Thursday, April 14, 2011

Top 10 big-money Premier League flops

With the struggles of big-money duo Fernando Torres and Edin Dzeko and Benni McCarthy's expensive release by West Ham in the public eye, we list some of the Premier League's big-money flops.

McCarthy will have cost the Hammers around £6 million in total after he was paid off to get out of Upton Park, the portly South African having long lost the physique and ability to be a top-flight player.

Torres and Dzeko are expected to eventually come good for Chelsea and Manchester City - they are young, gifted and surely recoverable - but some of the megabucks signings in the modern era quite literally went to waste.

Steve Marlet didn't know whether he was a striker or a winger or even a footballer, Afonso Alves was comically flaky and Tomas Brolin was, well, big-boned.

So in no particular order, we give you our top 10 Premier League flops...

Afonso Alves (Heerenveen to Middlesbrough, 2007, £12.7m)

The mercurial Brazilian striker seemed like money well spent at the time, having scored 45 goals in 39 Eredivisie matches, including seven in one game - a Dutch record. But, along with Chelsea flop Mateja Kezman, he remains a cautionary tale about strikers from Holland: it is a lower standard and the ability won't always translate. Alves started reasonably, but inconsistently, netting six goals in 11 games after joining at the end of the January transfer window: however, five of those goals game in two matches. The next season he was straight-up awful, clearly lacking the stomach for a relegation fight - he only scored four times as Boro went down. Since then he has plied his trade in the Gulf, a graveyard for washed-up pros that simply does not count.


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