Juan Sebastian Veron at Manchester United? Tiemoue Bakayoko at Chelsea? The biggest Premier League flops over the last 20 years

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Juan Sebastian Veron at Manchester United? Tiemoue Bakayoko at Chelsea? The biggest Premier League flops over the last 20 years

Some brilliant business has been done in the Premier League in recent years.

Just look at Andy Robertson, who has been instrumental for Liverpool in their Champions League and the Club World Cup triumphs since his £8million move from Hull in 2017.

Getty Images – Getty

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson has emerged as one of the best full-backs in Europe since his switch from Hull in 2017

On the other hand, there have also been some moves which have turned out to be absolute disasters.

With big-money moves increasing year-by-year due to inflation, Premier League clubs are often paying over the odds for stars as they look to secure their top flight status or challenge for silverware.

But which players can be considered terrible buys in Premier League history? Whether it was a case of not settling, injury or a manager just not fancying him, talkSPORT.com looks at some of more forgettable signings since 2000.



Juan Sebastien Veron (Manchester United)

The Argentine playmaker had helped inspire Lazio to a Serie A and Coppa Italia double in 2000 which prompted United to bring him to Old Trafford in 2001 in a mouthwatering £28.1million deal – then a record sum for a Premier League transfer.

However, the midfielder struggled to settle in at the club and after scoring just seven times in 51 Premier League appearances, he was sold to Chelsea for £15m two years later.

Rio Ferdinand recently claimed the playmaker was one of the most talented players he played with in his career, insisting he struggled due to the wealth of talent manager Sir Alex Ferguson had in midfield.

At Chelsea, he made just seven Premier League appearances in four years at the club after being sent on loan to Inter.

Veron failed to cope with the fast-paced nature of the Premier League and struggled to break into United’s midfield before he joined Chelsea

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Veron failed to cope with the fast-paced nature of the Premier League and struggled to break into United’s midfield before he joined Chelsea

Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea)

After securing back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, owner Roman Abramovich’s ambition showed no signs of slowing and he decided to break the bank to sign AC Milan forward Andriy Shevchenko for £31m.

The red-hot Ukraine striker was one of the most lethal marksmen on the planet at the time, having scooped the Ballon d’Or two years previously.

But the move proved to be a huge disappointment, with Shevchenko finding the net just nine times over two seasons at Stamford Bridge.

He failed to rediscover the form that shot him to prominence and was eventually shipped back on loan to Milan in 2008.

Andriy Shevchenko was one of the best strikers in Europe but failed to find his scoring touch at Chelsea, scoring just nine league goals in two seasons at Stamford Bridge

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Andriy Shevchenko was one of the best strikers in Europe but failed to find his scoring touch at Chelsea, scoring just nine league goals in two seasons at Stamford Bridge

Fernando Torres (Chelsea)

The Spaniard made his name as one of Europe’s top strikers at Liverpool with 65 goals in 102 Premier League appearances.

But we did not see the same Torres who terrorised Premier League defenders following his £50m move to Stamford Bridge in January 2011.

He scored just 20 times in 110 league games for Chelsea, and who can forget that horrendous open goal miss against Manchester United in the first year of his spell?

Despite winning the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League with the Blues, he was a shadow of his former self at Stamford Bridge – though he will always be fondly remembered for his iconic goal against Barcelona in the Champions League.

Torres broke the hearts of Liverpool fans everywhere in 2011 when he joined Chelsea – and he struggled massively with the west Londoners

Torres broke the hearts of Liverpool fans everywhere in 2011 when he joined Chelsea – and he struggled massively with the west Londoners

Andy Carroll (Liverpool)

The giant Geordie was a transfer deadline day signing of £35m in January 2011 and at the time was the most expensive British footballer in history.

Sir Kenny Dalglish swooped in to sign the forward from Newcastle shortly after Torres departed for Chelsea.

He managed just 11 goals in 58 games in all competitions before leaving for West Ham, on a loan deal at first before being made permanent.

Andy Carroll moved to Liverpool for £35m in 2011 but the move turned out to be a disaster

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Andy Carroll moved to Liverpool for £35m in 2011 but the move turned out to be a disaster

Memphis Depay (Manchester United)

Much was expected of the forward after arriving for £25million from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2015, but a frustrating first season at Old Trafford was compounded by a disappointing second campaign.

The forward made just one start in all competitions under Jose Mourinho and Lyon managed to seal a £21.7m for the Dutchman in January 2017.

Depay, who scored seven goals in 53 appearances for United, has thrived in Ligue 1 since his move, scoring 43 goals in 102 league matches for Lyon and it appears it was just too soon to make the jump to Old Trafford.

Depay never settled at United but he has been brilliant for Lyon since moving to the club in 2017

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Depay never settled at United but he has been brilliant for Lyon since moving to the club in 2017

Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea)

The Colombia winger joined the Blues for £26m from Fiorentina when Jose Mourinho was in his second stint as Chelsea manager in 2015.

He found it difficult to adjust to life in the Premier League – though many of the Stamford Bridge faithful feel he wasn’t given much of a chance.

After making just 13 Premier League appearances at Stamford Bridge, Cuadrado went to Juventus on an unprecedented three-season long loan deal which was made permanent in 2017.

Juan Cuadrado played just 15 times for Chelsea after Mourinho signed him in 2015

Juan Cuadrado played just 15 times for Chelsea after Mourinho signed him in 2015

Roberto Soldado (Tottenham)

The striker was one of a host of players who moved to Spurs after Gareth Bale sealed his record-breaking £85m move to Real Madrid.

