Premier League transfers: five of the worst ever

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers must be delighted to see the back of Mario Balotelli. The Italian didn't only waltz around for the whole of last season, looking as if he couldn't try less, he didn't back it up his lackadaisical approach, with just four goals from his 28 appearances.

The ex-Manchester City player was lucky to be playing in front of a crowd that is known for having patience and leniency for players and managers. But even the Anfield faithful were starting to turn on the misfiring forward by the end of the season.

But who are the biggest flops in Premier League history? Here are five to consider...


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5.  Roberto Soldado

After being a potent La Liga striker, Tottenham Hotspur signed the Spaniard for £29m two seasons ago. But the former Real Madrid and Valencia player managed just seven goals in 45 games for Spurs, costing them £6.4m per game.

The London club will wonder what went wrong as they offloaded the forward to Villarreal this month for just £10m, and to make things even worse, he scored on his debut for the La Liga club.

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Soldado, who has played for the Spanish national team, seemed lost and powerless in front of goal at White Hart Lane. At the beginning of his time in England, he may complain that he was played out of position for the odd game, but his ineffectiveness as a forward was clear and maybe proves why he wasn't trusted to be the Spurs' sole target man.

4. Andy Carroll

Having been caught up in the Liverpool/Chelsea money war of January 2011, the Geordie was brought to Anfield for £35m to replace Fernando Torres. A big price tag to live up to and hefty goalscoring boots to fill.

The ex-Newcastle player never seemed truly happy, something that was evident at his first Liverpool press conference where he seemed crushed to be leaving his beloved Newcastle, who probably couldn't turn down such a massive fee - the biggest paid for a British footballer at the time.

Carroll never really got going on Merseyside, returning six goals in 42 games. Injuries hampered the big man along the way, as he tried to muster some form and confidence. But after a decent end to the 2011/12 season Carroll didn't fit into new manager, Brendan Rodgers', plans and was eventually sold to West Ham for £15m after a season long loan at the London club.

3. Andrey Shevchenko

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly bought the Ukrainian as a present for manager Jose Mourinho- you would think the Special One would have been delighted to be gifted the best forward on the planet at the time.

Costing the Russian billionaire £30m in 2006, big things were expected of the man who had just scored 127 goals in 208 games for Italian giants AC Milan.

What Chelsea got was the complete opposite. Instead of the deadly poacher we saw at Milan, they received a player that had turned into a passenger, with just a smidgen of his former talents.

Nine strikes in 48 at Stamford Bridge just about summed up Sheva's fall from the footballing elite. He returned to Milan and, after another unsuccessful spell, was sent back home to Dynamo Kiev.

2. Fernando Torres

What a difference a club can make. Torres scared the life out of many a defence throughout his time at Liverpool - the reason Chelsea signed him for a whopping £50m, a British record transfer fee.

But the man from Madrid managed 20 goals from 110 games, 45 less than he put away for Liverpool in 102. £2.5m per goal was not something Chelsea were hoping for.

Although the Spanish World Cup winner did win the Champions League at Chelsea, along with picking up Europa League and FA cup medals, his stay there was nothing short of farcical at times.

It was quite sad to see a former lethal striker lose his presence, something that was highlighted in a game with Manchester United when he rounded the keeper before horribly miss hitting the ball wide of the open goal.

The price tag and pedigree of Torres when he arrived at Chelsea and his massive fall from grace sees him slot in at number two.

1. Massimo Taibi 

OK, so he didn't cost nearly as much as the entrees above, but the Italian has to be considered as one of the biggest non-starters of the Premier League period. Costing a healthy £4.5m, a impressive amount of money for a keeper at the time, Taibi lasted just four games, conceding 10 goals in the process.

Replacing the great Peter Schmeichel was never going to be easy, but Massimo couldn't have made a worse job of trying.  After being nicknamed the "Blind Venetian" when he fell over and let what was no more than a Matt Le Tissier back pass squirm between his legs into the goal, the writing was on the Old Trafford wall.

Fergie wasted no time in sending the goalie back to Reggina.


Who do you think was the worst Premier League signing ever? Let us know below!

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Andrew Carroll
Wayne Rooney
Transfer News
Tottenham Hotspur
Fernando Torres
Premier League
Manchester United

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