Top 10 transfer flops

by Mystical Mike

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

We all know the situation…your clubs signs a ‘gem’ of a player that is set to take the season by storm. Excitement builds as the season gets going and your new signing takes to the field. But a lot of the time, the hype is far too much and a ‘proven’ goalscorer becomes a fat, overrated waste of money. Your club sells him to a French second division side and he’s never heard of again. Add your own nominations, but here’s some of the biggest flops of all time, in no particular order…


ALI DIA (Southampton)

Should have replcaed his first name with ‘Oh’ after his dabacle of a move to Southampton. The Senegalese striker was recommended by a man claiming to be former world player of the year George Weah. Then Saints boss Graeme Souness fell into the trap and was told that Dia had represented his country thirteen times. It turned out that the phone call was in fact from Dia’s agent and the player played just 53 minutes of a game against Leeds before being hauled off. He had already himself came off the bench after half an hour! Dia was sent packing and Souness was left red faced. Dia played briefly for Gateshead F.C. before disappearing off the footballing map.



Signed from Sporta Rotterdam by Harry Redknapp in 1995, Boogers was quickly involved in controversy. His challenge on Gary Neville in just his second game was a shocker and his football never lived up to his ‘mad’ personality. Boogers then disappeared before being found in a Dutch caravan park. He was then packed off on a free transfer to Gronigan.



Still playing at The Bridge, Shevchenko joined the Abramovice revolution finally in 2006 for a whopping 30 million pounds. Just nine league goals later though and the man that was meant to be the figure head of many a title winning side for Roman’s revolution is still only making his mark against the likes of Wycombe Wanderers in the League Cup!



Signed for just under 30 million by Sir Alex in 2001, Veron arrived after being billed as the ‘best midfidler in the world.’ Another to really not live up to his title and he ulmightily flopped in the colours of United before being shipped off to Chelsea for almost half the price. One of Fergies’ biggest wastes of money, Veron is now with Inter.



Just two weeks after signing his Chelsea contract, the Dutch defender was already being seen as the next man to be shown the door by Claudio Ranieri. After just eleven appearances, Bogarde demanded that the rest of his contract be paid off if he were to go and his reported £40,000 a week gave him comfort as he sat on his deal and cost Chelsea a bucket load of cash.



The ‘fox in the box’ signed for Rovers after impressing at Everton in the late 90’s. Jeffers his eighteen goals in thirty seven starts and perusaded Arsene Wenger to splash out £8 million on the striker in 2001. But Jeffers went on to only make four league starts for The Gunners before Everton, Charlton and Blackburn tried to resurrect his career. He’s currently employed by Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship.


KEVIN DAVIS (Blackburn)

Davies made a name for himself at Second Division Chesterfield during their famous F.A. Cup run of 1997 and Southampton signed him for £75,000 that year. After a good season at The Dell, Davies’ price increased and Blackburn splashed out £7.5 million for him in the summer of 1998. But the Davies that had scored ten times at Southampton failed miserably at Ewood Park and struck just once in his time there. A further spell at Southampton follwed before Bolton employed him as a bruising forward back in 2003.



Signed by then Villa boss John Gregory for over 6 million pounds, Balaban played just forty minutes for the club in a Eufa Cup tie and five minutes in the Carling Cup, making him one of the biggest wastes of money Villa fans have ever seen.



Brolin came to England after a stunning goal for Sweden knocked England out of Euro ’92. Leeds signed him from Parma in 1995 and George Graham had ignored the warning signs that Brolin may not be the player he was three years earlier. The striker had put on immense weight and was ridiculed by Premier League fans in his nineteen appearances for the club. Crystal Palace took pity on him and gave him thirteen games but the club were relegated that season. Brolin is now a vacuum cleaner salesman in Stockholm.


HUGO VIANA (Newcastle)

Viana joined the Toon Army in 2002 after a lot of hype from his previous club Sporting Lisbon. But most of his time at Newcastle was spent on the bench before returning to Lisbon on loan. He briefly returned to fight for his place but eventually joined Valencia in 2006.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Darren

    Sean Wright Philips has to be included, 23 million for a player that can’t get into the Chelsea side ahead of an even bigger flop in Malouda.

    Thomas Brolin was brilliant at Palace, I think he weighed 24 stone when he arrived.

    Franny Jeffers, what a joke he was! That is why Wenger finds it hard to buy English, in fact, in the same season he signed Richard Wright who had a brilliant England debut against Malta, he gave away 2 penalties, must be the worst debut of all time.

