-United midfielder has been a shadow of his former self for the Toffees throughout this season, and his stock among Evertonians has never been lower after an alleged training ground bust up back in November.
If he wishes to salvage his future at Goodison Park, must recapture the displays he put in upon his arrival on Merseyside for £20m 14 months ago. A service is most definitely needed.
3. Alexandre Lacazette
Arsenal had appeared to secure a massive coup when they landed Lyon hitman Lacazette in the summer for around £52m.
The French striker – we’re sensing a pattern here! – hasn’t hit the heights that was expected of him though, and has only managed to register nine goals in 26 appearances for the Gunners in the top tier.
The January arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spoke volumes of what Arsene Wenger thinks of his summer signing, and if Lacazette doesn’t start consistently finding the back of the net he could be on his way out. Time to oil up that spluttering engine.
2. Christian Benteke
It’s all gone horribly wrong for Belgium international Benteke ever since he traded Aston Villa for the bright lights of Liverpool and then Crystal Palace.
With niggling injuries, a massive dip in confidence and a poor goal ratio, the 27-year-old is nothing like the burly goalscorer that battered opposition defences into submission.
His timid demeanour hasn’t prevented the Eagles from climbing out of the drop zone under Roy Hodgson, but more would be expected of Benteke by his staff and the club’s fans.
A new motor, set of wheels and boost in confidence is just what he needs – otherwise he may end up on the scrap heap.
1. The Entire West Brom Team
Alright so this is cheating a little, but who can honestly say that not one West Brom player has deserved to be left out here?
The Baggies seem all-but-condemned to play in England’s second division from next season after a haul of just 20 points from 32 league clashes.
That, coupled with the now-infamous Barcelona taxi stealing incident, has led to a grey cloud hanging over the Hawthorns as each senior player has failed to take matters by the horns and lead West Brom’s charge out of the relegation battle.
They won’t be in England’s top tier next term at this rate but, if any club does decide to take a punt on a cheap acquisition or two and keep them in the Premier League, performances must be 10 times better than those put in this season.