5 Players Not Worth Their Big-Money Contracts
This weekend, it's back to domestic football.
It's going to be an interesting round of games, as we get a better look at players who were bought, sold and loaned during the summer months.
But perhaps we'll never get to see some of these players…ever. Maybe they'll never make it off the subs bench. There are a few signings that have already raised eyebrows, like Manchester City's purchase of Martin Demichelis, Chelsea's last minute swoop for Willian and Fulham's unlikely loanee, Adel Taarabt.
One thing these players all have in common is that none of them are worth their big-money contracts.
I'd like to point out that each player occupies their own bracket of relative wealth on this list, and that each has their own different reason for not being worth the money their club shelled out for them.
The slideshow includes players who were signed in the summer transfer window or players starting their first full season for their club only, it is not an all-encompassing list of the Premier League's most dubious high earners.
Ranked in no particular order, read on to find out why these players were chosen and let us know your thoughts below!
The Argentine international has been at Manchester City for less than two weeks, but already his move is looking like a comedy of errors.
He may not be one of the top flight's biggest earners but his £3.5 million move looks like an overblown deal.
Demichelis put pen to paper for City on September 1, as reported on the BBC Sport website, signing a two-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.
The 32-year-old has played with manager Manuel Pellegrini before, at both River Plate and Malaga.
City needed a new defender to address the frailties they currently have at the back—but why they opted for Demichelis is a mystery.
The former Bayern Munich defender was signed from Atletico Madrid by Pellegrini's side, Atletico having acquired him on a free transfer from Malaga in July.
He spent just 52 days at the Vicente Calderon before they sold him on to City, making a tidy profit in the process.
Demichelis arrived in Greater Manchester, delighted with his new deal. He told the club's official website, "I am delighted to have joined City because I am still hungry for success and want to improve."
As reported in the Guardian, five days later the defender was ruled out with a knee injury. For six weeks.
Approaching 33 years old, he is slowing down. He doesn't seem to have much confidence and picks up more than his fair share of bookings (14 yellows and one red last season for Malaga).
It's unknown what kind of figures he will be earning at City, but for a team not noted for its frugality, it's bound to be a sizeable sum.
It seems Atletico Madrid had the right idea when they picked Demichelis up for free.
Verdict: Not worth £3.5 million—even for wealthy Man City.
Demba Ba has done very well on the back of one standout season at Newcastle United. However he fails to convince that he's got what it takes to last at Chelsea.
In 2011/12, he impressed with 16 Premier League goals for the Magpies and continued to turn heads in 2012/13, with 10 goals registered for Alan Pardew's side.
The Senegalese moved to Stamford Bridge last January. Now starting his first full season with the club, he looks very unlikely to have a big role in the team.
The Blues have been here before, paying over the odds for strikers that ultimately warm the bench. Ba is thought to be on £80,000-a-week, as seen in the Telegraph.
Undeniably talented, Ba possesses great finishing, he's good in the air, great at shooting from distance and has speed and agility that you would not necessarily expect from someone who failed a medical at Stoke City in 2011 due to a chronic knee problem (Guardian).
The arrival of Samuel Eto'o, the pursuit of Wayne Rooney, Jose Mourinho's striker-less formation—you don't have to be a genius to realise that Ba is not at the forefront of his manager's thoughts.
Verdict: Not worth a rumoured £80,000 per week, Ba should leave Stamford Bridge in January.
Ravel Morrison was once hailed as the most talented, young player to emerge out of Manchester United's academy since Paul Scholes.
Lavish praise, indeed, considering the talents that have been borne out of Old Trafford in the last two decades.
But where did it all go wrong?
Trouble started brewing when Morrison had a string of disciplinary problems at the club in his late teens, capped with a serious referral order in 2011 when he was accused of witness intimidation, reported here in the Daily Mail.
Patience had started to wear thin at Old Trafford. Stories like this in the Daily Mail tell of the then-18-year-old demanding pay of £30,000 per week, after making just three first-team appearances for the club.
As anyone (but Morrison, apparently) knows, you do not make demands of Sir Alex Ferguson. It was not long before the midfielder was put up for sale.
"We have offered him terms, which he has refused. His demands are unrealistic," said Ferguson via the BBC Sport website.
Morrison ended up signing for West Ham in 2012 before spending the 2012/13 season out on loan at Birmingham City.
He is now back at Upton Park where he will embark on his first full season at the club.
Morrison has been rumoured to be on a salary rising to £65,000-a-week at West Ham, as seen in the Guardian. A lot of money for a 20-year-old with everything to prove.
Verdict: Not worth the money until he shows he can cut it in the Premier League.
However, his move to Chelsea has left many scratching their heads.
The Brazilian's arrival has already heralded the beginning of the end of Moses’ Chelsea career, the winger having moved to Anfield on loan.
It's always good to have options. And who knows, Willian could have a stellar season with the Blues. However, a feeling persists that Jose Mourinho's side would have been better off investing the money into a new striker.
Willian has already conceded a defeat of sorts, Metro's Jamie Sanderson reporting that the 25-year-old knows he won't be a starter for Chelsea:
My first goal is to become a regular starter with Chelsea, but it is difficult.
I will have to play and prove I deserve that spot, but I know my spot is not secure here. I will have to do my best and trust the manager and the fans.
I just wanted to play for Chelsea, even more so now with Jose Mourinho as manager, he is the best at what he does.
Verdict: £30 million—worth it for another team, not worth it for Chelsea.
Okay, so Adel Taarabt may not have joined Fulham for big bucks, but his season-long loan will cost the Cottagers more than it should.
Taarabt is one of Queens Park Rangers' many footballers who needed to be offloaded to drop the wage bill after the club's relegation to the Championship.
In Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham already have a languid attacking player, reluctant to track back, defend and, upon occasion, break sweat.
Berbatov's ego is already—shall we say—advanced, which is why Fulham do not need any more players of that persuasion.
Taarabt is infamous for his laziness. So much so that new teammate Steve Sidwell has already warned him about it. Quoted on Skysports.com, Sidwell said:
The general joke going around the training ground at the minute is I'm going to have to do loads more running.
I'm sure the manager's looked at that and it's great to have these players like Adel, Bryan and Berba but if they're not going to do their job... everyone's got to work for the team.
It doesn't matter who you are, you can't be lazy.
Taarabt got into trouble with QPR boss Harry Redknapp earlier this year when he refused to have a weight check and turned up late for training, as reported by the Mirror.
Often out of shape, reluctant to go above and beyond his attacking duties, Taarabt's flashes of brilliance are undermined by his questionable work ethic.
In a perfect display of modesty, the 24-year-old claimed interest in the past from Chelsea and Arsenal, as seen in FourFourTwo, and Manchester United (Goal.com). The Morocco international even said he was the subject of interest from Barcelona and Anzhi Makhachkala (Mirror).
Verdict: Will not fit at Fulham—not worth taking on his weekly wages for the entire season.