English Premier League is the most-watched football league in the world. Over the years, many great players have plied their trade in the league. Every year we see many great footballers showcasing their talent on the biggest stage. However, there had also been some poor signings in the competition’s history. In this article, we will have a look at some of the worst Premier League signings of all time.
Here are the 20 worst Premier League signings of all time.
11. Fernando Torres
The only reason Liverpool had £35m to spend on Andy Carroll in 2011 was because Chelsea had just given them £50m for Fernando Torres, an enormous figure that made him the third most expensive player of all time behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.
The Spaniard had been an absolute revelation when he first joined Liverpool in 2008, but this was a player already on the wane while still at Anfield as injuries began to hit, affecting his electric pace and badly knocking his confidence.
That only worsened after moving to west London and Torres scored just 20 Premier League goals in three-and-a-half seasons at Chelsea. He is widely remembered as one of the worst Premier League signings of all time.
10. Tomas Brolin
Brolin had suffered a serious foot injury on international duty for Sweden in 1994 and barely played for Parma before Leeds spent a club-record £4.5m to sign him in summer 1995.
Brolin actually wasn’t all that bad in his brief time playing with the club, scoring four goals in 18 Premier League appearances, including a brace in a 2-0 win over West Ham. With Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson choosing to play Brolin out of position, the Swede decided to respond with a deliberately awful performance in a 5-0 loss to Liverpool the next week. Brolin refused to return to Leeds the next season, went to Zurich to play on a minimum salary to prove his point about money not mattering, and then briefly went back to Parma on a loan.
With the striker alternately practicing with the reserves or skipping out on training altogether, Leeds eventually banned him from their stadium during matchdays before releasing him altogether. After a brief spell with Crystal Palace, Brolin retired from the game at 28.
9. Winston Bogarde
Winston Bogarde’s four-year spell at Chelsea is infamous because the Dutchman, who had previously won the Champions League with Ajax and played for Barcelona, spent most of his time at the club simply training and collecting lucrative wages, without actually playing.
Claudio Ranieri had been hired shortly after Bogarde’s arrival and didn’t want him. But the defender had signed a contract worth €15m over four years and didn’t believe he could earn as good a salary anywhere else. So he stuck around until 2004 to take every penny he was owed.
Brazilian striker Jo arrived at Manchester City a few weeks before the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 and the £19m paid represented a huge new record, albeit one that would be smashed when Robinho joined for £32.5m later that summer.
It became apparent that there was no place for Jo after only a few months. He showed he had quality after five goals in 12 Premier League games for loan club Everton, but that deserted him the following season. Back at City, he proved just as useless as before. He is undoubtedly, one of the worst Premier League signings of all time.
7. Massimo Taibi
Massimo Taibi, cruelly dubbed ‘The Blind Venetian’ after his disastrous spell in England, has long been a source of embarrassment for Manchester United fans. He was bought for £4.5m, a substantial fee for a goalkeeper, but was shipped off back to Italy after four games.
The former AC Milan stopper overcame an early flap on his debut against Liverpool to put in a Man of the Match performance. But he allowed a tame shot to squirm through his body in a 3-3 draw with Southampton and was utterly hopeless as United were hammered 5-0 by Chelsea.
6. Alexis Sanchez
United’s worst signing of the Premier League era, has to be this transfer that was seen as a coup at the time. Sanchez appeared set to join Manchester City before United’s cross-town rivals balked at the Chilean star’s wage demands. United handed Sanchez a four-and-a-half-year deal reportedly worth £391,000-per-week with £75,000 appearance bonuses and a £1.1m annual bonus in the hopes of the 28-year-old serving as the focal point of their post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic attack.
Instead, Sanchez scored just three Premier League goals in one-and-a-half seasons. While he has dealt with injuries, the reality is that the once-exciting winger has looked like a shadow of his old self. A slowed Sanchez doesn’t fit in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s counter-attacking style of play, and an attempt to reduce the wage bill led United to loan him to Inter. The Red Devils are still paying Sanchez more than £200,000-per-week to play in Italy.
5. Andriy Shevchenko
Long perused by Chelsea and more importantly Roman Abramovich, it felt like he was the missing piece in the puzzle of Chelsea’s quest to finally win the Champions League. So when they finally got their man for £30 million, the rest of Europe looked on to see just how good Chelsea would become now they had signed the best striker in Europe.
He had been scoring for fun at Milan, but seemed to age overnight after his move to Stamford Bridge. Injuries, inconsistency and the resurgent form of Drogba limited Shevchenko to just nine Premier League goals in 48 appearances.