Who are football's biggest failures?

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Football News

Manchester United forward Bebe is back in the spotlight.

A dispute over his transfer from Vitoria to United has rumbled on for years, but it is back under the microscope once again after Bebe's former-agent lodged an official complaint with FIFA.

It's telling that this is the first we've heard about the Portuguese winger since he returned to United from a loan spell in Turkey. And it's fair to say over the past two seasons Bebe has become a byword for a football flop.

But he's not the only player to have failed to live up to the hype, or the price tag. Some failed before succeeding elsewhere, others just flat out failed.

GMF looks back at some of the most recent, and most memorable, football failures...

Bebe - Manchester United

One of the most bizarre signings of the Premier League era, rivalling Ali Dia to Southampton on the scale of sheer bafflement.

Freely admitting he'd never watched him play live, Sir Alex Ferguson dipped into his wallet and plucked out a reported £7m for the Portuguese third division forward.

A handful of appearances later, and it was clear for all to see that Bebe was not going to be the next Ronaldo. Quietly loaned to Besiktas, Bebe suffered a cruciate ligament injury and made just four league appearances.

Now back at United, there has been precious little news on the Portuguese under-21 international, and although he was named in United's 25-man Premier League squad, he is yet to make an appearance. He could still prove everybody wrong, but it looks highly unlikely.

Andriy Shevchenko - Chelsea

One of the greatest goalscorers of all-time, unfortunately Shevchenko had a truly hellish spell in the Premier League.

Bought for £30m by Chelsea, Shevchenko was plagued by accusations that he was Roman Abremovich's favourite, but it didn't help his case that he appeared miles off the pace.

Nine goals in 46 league appearances later, and Chelsea cut their losses on the 2004 Ballon d'Or winner.

Franny Jeffers, Andrei Arshavin - Arsenal

Jeffers burst onto the scene as an Everton youngster, scoring goals for fun at Goodison Park, and earning a big-money move to Arsenal.

But once in London the goals dried up, the shoulders sank and Jeffers slipped into the footballing abyss.

A member of the great 'Invincibles' team, Jeffers barely got a kick, and the £8m signing was quiety shown the exit door after just four league goals in a Gunners shirt. Not a great return for a striker.

Andrei Arshavin was more of a slow burn in terms of football failures. Signed for club record fee of £15m in 2009, the Russian started brightly - who can forget his four goals at Anfield - but has since failed to live up to those early heights.

The subject of a great deal of fan frustration in recent seasons, Arshavin scarpered back to Zenit on loan, and is now reportedly available on a free transfer.

Paul Konchesky, Alberto Aquilani, Andy Carroll - Liverpool

The England left-back - yes, Paul Konchesky has been capped - had a thoroughly miserable four months at Anfield.

Having been brought over by Roy Hodgson, Konchesky became a scapegoat for Liverpool's negative play, acting as a lightning rod for criticism from the terraces. Unfortunately, his play was equally as shocking.

Of course, it didn't help that his family hated the city, and that Konchesky played terribly.

Andy Carroll and Alberto Aquilani were slightly more expensive flops. Both were shipped out on loan after Liverpool spent more than £20m apiece to bring them to Anfield.

Jo, Roque Santa Cruz - Manchester City

One of the early signings of the Sheikh Mansour era, Jo cost Manchester City £18m in 2008.

Just one league goal followed, and the Brazilian international left on loan, eventually fleeing back to Brazil in 2011.

Roque Santa Cruz was another Mark Hughes signing, brought to the Etihad Stadium in 2009 for £17.5m.

But when Mark Hughes got the chop, and Roberto Mancini was brought in, Santa Cruz found first-team opportunities limited.

But his record when he did get on the pitch did him no favours - just 3 three league goals in 20 appearances made Mancini's decision an easy one. Loans to Blackburn and Betis followed and the Paraguayan has most recently joined Malaga on a temporary basis.

Who do you think has failed most spectacularly to leave up to the hype? Join the debate by leaving your choice in the comment box below...

Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Manchester United

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