So often a big signing can change the dynamics of team. They can be the final piece of the puzzle and set a side up for success. Look at Luis Suarez at Liverpool or Bruno Fernandes’ impact at Old Trafford. But for every big money signing well worth the fee, there’s a flop. A flop where a legitimate all-star arrives and is not the player you imagined he’d be. So, today we’re ranking the 10 biggest flops in Premier League history.
10. Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea, £50 million)
£50 million is a lot of money in football today but it was even more 10 years ago when Chelsea, after spending years being tormented by the Liverpool striker, acquired Torres for the fee. It then took 14 games and over 700 minutes for him to score for the blues. David Luiz grabbed his first Chelsea goal before the striker did. It wasn’t all bad for Torres, he scored the goal that took Chelsea to the Champions League Final in 2012 but £50 million is a lot of money and much more was expected of him.
9. Tomas Brolin (Parma to Leeds United, £4.5 million)
Just as £50 million was a lot ten years ago, £4.5 million was a hefty amount in 1995. The striker/midfielder was brought to Leeds to fire the Mighty Whites back to the success they achieved just before the Premier League began. His body let him down however and he only scored 4 goals in a Leeds career that never got going.
8. Jack Rodwell (Manchester City to Sunderland, £10 million)
Whilst at Everton Rodwell looked like one of the most exciting young midfielders in the country. But it quickly became clear he wasn’t going to be afforded the necessary game time at City to fulfil that potential. Nonetheless, Sunderland then paid £10 million for the midfielder and the move was a failure. He only played 73 times for the Black Cats as his career petered out.
7. Stephane Guivarc’h (Auxerre to Newcastle United, £3.5 million)
Fresh off a World Cup win, the striker arrived at St James’ Park to great buzz. Could he deliver the title that alluded them two years previous? The answer was a big fat no. He only made four appearances for Newcastle before being moved onto Rangers making the £3.5 million a waste of money.
6. Francis Jeffers (Everton to Arsenal, £8 million)
In the same vein as Rodwell, whilst at Everton Jeffers was catching the eye. Many believed he would be England’s next great goal scorer. The move to Arsenal was surely only going to enhance his career. It didn’t. He scored just 4 goals across three seasons for the Gunners.
5. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa to Liverpool, £32.5 million)
Another young striker who made a promising start to his Premier League career, Benteke started life at Villa Park with 42 goals in three seasons. He earned a move to Liverpool who had eyes fixed on the top four. However, he didn’t fit the mould at Anfield making just 29 appearances for the Reds in the Prem. After one season, he was shipped off to Crystal Palace where he’s continued to fail to score on a consistent basis.
4. Andy Carroll (Newcastle United to Liverpool, £35 million)
Another big Liverpool striker whose time at Anfield didn’t go according to plan, Carroll was the consequence of another man on this list: Fernando Torres. As he left, Liverpool had a gapping hole in their squad and £50 million to fill it and little time to spend it. So, they paid £35 million for Carroll who was in hist first Premier League season and hadn’t even been the Championship’s top scorer the year before. Despite winning the League Cup, he never scored goals on a consistent basis and, upon arrival, Brendan Rodgers moved him on for not fitting his style of play.
3. Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid to Manchester United, £59.7 million)
On the back of winning the man of the match in a victorious Champions League Final, Di Maria made the leap to Old Trafford despite the lack of Champions League football at United in 2014-15. He signed a five year deal and was a major signing, a signing set to take United back up the league. He never hit the heights expected however scoring just 3 league goals for the Red Devils. It proved to be just a blip as a move to PSG brought the best out of him once again.
2. Juan Sebastian Veron (Lazio to Manchester United, £28.1 million)
The most expensive signing in Premier League history at the time, Veron was expected to bring something different to the United defence. He claimed to have no fear of the Premier League and was ready to take the English top tier by storm. It didn’t pan out that way. Despite a decent start soon enough he struggled to deal with the sharpness of the league’s attackers and was moved on for almost half the price he was bought.
1. Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan to Chelsea, £30 million)
This one was simply disappointing. Having been the best player in the world through the mid-2000s and winning both the Serie A and the Champions League at AC Milan his time at Chelsea never took off. The 2004 Ballon D’or winner was a shadow of the player who had dominated Europe for years. He only scored 9 goals for the Blues and was sent back to Milan on loan where his poor goal scoring form persisted as it became clear his outstanding career was coming to an end.