Top 10 Biggest flops in Premier League history

What makes a Premier League player considered a flop? For me various factors add up to how much of a flop a player is, price tag, what was expected of them and how much they delivered. Of course, players like Ali Dia would be considered the worst signings in Premier League history but that is a list for another day, this is the top ten flops ever in the Premier League.

10. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)


When you really weigh it all up Manchester United pretty much spent £89 million to loan Paul Pogba to Juventus for four years. In 2012 they let him go on a free but in the summer of 2016 they made him the most expensive player of all time and he just hasn’t been worth it. By far the best performer for his team that you will see on this list but if you are going to make someone the world record signing you better hope that they are the best player in the league in their position. For me Pogba doesn’t even make the top 10 midfielders in the Premier League. He isn’t even the best midfielder on his team most of the time with Ander Herrera being so brilliant this season. He has got time to improve and the jury is still out on him but for now he has to find a place on this list.

9. Patrick Kluivert (Newcastle United)


I bet that you didn’t realise Patrick Kluivert was 28 when he joined Newcastle United on a free transfer. Even though he came on a free so much was expected of Kluivert and why wouldn’t it be? He was ripping it up at Barcelona and was the Netherlands all time top scorer ahead of legends like Marco Van Basten and Denis Bergkamp at the time he joined Newcastle and a strike partnership between him and Alan Shearer was to be the stuff of dreams for the Geordies. Scoring only six in 25 Premier League appearances Kluivert only lasted a year on Tyneside and would never be the prolific goal scorer he once was ever again.

8. Eliaquim Mangala and John Stones (Manchester City)


I know doing double entries is cheating but these two are so incredibly similar

The transfer fee of Mangala is reported differently everywhere but if you take into account 3rd party fees he cost Manchester City £41 million. Their return on investment has been poor, to say the least. It only took one season for Manuel Pellegrini to buy a replacement in Nicolas Otamendi and the two mistake ridden seasons that Mangala spent at Eastlands will want to be forgotten about by City fans pretty quickly. He was the Premier Leagues most expensive defender of all time at the time of purchase, a record that has since been broken. But we will get onto that later. Mangala didn’t display any of the physical dominance he showed at Porto and often looked clumsy leading to giving away silly chances and costing Man City points. As for John Stones, read the previous few lines and replace “physical dominance” with “calmness on the ball” and Porto with Everton and you have the story of John Stones’ Man City career so far. However, he does still have a lot of time to prove all of his doubters wrong but if he continues playing the way he is he will belong on this list.

7. Juan Sebastian Veron (Manchester United


I’m going to say it now, Juan Sebastian Veron is the worst player in footballing history to be considered by many a legend. Flopping at not only one Premier League club but two. After Veron’s impressive spell in Italy Manchester United shelled out £28 million pounds for Veron back in 2001 Which at the time was a huge 28% of Manchester United’s turnover that year. Meaning that if United signed him today for 28% of their turnover he would have cost them a staggering world record 92 Million pounds. For that money you would expect the best player in the league, instead what United got to see was a player who couldn’t adapt to the pace of the Premier League which showed from his good Champions League performances during his time at Old Trafford. Don’t ask me what Chelsea were thinking spending 15 Million on him in 2003 after seeing 2 years of sub-par performances at Old Trafford because that one is still beyond me.

6. Roberto Soldado. (Spurs)


I could’ve chosen anybody Spurs signed the summer Gareth Bale left except for Christian Eriksen to be in this position. Roberto Soldado takes the cake though. Signing for £26 million Soldado scored only seven league goals during his time in north London and even the majority of them were penalties. It has to be said Soldado is one of the worst strikers to ever wear the lily-white of Tottenham. His finishing was lacklustre and his hold up play was poor. Coming off the back of a 24 goal season from Valencia many thought that he could fire Tottenham to the top 4 but it wasn’t to be.

5. Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham)


In January 2014 Fulham had the choice between Kostas Mitroglou and Antoine Griezmann. One of them went on to finish 3rd in Balon D’or voting the other played only 3 games for Fulham never scoring. By a mile, the worst signing Fulham have ever made Mitroglou is still the record signing for the south-west London side. Mitroglou came in not fit enough to play in the Premier League and when they were subsequently relegated he wouldn’t stick around and is now playing for Benfica where he is a prolific goalscorer. It is one of the Premier Leagues biggest what ifs? If he had stayed fit or if Fulham had opted to sign Griezmann instead would we have stayed up that year? I would have a picture of Mitroglou in a Fulham shirt above this paragraph but they’re pretty much impossible to find as he spent less than two hours ever wearing one.

4. Andy Carroll (Liverpool)

Andy Carroll of Liverpool looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium

Deadline day 2011 was a crazy one for Liverpool Fernando Torres had departed for Chelsea for a British record £50 million and they desperately needed a replacement. They didn’t think that future Balon D’or contender Luis Suarez was enough to replace Torres’ pace, finesse, finishing skill and flair so they signed 6″4 Andy Carroll for £35 million pounds. Luckily for Liverpool, they had signed Suarez earlier in the day so an apt Torres replacement was already at the club, however, to think that they spend £35 million on Andy Carroll; a man who was pretty much a polar opposite to Fernando Torres in every way was just ridiculous. They tried to shoehorn him into the side to no avail. Scoring only six league goals in 44 appearances.

3. Fernando Torres (Chelsea)


Deadline day 2011 was fantastic for Chelsea Fernando Torres had signed for a British record £50 million pounds a fee unheard of in British football at the time and he was guaranteed goals consistently hitting 20 a season for Liverpool. Unfortunately for Chelsea Torres didn’t score for his first 14 games for the club with the breakthrough coming against West Ham in the most bizarre of ways with an assist coming from a puddle. Torres’ confidence was clearly knocked throughout his entire Chelsea career with him missing easy chances due to doubting himself. Would you ever imagine him even trying something like this in a Chelsea shirt? He had flashes of brilliance for Chelsea with every goal twitter crying out “The old Torres is back!” But he never was, the goal against Barcelona will live forever but Torres’ time at Chelsea was poor to say the least.

2. Angel Di Maria (Manchester United)

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League

Coming off the back of a Man Of The Match performance in the 2014 Champions League final Angel Di Maria signed for Man United as one of the best creative players in the World. He never settled in at Manchester United and his house being burgled was the last straw for him as he left Manchester after just one season. Manchester United fans kidded themselves, to begin with calling his flukey goals and miss hit shot-cum-assists were touches of class. After a while it became impossible to deny that Di Maria was not playing well at all for Man United, was he that unsettled or could he just not cope with the tougher opposition. For £59.7 million you would hope for better.

1 . Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea)


Out of all the players on this list expectations were highest for Shevchenko coming into Chelsea. From winning a Balon D’or in 2004 to mustering up just nine goals in 47 games for Chelsea. What on earth happened to Andriy Shevchenko. The man himself blames it on injury saying: I had a hard time at Chelsea mainly because I was injured much of the time. Every time I recovered from one injury I seemed to get a new one and it set me back again.” To blame it all on injuries would be naive. He made 47 appearances for the club, by the time he had made 47 appearances for Milan he had over 30 goals. Andriy Shevchenko has to be the biggest flop in Premier League history as he came in as arguably the best player in the World and left with a tarnished legacy that he has never been able to redeem amongst English fans. When you ask any fan about Andriy Shevchenko they won’t talk about his amazing spell at AC Milan they will say how bad he was at Chelsea.


Author: Charles Jones

Journalist. Fulham supporter. Leeds Trinity University student.

One thought on “Top 10 Biggest flops in Premier League history”

  1. I have always wondered why football players are called “Flops”. An interesting read. I’m impressed with the website and I look forward to reading more blogs. I think you should start Vlogging.


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