Inflated price tags are a commonplace in the modern game however some players appear to let the pressure of the money that has been spent on them affect their game, and as a result their performances don’t equate to the money that has been spent on them. Here are the top 10 Premier League players who have crumbled under the weight of financial expectation:
10. Robbie Keane
In the space of just six months he has made two big money moves and failed to live up to either of them. In July 2008 Tottenham sold Keane to Liverpool for £19m, in his time there he managed just five goals in 19 games and looked a shadow of his former self. In January 2009 Keane was sold back to Spurs for £12m potentially rising to £16m, although his performances improved as he got some of his confidence back there was still something missing. He spent the last six months of the season on loan at Celtic and it remains to be seen what will happen to him this summer.
9. Dimitar Berbatov
Although some on-lookers may say that Berbatov has made good contributions to the team since his arrival from Spurs, he is a striker and his main duty is to score goals so are 21 league goals in 64 games really enough for a player who cost £30m? The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson had to rush Wayne Rooney back from his injury at the end of last season showed that Berbatov wasn’t doing enough. He could be a player that Manchester United look to sell in the transfer window to raise some much needed funds.
8. Steve Marlet
The Frenchman was at one point Fulham’s biggest transfer fee when they paid Marseille £11.5m for his services following their promotion to the Premier League. However Marlet made very little impact during his time at the club, his performances were considered so terrible by owner Mohammed Al Fayed that he took former manager Jean Tigana to court, accusing him of deliberately overpaying for the player.
7. Chris Sutton
Sutton joined Chelsea for £10m from recently relegated Blackburn in 1999. He scored just four goals in his one and only season at Stamford Bridge before moving on to Celtic where he enjoyed a prolific spell.
6. Sergei Rebrov
In 2000 Spurs signed striker Sergei Rebrov from Dynamo Kiev for £11m but he turned out to be a total disappointment and could only score 10 league goals in 60 games. He later left the club on a free transfer in 2005 to return back to Kiev.
5. Francis Jeffers
Once proclaimed a ‘fox in the box’, Francis Jeffers cost Arsenal £8m when they signed him from Everton, tipped to be a good prospect he could only score a pathetic four league goals during his time there. The expectation following his move drained his confidence and he has never been a confident player ever since like what he was first able to show at Everton. The only personal highlight for him whilst at Arsenal was that he managed to win his one and only England cap.
4. Albert Luque
Albert Luque arrived at Newcastle with a big reputation after the club splashed out £9.5m to bring him to the club from Deportivo La Coruna. He was an outstanding player during his time in Spain and in his season at Deportivo he played a massive part in helping them reach the Champions League semi-finals. Luque had looked like a player who could have been a real hero for the club and was their major summer signing, but he failed to live up to all the expectation and joined Ajax two years later.
The talented Brazilian striker moved to Manchester City in 2008 when the club agreed to buy him from Real Madrid for £32.5m. Robinho initially started his first season well scoring a few goals here and there and showing some flashes of brilliance. However it soon became apparent that he wasn’t able to handle playing in away games and only really shone in home matches and even then wasn’t consistent. Last season he found things to be much tougher due to the competition for places at the club as they signed Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz. Although he did finish the club’s top scorer in his first season he still didn’t show enough that warranted his price-tag and last season didn’t have any impact what-so-ever.
2. Juan Sebastian Veron
Veron cost a combined total of nearly £45m in his two Premiership moves and neither worked out for him at all well. Firstly he joined Manchester United in 2001 from Lazio for £28.1m, then two years later Chelsea signed him for £15m. Almost all of his performances for Manchester United were lacking apart from when they played in the Champions League. What’s more strange is that Chelsea also agreed to pay a big figure for his services despite seeing that he couldn’t handle playing for Manchester United and unable to adapt to the Premiership.
1. Andriy Shevchenko
Never before has such a talented player been made to look so ordinary before Andriy Shevchenko’s £35m move to Chelsea from AC Milan. A striker who made Europe’s most notorious defences quiver at just the sound of his name struggled to intimidate even the worst Premier League defenders. Shevchenko managed to score just nine goals in 30 Premiership games; and Chelsea didn’t see a single penny of that £35m back when he re-joined his former club Dynamo Kiev on a free transfer in 2009.
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