Football

Top Five: Premier League flops transformed

Pique has flourished with Barcelona. (©GettyImages)
Pique has flourished with Barcelona. (©GettyImages).

Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho joined Arsenal with high reputations after greatly impressing in Ligue 1. Moroccan striker, Chamakh, who had come through the Bordeaux Academy, netted 56 goals alongside 32 assists in 230 league appearances for the French side before agreeing a deal to join Arsene Wenger's squad in 2010.

Chamakh's former Arsenal team-mate, Gervinho, blossomed onto the football stage at Lille. The Ivory Coast international was a pivotal part of Lille's Ligue 1 winning campaign in which he scored 15 goals and provided 10 assists.

However both players struggled to display the form in the Premier League, which had granted them a move to the Emirates. Now with Gervinho recently finalising a move to Roma and Chamakh seemingly close to a move to promoted Crystal Palace, GMS looks upon Premier League 'flops' who managed to turn their careers around for the better.

Georgios Samaras

The Greece striker had a horrid spell at Manchester City in which he only managed to claim eight goals in two seasons for the Sky Blues. Samaras' lack of consistency and confidence saw him fall down the pecking order and his career in the Premier League looked to be coming to a dismal halt.

However the Greek joined Celtic in a deal worth £6 million in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength in Scottish football.

Gerard Pique

During his time at Manchester United, Pique found it difficult to nail down a regular starting place at Old Trafford due to the strong and reliable partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

With only a year left of the Spanish defender's contract, United decided to allow Pique to return to his childhood club Barcelona in a deal worth £4 million. The centre-back has now become one of the best defenders in world football and has been an important asset in Barcelona's success over recent years.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

There were high expectations of the Dutchman when he was lured from Rangers to join the ranks at Arsenal in the summer of 2001. Although due to great competition for places from Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva and a cruciate knee ligament injury, the defensive midfielder struggled to find his feet at Highbury.

After making only 42 appearances for the Gunners in three seasons, Van Bronckhorst switched London for Barcelona in 2004. The Dutchman became the Catalans' first choice left-back and went on to have a very successful career, winning the Champions League and reaching the World Cup final in 2010 among many other honours.

Gareth Bale

The Welshman completed a move from Southampton to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 in a deal worth in the region of £10 million. However as a young left-back, Bale found himself regularly absent from the starting XI at White Hart Lane.

The Cardiff born footballer reportedly came close to a move out of the Premier League and down to the Championship in 2009. Former Birmingham manager Alex McLeish recently stated that the Welshman was close to agreeing a deal that would have seen him join the Blues at St. Andrews.

However just a few years later Bale has become one of the best players in the world and could become the most expensive player ever if a transfer to Real Madrid comes off.

Diego Forlan

The Uruguayan international was thought of as one of the next big stars in European football when he was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2001. Despite this reputation, Forlan never really managed to shine at Old Trafford and was stuck in the shadows of striking partners Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunner Solskjaer.

Forlan later sealed a move to Villarreal where his career burst into life. After becoming a fans' favourite for the Yellow Submarines, the forward shared the European Golden Boot with Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry.

Spectacular performances saw the former Red Devil earn a move to Atletico Madrid where he won the Europa League in a season which saw him score an impressive 96 goals in 134 appearances.

 

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Topics:
Arsenal
Gerard Pique
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Football
Gareth Bale
Barcelona
Manchester United

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