The biggest transfer flops in EPL history

Many high-profile signings have ended in failure in the English Premier League amidst lofty expectations.
We take a look back at some of the biggest flops since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.

Sebastian Veron

The retired midfield maestro moved from Lazio to Manchester United in July 2001 for a fee of £28.1 million which made him the most expensive transfer in English football at that time.
However, Veron, who had helped Lazio clinch the Italian Serie A title and UEFA Super Cup, struggled with the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
United decided to sell the former Argentina international to their English rivals Chelsea in 2003.

“But as much as Veron was a great lad, and an unbelievable footballer, he didn’t know what it meant to be a Manchester United player,"  United legend Nicky Butt told Football 365 about Veron.

"He didn’t know the feeling of the club. He couldn’t handle the pace, the tempo. The fans didn’t want the little rollovers, the technical outside of the foot passes.

“They wanted blood and thunder, give it to Peter Schmeichel, throw it out to Giggs, attack, attack, attack. Players need to know that.”


Andriy Shevchenko

The legendary Ukrainian striker left AC Milan for Chelsea for £30.8 million which broke the record for a player signed by an English club in May 2006.
Shevchenko found it difficult to adapt in the Premier League as he made only 17 appearances in the competition and netted only five goals.
The Blues loaned him out to Italian giants Milan for the 2008/09 season and upon his return, he was sold to Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv.

Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean forward moved to Manchester United from their English rivals Arsenal in a big move which reportedly saw him earn a whopping £500 000-a-week in January 2018.
Sanchez proved to be one of United's worst signings in the Premier League era as he constantly underperformed - producing uncharacteristically lethargic displays.
The Red Devils have since loaned him out to Italian giants Inter Milan and United are said to be keen to get him off their wage bill by selling him in the next transfer window.

Andy Carroll

The English marksman moved from Newcastle United to Liverpool FC in January 2011 for a fee of £35 million making him the most expensive British footballer of all-time at that time.
Much was expected from Carroll, but he struggled with injuries at Liverpool and scored only six goals in the Premier League during his two-and-a-half-year spell with the club.
The Reds decided to cut their losses and sold Carroll to West Ham United ahead of the 2012/13 campaign.

"Do you know what. I was injured at the time, and all I'm thinking is, "Please, just fail the medical". The minute I got on that helicopter I wanted to come back. I knew it had to happen. Whatever age, I needed to walk back on that pitch and play for Newcastle again," Carroll told HITC about how he felt ahead of his medical at Liverpool.

"I remember leaving here in Kevin Nolan's car because loads of people were outside. We went to his house and watched it on TV. I was like, "I'm not going". I'd just bought a house, and a cat the day before! But then I was told, "You're going", and that was that."

Angel Di Maria

The Argentine playmaker joined Manchester United from Real Madrid for a transfer fee of £59.7 million - the highest fee ever paid by a British club at the time in August 2014.

The Red Devils were hoping that Di Maria would inspire them to the Premier League title, but the attacker struggled to adapt in England as he was inconsistent.

Di Maria reportedly asked the club to sell him after one season as he was unsettled. He left United for French giants Paris Saint Germain (PSG) in August 2015.

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Published: 04/15/2020