There are dozens of players who fail to live up to their billing in the English Premier League each and every season and the 2014-15 campaign is no exception. Some players come with high expectations due to their past achievements while others are expected to achieve simply due to the price tags on their transfer deals or playing contracts. However, many of these players made names for themselves while playing in other leagues in different countries and to be frank, these competitions don’t live up to the skill level of the Premier League.
In addition, too many players are signed from other nations without being properly scouted. English clubs just check out a player’s statistics and perhaps watch him for two or three games and assume he’s good enough to sign. This leads the Premier League clubs to often overpaying drastically for mediocre talent. Too many players are signed on the basis of just one good season or a good performance in a top-class tournament such as the World Cup or European Championships. There are also rare occasions when players are bought sight-unseen. Who can forget former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson shelling out seven million pounds for Portuguese player Bebe. Ferguson later admitted that he’d never seen Bebe play or had never even heard of him, but signed him on the recommendation of somebody else.
Some Premier League flops have the talent to succeed in the league, but often don’t because of poor management. These players find themselves glued to the bench game after game even though they’re better options than many of their teammates. They aren’t given the opportunity to prove what they can do because many managers have a poor track record of recognizing true talent. However, the following 10 players have made this list mainly due to poor performances when they’ve been given the chance to play.
10 Simon Mignolet, Liverpool
9 Matt Jarvis, West Ham
Matt Jarvis, the 28-year-old midfielder/winger with West Ham United played for England in 2011 and his career has basically gone downhill from there. He’s never been called up again by his homeland’s national squad and he rarely gets a game in for the Hammers. Jarvis cost the London club a then-record fee of 10.75 million pounds from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2012 and played 70 games in all competitions with them in his first two seasons.
8 Andre Schurrle, Chelsea
7 Robert Huth, Stoke City
Former German international Robert Huth had a pretty good Premier League career going for him when he won a couple of league titles with Chelsea between 2002 and 2006 , and also played for his homeland in the 2006 World Cup. He was also relied upon by Stoke City in the 2012-13 season when he started 35 games for the club after joining it in 2009 from Middlesbrough. Huth was the team captain and main man in Stoke’s defence back then, but he’s rarely used these days.
6 Hatem Ben Arfa – Hull City/Newcastle
The unprofessional attitude of this 27-year-old French midfielder magnifies the problem with soccer players in general. He started the season with Hull City on loan after transferring there from Newcastle United and then left Hull after deciding he didn’t want to play there anymore. FIFA wouldn’t allow him to play elsewhere since the organization doesn’t allow anybody to play with more than two clubs in a season.
5 Eduardo Vargas, Queens Park Rangers
4 Roberto Soldado, Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham reportedly paid a club-record 26 million pounds for Spanish striker Roberto Soldado from La Liga club Valencia in 2013 and the money has more or less been wasted. However, it looks like they’re stuck with him for the time being unless they take a huge financial loss in moving him out of London. The 29-year-old may have been a scoring machine in Spain, but he’s been a flop in the Premier League.
3 Brown Ideye, West Brom
2 Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham Hotspur
Things have gotten so bad for Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor that Spurs fans are booing him on sight. His popularity and skills have fallen mightily over the years and it appears he won’t last much longer at White Hart Lane. Adebayor has been viewed by many fans as nothing more than a mercenary as he has moved from team to team in search of the highest paycheque.
1 Mario Balotelli, Liverpool
Italian striker Mario Balotelli has the reputation of being a world class finisher, but he’s also known to be somebody who lacks in discipline. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers brought him to Anfield for 16 million pounds as a replacement for another problem child in Luis Suarez, who left the Reds for Barcelona during the offseason. Balotelli has repaid the Liverpool faithful with a grand total of zero goals in 12 Premier League matches and has two goals for the club in 18 games in all competitions. That one came in a League match earlier on in the season.
Things have gotten so bad for the 24-year-old that Rodgers either leaves him on the bench for most games or doesn’t even dress him at all. This has to be the low point for a player who has 90 goals in 239 career club games. However, Rodgers needs to share the blame for buying him in the first place. Balotelli may soon find himself out of England again, as he's rumored to be headed for another transfer back to Italy.
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