Ranked: Top 10 Premier League Transfer Flops Of All Time

Andy Carroll in action for Liverpool

While there have been some spectacular signings during the Premier League era, clubs in this particular division are prone to making the occasional blunder when it comes to their transfer recruitment.

Although certain individuals earn moves to major sides due to the standard of their performances for their previous teams, there is always a great deal of pressure to live up to expectations.

Although players such as N’Golo Kante, Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes have all managed to justify their transfer fees in recent years, the likes of Andy Carroll, Danny Drinkwater and Fernando Torres all failed to deliver the goods after sealing big money moves during their respective careers.

Here, we take a look at 10 of the biggest Premier League transfer flops in history.

Check them out below!

10. Angel Di Maria – Manchester United

Signed by Manchester United for a reported fee of £59.7m in 2014, Angel Di Maria ultimately struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League and was sold to Paris Saint-Germain after just one season at Old Trafford.

Although the winger did show glimpses of promise by providing his former Red Devils team-mates with 12 assists during the 2014/15 campaign, he failed to provide the spark that the club needed to challenge for the title.

9. Bebe – Manchester United

Bebe was another player who couldn’t live up to the hype that surrounded him when he arrived at Manchester United in 2009 from Vitoria de Guimaraes for £7.4m.

After only making seven appearances for the club in all competitions, Bebe moved back to Portugal in 2014 as he joined Benfica on a permanent deal.

8. Mario Balotelli – Liverpool

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After enjoying a fruitful 2013/14 campaign with AC Milan, Mario Balotelli opted to move back to England as Liverpool splashed £16m on him.

An utterly woeful spell ensued as the Italian only managed to find the back of the net on four occasions in 28 appearances before joining Nice on a permanent deal in 2016.

7. Juan Sebastian Veron – Manchester United

Having set Serie A alight with his displays for Lazio, Juan Sebastian Veron sealed an eye-catching move to Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson opted to spend £28.1m on him.

The Argentine struggled considerably for consistency during his time with the Red Devils and was eventually sold to Chelsea in 2003.

6.Jean-Alain Boumsong – Newcastle United

Newcastle United’s decision to pay £8m for Jean-Alain Boumsong in 2005 turned out to be a major error as he suffered with a lapse of concentration during his first full season at St James’ Park.

Sold for just £3.3m to Juventus, the defender went on to feature for Lyon and Panathinaikos before calling time on his playing career in 2013.

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5. Fernando Torres – Chelsea

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A transfer which sent shockwaves through English football, Fernando Torres would have been hoping to take his game to new heights after joining Chelsea for £50m from Liverpool in 2011.

However, a number of poor performances by the Spaniard resulted in him failing to live up to expectations as he only managed to score 45 goals in 172 games for the Blues before moving on to Atletico Madrid.

4. Saido Berahino – Stoke City

Signed by Stoke City for an initial fee of £12m from West Bromwich Albion in 2017, Saido Berahino endured a torrid spell at the bet365 Stadium.

After only managing to find the back of the net on five occasions in 56 appearances for the Potters, the 28-year-old joined Zulte Waregem on a free transfer two years ago.

3. Eliaquim Mangala – Manchester City

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Despite earning rave reviews during his time at FC Porto, Eliaquim Mangala’s performances in the Premier League for Manchester City left a lot to be desired as he was unable to justify his £32m price-tag.

The Citizens eventually decided to let the defender leave the Etihad Stadium in 2019 on a permanent basis as he joined Valencia where his struggles continued.

2. Andy Carroll – Liverpool

While Luis Suarez was able to fill the void left by Torres’ departure, fellow forward Andy Carroll failed to form a fruitful partnership with the Uruguayan after sealing a £35m move from Newcastle United.

After scoring six league goals in 44 appearances for the Reds, Carroll was sold to West Ham United in 2013 for a fee believed to be in the region of £15m.

1. Danny Drinkwater – Chelsea

One of the stand-out performers in Leicester City’s title-winning 2015/16 campaign, Danny Drinkwater earned a £35m switch to Chelsea in 2017.

Despite being at the club for four years, Drinkwater has only managed to feature on 12 occasions in the Premier League for the Blues and was loaned out to Turkish side Kasimpasa earlier this year.


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