The World Cup, the biggest event in the soccer world, has come and gone. What a memorable tournament it was. There were some amazing matches, plenty of excitement and a load of controversy for good measure. It was all capped off with a wonderful final.
It’s hard to believe that the Premier League season is already in full swing and the World Cup is a distant memory. Everyone’s eagerly watching their favorite players go for the Premier League title.
The World Cup acted as a showcase for certain players looking for new clubs. There was a lot of movement in the transfer market over the summer and of course, there will be more when the January transfer window rolls around.
Fans can never seem to stop talking about transfers but quite often, clubs experience buyer's remorse, and quickly come to regret the moves.
The Premier League has seen its fair share of stars over the years. There have been some massive Premier League transfers that have worked out, really shone for their teams. But on the flip side to that, there have been some rather underwhelming transfers, transfers that have seriously flopped. These 20 just didn’t belong in the Premier League for these teams. For whatever the reason may have been, their time in the English top flight with these clubs didn’t work out. Premier League fans won’t remember their spells in England with fondness. These are the biggest transfer flops in every Premier League team’s history.
20 Arsenal - Marouane Chamakh
A lot has changed about Arsenal this season. They have a new manager after what seems like an eternity. With the new manager has come a load of new signings. Only time will tell as to whether or not these transfers will work out.
Arsene Wenger was a great manager. But even he didn’t get a lot of transfers right.
One that turned out to be a serious flop for the Gunners, was Marouane Chamakh. The forward spent a dismal three years at the Emirates. He only made 40 appearances during this time and scored eight goals. In fact, the only decent spell of his career was when he spent eight years at Bordeaux.
19 Bournemouth – Max Gradel
Some players just puzzle you. They do well for certain clubs, for their international sides, but then flop when they come into the Premier League. It really is a different environment, as Ivorian, Max Gradel soon found out. As a Bournemouth player, the fast pace of the Premier League, just didn’t suit him. He seemed all at sea. It begs the question, why was he bought in the first place? He joined in 2015 for £7m. It was a torturous three years. He struggled to break into the first team and spent most of his time out on loan. Thankfully for him and Bournemouth, he’s just secured a permanent move away from the cherries.
18 Brighton – Leon Best
It might surprise a lot of you to learn that Leon Best is still around. He’s hardly a stellar name in footballing circles. Many would’ve thought his career would’ve petered out by now. It seems to be on the verge of doing just that.
As a striker, you’re easy to judge. You’re judged on the number of goals you score. Leon doesn’t score much and hasn’t done with any of the clubs he’s played for. He’s played for a ton of clubs in the English leagues. That’s because he keeps getting shepherded around, moved out on loan. He spent a part of 2015 out on loan at Brighton. He failed to score in his 13 appearances. Unsurprisingly he was moved on yet again.
17 Burnley – Eric Djemba-Djemba
Eric Djemba-Djemba is a name that’s familiar to a lot of Premier League fans. He played for Man United for a couple of years. He only put in 20 appearances yet became something of a cult figure at the club. Of course, as you can imagine, the crowds loved inventing songs around him and singing his name – which has a nice ring to it. This was used in a negative sense when he joined Burnley.
He got a lot of criticism because he didn’t do much of anything at Burnley.
He struggled to make an impact in his 15 appearances. It’s little wonder he regularly moves from team to team, trying his luck in different divisions around the world.
16 Cardiff – Guylain Ndumbu Nsungu
When it comes to scrabble, Guylain Ndumbu Nsungu is guy whose name might win you a lot of points. He didn’t win or achieve much of anything during his spell with Cardiff in 2006. As a striker, he failed to find the net during his spell in Wales. Thankfully for Cardiff, and something that probably proved to be bliss relief for Guylain Nsungu too, he did find the exit after 11 appearances. But judging by his performances, a lot of Cardiff fans were left scratching their heads as to why he was brought into the club in the first place.
15 Chelsea – Fernando Torres
You can’t blame Chelsea for shelling out an extortionate amount of cash for Fernando Torres. His form at Liverpool made him one of the most devastating strikers in the world, warranted that amount. But Chelsea were probably hoping for more bang for their buck. The £50m fee they paid, was at the time, a British transfer market record. It also made him the sixth most expensive footballer in history.
