Top five Premier League flops over the past decade
When the clock struck midnight on December 31st, we not only ushered in a new year but a new decade. It’s been a huge 10 years in the sport of football, particularly in the Premier League, where the division has developed into the biggest league in world sport.
The money seen on English shores these days is frightening and clubs up and down the country have been splashing a lot in the transfer market. As such, some of the signings made have turned out to be true disasters.
Here are 5 players who struggled in the Premier League this decade.
Paulino (Tottenham Hotspur)
Life in the post-Gareth Bale era was always going to begin on a hard note. The Welshman became one of Europe’s greatest players during his six-year stay in north London, which led Real Madrid to pay a world-record fee to sign him in 2013. On the bright side though, Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas had a nice transfer budget.
But the Portuguese arguably wasn’t the right man to call the shots, having spent a whopping €19.73m to sign an unknown Paulinho from Brazilian club Corinthians. And to the surprise of nobody, the midfielder was a complete flop in the Premier League.
The former Brazil international only lasted two years in England before he returned to Corinthians. Simply put, Paulinho never really made his mark and was dreadful in the middle of the park.
He has since played for Barcelona and Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande.
Loris Karius (Liverpool)
The former Mainz goalkeeper arrived in 2016 and displaced Simon Mignolet as Liverpool’s No.1 towards the end of the 2017/18 season. Little did people know, however, was how much of a disaster that would be.
As the new first-choice keeper, Karius naturally started in the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid. But the German star made two horrendous mistakes that basically gifted Real Madrid a 3-1 win in Kiev and a third consecutive European crown.
Jurgen Klopp then sent his compatriot on a two-year loan stint with Besiktas and signed up Alisson Becker.
Angel Di Maria (Manchester United)
Before transferring to Old Trafford from the Bernabeu in 2014, the Argentine winger was one of the best creative players in the world, with a Man of the Match performance in the 2014 Champions League final against city rivals Atletico. During his time at Los Blancos, di Maria won a Champions League, a La Liga, 2 Copa del Reys, a Spanish Super Cup and a UEFA Super Cup, scoring 22 goals in 124 games.
However, he never really settled in in Manchester and his performances suffered as he failed to reproduce anything like the sort of form his price tag demanded. He scored a few flukey goals but ultimately, his career at United never took off and he exited Old Trafford after scoring just 3 goals in 27 games.
He transferred to PSG in 2015, where he began to kick-start his career again.
Tiemoue Bakayoko (Chelsea)
It’s difficult to think of a more severe drop in form than that of Bakayoko upon his arrival at Chelsea, having just beaten Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 title with Monaco – who also reached the Champions League semi-finals. Also, Unai Emery was managing PSG.
But his time in London could not have gone much worse, as everything that made him so influential at Monaco vanished into thin air. His first touch became the subject of ridicule and his second touch became a tackle. Incredibly, the Frenchman is still on Chelsea’s books, out on loan at Monaco.
Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
Torres set the world alight after joining Liverpool from Atletico Madrid for the 2007/8 season, scoring 24 league goals and breaking many records along the way. In his debut season, he knocked Ruud van Nistelrooy off his perch, becoming the latest foreign import to score the most goals in his debut season in England.
His stunning form continued for the Reds and he scored 65 goals in 102 games for Liverpool and became a fan favourite on Merseyside, especially after his ‘five times’ celebration at Old Trafford in a famous 4-1 win. However, on transfer deadline day in 2011, Torres made the controversial £50 million (then a British transfer record) move to West London to join Chelsea, much to the disgust of Liverpool fans at the time.
However, the switch to the capital really didn’t work out for Torres; he didn’t score during his first 14 games for the club and his time at Stamford Bridge can probably be summed up with that famous open goal miss at Old Trafford.