Every Premier League club's worst signing of the decade

The New Year is fast approaching.

Once the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, we not only usher in a new year, but a new decade!

It’s been a huge 10 years in the sport of football, particularly in the Premier League, where the division has developed into the biggest league in world sport.

The money seen on English shores these days is frightening and clubs up and down the country have been splashing a lot of it in the transfer market.

As such, some of the signings made have turned out to be true disasters, so we here at GIVEMESPORT have decided to look back at each club’s worst acquisition of the decade.

We’re only doing it for the 20 teams currently in the division and the signing had to be made when the club was in the Premier League – so sorry Wolves fans, Yannick Sagbo will not be featuring!

Arsenal – Shkodran Mustafi

What a corker to start with. When the Gunners announced the signing of the German centre-back from Valencia in 2016, there was almost delirium at the Emirates.

Spending £35m on a defender with a glowing reputation? This isn’t Arsenal. Fast-forward three years and the signing was most definitely, Arsenal.

Constant errors and a seeming lack of a defensive brain have seen Mustafi typify the Gunners’ decline into mid-table obscurity since his arrival.

Aston Villa – Micah Richards

Unfulfilled potential, the two words which aptly summarise the career of Richards.

For a period at Manchester City, he looked a world beater, but his move to Villa will sadly see him mostly remembered as a flop.

He was part of the team relegated in 2015/16 and then went nearly 1000 days without playing for the Villains before announcing his retirement in July at age 31.

Brighton – Alireza Jahanbakhsh

The Iranian arrived as the Eredivisie’s top marksman after scoring a plethora of goals at AZ Alkmaar.

On the south coast, the goals have dried up, to say the least In fact, he hasn’t actually scored one in 28 Premier League appearances for the Seagulls.

They splashed a club record £17m on him as well…

Bournemouth – Dominic Solanke

No one could quite believe when Bournemouth spent £20m on Solanke and it’s still hard to believe to this day.

The fact he managed just one Premier League goal for Liverpool should have given the Cherries a bit of a hint, but they still coughed up the cash.

Liverpool will now use less than half of that fee to sign Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg, insanity!

Burnley – Joe Hart

Hart was signed by Sean Dyche due to both Tom Heaton and Nick Pope being absent through injury.

What a chance it was for the former England number one to rediscover his best form, but it was one he sadly could not take.

His performances saw Burnley fans pleading for the returns of Heaton and Pope, with Hart’s solitary appearance in 2019/20 coming in the Carabao Cup – where Burnley were beaten 3-1 by League One Sunderland.

Chelsea – Tiemoue Bakayoko

Finally, Chelsea had found the the perfect midfield partner for N’Golo Kante!

Oh how naive we all were. After Bakayoko’s starring performances for AS Monaco, we all thought the Blues had made the signing of the summer in 2017.

But the transition from France to England proved too much and in the midst of him tumultuous time in west London. Bakayoko also turned in possibly the worst performance in Premier League history against Watford.

Crystal Palace – Jordan Mutch

A midfielder with an eye for goal at QPR, but one who played like he had no eyes at all at Palace.

Thankfully, the Englishman only cost the Eagles £4.5m in the 2015 January transfer window, but it was £4.5m down the drain.

That’s because back in January, Mutch’s contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

Everton – Davy Klaassen

A classy playmaker from Ajax, what could go wrong? Sadly, everything.

The £23.6m Dutchman made just seven appearances for the Toffees, with Sam Allardyce infamously saying he couldn’t play Klaassen as he ‘had to win’.

Everton’s transfer business over the past decade has been spotty at best and Klaassen is the finest example of their sub-par recruitment – although Moise Kean has the potential to pinch that accolade.

Leicester – Ahmed Musa

One of the Foxes’ marquee signings after their title winning campaign and on paper, it looked a cracking one.

Musa had starred for CSKA Moscow for some years and the thought of him and the equally quick Jamie Vardy up top was mouth watering.

What happened? The Nigerian scored two goals in 21 Premier League games and only three of his appearances resulted in wins for Leicester – ouch.

Liverpool – Lazar Markovic

For a number of years, Liverpool fans were genuinely in disbelief that the Serbian winger continued to remain on their books.