He was prolific in Spain before his 2013 move to Tottenham for a then club record £26m, scoring a very respectable 59 goals in 101 LaLiga appearances for Valencia.

Always loved by supporters for his effort, the striker struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League and after two seasons, with just 16 goals in 76 games, he left for Villarreal.

His difficulty at Spurs was perhaps a blessing for the club as it allowed Harry Kane to emerge from the youth ranks – and what a player he has become.

Soldado’s struggles at Spurs were perhaps a blessing in disguise as Kane emerged

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Soldado’s struggles at Spurs were perhaps a blessing in disguise as Kane emerged

Angel Di Maria (Manchester United)

The Louis van Gaal era at Old Trafford was kick-started with the £60m signing of Argentina international Di Maria from Real Madrid.

The winger arrived in England with a great reputation having dazzled at the Bernabeu for a number of years – and he began his United career well with a string of impressive performances.

But the move turned sour when an alleged burglary at the player’s home unsettled his family and after just one season in England he requested to leave the club, joining French side Paris Saint-Germain.

His wife has since ruffled feathers among the United fanbase by saying that Manchester was a s**thole, while he has frequently spoken of his unhappiness at the club.

Angel Di Maria fell out of favour quickly at Old Trafford and his wife has ruffled feathers among United fans since

Getty – Contributor

Angel Di Maria fell out of favour quickly at Old Trafford and his wife has ruffled feathers among United fans since

Yannick Bolasie (Everton)

The Toffees paid around £25m for the winger in 2016 to take him from Crystal Palace but injuries meant he failed to live up to that price tag.

He has made just 32 appearances and has been sent out on loan to several clubs.

Remarkably, he is still an Everton player but on loan at Sporting Lisbon.

Yannick Bolasie is still an Everton player

Getty Images – Getty

Yannick Bolasie is still an Everton player

Eliaquim Mangala (Man City)

The total cost of Mangala’s transfer to Man City was around £42m, making him the most expensive defender in British history at the time when the move was completed from Porto in 2014.

The centre-back proved to be a liability and was loaned to Valencia and Everton before joining the former on a free transfer in August 2019.

He has made just four appearances for the LaLiga club since joining in 2019.

Eliaquim Mangala moved to Man City for a staggering £42m from Porto but struggled for form at the Etihad

Getty – Contributor

Eliaquim Mangala moved to Man City for a staggering £42m from Porto but struggled for form at the Etihad

Henrikh Mkihtaryan (Manchester United)

The Armenian looked like a bargain when United signed him for £26.3million in 2016 after a season in which he was directly involved in 55 goals for Borussia Dortmund, scoring 23 and assisting 32.

But after struggling to make an impact under Jose Mourinho, United decided to part ways with the winger in 2018, who scored just five Premier League goals in two seasons at the club.

Mourinho then offered him to Arsenal in a bid to sign Alexis Sanchez, and to the dismay of many, the Gunners accepted the deal.

Mkihtaryan continued to struggle for Arsenal and he has recently revealed he is enjoying football again on loan at Roma.

Left attacking midfield: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Manchester United looked to have pulled off a major coup when they landed the Armenian playmaker from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016

Irwin looks back on Man United’s famous Champions League win in 1999

Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)

Sanchez’s move from Arsenal in January 2018 has been nothing short of a disaster, finding the net just three times in 32 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils.

The 31-year-old was one of the most lethal attackers in the division during his spell with the Gunners, netting 80 goals and providing 45 assists in 166 matches at the Emirates.

But after failing to make an impact at Old Trafford under Mourinho, Sanchez was sent on loan to Inter with the club hoping he would regain his magic touch.

His move to United will go down as one of the worst transfers in Premier League history, especially given the fact he is on a contract thought to be worth £500,000-a-week.

Things just have not gone right for Alexis Sanchez at Man United

Getty Images – Getty

Things just have not gone right for Alexis Sanchez at Man United

Tiemoue Bakayoko (Chelsea)

The France midfielder joined the Blues in a £40million deal from Monaco in the summer of 2017 after impressing in their title-winning campaign.

But he made just 29 Premier League appearances during his three years as a Blues player – and very few have been remotely impressive.

Since then, Bakayoko has spent the past two seasons on loan, at Milan and Monaco respectively, following his nightmare debut season at Stamford Bridge.

And recent reports have suggested that PSG may be willing to take a plunge on the holding midfielder in the summer.

Bakayoko doesnt appear to have a future as a Chelsea player

Getty – Contributor

Bakayoko doesnt appear to have a future as a Chelsea player

Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea)

A year after helping Leicester to their historic 2015/16 title victory, Drinkwater made a £30million move to Chelsea which raised a lot of eyebrows.

The midfielder was a crucial part of Claudio Ranieri’s title-winning team but struggled for game time at Stamford Bridge, where he has made just five league starts in three years.

He agreed a season-long loan stay with Burnley last summer but the Clarets terminated that deal in January after he made just two appearances in a nightmare six months.

The thrice-capped England international subsequently moved to Villa to aid their fight for survival, but he’s struggled and got into hot water since arriving.

Danny Drinkwater has made just ten Premier League starts in three years with Chelsea, Burnley and Aston Villa

Danny Drinkwater has made just ten Premier League starts in three years with Chelsea, Burnley and Aston Villa




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