Top 10 Worst Premier League Transfers: Liverpool and Chelsea feature with poor signings
#10: ALBERTO AQUILANI – ROMA TO LIVERPOOL - £20m – 2009
Alberto Aquilani was signed by Liverpool to join the already strengthened midfield ranks of the Reds including Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano. For a £20m price tag, Aquilani only made 18 appearances in an injury blighted spell at Anfield.
If it hadn’t been for his injuries, the deal could maybe have worked for the Reds. The Italian showed signs of quality in a red shirt but after his injury record for Roma, it was hard to see why he was signed. Roy Hodgson quickly shopped him back where he came from.
#9: AFONSO ALVES – HEERENVEEN TO MIDDLESBROUGH – £12m – 2008
Middlesbrough broke their transfer record splashing out £12m to bring Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves to the Riverside stadium after he became just the third Brazilian to top the scoring charts in the Dutch division. 34 goals in 31 games including seven goals in one game against Heracles Almelo was a record to be admired and Middlesbrough snapped the forward up.
His debut half season in English football showed signs of promise. He scored two against Manchester United in a 2-2 draw and finished the season scoring a hat-trick in an 8-1 win over Manchester City. Alves soon faded away and his first full season in England was a disaster. Middlesbrough were relegated
#8: JOLEON LESCOTT – EVERTON TO MANCHESTER CITY - £24m – 2009
Joleon Lescott shined at Goodison Park proving to be an astute piece of business by the Toffees. But how could the Blues resist when Manchester City and their new found wealth came calling with a £24m offer.
Many other signings around the time such as Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge and Jo all could have made the list but Lescott looked completely out of his depth at the Etihad and still remains at the club on a £90,000 per week contract.
#7: ADRIAN MUTU – PARMA TO CHELSEA - £15.8m – 2003
Despite making a bright start to his Chelsea career after being signed by Jose Mourinho netting four goals in three games. However, the Romanian forward soon fell out with the Portuguese manager arguing over whether the striker was injured for a 2006 World Cup qualifying match against the Czech Republic.
However this was only the start as Mutu was soon released from the club after he failed a drug test, testing positive for cocaine. The club sued the player which summed up the whole transfer.
#6: ROBBIE KEANE – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TO LIVERPOOL - £20m – 2009
Former Internazionale striker Robbie Keane has racked up a huge amount of transfer fees in his career; a sum surpassing £70m. Liverpool finally landed their long term transfer target after courting the Irishman for months. Keane played just 19 times for the Reds and was sold back to Spurs for just £12m six months later.
Although Keane on his day is not a bad player, this transfer was just not to be and Rafa Benitez found out the hard way with a loss of £8m.
#5: ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO – AC MILAN TO CHELSEA - £30.8m – 2006
Chelsea again make the list for a second time and this won’t be the last you see of them. Shevchenko was arguably the finest striker in Europe and Chelsea splashed out a huge £30m deal to land the Ukrainian poacher.
With injuries and age starting to take their toll, Shevchenko started to fade away. Mourinho noticed this too and started the big signing sporadically before he was eventually shipped back off to Milan.
#4: BEBE – VITORIA GUIMARAES TO MANCHESTER UNITED - £7.7m – 2011
Bebe was signed by Manchester United from the advice of former assistant manager Carlos Queiroz who recommended that Sir Alex Ferguson snatch Bebe from the noses of Real Madrid and Benfica.
The Portugal man is apparently the only ever played Sir Alex has ever signed without watching him play, meeting him just once the day before the signing. Not much was known about the youngster but for a belated £7.2m, he went down as one of the clubs biggest flops.
He struggled at Old Trafford and was loaned to Besiktas and is technically still a United player currently on loan at Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira.
#3: ANDY CARROLL – NEWCASTLE UNITED TO LIVERPOOL - £35m – 2011
Oddly, Kenny Dalglish choose the tall Geordie and spend an enormous £35m to prise him from St. James Park leaving Mike Ashley licking his lips. Carroll did look an exciting prospect with 11 goals in 19 games for Newcastle but the Englishman suited their system and thrived.
He arrived at Anfield already injured and started brightly with goals against Manchester City. However, his big money move did not go well and when Brendan Rodgers replaced Dalglish, it was clear Carroll did not suit the system.
He was loaned to West Ham before completing a £17m move to Upton Park permanently.
#2: FERNANDO TORRES – LIVERPOOL TO CHELSEA - £50m – 2011
Liverpool fans were in dreamland after completing the signing of Luis Suarez with the belief that the Suarez – Torres strike partnership could fire them back to the top. Torres was in decline before his move to Stamford Bridge with nine goals in 26 games; which was his worst Liverpool return.
The Spaniard marked his debut for Chelsea on in February 2011 and went goalless until mid-April marking approximately 900 minutes without a goal making the £50m price tag look laughable.
This season has been nothing different with Torres only managing four goals in 24 Premier League appearances; a figure which has been surpassed by Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel this year.
#1: ALI DIA – BLYTH SPARTANS TO SOUTHAMPTON – 1996
Ali Dia holds the dubious honour of being not only one of the Premier League’s worst ever buys and the World’s worst ever buys.
Dia was signed by Southampton after then manager Graeme Souness received a phone call from someone pretending to be legendary and former World Player of the Year George Weah. Weah told Souness to give his cousin a trial. It seemed he was a Senegalese international who had played for PSG. However, it was all a hoax.
Dia was signed on a one month contract where he made an appearance replacing Matt Le Tissier in the 32nd minute. It became clear that he was not a professional footballer and was taken off the pitch in the 53rd minute. Later, Le Tissier said: “He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice; it was very embarrassing to watch."
He was released two weeks into his contract and goes down as the worst transfer in Premier League history. Maybe even world history…
Related Liverpool News