With the turn of the century, Premier League clubs started changing owners and improving their financial capacity. Stadiums were revamped, training facilities were improved and sports scientists became a necessity for clubs. It isn't surprising, therefore, that these improved finances began to coincide with record-breaking transfer fees.
In the summer of 2000, Leeds bought Rio Ferdinand for a record €26 million. Only three years earlier, Graeme Le Saux moved to Chelsea for just €10.5 million, which was the highest fee throughout the year. In 2003, Chelsea spent over €70 million in purchasing just three players, including Hernan Crespo.
Prices and transfer costs have only continued to skyrocket and each massive transfer fee only increases the chances of the player equally flopping massively. Sometimes, players aren't able to cope under the pressure of large transfer amounts. Other times, it could be difficulties related to playing in a new league in a different country.
Whatever their reasons, there are quite a few players who have made a big-money move to the Premier League and seem unable to handle the expectations of their new club and fans. Without further ado, let's take a look at five such players, starting with Manchester United's €42.60 million star Veron:
#5 Juan Sebastien Veron | Manchester United
Although Manchester United had a winning midfield in Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, and David Beckham, Sir Alex Ferguson made the questionable decision to purchase Juan Sebastien Veron from Lazio for a shocking €42.60 million in 2001.
It seems like an odd decision in hindsight but the legendary manager could never have known how problematic his star signing would be for the Red Devils.
To his credit, Veron started well at Old Trafford. However, the massive transfer fee paid wasn't for him to perform brilliantly once every couple of months. Veron needed to be consistent on the pitch, and once it was clear that he wasn't going to achieve expectations, United sold him for half the price they bought him for just two years earlier.
#4 Andriy Shevchenko | Chelsea
The higher-ups at Chelsea certainly believed that they had carefully analyzed one of the best players in the world at the time: Andriy Shevchenko. A star had been made in AC Milan, he was in his prime and Serie A defenders were looking forward to him leaving.
Shevchenko should have joined Chelsea and put the fear of goals into the Premier League defenders. However, that's not what happened.
Didier Drogba, who Shevchenko was supposed to replace, seemed to have found great form following the latter's arrival at the club. Then-manager Jose Mourinho ultimately decided on playing Drogba in his central striking position while pushing the Russian into a different role on the pitch.
Shevchenko ended up scoring just nine goals in 45 appearances for the Blues. After his second season, Chelsea shipped him off on loan and eventually sold him.