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Six of the biggest Premier League transfer flops

| 23.08.2012

A lot of attention will be put on the players who changed clubs in exchange for vast transfer fees before a ball was even kicked in the 2012/13 Premier League season.

The likes of Arsenal’s £15m midfielder Santi Cazorla and Chelsea’s £20m starlet Eden Hazard will do well to avoid being labelled expensive flops, but these two in particular have started promisingly.

While many players who’ve gone for big bucks have justified their price tags, others were no more than a huge waste of money.

Here we remember six of the biggest transfer flops in Premier League history…

Steve Marlet – Lyon to Fulham (£11.5million)

Five years after being mired in the old Third Division, Fulham were desperate to make a few marquee signings to mark their arrival.

Bankrolled by Mohamed Al-Fayed, they lured Edwin van der Sar and Steed Malbranque to Craven Cottage, but they played second fiddle to Marlet.

Signed in the hope that he would fire them to Europe, the French international scored just 11 goals in 54 appearances. Unsurprisingly, he was widely ridiculed by his own fans for his poor goal return.

Andriy Shevchenko – AC Milan to Chelsea (£30.8million)

Signed to try and help them win the Champions League, everyone was sure that Shevchenko would help Chelsea get there.

Sadly for all involved, it didn’t work out. A paltry nine goals in 46 appearances made him the biggest flop signing to date since Roman Abramovich arrived at Stamford Bridge.

Sergei Rebrov – Dynamo Kiev to Tottenham (£11million)

Tottenham boss George Graham targeted Rebrov, Shevchenko’s former team-mate with club and country, as the man to take the club to the next level.

Unfortunately, though, Rebrov failed to settle at Spurs, with just a solitary goal to show for his efforts. A similarly ineffective spell with West Ham saw him move back to Kiev.

Juan Sebastian Veron – Lazio to Manchester United (£28million)

Argentina star Veron was meant to be the missing piece in Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United jigsaw, but instead he just went missing on the pitch.

Two years into his stay, he was offloaded to Chelsea for less than half the price – and he was just as poor for the Blues.

Robinho – Real Madrid to Manchester City (£32.5million)

As the money began to roll in from Abu Dhabi royalty, City wanted to show everyone how serious they were by buying the gifted yet volatile Brazil forward for a princely sum.

Despite scoring on his debut against Chelsea and a solid first season, his second season was hugely disappointing and he left to AC Milan for £23million.

Kleberson – Atletico Paranaense to Manchester United (£6.5million)

Proof that you should never sign anyone on the back of a good showing at the World Cup comes in the form of Kleberson, who was one of the stars of the 2002 tournament yet proved a massive disappointment at Old Trafford.

Although blighted by injury, Kleberson’s two-season spell at Old Trafford was packed with errors. Frustrated, Fergie eventually sent him to Turkish side Besiktas for a knockdown price.



Sumit Lakhina

After graduating from Middlesex University, Sumit has gone on to write for several large websites. A particularly keen Cricket and Tennis fan, Sumit has an in-depth encyclopedic knowledge of Cricket and its array of statistics and records.