Top 15 Stars That Majorly Flopped In The Premier League

The English Premier League is arguably the best and most followed league in world football, perhaps slightly ahead of the Spanish Primera División and German Bundesliga in terms of competitiveness and excitement.

This season has been one of the best in recent history with the unthinkable happening, as Leicester City, a 5000/1 outsider, won the league with relative ease. Of the Leicester team, one foreign import has earned rave reviews - N'Golo Kanté. The Frenchman has gone from the French second division to Premier League champion and full international within a year. A truly great signing by a Premier League club.

The league has always been blessed with many of the world's best players over the past two decades with many of them lifting the trophy for clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. The likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Eric Cantona will go down as superb foreign imports that enriched the quality of football during their time playing in the league.

However, there have also been transfers of players that were expected to do well but have flopped in the league for one reason or another. This list is a tribute to those unfortunate players who have been tarnished with the 'flop' label.

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15 Andy van der Meyde (Everton)

via liverpoolecho.co.uk

Andy Van der Meyde started his career at the famed academy of Ajax Amsterdam with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović, Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder, winning the league and cup double in 2002.

The Dutch winger then joined Inter Milan before joining Premier League club Everton for £6.75m in 2005, just a year after helping his country Holland reach the semi-finals of Euro 2004.

In his first Merseyside derby, he was given a straight red card,= and managed just a total of 23 appearances under David Moyes amid rumours of a problem with alcohol and constant injuries.

After his release from Everton, van der Meyde turned to alcohol and drugs and eventually retired from professional football in 2011 after a brief stint back in Holland with PSV Eindhoven.

14 Bebé (Manchester United)

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Portuguese winger Bebé is widely regarded as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's worst ever signings after signing for Manchester United in 2010.

Ferguson admitted that he never actually saw the £6.6 million signing from Vitória de Guimarães play, but sanctioned the signing on a recommendation from former assistant Carlos Queiroz.

Bebé made just seven appearances for United in a four-year spell, before being sold to Benfica in 2014.

13 Jozy Altidore (Hull City/Sunderland)

via squawka.com

The American international striker joined Hull City on loan in the 2009/10 season from parent club Villarreal as a chance  to get some first-team experience in European football. The youngster featured regularly for the Tigers but couldn't save them from relegation from the Premier League after scoring just two goals in 30 appearances in all competitions.

After rebuilding his young career in a prolific spell with AZ in Holland, Altidore was back on English soil with a £7.5 million transfer to Sunderland in 2013. Sadly, the step up in quality once again proved too much with a measly goal return of three goals in 52 games with the club.

It was a sad end for Altidore in England as he is a genuinely good striker on his day. In joining Toronto FC, the club has got themselves a striker who can bag a hat-full of goals alongside diminutive genius Sebastian Giovinco to hopefully make them challengers in future MLS campaigns.

12 Afonso Alves (Middlesbrough)

via footballstopten.com

After scoring an incredible 48 goals in 50 games for Dutch club SC Heerenveen, Middlesbrough could be forgiven for thinking they were signing a striker of the highest pedigree in 2008.

The club shelled out a club-record fee of £12.75 million to sign the striker but unfortunately for the club, the demands of English football proved too much and he was sold to Qatari club Al-Sadd the next season.

Alves managed just 13 goals in 49 clubs for the north-east club and on leaving never really rediscovered his goalscoring exploits from his time in Holland.

11 Steve Marlet (Fulham)

via alchetron.com

Fulham bought striker Marlet from French club Lyon for £13.2 million in 2001. The Frenchman was supposed to score the goals that would keep the newly promoted team from battling relegation, but the move quickly turned sour.

Marlet managed to scored just 14 times in 62 games in all competitions for the London club before being offloaded to Marseille on loan, then Wolfsburg on a permanent basis.

The Frenchman's performances for the Cottagers were so appalling that club owner Mohamed Al-Fayed actually tried to sue ex-boss Jean Tigana for signing him after accusing him of taking a cut of the transfer fee for himself.

10 Konstantinos Mitroglou (Fulham)

via standard.co.uk

Greek striker Mitroglou signed for relegation-threatened Fulham for £11.4 million in January 2014 in what was supposed to help the London club avoid relegation to the Championship.

The move was a complete disaster as the Greek international played just three games as the club were relegated from the Premier League in 19th place. He then joined former club Olympiakos on a season-long loan before the Championship campaign in August 2014.

Mitroglou is still actually on the Cottagers books, however he has failed to add to his three appearances to date. After his loan spell back in Greece, it was followed up with another in Portugal with Benfica where he has rediscovered his goalscoring touch.

9 Radamel Falcao (Manchester United/Chelsea)

The Colombian has suffered a huge fall from grace after suffering a severe cruciate ligament injury that kept him out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

After his rehabilitation process, Falcao was a dramatic deadline day loan signing at Old Trafford, but was a bitter disappointment in Manchester with just four goals in 29 games while earning £285,000 a week. Surprisingly United didn't take up the chance to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

Falcao was hoping to resurrect his career at Chelsea after halving his wages and joining at the start of this season but his performances and chances have arguably been worse in London. The Colombian has scored just once in 12 outings for the first team in a disastrous campaign.

