Are these the biggest big-money Premier League flops? Liverpool and Leeds feature

Ba And Torres

In celebration of Fernando Torres’s birthday, we take a look at five big-money Premier League flops.

Ah, Fernando Torres, now 31-years-old, and with the reputation as the biggest big-money flop in Premier League history.

However, that is a title that can be hotly contested, with Leeds United, Manchester United and Liverpool all guilty of splashing the cash on star names, only for them to end up as the butt of numerous jokes about their ability, price-tag - and, in one case, their weight.

So, here are five big-money Premier League flops, but do you agree with the selection?

5 - Juan Sebastian Veron - Lazio to Manchester United - £28.1 million

Arriving at Old Trafford for £28.1 million, Veron was part of one of the most talented squads of Alex Ferguson’s regime in Manchester, but a squad that was surprisingly devoid of silverware. The 73-cap Argentine international was a key part of Lazio’s treble in the 1999/2000 season, proving his ability in the centre of the park. An amazingly talented midfielder, Veron never managed to recreate his form in England, as he struggled to come to terms with the British game. Injuries further limited his impact, and even though he has a Premier League winners' medal to his name, the £28.1m fee has him as one of the biggest Premier League flops.

The only reason he is fifth on the list is because the Red Devils managed to flog Veron off to Chelsea after his disastrous Old Trafford stay. For a ridiculous £15 million fee. He is lucky to not be on this list twice.

4 - Andriy Shevchenko - AC Milan to Chelsea - £30 million

A favourite of Blues owner Roman Abramovihc, Shevchenko arrived at Stamford Bridge as one of the best strikers of the 2000s. However, nearing the age of 30, the Ukrainian legend - and one-time Ballon d’Or winner - could not replicate his brilliant stay in Italy, and looked a shadow of his former self.

A loss of pace meant that the goalscorer struggled to find form in the Premier League, and he ended up scoring just nine goals in 48 games for the West London club. Brought to Stamford Bridge by Abramovich, it was clear that head coach Jose Mourinho never truly wanted Shevchenko, and his £30m fee was not the only cost for Chelsea - as Mourinho was soon walking away from the club.

3 - Tomas Brolin - Parma to Leeds United - £4.5 million

Although £4.5m is comparatively small in relation to the rest of these transfers, Brolin arrived at Elland Road in the 1990s, for what was a large transfer value at that time. Starring for both Parma and Sweden in the early parts of that decade, the 47-cap attacker was signed to provide the perfect foil for Whites legend Tony Yeboah.

Well, it didn’t really work out that way, as Brolin made just 20 appearances for the Whites. He was accused of not playing for the team by manager Howard Wilkinson in the aftermath of a 5-0 defeat to Liverpool. Dropped for being ‘injured’ without any fact to back up that claim, Brolin’s weight became a big problem, and his fitness clouded the rest of his career.

After being signed by Leeds, he spent loan moves back with Parma and FC Zurich, but only managed a total of 14 games between the two. The Leeds move signalled all-but the end of his career, as he made just 48 appearances for five clubs in the following years, retiring at the age of just 28.

2- Fernando Torres - Liverpool to Chelsea - £50 million

Despite being his birthday, Torres cannot claim the title as biggest Premier League flop. He may have cost an English record £50 million fee when the Blues signed him from Liverpool on transfer deadline day in 2011, but he left Stamford Bridge with Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League wins to his name.

He scored just 45 goals in 172 games, was probably the cause for the sacking of numerous managers, and has a price-to-goals ratio of more than £1m-per-strike.

But, he stays off the top of the list courtesy of his role in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph, during which he netted against Barcelona to ensure the Blues got through to the final. He may be a laughing stock in the Premier League, but he is a very well decorated laughing stock.

1 - Andy Carroll - Newcastle to Liverpool - £35 million

When Liverpool sold Torres they had £50 million to spend on new strikers, to rebuild a challenging squad. Luis Suarez arrived and was a massive hit on Merseyside, but it was the man signed to replace Torres who takes the title as biggest Premier League flop.

With the money burning their back pocket, the Reds splashed out £35 million on Newcastle’s England international Andy Carroll, on the back of 31 goals in 80 games for the Magpies - 17 of those at Championship level.

That move did not turn out well for Liverpool, as he only just reached double figures in goals, scoring 11 in 58 games, and becoming even more of a parody figure than Torres.

He ended up leaving on loan to join West Ham in 2012, before signing permanently for the Hammers the following season. In fewer games, he already has more goals than he scored for Liverpool, and Carroll is the man who claims the title as biggest Premier League flop.

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