Rising transfer fees in the Premier League have increased the chances of clubs getting it embarrassingly wrong.
Any boy have they.
Chelsea’s signing of Fernando Torres immediately comes to mind when thinking about big-money flops.
And there have been many other occasions in which teams have spent a lot and got little in return.
It was even worse when the clubs spent a hefty sum…
20. Marco Boogers | West Ham United
Harry Redknapp brought Boogers to West Ham for £1 million after watching a video of him for Sparta Rotterdam.
He was left wishing he’d watched another video instead.
Boogers was sent off in his second game and was then given permission to return to Holland for the birth of his son.
He never came back.
19. Ricky van Wolfswinkel | Norwich City
There were high hopes for Van Wolfswinkel at Carrow Road, and they increased when he scored on his debut for the club.
However, he was loaned out to St Etienne a year after joining and eventually returned to Vitesse after scoring just one more goal for Norwich.
18. Corrado Grabbi | Blackburn Rovers
The name ‘Corrado Grabbi’ still produces chills at Ewood Park.
Blackburn were thought to have beaten AC Milan to the Italian’s signature in 2001, and it cost them a club record £6.5m.
But Grabbi netted just twice in 30 appearances. Disaster.
17. Kostas Mitroglou | Fulham
Fulham splashed out £11m to sign Greek striker Mitroglou in the hope that he could keep them in the Premier League.
To do that, he needed to score. But he didn’t find the back of the net once during a miserable four-month stay at the club.
He played three games and Fulham sold him to Benfica for half the price they paid.
16. Andre Santos | Arsenal
Santos made far too many mistakes at Arsenal and he lasted just two seasons before joining Gremio on loan, and then joining Flamengo for free.
15. Andy van der Meyde | Everton
Van der Meyde suffered a serious of problems at Everton, many of them off the pitch.
He had issues with alcohol, his dog was stolen during a burglary, his baby daughter suffered from health problems and his wife hired a private detective to follow him.
Van der Meyde played just 24 games over four years for Everton, where he regularly had run-ins with manager David Moyes.
14. Afonso Alves | Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough paid a club record £14m to sign Alves but it took him two months to score his first goal for the club.
A hat-trick against Manchester City on the final day of the 2008/09 season suggested the following campaign would be promising, but he scored just four goals and Middlesbrough were relegated.
13. Massimo Taibi | Manchester United
Four games was all it took for Sir Alex Ferguson to realise that Italian goalkeeper Taibi, a £4.5m signing, wasn’t the answer in goal.
He made a series of high-profile errors, including letting a weak shot from Matt Le Tissier roll through his legs, before joining Reggina less than six months after arriving in Manchester.
12. Roberto Soldado | Tottenham Hotspur
Having spent £26m, Spurs would have expected more than seven league goals from Soldado.
The Spanish striker was sold for just £10m two years later.
11. Jo | Manchester City
Jo was a record £18m signing for Man City, just before Sheikh Mansour’s takeover.
But over the course of three seasons, he was loaned to Everton twice and scored just one league goal for City.