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5 of the biggest flops in Premier League history

Ziyad Broker
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
2.30K   //    02 Jan 2019, 11:33 IST

Shevchenko may be remembered fondly back home in Ukraine, but for Chelsea fans, he'll always be regarded a flop.
Shevchenko may be remembered fondly back home in Ukraine, but for Chelsea fans, he'll always be regarded a flop.

As with everything, there are successes as well as failures. The same can be said for Premier League signings, where over the years, we have seen Patrick Vieira arrive at Highbury, as well as some dodgy and unsuccessful signings such as Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50 million.

He doesn't make the cut this time out, which exemplifies the extent of these flops, who all arrived at their various clubs with much higher expectations than they showed on the pitch.

With that being said, here's the list that teams have been trying to avoid, and will continue to do so in the January transfer window just began.


#1 Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan to Chelsea)

Andriy Shevchenko
Andriy Shevchenko

Andriy Shevchenko was a recognised player worldwide and a hero back home in Ukraine, but, as far as transfers go, his move to Chelsea in 2006 was unsuccessful.

The 2004 Ballon d'Or winner's arrival was highly anticipated, and despite the £30.8 million price that was paid, and at Shevchenko’s introduction press conference, then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho paid a glowing tribute: "Today is a day when the dream became reality. Andrei has always been my first choice for Chelsea since I arrived. Before it was not possible, now it is for real. He has great qualities, ambition, discipline, tactical awareness and of course he is a great goalscorer.”

Converting only 9 goals in 48 games, Shevchenko was disappointing in Chelsea colours, and after only 1 season, he left to AC Milan on loan. 


#2 Juan Sebastián Verón (Lazio to Manchester United)

Sir Alex Ferguson and Juan Sebastián Verón
Sir Alex Ferguson and Juan Sebastián Verón

Expectation seemed to weigh down Veron at Manchester United who cost the Red Devils upwards of £28 million, a British record transfer fee at the time.

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In the two seasons the Argentine spent playing for the red side of Manchester, he made 51 league appearances in which he netted 7 times, while providing only 4 assists. His next Premier League transfer to Chelsea was also disappointing, and many agreed as he duly earned his place in the Times’s list of 50 worst transfers ever in Premiership history.


#3 Angel di Maria (Real Madrid to Manchester United)

di Maria had a year to forget at Manchester United
di Maria had a year to forget at Manchester United

The second Argentinian player on this list of five, there seems to be eerily similar things about Di Maria and Verón’s transfers. di Maria signed for Manchester United during Van Gaal’s short-lived era, which he didn’t even manage to last out.

Signed for a then British record fee of £59.7 million, the Argentinian winger’s time at Manchester United was largely unsuccessful, but it wasn’t all his fault. During his stay in Manchester, his house was robbed, raising some safety concerns, but nonetheless, his 3 goals couldn’t impress the Old Trafford faithful who swiftly decided to sell him on.  


#4 Patrick Kluivert (Barcelona to Newcastle United)

Patrick Kluivert
Patrick Kluivert

A former Barcelona striker, it’s not his move to the Camp Nou where he flopped, but instead a modest move to Tyneside that ended in disaster for Patrick Kluivert. Though he arrived on a free, much was expected of a still capable 28-year-old talent. Signing in 2004, Kluivert spent one uninspiring season donning the black and white strip, before being released by Newcastle in the summer of 2005.

In the single year he played at the Geordie club, his contribution was truly minimal with the Dutchman only netting a total of 6 times in 25 games. Though for any normal ageing striker this would have been decent, for a player of Kluivert's calibre to have such a massive dip in performance was totally unexpected.


#5 Eliaquim Mangala (Porto to Manchester City)

Eliaquim Mangala
Eliaquim Mangala

Not the most highly regarded player, but a transfer fee of £31.8 million warrants him a place on this list of biggest flops.

A reasonably talented centre-back, many were excited with the signing when it first occurred, with then Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini commenting, "I think he will prove to be a great signing for us."

He hasn’t quite been able to fulfil his former City manager's confidence in him, even whilst playing under one of football’s most revolutionary coaches, Pep Guardiola.

Still at the Sky Blues after two unsuccessful loan spells, Mangala has racked up a dismal 51 starts in the league in a 4 year period. With him making more U23 appearances than showings for the first team, it’s clear things haven’t quite worked out the way Pellegrini and so many others expected.  

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Ziyad Broker
CONTRIBUTOR
I am a weekly columnist for The Daily Times Pakistan, where I have been writing since the World Cup 2018. I have also had writing published by Branding in Asia, though I focus only on football, mainly in relation to the Premier League. My other articles can be found at these links. Daily Times: https://dailytimes.com.pk/writer/ziyad-broker/ Branding in Asia: https://brandinginasia.com/world-cup-next-brand-superstars/
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