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The 30 worst value-for-money signings involving an English club

The 30 worst value-for-money signings involving an English club has been revealed and it certainly makes for interesting reading.

A survey was conducted by Virgin Media O2 with 2,000 fans polled to highlight the Transfer Centre Tool, which display the latest transfers as they happen.

It’s revealed that Andy Carroll move to Liverpool in 2011, with a fee of £36million has been voted the worst ever Premier League signing.

The player – who these days finds himself playing Championship football for Reading, had endured an injury-prone career.

He managed just 11 goals in 58 appearances during his three years at Liverpool before being moved on. 

Andy Carroll reveals he wanted to FAIL Liverpool medical during chaotic  deadline day move to Anfield

Fernando Torres moving from Liverpool to Chelsea – in the same window Andy Carroll came in – was deemed the third biggest waste of money according to football supporters.

Remember when Alexis Sánchez was unveiled with the Chilean himself playing the piano after switching Arsenal for Manchester United in 2018? He was voted the sixth biggest waste of cash, however their was no actual transfer fee, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan went the other way. Nonetheless fans still mentioned him and he makes the list.

David Bouchier, chief TV and entertainment officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Football fans love nothing more than talking about transfer gossip, and that is why we have launched a new live transfer tracking tool to keep them up to date with the latest ins and outs.

“As our research has shown, fans have a clear passion for how their club navigates the transfer window, with strong views on what makes a good or bad signing.

“The January transfer window looks set to conclude in exciting fashion, with many players set to be on the move – so fans can be confident in our online tool to keep them one step ahead of the game.”

Further research discovered that over half of fans (53 percent) have cheekily chanted “What a waste of money” at a rival’s poorly-performing big signing.

Six in ten admit they “love it” when a rival team bringin a player who turns out to be a flop.

Just under four in ten (39 percent) reckon the club they support is worst of them all when it comes to duff signings.

Though, strangely, nearly half (47 percent) admit that despite a signing for their team turning out to be disappointing, they still look back at their time with the club with nostalgic fondness.

It also emerged that the vast majority (75 percent) of supporters believe transfer fees are too high in the modern game, according to the OnePoll figures.

Over half (56 percent) would like to see transfer fees and salaries capped, with 86 percent lying blame at the agents for rising prices.

63 percent claim the astronomical fees involved in football have started to “put them off” the sport with many turning to non league and that’s why there is such a big rise in those attendances in the lower depths of English football.


Andy Carroll, Newcastle to Liverpool – £36m, 2011
Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool to Barcelona – £140m, 2018
Fernando Torres, Liverpool to Chelsea – £52m, 2011
Ángel di María, Real Madrid to Man United – £67m, 2014
Danny Drinkwater, Leicester to Chelsea – £34m, 2017
Alexis Sánchez, Arsenal to Man United – swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 2018
Nicolas Pepe, Lille to Arsenal – £72m, 2019
Mario Balotelli, AC Milan to Liverpool – £18m, 2014
Donny Van de Beek, Ajax to Man United – £35m, 2020
Michael Owen, Real Madrid to Newcastle – £22m, 2005

Rhian Brewster, Liverpool to Sheffield United – £23m, 2019
Juan Sebastián Verón, Lazio to Man United – £38m, 2001
Andriy Shevchenko, AC Milan to Chelsea – £40m, 2006
Francis Jeffers, Everton to Arsenal – £13m, 2001
Owen Hargreaves, Bayern Munich to Man United – £22m, 2007
Eliaquim Mangala, Porto to Man City – £40m, 2014
David Bentley, Blackburn to Tottenham – £19m, 2008
Kai Havertz, Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea – £72m, 2020
Roberto Soldado, Valencia to Tottenham – £26m, 2013
Saido Berahino, West Brom to Stoke – £12m, 2017

Robinho, Real Madrid to Man City – £32m, 2008
Jack Rodwell, Man City to Sunderland – £11m, 2014
Bebe, Vitoria Guimaraes to Man United – £8m, 2010
Alberto Aquilani, Roma to Liverpool – £18m, 2009
Adrian Mutu, Parma to Chelsea – £16m, 2003
Seth Johnson, Derby to Leeds – £10m, 2004
Tomas Brolin, Parma to Leeds – £5m, 1995
Oumar Niasse, Lokomotiv Moscow to Everton – £16m, 2016
Ricky Alvarez, Inter Milan to Sunderland – £9m, 2015
Roque Santa Cruz, Blackburn to Man City – £17m, 2009

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