Lee Dong-Gook celebrates his 35th birthday today, with the former Middlesbrough striker currently enjoying a productive stay with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in his native South Korea.
Top Corner (@HITCtopcorner) April 29, 2015
He might be a star in his homeland, with over 100 caps to his name, but he will always be remembered in England due to his stay with Middlesbrough, with whom me failed to score in 23 appearances for the club.
A two year stay whilst Boro were in the top flight has Lee down as one of the flops of the Premier League, and we take look at five others to have the crown of biggest ever flop in the English top flight.
Tomas Brolin - Leeds United
Arriving with a reputation as one of the stars of European football, Brolin was part of the Parma side who won the UEFA Cup in 1995, before his transfer to Leeds the same year. His career at Elland Road never managed to reach the same heights as his stay in Italy, making just 20 appearances before being thrown out of the side by Howard Wilkinson over disagreements about his fitness and work rate.
Roque Junior - Leeds United
Also of Leeds, Junior arrived at Elland Road in 2003 on loan from Milan, as a key figure in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup success. Yet that ability was not on show during his seven appearances for the Whites. 24 goals were conceded in his seven games, although eh did scored twice in a Worthington Cup loss to Manchester United. A major disaster after such a promising arrival.
Bosko Balaban - Aston Villa
A £5.8 million signing in 2001, Balaban made just eight appearances for Villa without scoring a goal, despite the fact he netted 15 times in 24 games during a loan spell with Dinamo Zagreb. Never managing to settle at Villa Park, Balaban was released from his contract in 2003 to enjoy great success with Club Brugge.
Xisco - Newcastle United
Almost a surprise to see he is still not at Newcastle United, Xisco made a name for himself with Deportivo, arriving at St James’ Park in 2008 for £5.7 million. He scored on his debut, but then went on to only register 11 further appearances for the club. Spent two seasons out on loan, before finally leaving in 2013.
Afonso Alves - Middlesbrough
Arguably the Premier League flop, former Brazilian international Alves was signed from Heerenveen in the Eredivisie after he netted 45 goals in 35 games for the Dutch club. Replacing Lee in the line-up, Alves never hit those heights again, scoring just 10 goals in 42 games, leaving the club the following year to move to Al Sadd.