Premier League: 25 Transfer Busts in Recent History

James KentContributor IIISeptember 17, 2012

Premier League: 25 Transfer Busts in Recent History

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    There is no doubt that there has been some unbelievably good deals secured by Premier League clubs in recent years. But they haven't always got it right, and many times they have overpaid for players that performed poorly.

    Let's explore 25 of the worst signings in recent history.

25. James Vaughan (Everton to Norwich City)

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    Hopes were high when Paul Lambert secured the services of James Vaughan from Everton for newly promoted Norwich City. Vaughan had just come off a decent loan spell in the Championship with Crystal Palace, so he seemed primed for another crack at the Premier League.

    The striker has showed such promise in the early part of his Everton career, but injuries have curtailed the forward's top-flight career. That trend continued last season and Vaughan didn't start a single Premier League match.

    There are some people who thought this season could be the time for the striker, but Chris Hughton instead sent him out on loan to Huddersfield for the season. I think it is unlikely we will see James Vaughan in a Norwich City shirt again.

24. Leroy Lita (Middlesbrough to Swansea City)

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    When Swansea secured the services of Leory Lita in the summer of 2011, it looked like a decent piece of business. The striker has proved to be a capable goal-scorer at various clubs, but the move to Wales didn't work out as well as Brendan Rodgers would have hoped.

    Lita was a bit-part player for Swansea last season and he started only four times in the league, scoring two goals. It is no massive surprise that he has been loaned out to Birmingham City.

23. Shawn Wright-Phillips (Manchester City to QPR)

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    When QPR signed Wright-Phillips from Manchester City it last season it looked like a brilliant move, but the winger didn't display the promise that he showed in the early part of his career.

    Last season he was a bust, but he could potentially come through in the current campaign. Still, it is unlikely that he will be a Premier League star this season.

22. Roger Johnson (Birmingham City to Wolves)

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    Roger Johnson was signed to improve the Wolves defense. However, the signing seemed to have the opposite impact on team last season. Wolves finished bottom of the table with just 25 points, and their defensive record was very grim. They conceded 82 goals and had a -42 goal difference. 

21. Scott Dann (Birmingham City to Blackburn Rovers)

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    Scott Dann was seen as a top tier British defender. Multiple Premier League clubs have been chasing his signature for some time and it was a bit of a surprise when he ending up joining Blackburn.

    Nevertheless, some of the bigger top-flight clubs may now be breathing a sigh of relief that they lost the bid. Dann's signing proved to be a bit of a disaster and Blackburn had one of the poorer defensive records in last season's Premier League. In fact, a tighter back line may have seen the team survive for another season.  

20. Marvin Sordell (Watford to Bolton)

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    I don't really know why Bolton signed Sordell in the January 2012 transfer window. It can only be assumed that it was part of a desperate attempt to stay in the Premier League, but he failed to make any significant impact.

    In the past, however, he has proved his ability in the Championship and could potentially serve Bolton well this season. He may yet prove to be a solid Premier League player in years to come, but so far his presence has not been felt.

19. Charles N'Zogbia (Wigan to Aston Villa)

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    Charles N'Zogbia was a real star at Wigan and great things were expected of him when he moved to Aston Villa, but the winger was not able to recapture his form at Villa Park.

    Still, new manager Paul Lambert likes wingers, so N'Zogbia may yet have an opportunity to turn things around. 

18. Conor Sammon (Kilmarnock to Wigan)

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    Roberto Martinez has a reputation for finding effective Premier League starters at bargain rates, but no one can fool the transfer window 100% of the time. The signing of Conor Sammon is a classic example of this.

    The transfer was made with the best of intentions based on his decent record for Scotland. Last season it was clear that the Irish striker was a hard worker, but he failed to find the net for the entire Premier League season.

17. Cameron Jerome (Birmingham City to Stoke City)

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    Jerome has never really lived up to the early promise he showed as a Cardiff and Birmingham player. The move from Birmingham to Stoke has been a complete failure. He is now restricted to a bit-part role role Premier League and he has only scored four league goals as a Stoke player.

    It would not be a massive surprise to see the player return to the Championship in the near future and rebuild his career, but for now he is the definition of a bust. 

16. Connor Wickham (Ipswich Town to Sunderland)

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    Connor Wickham showed so much promise as a Ipswich Town player. When Sunderland bought him in 2011, they were looking to bolster their attacking options, but too much pressure was put on Wickham's shoulders.

    I think that move to the Premier League came too soon for him and he was not mentally prepared. He now faces a major challenge to ensure he doesn't just become another young player that once showed promise. Right now, he is a transfer bust, but he has time on his side to prove otherwise.

15. David Ngog (PSG to Liverpool)

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    I was never convinced by Ngog's performances in a Liverpool shirt. The few goals that he scored were partly due to the quality of service he received on the Liverpool team. I don't think he would have done anywhere near as well in a less talented group.

