The English Premier League's 5 Biggest Flops
The English Premier League has seen many fantastic players over the years and is home to some of the world's greatest talent, but who were those players who just never lived up to their names?
There have been many players to arrive to the Premier League with so much expectation only to leave with their reputation barely intact.
There have been so many, it's not easy narrowing it down to five. Please let me know who you would have included if you feel I left anyone out.
Winston Bogarde to Chelsea
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The Dutch international was signed by Chelsea on a free transfer from Barcelona in 2000 when Gianluca Vialli was at the helm. Vialli was reported to have said he didn't know much about the deal in place (Independent, h/t Wikipedia) to bring Winston Bogarde to Chelsea.
Bogarde only managed a handful of appearances in a Chelsea shirt. He earned a reported £40,000 for sitting on the bench, which sounded like quite a cushy lifestyle.
He admitted he may be one of the worst signings in Premier League history: “Few people will ever earn so many. I am one of the few fortunates who do. I may be one of the worst buys in the history of the Premiership, but I don't care.”
Francis Jeffers to Arsenal
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Arsene Wenger wanted someone who was a natural goal-scorer and could take his attack to the next level. Francis Jeffers, once called "the fox in the box'' now playing his trade in the Australian Hyundai A-League, was neither.
Jeffers played only 22 games and only found the back on the net an underwhelming four times. He is also known as one of the only players to score in his debut for England, then never to be called up again.
After a goal-less loan spell at his boyhood club Everton, he left Arsenal for Charlton and his career never really picked up.
Ali Dia to Southampton
This has to go down as one of the strangest transfers in football history. The legend was told that Graeme Souness, the current Southampton manager, received a phone call from a man claiming to be George Weah, the former World Player of the Year.
Weah told Souness that Dia was his cousin, had been capped by his country and played with France Giants PSG. Obviously, now we know that this wasn’t true. The phone call was made by one of Dia’s friends.
Souness then offered Dia a one-month contract. He made debut against Leeds, coming on as a sub and being dragged off after only 21 minutes after putting on an utterly dreadful display.
Dia only spent a weekend at Southampton but will live long in the memory of the Saints fans.
Steve Marlet to Fulham
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Steve Marlet was bought in a record-breaking transfer, costing the Cottagers £11.5 million. He is now known as the man who cost more than £1 million per goal and roughly averaged one goal every five games, a rate that wasn’t acceptable.
His form was so bad that the owner of Fulham, Mohammed Al Fayed, actually took Jean Tigana, who was managing Fulham at the time, to court believing that Tigana had overpaid for Marlet and pocketed a part of the profit from the transfer.
Massimo Taibi to Manchester United
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Massimo Taibi takes the No.1 spot as the biggest Premier League flop. He was seen as the replacement for the great Peter Schmeichel, but he certainly didn’t live up to those standards, managing only four appearances for the Red Devils.
In those appearances Taibi let in 11 goals. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. After a couple of big mistakes against Liverpool followed by a few good saves here and there, he will always be remembered for the clanger he let in against Southampton.
Matt Le Tissier's shot from outside the box seemed to be safe in Taibi’s hands. But when it squirmed through his legs as he fell to the floor and found the back of the net, it found a permanent place in nearly every blooper real ever made.