Top 10 worst EPL signings of the season
10. Roberto Soldado (Tottenham)
Manchester City got Alvaro Negredo, Spurs got Soldado; no prizes for determining which of those landed the better deal.
It started well enough for the £26million striker; he scored the winning penalty at Crystal Palace on the opening day and repeated the trick at home to Swansea seven days later. What we didn’t realise back then was, that if it ain’t from 12 yards with only the goalkeeper to beat, Soldado isn’t really your man for goals.
Indeed, he has scored just twice from open play in the Premier League all season – and that from 28 appearances.
Familiar sight: Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado failed to justify his £26million price-tag
9. Iago Aspas (Liverpool)
In hindsight, it was always going to be difficult for the diminutive Spaniard to break in to a forward line which boasts Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho. However, when a chance does come your way, at least give your gaffer something to think about.
Aspas did not and the only thought populating Brendan Rodgers’ mind was perhaps one of regret.
For the £7million forward – who has started just five Premier League games – has looked lightweight and off the pace. His solitary strike came against Oldham in the FA Cup, hardly season-defining, is it?
Fringe player: Iago Aspas failed to earn a place in Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side
8. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City)
Excuses, it seems, are readily offered for Jovetic – injury being chief among them. The last time we checked, however, ensuring you are fit for purpose is part of the deal of being a footballer. To that end, the Montenegrin has been a complete let-down. And don’t forget, this guy cost £22million.
He has started just two league games – that’s the same number he has started for Montenegro this season. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him offloaded in the summer.
Rare: Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic, pictured here scoring against Aston Villa, only made two Premier League starts
7. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)
Ah, the Eredivisie. Be warned, all who venture to the Netherlands in search of goal-getters, for every Luis Suarez and Wilfried Bony there is a Jozy Altidore.
A £6.5million arrival from AZ Alkmaar – he had scored 23 times last season – the USA international was the meaty marksman around which Sunderland’s team would be built. His return? One goal. Yes, one goal in 30 league appearances.
The Black Cats said he boasted Premier League experience following a loan spell with Hull in 2009/10. Did they bother to check his stats from that sorry stint? Here they are – 28 appearances, one goal. Notice anything?
Goal shy: Jozy Altidore netted just one Premier League goal in his debut season at Sunderland
6. Kim Kallstrom (Arsenal)
Arsenal were one point off top when the Swede was brought in on loan from Spartak Moscow at the end of the winter window. It would be unfair to blame Kallstrom for the Gunners’ subsequent demise, for he has barely kicked a ball. But therein lies his failure.
For Arsenal were in a commanding position when Arsene Wenger decided to sign an injured 31-year-old to aid their title tilt. Now unless Kallstrom boasts motivational powers in the dressing-room, his impact has been nought.
By the time he returned to action Arsenal’s title chances were gone and it has been confirmed he will return to Russia next week. At least he scored a penalty-kick in the FA Cup semi-final shootout victory over Wigan, however.
Contribution: On loan midfielder Kim Kallstrom scored his penalty in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final win against Wigan
5. Andreas Cornelius (Cardiff)
Remember this not-so-great Dane? Cardiff supporters would rather not.
For at £7.5million, Cornelius was the man charged with firing the Bluebirds to Premier League safety. By the time they were relegated, the 21-year-old had already returned to FC Copenhagen having failed to score during his six months in Wales.
In fact, he hadn’t even done enough to win a single league start, eight substitute appearances his sorry tally.
Losses cut: Cardiff sold record signing Andreas Cornelius to Copenhagen after he failed to impress
4. Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham)
A club-record signing at £12million, the Greek striker’s most significant contribution for the Cottagers has been a stunning goal for their Under-21 side, a strike which helped them on their way to the league title.
For the seniors, however, he has barely registered a shot on target, let alone trouble the scorers. Indeed, he is yet to kick a ball at Craven Cottage and his three appearances away from home helped Fulham to just one point.
They were, of course, subsequently relegated and the chances of seeing Mitroglou in the Championship appear somewhat remote.
Outof action: Kostas Mitrglou (right) struggled with injuries after joining Fulham for £12million in January
3. Erik Lamela (Tottenham)
Another club-record purchase, the Argentinian wonderkid cost Spurs the best part of £26million when prised from Roma last summer. By our reckoning, that is £1.5m per outing and £26m per goal, and even that came in a Europa League tie at home to FC Sheriff.
Both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood were unconvinced by the lightweight Lamela and it is likely we’ve seen the last of him in a Spurs shirt.
Missing: Erik Lamela managed just one goal in Tottenham colours after signing for a club record £26million
2. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich)
The Dutch international cost Norwich a club-record £8.5million and, ultimately, cost manager Chris Hughton his job and the Canaries their Premier League status.
For the stats make damning reading; 25 appearances, one goal. And that, don’t forget, came on the opening day against Everton.
He cannot complain about lack of opportunity and Hughton, in particular, kept faith despite his goal drought. That barren run is yet to meet relief and Van Wolfswinkel will probably bid a not-so-fond farewell to Carrow Road this summer.
Happy beginnings: Ricky van Wolfswinkel flopped after joining Norwich from Sporting Lisbon last summer
1. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)
The sight of Fellaini at the summit of our list will come as no surprise. In fact, were we to compile a collection of the biggest flops in Premier League history, then he would no doubt command a podium position.
For Fellaini has been woeful since David Moyes paid his former club Everton £27.5million for the Belgian in what now appears an act of desperation. Moyes, bafflingly, insisted on deploying him in an anchorman role despite his best days at Goodison Park coming as an advanced midfielder, troubling opposition defences with his physicality – he’s caused more problems for his own team this season.
Indeed, Fellaini has more red cards (one) than goals (none) for United and has looked ill at ease in the club’s colours. Whether he remains in that red jersey is a matter for Louis van Gaal.
Room for improvement: Marouane Fellaini endured a torrid first season at Old Trafford after leaving Everton
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