The Worst Five Signings in Premier League History

Since the Premier League began way back in 1992 a new era of wealth and glamour was ushered in. Alongside that glut of new money came inflated transfer fees and so a donkey that couldn’t hit a barn door that cost you £2m in 1991 was available for the bargain price of £35m 20 years later. Here we look at the five worst signings in the history of the Premier League.

Andy Carroll – It may be a little harsh on the big Geordie, and in his defence he didn’t decide the fee of £35m that Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish sanctioned. Nor did he make the decision to sell himself for £15m but a loss of £20m (plus wages) in a little over two years is enough to earn Carroll top spot in our list. He was the eighth most expensive player ever when he signed and a look at the seven names above him demonstrates the lack of value Liverpool got: Crespo, Figo, Zidane, Kaka, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo and Torres. In total he managed 11 goals in 58 games for the Reds – enough said.

Andrei Shevchenko – Another who came for a huge amount of money and just didn’t live up to the gold-plated, diamond encrusted price tag; Sheva arrived at Chelsea for around £30m from AC Milan but he was approaching 30 and was signed by the chairman, not the manager. His pace was on the decline and his form and confidence soon deserted him completely. He scored just nine times for Chelsea, with each goal costing more than £3m, excluding wages!

Winston Bogarde – Another Chelsea special, Bogarde was actually a free transfer, so you may be surprised to see him on this list. However, given he played just 11 times for the Blues and yet took home £40,000 per week, every week without fail for four long years of inactivity, we think he deserves a special mention. The club didn’t want him but he decided he would rather stay and see out his contract then go elsewhere and actually play football.

Alberto Aquilani – Sticking with the Liverpool and Chelsea theme we have Aquilani, now successfully playing for Italy and Fiorentina. It’s safe to say his time in the Premier League was far from successful though, after his £17m (plus extras) transfer from Roma in 2009. He suffered from injuries and managed just 28 games and two goals for Liverpool before finally leaving (after several loan spells) in 2012 for an undisclosed (file under “Not A Lot”) fee.

Ali Dia – Our final choice is another that may surprise many people, not least because he was a free transfer on low wages. However, to parody a well-known credit card company “Transfer fee: free. Wages: nominal. Making a total fool of the manager: priceless!” Dia managed to convince Southampton manager Graham Souness that he was (AC Milan legend) George Weah’s cousin and had played for Paris St-Germain. Neither were true, nor was he much of a footballer, being substituted off just minutes after coming on as a sub in his first and only game!

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