8 Sergei Rebrov (Tottenham Hotspur)

via liverpoolecho.co.uk

Ukrainian Sergei Rebrov was signed by Tottenham in 2000 for £13.5 million - a huge sum of money at the time. Rebrov became one of Europe's most sought after strikers during his time with Dynamo Kyiv after scoring over 40 goals for the club.

Sadly, the Ukrainian never adjusted to life in London and only managed 10 goals in 60 games for Spurs. That didn't stop West Ham United taking a chance on him when down in the Championship, which also turned out to be a poor decision by the management.

Rebrov is now doing well as a manager with Dynamo Kyiv after guiding them to two successive Ukrainian Championships and two Ukrainian Cups during his time in charge.

7 Kléberson (Manchester United)

via thesecretfootballer.com

After Kléberson had a fine 2002 World Cup as a key member of Brazil's winning team, the midfielder signed for Manchester United for £6.45 million. He was earmarked as a long-term replacement for another United flop, Juan Sebastián Verón.

The Brazilian suffered from poor form and injuries during his two years in Manchester, which resulted in just 26 appearances for the Old Trafford club. Kléberson eventually left British football for Turkey with Besiktas in a £1.95 million deal.

6 Roberto Soldado (Tottenham Hotspur)

via talkingthfc.wordpress.com

Roberto Soldado went from scoring a goal every other game at La Liga club Valencia to one in almost every five during his time in England. A terribly poor return on a £22.5 million investment.

Perhaps there is not one single reason for the sad demise of the striker in his two seasons in England, but Soldado always seemed like a 'square peg in a round hole' during his time at White Hart Lane. In total, the Spaniard scored 16 goals in 76 appearances for Spurs before returning to La Liga.

Since returning to Spain with Villarreal at the start of this season, things have continued in relatively the same way. At the time of writing, Soldado had scored just eight times in 44 total appearances.

5 Tomas Brolin (Leeds United)

via dailymail.co.uk

Tomas Brolin was the star of Swedish football when he signed from Italian club Parma in 1995. Not only was he the star player for the Swedish national team, but he was brilliant for Parma, helping his club to continental glory on several occasions.

But as soon as Brolin came to England, his career took a downward spiral - mostly due to injuries and a serious weight gain which led to the nickname 'Tubby'.

After two years at Elland Road, the £4.5 million signing left the club on a free transfer and retired from the professional game at the age of 28.

4 Robinho (Manchester City)

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At £32.25 million, Robinho was a record signing for Manchester City. The Brazilian who was a huge star in Spain with Real Madrid, signed on the same day that the unfashionable club was bought by Sheikh Mansour in 2008.

After just 53 appearances and 16 goals, the Robinho project was deemed a failure in Manchester and loaned to his first club Santos back in Brazil.

Robinho was sold to Italian giants A.C. Milan for a huge loss after City recuperated just £13.5 million.

3 Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich bought Andriy Shevchenko from AC Milan for then manager José Mourinho to bolster up the attack for the club's forthcoming Premier League campaign.

The Ukrainian, who was probably the best striker in the world at the time, was signed for an incredible £32.48 million in May 2006, but the move proved to be a terrible one for both parties.

Shevchenko's form was so poor in London that Chelsea loaned him back to AC Milan after just a season and a half. In total, the striker managed just 22 goals in 77 games before Chelsea embarrassingly allowed him to return to boyhood club Dynamo Kyiv on a free transfer in 2009.

2 Ángel Di María (Manchester United)

Louis van Gaal sent shockwaves around the football world in August 2014 when Ángel Di María was signed from Real Madrid in a £56.25 million deal - one of the most expensive transfers in the history of the game.

Di María was supposed to take United to the next level so they could win their first silverware since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but after a bright start, his English career started to sour.

The Argentine fell out of favour with manager van Gaal after an attempted burglary at his Cheshire home which left his family terrified and disagreements about playing positions with the team. It was the end for Di María which resulted in a £47.25 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain just a year after joining.

1 Juan Sebastián Verón (Manchester United)

via sportwitness.ning.com

Juan Sebastián Verón was a £31.95 million British-record signing from the Italian club Lazio in the summer of 2001. The central midfielder never settled in England with Sir Alex Ferguson and, in his autobiography, Ferguson said that the Argentine didn't make any effort to learn English, so he struggled from the start.

After two underwhelming seasons with 11 goals in 77 games, the Old Trafford club offloaded him to Premier League rivals Chelsea for a huge loss. Verón’s Chelsea career was even worse, with injuries limiting him to just 13 appearances for the Londoners.

Verón returned to Argentina in 2006 with boyhood club Estudiantes and remained with the club until his retirement.


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