In his five years for the Reds – which included multiple loan spells – Markovic managed two Premier League goals and he just looked lost on Merseyside.

Going from the Serbian to Mohamed Salah was some upgrade.

Man City – Eliaquim Mangala

At £32m, Mangala is still one of the most expensive defenders in world football – remarkable really.

Signed in 2014 from FC Porto, the Frenchman has been an unmitigated disaster at the Etihad and his loan spell at Everton in 2017/18 was arguably even worse as he made just two appearances for the Toffees.

City finally offloaded Mangala this summer to Valencia and he goes down as arguably the club’s worst ever signing. Yes, worse than Jo!

Man Utd – Alexis Sanchez

The worst signing of the Premier League era? Probably.

A burned out Sanchez arrived at Old Trafford with a wad of 50s spilling out his back pocket and a the inability to actually kick a football in the right direction.

Mason Greenwood, 18, has already scored more goals for United this season than Sanchez managed during his woeful year-and-a-half with the club, says it all really.

Newcastle – Florian Thauvin

Now a World Cup winner with France and one of the stars of Ligue 1, but during his days in England Thauvin could have passed for the next Ali Dia.

Thirteen Premier League appearances, 0 goals and 13 woeful performances, that was the reward Newcastle got for their £13m investment.

On the plus side, he looked damn good in that tuxedo!

Norwich – Ricky van Wolfswinkel

At the start of the 2013/14 season, the £8.5m signing of Van Wolfswinkel looked a steal as he scored on his Premier League debut versus Everton.

Sadly, that was just a one off as the Dutchman went his next 25 appearances in the league without scoring, with Norwich being relegated.

At least the Canaries now have Teemu Pukki leading the line for them!

Sheffield United – Luke Freeman

Sorry Luke, but there weren’t many other options to pick from for the Blades, especially as Ravel Morrison was pretty much a free hit for the club.

United’s only appearance in the Premier League this decade has been this season and the poor form of Freeman – who was a club record signing before the acquisition of Oil McBurnie – has been one of the Blades’ only negatives.

Freeman has yet to contribute to a goal in his eight appearances, but there’s more than enough time for the 27-year-old to turn it around.

Southampton – Guido Carrillo

Amazingly, the Argentine is still on Southampton’s books, despite looking like a Sunday League striker during his nine appearances for the Saints.

He’d only managed five in 22 appearances for Monaco before he arrived on the south coast in a £19.2m in January 2018.

Things haven’t got much better at Leganes, with Carrillo scoring just six times in 44 La Liga games.

Tottenham – Roberto Soldado

For a man nicknamed ‘Goaldado’, Soldado scored a worrying lack of goals for Spurs.

In fact, the £26m signing scored just seven for the club in his 52 Premier League appearances, working out at just over £3.5m per goal.

At least his woefulness handed Harry Kane more chances in the first team.

Watford – Mario Suarez

A club synonymous with managerial change has – unsurprisingly – seen a number of eyebrow raising arrivals player wise.

But Suarez is surely the worst of this decade. A competent defensive midfielder at Atletico Madrid, the Spaniard looked like a fish out of water on the outskirts of London.

He’s now back in sunny ol’ Spain with Rayo Vallecano.

West Ham – Roberto Jimenez

Possibly the worst goalkeeper ever seen in the Premier League.

Roberto’s performances this season were painful to watch and the Spaniard’s negligence saw the Hammers plummet down the table.

David Martin has now replaced Roberto between the sticks and we’ll likely never see him in the Premier League again.

Wolves – Roger Johnson

Johnson’s decline from a player looking primed for an England call-up at Birmingham to one of Wolves’ biggest ever flops was pretty darn impressive.

His signing in the summer of 2011 was meant to be a huge statement, one that would solidify Wolves’ defence and cement their Premier League status.

What happened next? Wolves finished rock bottom of the league and Johnson’s performances made Mustafi look like Franz Beckenbauer.

In a decade littered with world-class signings in the Premier League, there have been some right stinkers to match.

The worst of them all? It really is hard to look past Sanchez and the mammoth £500,000-a-week contract handed to him at United needs to serve as a constant reminder for clubs across the globe.

As the old cliche goes, money does not guarantee happiness.

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