Two of the top-paid players in MLS have not had the strong starts to their respective campaigns they would have liked.

While MLS doesn't command the same kind of astronomical salaries seen in the Premier League, and to some extent, La Liga (namely Barcelona and Real Madrid), there are still some players with some wage packets that most people wouldn't scoff at.

However, a look at the highest paid players in American soccer's top flight may surprise some casual observers of the league, especially considering not all of them have exactly been value for the money.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who will be well known to fans from his stints with Bayern Munich and Liverpool, plus that brilliant goal scored for Switzerland at EURO 2016, was signed by Chicago Fire in 2022, and makes an estimated $8.2 million per season - which puts him at the top of the MLS income list. Despite an impressive debut season that saw him directly involved in 18 goals for the Fire, things haven't gone so well for the 31-year-old this time around.

To date, Shaqiri has yet to reach the same kind of output and numbers he posted from last season. The Fire presently find themselves struggling to get their campaign up and running, and find themselves near the bottom of their conference. Recently, the club, desperately seeking improvement, decided to sack manager Ezra Hendrickson, but they will need more than just a managerial change if they hope to turn things around. 

Second on this list is another player who moved from Europe but has yet to really find any consistency. Napoli fans were absolutely crushed when star man Lorenzo Insigne opted to say arrivederci to the Partenopei in lieu of a big-money move to Toronto FC. The Italian international, who makes an estimated $7.5 million per season, has struggled for form and fitness since his move to MLS and has been unable to have much of an impact this season as Toronto find themselves rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Insigne is also joined by another Italian international on this list, with fellow Toronto FC player Federico Bernadeschi ranking in fourth spot with an estimated annual income of $6.3 million. Bernadeschi, who was a star at Fiorentina but failed to really secure first-team football after moving to Juventus, has had a slightly better 2023 than his colleague, and has been involved in six goals so far for his struggling team. Of course, Toronto will need more than this if they want to be able to start making their way up their table.

Here's the list of the top ten best-paid players in MLS in 2023:

1. Xherdan Shaqiri - Chicago Fire, $8.2 million

2. Lorenzo Insigne - Toronto FC, $7.5 million

3. Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez - LA Galaxy, $7.4 million

4. Federico Bernadeschi - Toronto FC, $6.3 million

5. Sebastian Driussi - Austin FC, $6 million

6. Hector Herrera - Houston Dynamo, $5.2 million

7. Luiz Araujo - Atlanta United, $4.5 million

8. Douglas Costa - LA Galaxy, $4.5 million

9. Christian Benteke - DC United, $4.4 million

10. Josef Martinez - Inter Miami, $4.4 million