PL Rewind: Top 3 big-money flops of the decade – including this £70m Chelsea fail

Top 3 big-money flops of the decade in the Premier League

Widely acclaimed as the most competitive league in Europe, the Premier League is also head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to net expenditures in the transfer market year after year. 

Indeed, cash flows very easily in the ever-inflating market and it has now become a common sight to see the Premier League clubs fork out millions of pounds to bring in fresh faces every year.

While some of the new signings manage to make an immediate impact in the intense atmosphere of the Premier League, others take time to acclimatize to life on the English shores before starting to deliver the goods.

Yet, there are others who struggle to get to grips and fail to live up to their hefty price tags, thus booking their places in the list of big-money flops. With that in mind, let us take a look at 3 of the biggest flops in the Premier League.

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Fernando Torres scored only 20 goals in 110 Premier League outings for Chelsea (Getty Images)

1. Fernando Torres

Perhaps the biggest big-money flop of the decade and arguably one of the worst ever January transfers in the history of the Premier League, Fernando Torres’ £50 million move from Liverpool to Chelsea in January 2011 is the biggest reminder of the fact that even domestic transfers involving proven performers can actually backfire. 

The Spaniard, nicknamed as El Nino, had carved out a massive reputation for himself as one of the most devastating strikers in the Premier League during his stint at Liverpool, boasting of an incredible strike rate of 65 goals in 102 appearances for the Reds. 

Compare that to meagre returns of 20 goals in 110 appearances for Chelsea and the difference is telling enough to prove that Torres’ stint at Stamford Bridge was one of the worst of his illustrious professional career. 

With two European Championship medals and a World Cup trophy with Spain in his cabinet, Torres never tasted silverware during his prolific spell at Anfield.

While he did add the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League to his collection at Chelsea, El Nino will always go down as one of the Blues’ worst ever signings. 

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Alvaro Morata failed to live up to his price tag at Chelsea (Getty Images)

2. Alvaro Morata

Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Juan Mata- some of the greatest Spanish talents to have graced the Premier League this decade have all played for Chelsea. 

The Blues have had a lot of luck with their Spanish recruits over the years but Alvaro Morata failed to replicate the heights reached by some of his compatriots at Stamford Bridge.  

A two-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid and a Serie A winner with Juventus, Morata came through the door at Stamford Bridge for a staggering £70 million with a massive reputation of scoring goals. 

Morata looked set to live up to the expectations following a bright start to life in West London but his promise soon faded away. It became crystal clear as time went by that the Spaniard was never going to be able to cope with the physicality and high tempo of the English game. 

Returns of 16 goals in 47 appearances make for some decent readings on paper but those who watched him play would know that Morata was a massive disappointment at Chelsea.

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Angel Di Maria scored only three league goals for Man United (Getty Images)

3. Angel Di Maria

Man United and South American stars are not a match made in heaven’ was a cliche that was coined from the failure of stalwarts like Diego Forlan, Kleberson and Juan Sebastien Veron at Old Trafford in the early 2000s. 

The raging success of Antonio Valencia and Javier Hernandez in the following years somewhat wiped away that taboo but Angel Di Maria made sure that the tradition of big-money South American recruits failing to live up to the expectations at Old Trafford continued. 

Yet another Champions League winner on the list, Man United forked out a British record fee of £59.7 million to sign the Argentine from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014.

However, Di Maria lasted only a solitary season, scoring thrice in 27 appearances in the Premier League before departing for PSG with his tail tucked between his legs.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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