Ali Dia holds the dubious honor of being not only one of the Premier League's worst-ever buys, but one of the World's worst buys. That's some claim to fame.
Ironically, it was also a claim to fame that saw Dia signed by Southampton in 1996. The Saints' then-manager Graeme Souness received a phone call from someone pretending to be the former FIFA World Player of the Year, George Weah—who told Souness to give his cousin a trial.
It seemed that Dia was a Senagalese international and had played for Paris Saint-Germain. All this, however, was a hoax.
But, Dia was given a one-month contract on the south coast, where he made an appearance for Southampton during a Premier League tie with Leeds United.
When he was brought on as a substitute for Matt Le Tissier, it quickly became obvious that Dia was not a professional player and, after 53 minutes of playing for Southampton, he was yanked off the pitch.
In 2008 Le Tissier was quoted in The Guardian, as saying:
His performance was almost comical. He kind of took my place, but he didn't really have a position. He was just wondering everywhere. I don't think he realised what position he was supposed to be in.
It came out that he'd been recommended by someone pretending to be George Weah. It was all a bit embarrassing, and it became a taboo subject with the manager. He had been made to look very, very silly.
Overall I'd say he's probably the worst player I played with.