  • dexylongshot

    Kieran Dyer’s 2 appearances last season for West Ham must be up there, especially with his “undisclosed” wages every week, you might as well add Bellamy to the list as well, parker just misses out as he managed more than a dozen games by the end of the campaign. You could probably field a full 11 with West Ham players alone.

  • Matt Quinn

    David Unsworth. Shortest transfer ever. Joined us and then the next day his wife said that Birmingham was too far to travel. Left a month afterwards for Everton.

  • Jackie Emu

    Flop or not Massimo Maccarone? 8.15m for 30 goals in 6 seasons!
    but boro fans forgive him for all his mis-firing because of two consecutive last minute strikes versus Basel and Steaua Bucharest in famous uefa fightbacks.

    Old money flop Peter Davenport to Boro from ManUre £750,00 1989 probably equivalent to 4/6 million these days. Scored about 4 times total rubbish.

    Marvin Emnes to Boro 3.2 million hasn’t scored yet rubbish!

    bit boro orientated my contribution to be honest

  • Parks numero uno

    have we forgotten about djemba djemba? sinama pongolle, taibi?

    there are so many flops out there. david nugent at pompey is another.

  • Danny Brothers

    There really are a hell of a lot of candidates and the list could grow to 100 I’m sure! Nugent was one who certainly couldn’t make the step up to the top flight.

    Maccarone is a forgotten one as well, it’s always a gamble buying a player from abroad…even if they’ve bagged loads of goals for a foreign club they usually find it hard to adjust to the Premier League…Corrido Grabbi of Blackburn is another…

  • Parks numero uno

    theres just too many to mention. boulharouz (i think thats the spelling) came with a reputation as a tough tackiling fullback and ended up looking like a big jessie when he played for chelsea.

  • Martin Tibbetts

    Ade Akinbiyi, Peter Taylor’s great folly. Came to Leicester for a club record 5 and a half million. After a few barren games we started to say he just needed to get one, even if it comes off his arse, and he’ll get going. We didn’t realise that he could only score with his arse. I once sat behind the goal as he missed 3 open goals in a row, including one where he cleared a teammates effort off the line. Every time he played for us the opposition had 12 men and we had 10. Taylor also signed Junior Lewis, and continued to at every club he subsequently managed – I don’t think any supporter has ever worked out why, he was as bad a player as I have ever seen, but its Ade Panicbuyi that takes the biscuit for me…..

  • Darren

    Clive Allen signed for Arsenal, played 3 friendly games then went to Palace, this was the deal that saw Arsenal & England Kenny Sansom coming the other way.

    Ade Akinbiyi is so crap surely he doesn’t count, one of mates is a Leicester fan and he said the exact words to me, when he gets 1 he’ll get 20!!

  • tef1on

    Richard Wright for Arsenal… Bought as a replacement for Seaman… then Ol’ Spunky decided he was still good enough not to retire.

  • tef1on

    Also… Any club that ever bough Anelka

  • Aaron S

    Another has to be when Ferguson dragged Laurent Blanc out of near-retirement and put him on United’s backline.

  • Thomas

    Akinbuyi was spectacular and gave me my funniest moment at a game. When he eventually scored 20000 Leicester fans just laughed. There was cheering but the predominant sound at that moment as Ade ran round the ground beating his chest was laughter. Brilliant.

    And from north of the border, the blue noses have had many but Tore Andre Flo hightails it with the jammy dodgers. 12 mill almost 10 years ago for 30 goals. At the same time their Glaswegian rivals stumped up around the same amount of dosh to buy both Hartson and Sutton (who himself had flopped big time at Chelsea) who between them scored 150.

    Best flops for the hoops is by far the amusingly nomenclatured Rafael Scheidt who cost them 6mill and played in only 3 friendlies. Had he played alongside the other alarmingly frightening defender at Celtic park in those days, the paring would have been Tebily Schiedt. And if Davie Weir had signed as was rumoured at the time…

    And what of Massimo Taibi at Man. U?

  • James Webb

    Spurs have had plenty over the years

    Timothee Atouba
    Paolo Tramezzani
    Milenko Acimovic
    Kazuyuki Toda
    Gary Doherty
    Mbulelo Mabizela
    Bobby Zamora
    Sergi Rebrov
    Illie Dumitrescu

  • Tim

    Per Kroldrup

    Signed for £5mil+ to Everton, managed about 1 game, had a nervous breakdown and was shipped to Fiorentina a few months later!

  • David


  • Darren

    Cygan and Gus Ceaser were in a league of their own!

    Who is worse? Tough one to call!

Previous post:

Next post: