With Andrey Arshavin set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, I have found ten worse signings than the Russian to prove that he is not the worst signing in Premier League history.
10. Thomas Brolin | Leeds United
Brolin arrived at Leeds with a massive reputation. After impressing at both Euro ’92 and the 1994 World Cup with Sweden, Howard Wilkinson decided that Brolin was the man to replace Tony Yeboah, but the striker failed to find his feet at the club and was soon loaned out before announcing his retirement at the age of 29.
9. David Bentley | Tottenham
Earlier on in his career, Bentley was compared to David Beckham. At his first clubs, Arsenal and Blackburn, he showed great potential and even showed signs of looking slightly like the English icon. However, after a £15m move to Spurs in 2008 in which he failed to cement a first-team place, Bentley has recently been loaned out to the relatively unknown Russian side FC Rostov and then back to Blackburn, who had not won since February before last weekend.
8. Francis Jeffers | Arsenal
As a 16-year-old, Everton player Jeffers got a reputation as a bit of a "fox in the box," and when Arsenal signed him for £10m in 2001, Gunners supporters were unsurprisingly delighted. However, 22 starts and four goals later he was loaned back to Everton and eventually sold to Charlton, as he proved that he could not make the grade at Highbury - struggling with injuries and failing to displace either Thierry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp.
7. Robinho | Manchester City
Robinho was the first major signing from Real Madrid, after the big-money takeover at Manchester City, with a price-tag of £32m - a then-Premier League transfer record. But the Brazilian failed to live up to the billing, scoring only 14 goals in 41 games for City. His time was dogged by injury and in January 2010 he was back home in Brazil with Santos.
6. Jerome Boateng | Manchester City
Boateng was signed from Hamburg for £10.4m in the same summer as David Silva and Yaya Toure also came to the club. The German international struggled with the pace of the Premier League, and only managed to make 16 appearances for City before moving back to Germany in January 2011.
5. Robbie Keane | Liverpool
The somersaulting Irishmen got his dream move to his boyhood club for a staggering £20.3m in 2008, hoping to make his name as one of the great Liverpool strikers like Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. However, Keane did not even last a season and, with five goals in 16 games, was back at Tottenham in January 2009.
4. Alberto Aquilani | Liverpool
Signed as a replacement for Xabi Alonso to provide a creative spark for £20m from Roma despite a questionable injury record. This injury record carried on into his Liverpool career and saw him make just 18 appearances and score only one goal for the club in his only full season there. Aquillani was finally sold last summer to Fiorentina in Italy.
3. Juan Sebastian Veron | Manchester United & Chelsea
The Argentinian playmaker was signed for £28.1m from Serie A side Lazio. Just two years and eight goals later Sir Alex Ferguson sold the flop to Chelsea for £13m where he only scored one goal in 14 games for the Blues.
2. Andriy Shevchenko | Chelsea
The Ukrainian was arguably one of the best players in world football, winning the Ballon d'Or award in 2004, when he was signed in 2006, for what was a Premier League record of £30.8m. However he only managed nine Premier League goals in the three years he was at Chelsea, and in 2007 he was loaned back to AC. Milan by new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, where he is the second highest goalscorer of all time.
1. Fernando Torres | Chelsea
The Spaniard is still the Premier League's record signing by a long way for £50m. The Spaniard had scored 71 goals for Atletico Madrid and 81 for Liverpool, but since his ludicrous move the Spaniard has only scored 32 goals in 122 games, and has simply not looked the same as the player who scored the winning goal at the Euro 2008 final.
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