Premier League clubs haven’t been shy about splashing the cash in the early stages of this summer’s transfer window.
They won’t be the last, either, as a host of other significant transfers look to be close to completion in the English top-flight.
A large investment, though, is no guarantee of success on the pitch. No matter how much clubs fork out in transfer fees or wages (often both), it’s still down to the individual players to perform.
Proving this point, the folks over at The Mirror Football recently ranked the 10 worst transfers in Premier League history – and it’s packed full of deals that aged terribly.
We’ve taken a look at the countdown in full below.
The 10 worst signings in Premier League history ranked
10. Paul Pogba | Juventus to Man Utd | 2016 | £89m
9. Fernando Torres | Liverpool to Chelsea | 2011 | £50m
8. Andriy Shevchenko | AC Milan to Chelsea | 2006 | £30m
7. Danny Drinkwater | Leicester to Chelsea | 2017 | £35m
6. Tiemoue Bakayoko | Monaco to Chelsea | 2017 | £40m
5. Andy Carroll | Newcastle to Liverpool | 2011 | £35m
4. Nicolas Pepe | Lille to Arsenal | 2019 | £72m
3. Alexis Sanchez | Arsenal to Man Utd | 2018 | Swap deal
2. Angel Di Maria | Real Madrid to Man Utd | 2014 | £60m
1. Romelu Lukaku | Inter Milan to Chelsea | 2019 | £97m
Chelsea have had some shockers over the years, haven’t they?
Torres was a major disappointment after his British record £50m switch from Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on deadline day in January 2011. To be fair, though, his £35m replacement at Anfield in Carroll fared just as badly. Both deals are more than justifiable inclusions here.
Shevchenko was well past his best by the time he arrived in west London in 2006. He was a flop for the Blues, scoring just 22 times in 77 games.
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The combined £75m that Chelsea spent on Drinkwater and Bakayoko in 2017 has returned the club just 66 appearances and four goals in the five years since.
Drinkwater departed the club at the end of May, describing his Chelsea experience as “a business deal gone wrong,” while Bakayoko has spent the last four campaigns out on loan.
As disastrous as the above were, however, nothing beats Lukaku’s mammoth move from Inter Milan last summer.
The Blues forked out £97m for the Belgian powerhouse less than a year ago. The 29-year-old managed just eight Premier League goals last season (meaning that each strike effectively cost the club more than £12m!)
Having only cashed in on Lukaku back in August, Inter were able to loan the striker back for next season for a mere £10m. A fantastic piece of business – if you’re the Serie A side.
Chelsea aren’t the only club with a questionable transfer record, though.
Man United have hardly been immune to a financial blunder over the years. The Red Devils let Pogba depart the club without too much fuss in 2012, only to spend £89m to bring him back from Juventus four later.
They didn’t recoup any of that fee in the end as Pogba exited Old Trafford for a second time last month – and now appears poised to return to Juve on a free transfer.
A swap deal doesn’t feel like it should belong on a list of worst transfers, but United had to part with far more than Henrikh Mkhitaryan to sign Sanchez from Arsenal in 2018.
The Chilean forward was handed an eye-watering £350,000 per week contract, not to mention a £6.7m signing bonus.
All in, Sanchez reportedly cost the club more than £66m, which amounted to £13.2 million per goal, £7.3 million per assist, and £1.5 million per appearance during his hugely underwhelming spell at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.
Di Maria’s disastrous 32-game stint in 2014/15 cost United even more than that, although at least the Red Devils were able to offload the Argentine winger to Paris Saint-Germain for £44m in relatively quick time.
Arsenal look set to be busy during the ongoing window, with a number of high-profile targets being pursued. The Gunners would be seriously unlucky to strike a deal that turns out as poorly as the club-record signing of Pepe. The £72m man now has a market value of just £22.5m, proving how badly he has struggled at the Emirates.
Summer transfer window latest (Via The Football Terrace)