    It was no real surprise to see him sign for Bolton. The fact that he has scored only few goals for them is not a surprise either.

14. Michael Owen (Newcastle United to Manchester United)

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    It always looked like a strange move when Michael Owen signed for Manchester United, especially since they wanted him as a back-up striker. It is perhaps a bit harsh to call Owen a transfer bust, but it was a surprise he stayed at Old Trafford as long as he did.

    Owen finally left United during this transfer window to join Stoke City.

13. Andriy Voronin (Bayer Leverkusen to Liverpool)

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    This was always just one of those signings that didn't have the right feel to it. The fact that he didn't prove to be a clinical goal-scorer in English football made it easy for Liverpool to move on, but he did last there for three years before they gave up.

12. Jermaine Beckford (Leeds United to Everton)

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    I have been a follower of lower league football for a number of years and had the good fortune of seeing Beckford play for Leeds on a number of occasions. In the lower leagues, he was good enough to score plenty of goals.

    But he had the aura of a player that just wouldn't cut it in the Premier League. Nevertheless, Everton took a chance on him. They discovered that he was a decent player, but just didn't quite have the quality to be the top-class striker they had been seeking.

    He left the club the following season to return to the Championship with Leicester. 

11. Romelu Lukaku (Anderlecht to Chelsea)

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    I know it's still early in the career of the Belgium striker, but Chelsea have invested an awful lot of money in him and he is yet to register a Premier League goal in a Chelsea shirt.

    The decision to loan him out to West Brom is also a curious one since Chelsea don't have a huge number of striking options to pick from. It will be interesting to see if Chelsea gives him another chance or not.

10. Xisco (Deportivo La Coruna to Newcastle United)

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    The story of Xisco is a strange one to say the least. Since signing for Newcastle United in 2008, he has made only nine league appearances, but is still technically a Newcastle player. He has been out on loan to Spanish clubs during that time and his future in the Premier League is bleak.

9. Steven Pienaar (Everton to Spurs)

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    Steven Pienaar's Premier League career has taken some interesting twists and turns over recent seasons. The South African midfielder left Everton to join Spurs in seek of bigger and better things, but the move didn't work out and he wasn't as highly valued in London.

    He is now back at Everton where he shouldn't had left in the first place.

8. Andrei Arshavin (Zenit to Arsenal)

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    The Russian forward arrived in English football with a lot of promise after playing very impressive football for the Russian national side. The Gunners paid a significant transfer fee and expected a big return. Arshavin started well and showed much of that promise in his first Premier League season.

    But consistency has been his downfall and he never quite found his stride. He is motivated to produce at Arsenal, but it is likely he will move on in the not too distant future. 

7. Hugo Rodallega (Necaxa to Wigan)

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    When the Colombian arrived in the Premier League, many believed we were seeing a major star. Many strikers would be happy with a tally of 24 goals just over three seasons, but this was the sort of tally Wigan expected from one season.

    Rodallega has been a decent Premier League player, but he has certainly not lived up to the hype, scoring only two goals last season.

6. Dimitar Berbatov (Spurs to Manchester United)

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    The Bulgarian striker had one really good season at Old Trafford. What happened after that remains a mystery to this day, but he was no longer considered to be reliable.

    If he was the best striker at Manchester United then he should have been playing every week. The fact that he wasn't suggests that there was something missing.

5. Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn to Manchester City)

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    When Roque Santa Cruz was at Blackburn, he looked like the best striker in the Premier League. His big money move to Manchester City seemed to ruin him and he has never been the same since. He has been a shadow of his former self.

4. David De Gea (Atletico Madrid to Manchester United)

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    I think the jury is still very much out on David de Gea. He will be remembered as well for his costly mistakes as much as his great saves. The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson is constantly dropping him may not be helping his confidence.

3. Juan Sebastian Veron (Lazio to Manchester United)

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    Who can forget when Manchester United opened their bank account to secure the services of one of the world's best players? It looked like a move that would tip the future of the Premier League in favor of the Red Devils. But Veron's spell with Manchester United failed miserably and it is fair to say that English football fans did not see the best of the player.

    The midfielder is now retired and his spell in England must be one of his biggest regrets of his career.

2. Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea)

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    I still don't know why Chelsea thought it was a good idea to pay £50 million for Torres. His form has been poor since the infamous move, but most Liverpool fans would say he was on a downward spiral before the signing.

    Torres started to rediscover his scoring ways towards the end of last season and he has started this season in positive form. But even if he scored 30 goals this season, he will still not live up to his £50 million price tag.

1. Andy Carroll (Newcastle United to Liverpool)

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    There isn't much I can say about Carroll that hasn't been said before. It was categorically insane for Liverpool to part with £35 million based on the fact that Carroll had a decent start to the season with Newcastle.

    Moving to Liverpool was just about the worst thing the player could do, and he hasn't been able to score goals on a regular basis since. He has now joined West Ham on loan, and hopefully he can rediscover his form there.

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