Money can buy you Stones: The top five Premier League flops

Everton's John Stones

A £47.5m British record transfer fee for a defender, John Stones to Manchester City has set the transfer window alight but will he join the flop list?

England's John StonesEngland's John Stones

It's been a transfer saga which has gone on for weeks, but Stones has finally joined Manchester City from Everton. Many defenders have struggled to handle big moves but will he relish the opportunity or crumble?

We round up the biggest Premier League transfer flops:

1. Sebastian Coates
The Uruguayan was brought in by Liverpool in the summer of 2011 from Uruguayan side Nacional, however the defender failed to make the impact many expected after a torrid time on Merseyside.

With the likes of Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel ahead of him in selection, it was difficult for him to break through and stamp his authority in the middle of defence. An injury suffered in August 2013 against Japan sidelined Coates for much of the 2013/14 season which affected his chances at Anfield. 

During his spell at the club he made 12 appearances, scoring one memorable goal against Queens Park Rangers, it also included loan spells to Sunderland where he made 36 appearances. 

2. Eliaquim Mangala
The Frenchman signed for Manchester City in the summer of 2014 for £32 million from Porto where he impressed in Portugal, City tried to sign the player in the January that year although the deal failed to materialise.

With the price tag you would've expected an accomplished defender, but performances in his opening two seasons in the Premier League have cast doubt as to whether he can sustain himself in the Man City side.

The France international has failed to play consistently well when called upon, which has meant Pep Guardiola has allowed the club to listen to offers for the defender. 


Mangala has featured 48 times in two seasons at the Etihad although for the price tag paid by City, you would've hoped for more.

Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala fouls Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez

3. Stefan Savic
Another one of Manchester City's flops at centre back, the defender signed under Roberto Mancini in 2011 and many thought that the Montenegro international would be the future partner for captain Vincent Kompany. 

Inadequate performances in his debut season proved he wasn't the man for City who were looking to build a side for future titles. The then 21-year-old showed his vulnerabilities and frailties when defending with opposition sides targeting the defender as a weakness, his positioning, concentration and decision-making were three aspects which blighted his time in Manchester.

Savic featured 11 times with only five starts in one season at the Etihad.

Sebastien Squillaci

For years Arsenal have struggled to replace the likes of Sol Campbell, Steve Bould, Tony Adams and Martin Keown, and Sebastien Squillaci seemed to keep that trend going. 

The Frenchman signed for Arsenal from Sevilla in the summer of 2010 and performances by the defender saw him quickly become a fringe player at the club. He seemed to never grasp the demands of the Premier League and the sheer pace and power of forwards as well as the intensity for 90 minutes, meaning he was overrun time after time.

The defender made 22 appearances for the Gunners in three seasons before a move to Ligue 1 with Bastia in 2013.

Federico Fazio
After nine years in Spain with Sevilla, Argentina international Fazio made the switch to Tottenham after years of progress in Spain where he made 148 appearances in seven seasons for the Sevilla first team. 

The switch to London was a culture shock to the defender who struggled, like many, with the demands of the Premier League. Given his physical stature he wasn't so often bullied by opposing attackers, but his lack of pace was his major flaw, making him a target for sides to exploit. 

His debut season saw Fazio make 20 appearances although many were sceptical about how long he will last at the club and he was eventually loaned out to former club Sevilla in January this year. He returned this summer only for the defender to be loaned out again to Serie A side Roma. 

Tottenham Hotspur's Federico Fazio

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