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Top 10: Premier League flops

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The Premier League has been littered with some terrible players during its history. Here we list 10 of the worst players to ever grace the top flight of English football. 

10: Michael Johnson spent six years at Manchester City before being released in 2012 and he continues to be a free agent at the age of 25. Johnson was skipper of the FA Youth Cup runners-up team in 2005/06 and went on to be the 20th Academy Graduate from Platt Lane to play in the City first team.

His box-to-box play earned him a lot of praise at a local and national level. Serious injuries stopped his career in his tracks though and he never managed to return to form eventually being loaned out to Leicester City before being released by his parent club.

9: In January 2009, West Ham United completed the signing of German under-21 forward Savio from Brescia for a fee reported to be £9m. He was given the number 10 shirt after Craig Bellamy’s departure to Manchester City and made his debut in a 2-0 win over Hull City.

After the big transfer fee paid by the Hammers, fans were expecting to see that fee being paid back on the pitch but ten appearances later and no goals scored, Savio returned to Italy and signed for Fiorentina.

8: Brolin signed for Leeds United in November 1995 and came with a massive reputation after classy performances from Sweden during Euro 1992 and the World Cup in 1994. The Swedes reached the last four on both occasions and Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson brought Brolin in to partner Tony Yeboah.

He failed to live up to the expectations though managing only four goals in 19 Premier League games before leaving Elland Road 1997. In 2003 Brolin was voted by Leeds supporters as the clubs worst player in living memory.

7: Andrea Silenzi was the first Italian to play in English football however he won’t be remembered in the same category as fellow Italians Gianfranco Zola and Paolo Di Canio. Silenzi signed for Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1995 for £1.8m but after scoring only one league goal in a two-year spell, Dave Bassett ripped up his contract and he returned back to Italy.

6: Ukrainian forward Sergei Rebrov signed for Tottenham for £11m after eight years at Dynamo Kiev where he partnered another Premier League flop Andriy Shevchenko in attack.

He may be the all-time top-scorer in the Ukraine Premier League however he never managed to settle at White Hart Lane. With big potential, Rebrov only managed 10 league goals in 60 games at Spurs which was followed by one goal in 27 league appearances for West Ham United.

5: Dutchman Winston Bogarde joined Chelsea in 2000 towards the end of Gianluca Vialli’s reign. Vialli left and new coach Claudio Ranieri came in and immediately told the ex-Barcelona defender that he wasn’t part of his plans. The centre-half had already signed a four-year contract worth £40,000 a week and refused to leave.

He was quite happy in the reserves and youth team and continued this for four years until his contract expired in 2004. He only made 9 first-team appearances and went down as one of the worst Premier League buys ever. 

4: During May 2006, Andriy Shevchenko joined Chelsea for £30.8m from AC Milan breaking the record for a player signed by an English club. Shevchenko had scored 25+ goals in his last three seasons in all competitions for Milan and was an exciting prospect for Chelsea and one to fear for the whole of the Premier League.

He scored on his Blues debut in the 2-1 FA Community Shield defeat to Liverpool but he never managed to find any real kind of form. He scored nine goals in 47 Premier League games spread over two years before returning to Milan on-loan and then back to Dynamo Kiev where his career has started out so superbly.

3: Italian goalkeeper Taibi joined Manchester United for £4.5m in 1999 as they looked for a replacement for Peter Schmeichel. However after four appearances and ten goals conceded, he was dropped. Taibi is remembered for his horror moment in a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford against Southampton when he famously allowed Matt Le Tissier’s tame strike creep through his legs.

2: West Ham United Manager Harry Redknapp signed Boogers from Sparta Rotterdam for £1m in 1995. Redknapp stated he hadn’t actually seen Boogers play but still signed the forward. In only his second appearance for the club he was sent-off at Old Trafford for a high-rib challenge on Gary Neville. After a four match suspension he returned to play two more games before becoming surplus to requirements and returning to Holland.

1: In one of the most bizarre transfers of all-time, Ali Dia joined Southampton in 1996 after falsely telling Saints Manager Graeme Souness that he was cousins with Liberian footballer and former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah.

Souness received a call from one of Dia’s University friends claiming that he had played for Paris Saint-Germain and had played 13 times for his country. He was given a one-month contract and made his debut against Leeds United coming on as a substitute. He was taken off 21 minutes later after an appalling performance and never played another minute for the Saints.


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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