As fans of Premier League football, we have all seem some of the worlds best players grace football pitches up and down the country showing us each and every week the best which they have to offer, leaving us at times mesmerised by the sheer skill which they possess.
However, every now and then you get some transfer deals which quite frankly don’t work out, maybe its the high pressure and pace of the Premier League, the inability to settle in England or even possibly they are just in a slump in form, there are a number of reasons why certain players just don’t live up to expectations.
While there are a number of players who fit in to this category, which players and be described as simply the worst Premier League signings of all time?
10. Alberto Aquilani (Roma to Liverpool, 2009, £20 million)
Alberto Aquilani is a prime example of a player who just didn’t cut the mustard when arriving in England. The Italian created a large reputation back in his native country with a number of key performances for Roma, resulting in then Anfield boss Rafa Benitez splashing out £20 million on the 26 year.
The beginning of his Liverpool career was plagued by injury but when he did return to the field it seemed like the fans of the Merseyside club hadn’t particularly missed anything from his absence and he was quickly shipped back off to Italy on loan with Juventus.
9. Bosko Balaban (Dynamo Zagreb to Aston Villa, 2001, £6 million)
All round this transfer deal seemed to be a rather odd decision on the part of Aston Villa. The Croatian was in free scoring form in his home country which resulted in Villa taking a gamble on the Zagreb player. However, upon his arrival in England, he was barely given an opportunity by the Midlands club and was soon shipped out on loan.
His contract was cancelled in 2003 and the now 31 year old moved to Bruges, where surprise surprise, he started scoring once more.
8. Adrian Mutu (Parma to Chelsea, 2003, £15.8 million)
Adrian Mutu’s move to Chelsea filled many of the Stamford Bridge faithful with optimism as to what he could possibly do in a Blues shirt. However, 6 goals in 27 games was little return on the £15.8 million paid for the Romanian and his cocaine bust resulted in the 31 year old being immediately sacked from the club.
7. Sergei Rebrov (Dynamo Kiev to Tottenham, 2000, £11.5 million)
6. Tomas Brolin (Parma to Leeds United, 1995, £4.5 million)
While this transfer didn’t command the hefty nose bleed amounts which some of the other transfers in this list did, the Swede did arrive at Elland Road leaving fans wetting their appetite as to what they could expect from the player, who was a star at the European Championships in 1992.
However, Brolin arrived at the Yorkshire club after a severe in jury which had left the player a little on the chubby side, making him great cannon fodder for fans up and down the country. Its no surprise that Leeds received little back in terms of performance and his career with the club came to an abrupt end.
5. Robinho (Real Madrid to Manchester City, 2008, £32.5 million)
Having set South America alight and performed admirably at Spanish Giants Real Madrid, the Brazilian arrived in the Premier League looking to stamp is authority on English football. However, while the player did show one of two inspirational moments, they were too and far in between as the former Santos man failed to live up to his £32.5 million transfer and £130,000 a week.
Robinho was loaned back to his former Brazilian club before eventually completing a move to Italian side AC Milan earlier this summer.
4. Andrei Shevchenko (AC Milan to Chelsea, 2006, £30.8 million)
Another Ukrainian who has managed to find his way onto the list of the worst transfers. Having been one of Europe’s top strikers for a number of years, Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich was adamant he had to bring the 34 year old to Stamford Bridge.
A number of poor performances and a seeming inability to adapt to English football, left the Russian owner with egg on his face and £30 million out of pocket as Shevchenko made little to no impact and quickly skulked back to former club Milan on loan.
3. Winston Bogarde (Barcelona to Chelsea, 2000, Free)
While I’m sure many of you will wonder how Bogarde could possibly be in the top 10 worst signings considering he arrived at Stamford Bridge on a free transfer, the Dutchman’s transfer fee isn’t what cost the club, but his high wages were.
On £40,000 a week and only making 4 appearances for the club, you don’t have to be a maths whizz to know that the deal as a whole was complete waste of money on the part of Chelsea. Bogarde seems to typify a foreign player who came to England for nothing but the money.
2. Marco Boogers (Sparta Rotterdam to West Ham, 1995, £1 million)
Possibly one of the worst and funniest transfers of all time. After arriving at the club, Boogers second appearance saw the Dutchman receive a red card against Manchester United, which would be the start to a rather odd story.
Upon receiving the red card, Boogers then decided to go AWOL, disappearing from the club with no one knowing of his whereabouts. Some days later it was alleged that the player had been found hiding in a Dutch caravan site. Needless to say is resulted in a rather bewildered Harry Redknapp, letting the player go on a free transfer.
1. Massimo Taibi (Venezia to Manchester United, 1999, £4.5 million)
Massimo Taibi has to be considered not only the worst transfer of all time but also one of if not the worst keeper to ever grace the Premier League. Taibi was brought to the club as a possible replacement for United legend Peter Schmeichel, but many soon found out that the Italian shot stopper was going to become a legend at United but for all the wrong reasons.
The now 40 year olds time at Old Trafford was summed up by a rather tame shot from Southampton’s Matthew Le Tissier which somehow found its way through the keepers legs and dribbled over the line, leaving the former Milan keeper red faced in embarrassment and the United faithful red faced in anger.