It’s amazing how Fernando could do so well at Liverpool but became a flop at Chelsea. He just couldn’t find any sort of form. It actually became something of an embarrassment and a relief when he was transferred.
14 Crystal Palace – Yaya Sanogo
Yaya Sanogo has gained a reputation in the Premier League as a striker who just doesn’t score. That’s certainly not the reputation you want as a striker. He was young when he first came to England.
Arsene Wenger attempted to squeeze him into the first team at Arsenal. But it just didn’t work out for Yaya at Arsenal.
So, he was sent out on loan and played for other Premier League clubs, one of which was Crystal Palace. At Crystal Palace, Yaya played ten times but failed to find the net. Unsurprisingly he was moved on pretty quickly.
13 Everton – Ibrahima Bakayoko
In 1998, Ibrahima Bakayoko was playing in France and was actually having a decent time of things as a striker with Montpellier. His goal-scoring ratio at the time, was one of the best around. That’s why everyone thought that Everton boss, Walter Smith, had done a great deal in securing his move to Everton. He was bought for £4.5m. But it soon became clear that it was a flop transfer. Sure, every player needs time to settle into their new club. But it became obvious that no matter how much time Ibrahima was given, the rigors of Premier League football just weren’t for him.
12 Fulham – Diomansy Kamara
A lot of people were thrilled when Fulham gained entry back into the Premier League this season. Their Premier League status and the cash that comes with it may result in them looking to bring new people back into the club. But they won’t be looking to bring in another Diomansy Kamara.
The Senegal striker played for Fulham for four years. He signed a four-year deal worth £6m. At the time, it was a club record signing. Kamara didn’t live up to expectations. He ended up scoring 12 goals in 59 appearances for the club. His underwhelming performances resulted in him being sent out on loan, and eventually sold.
11 Huddersfield - Dean Whitehead
36-Year-old Dean Whitehead currently plays as a midfielder for Huddersfield Town. He’s had a decent time of things over the years with Sunderland and Stoke City. So, despite being in his 30s, it wasn’t a surprise that Dean was signed up by Huddersfield Town to help bolster their midfield in their efforts for promotion and subsequent stability in the Premier League.
But it hasn’t gone according to plan.
Sure, he’s been getting older, but he’s been playing less and less for Huddersfield.
He barely got a look in under their current manager. That’s saying something. Dean finally got fed up. He announced his retirement and now has a coaching role at the club. A wise decision.
10 Leicester City – Islam Slimani
Leicester won the Premier League in 2016. It was a magical story. Some people referred to it as one of the biggest shocks in football. You’d have expected, that with their newfound cash that they’d received as a result of being title winners, that they’d splash out a bit, look to bolster their squad with a few high-profile signings. One of these signings was Islam Slimani. Fans were puzzled as to why he was bought. Sure, he was decent. But not at Leicester. After just winning the Premier League, you’d have hoped to secure the services of someone better. Slimani played 35 times for Leicester, netting just eight times. Unsurprisingly he was sent out loan.
9 Liverpool – Jermaine Pennant
Jermaine Pennant used to be spoken about as being a bit of a prospect. During his younger days, there were talks of him joining a big club and playing for England. He has played for big clubs, the first of which was Arsenal. But Wenger lost patience with him. The second of these big clubs, was Liverpool. He signed for the reds in 2006 for £6.7m. He couldn’t maintain his form, lacked consistency. Combine this with his various disciplinary issues, and the transfer ended up being a disaster, an epic flop. The 35-year-old is currently playing in the lower leagues of football, a place where many would say he belongs.
8 Man City – Roque Santa Cruz
When Man City suddenly came into money, the club began buying up anyone and everyone. Anyone who was half decent, Man City spent a ridiculous amount of cash on getting them into their squad. That’s what they did with Roque Santa Cruz.
To be fair, the striker had a decent two-year spell with Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League.
