With the new season well underway in the silly season that is the Summer transfer window, several transfers have already taken place – some exciting and some not so exciting. We begin to wonder what wonder signings and flops there could be this year. The Premier League has had its fair share of stars since it began in 1992. But, there has also been the fair share of flops. Stars who may have cost a lot, or cost very little. Here, I take a look at the top 5 flops to have played in the Barclays Premier League.
In fifth place and Number 5 in my definitive list of Premier League flops is Francis Jeffers who joined Arsenal for £8m from Everton. At the time he was one of the most promising English players, he spent three seasons at Arsenal making 22 appearances but after leaving his career never recovered. Meanwhile, flop Number 4 is Adrian Mutu. He cost Chelsea £15.8M he scored 6 goals in 27 games. But what was remarkable about the forward was his off the field matters which subsequently led to his contract termination at Chelsea after his big money move to Stamford Bridge.Next as my Number 3 in my chart of Premier League flops is a certain Massimo Taibi. Taibi moved from Venezia to Manchester United for £4.5m. In what was always going to be a difficult task in living up to predecessor Peter Schmeichel in 1999, surprisingly things didn’t start off too badly for Taibi and was awarded Man of the Match against Liverpool. Yet consequently he then only lasted a mere 3 more games, most notably then spilling a long range shot from Matt Le Tissier against Southampton and conceding 5 goals against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, not forgetting his early mistake in the very first minute. This was to maek the end of his spell at Manchester United and was unsurprisingly never seen again.
My penultimate flop in Number 2 is no other than the infamous Ali Dia who signed for Southampton for free in 1996 and was probably one of the most bizarre transfers in Premier League history, if not one of the strangest moves of all time. Back in 1996 the then Southampton manager Graeme Souness received a phone call claiming to be from Liberian international and former FIFA World Player of the Year, George Weah. Weah reportedly told Souness that Dia was his cousin, had played for Paris Saint-Germain in France and had played 13 times for his country. In reality, none of this was true, and the phone call was made by a fellow university student of Dia’s to Souness, suggesting that he should give Dia a chance with the Saints. Nonetheless, Souness was convinced and signed Dia on a one-month contract. His debut against Leeds lasted 21 minutes when he was dragged off the field because his performance was so poor and Ali Dia in the Premier League was no more.
And finally, last but not least topping the chart as my Number 1 Premier League’s flop is no other than Ukranian forward Andriy Shevchenko. After oining Chelsea for £30m from AC Milan, it seemed that Shevchenko was the missing piece in the jigsaw for Chelsea and Roman Abramovich in their quest to win the UEFA Champions League. However it wasn’t long before Shevchenko’s reputation diminished so fast that it wouldn’t have been surprising at the time if a club of such stature would ever look at the forward in the same way ever again. He may have scored 173 goals at Milan but could only manage 22 at Chelsea. And as I’m sure many of you remember, his career then severely went down hill, resulting in returning to his home county in Ukraine to play with Dynamo Kiev as well as a loan spell back to Milan, where he actually again failed to find the back of the net.
Article written by: @Jordarmian