Premiership Flops: Not the worst, just the worst value.

10 Dec

Ali Dia, the worst player in Premier League history according to many a pundit and fan. This may be true, but was he an actual flop.

Not really, if anything the man who claimed to be George Weah’s cousin is more deserving of the tag of a spoofer or huckster than a flop. Despite utterly hoodwinking Graeme Souness, Dia was only signed to a months contract, with the financial cost to Southampton relatively small.

Dia was a personal embarrassment for Souness and Southampton, but it was a brief embarrassment, nothing more than a blush. An actual flop costs money, lots of it, and can ultimately decide not only the fate of a manager but an entire club.

Flops are the players who promised much and delivered little. They’re the guys maligned for costing more in millions than returns in goals.These are the Premierships biggest flops.

Mamma Mia! Andriy's Italian antics never went down well in London.

Andriy Shevchenko

Shevchenko’s much publicized move to Chelsea was tainted from the start. Costing in excess of £30 million, the rumour was that the transfer was made primarily at the behest of owner Roman Abramovich, allegedly to the chagrin of then manager, Jose Mourinho.

The Ukrainian striker, so prolific in his time at AC Milan, only scored 22 times in 77 appearances over a period of 3 seasons. His ineffectiveness in front of goal contrasted sharply with that of fellow Chelsea striker, Didier Drogba, who over the same period, scored 48 goals in 92 appearances.

Ball watching cost Rebrov dear.

Sergei Rebrov

Another flop from the Ukraine, Rebrov partnered Shevchenko in a dynamic and formidable attack for Dynamo Kyiv in the late 1990’s.

Following on from his success as the  top-scorer in the Champions league season of 1999-2000, Rebrov moved to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £11 million, a large sum at the time.

Rebrov fared poorly during his time at Spurs, scoring only 15 times in 75 appearances. Unlike Shevchenko, Rebrov was never able to replicate his form outside of the Ukraine and remains one of the worst signings ever made by George Graham, a manager once known for having an acute eye for talent.

Hands on hips. Never a good look.

Juan Sebastian Veron

Following a stellar club career in Italy, Veron was expected to make a considerable impact in England after his £28 million transfer to Manchester United in 2001.

His play was erratic at best and despite the full backing of his manager, Veron failed to re-discover the form that had made him such a star in Serie A.

Veron, later moved to Chelsea in 2003 for a reported £15 million. Much like his time in Manchester, Veron failed to make an impact, eventually earning himself the unwanted, albeit unique, honour of being a flop at 2 major English clubs.

Steve Marlet. Remember him? Thought not.

Steve Marlet

Marlet will live in infamy as one of the worst signings in Premiership history.  In 2001, a recently promoted Fulham, backed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, bought the French international for a club record fee of £11.5 million.

His on-field performances lead many to believe that the winger cum forward was woefully overpriced. These suspicions eventually lead Al-Fayed to accuse then club manager, Jean Tigana of over-paying for Marlet for the purposes of financial gain.

The chairmen’s accusations were not without basis as Tigana still held ties to Marlet’s previous club, Lyon. A court case ensued, although the charges against Tigana were eventually dropped.

Much like many Premier League flops, Marlet was unable to carry his previous form to a foreign league.

£7million a goal so far.

Andy Carroll

Some may feel it harsh to tag the young Geordie as a flop, especially when the man he replaced at Liverpool, Fernando Torres, has failed to replicate any real semblance of form at Chelsea.

However, Torres is not a flop for one cardinal reason; he has previous form in the Premier League. The Spaniard scored 81 times in 142 games for the Reds, one of the best scoring ratios of any striker in the history of the Premier League.

Carroll, on the other hand, has only half a season of form at Newcastle to draw on, and despite costing an astronomical £35 million, has only scored 5 in 23 for Liverpool. Such a ratio almost rivals that of Sergei Rebrov, who along with other major flops, can at least point to his success in foreign leagues. A claim unavailable to the Englishman.

Carroll may not be a flop yet, but he’s fast on his way and could conceivably become the biggest flop in Premier League history.

The Also Rans; Players who didn’t make the list for the primary reason of not being rubbish enough (or just not expensive enough).

Kleberson (Man Utd)-The Brazilian world cup winner was not one of Alex Ferguson’s more ‘Kleber’ signings.

Albert Luque (Newcastle Utd)-More like ‘Un-Luque’ (‘Im hear all night’).

Marcelino (Newcastle Utd)- Not a clue, but he allegedly cost the Magpies nearly £6million.

Tomas Brolin (Leeds Utd)- The Swede could at least point to his expanding waistline as a reason for his lack of form.

Karol Poborksy (Man Utd)-Luckily for the Czech international, he’s most fondly remembered for this work of genius rather than his torrid time at Old Trafford.


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