But even so, £17.5 million for his move to city- that was a hefty price tag. He was reunited with his former Blackburn manager at City. Mark Hughes knew what he could do, gave him opportunities. But when Mancini came, Cruz fell out of favor. He only ended up scoring three goals for City in 20 appearances.
7 Man United – Radamel Falcao
One has to feel for striker, Radamel Falcao. It was evident that he was striving to make it work in the Premier League. But it just didn’t happen for him. I’m sure Man United and Radamel Falcao would agree that this ended up being a flop transfer of epic proportions. With pretty much all of his previous teams, Falcao has done amazingly well. He has an impressive goal-scoring record. In fact, people were referring to him as being one of the best strikers in the world. It’s not surprising that United looked to secure his services. But four goals in 26 appearances is what people would remember about a dire spell in England.
6 Newcastle– Luuk De Jong
It’s amazing how strikers can do well around the world, but when they experience the English game for the first time, they seem like amateurs. Luuk de Jong is a 27-year-old Dutch professional footballer. He had a great start to his career in front of goal. So, Newcastle can’t really be blamed for seeking his services. But when he came to Newcastle in 2014, he failed to impress. He looked like a shadow of his former self, which at that young age, was quite depressing. He was subjected to plenty of ridicule by the fans after he failed to score in his 12 appearances.
5 Southhampton – Agustin Delgado
Agustin Delgado is now retired. But he still holds the record of being Ecuador’s leading goal scorer. As his home nation’s top goal scorer, you’d probably expect to read his club stats and see some impressive figures. But Agustin had a bit of an up and down career.
He was shepherded around quite a lot, playing for a number of different clubs in a number of different countries.
His goal-scoring record was also nothing to write home about. Southampton signed him in 2001. But his spell at the club was ruined by injuries. He played while still injured for Ecuador, which made the injury chronic and ruined his time at the Saints. He was also deemed to be high-maintenance and too arrogant for the club’s liking.
4 Tottenham – Emmanuel Adebayor
Seriously, what were Tottenham thinking when they signed Emmanuel Adebayor? The guy’s a loose cannon, has proven that time and time again with various different clubs. Adebayor was first signed by Tottenham on a season-long loan. He did decently at the start, but then things just petered out. Understandably Spurs decided not to keep him on at the club. His personality, aggressive, aggravating nature just didn’t sit well with Tottenham and their fans. He was let go by mutual consent. However, many think there’s probably something more to that. He’s had his fair share of personal issues too. Perhaps they became a contributing factor.
3 Watford – Mario Suarez
Defensive midfielder, Mario Suarez, has played for a number of top clubs around the world. He’s also a capped international player for Spain. So, Watford must have thought they’d done mightily well getting Suarez on board. He signed for £4m on a four-and-a-half-year contract. He didn’t even last the full year. He was signed in January 2016. But by August he was gone. He went on loan before being drawn to the big bucks of the Chinese Super League. Mario is only 31. We could yet see him play in the big leagues again. One thing’s for sure – after last time, he certainly won’t be on Watford’s radar.
2 West Ham – Javier Hernandez
Those of you who know your football might be a little bit miffed seeing Javier Hernandez on this list. Little Chicharito has done brilliantly upfront for his home nation of Mexico. He actually has a great goal-scoring ratio for all the teams he’s played for, and he has played for some of the world’s best.
West Ham did mightily well to sign him in the first place. They signed him in the summer of 2017 for a reported fee of £16m.
But surprisingly, he hasn’t had much playing time. Last season, he scored eight times in 28 appearances, by far the worst goal-scoring ratio of his career. He’s still with the club. Given more chances, he’ll surely improve upon that.
1 Wolves – Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson
Some people are hyping Bjorn Bergmann Siguroarson as the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic. That’s high praise indeed for the Iceland forward. When Wolves signed him from Lillestrøm, they certainly didn’t receive a striker in the same category as Zlatan. He was signed for a fee thought to be around £2.4m. He played 75 times for Wolves, but only netted on seven occasions. No doubt they were hoping for something more from the bullish striker. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He was young when he came into the Premier League. It proved to be a baptism of fire. He’s since proven his prowess as a striker.