The top ten Spanish Premier League flops

After witnessing the Spaniards showing us how it is done in recent months we thought we should remind ourselves about the players who never quite made the grade in the Premier League. Arsenal, Liverpool, Leeds United, Chelsea, West Brom and in particular Newcastle United fans will remember these players through squinted eyes.

This season has seen more than ever a brilliant impact on the Premier League from Spanish players as the likes of Michu, Juan Mata. Chico Flores, Ivan Ramis and Santi Cazorla all demonstrate their Iberian class in English footballs top-flight.

But it has not always panned out so well for some of the Spanish imports to have landed on our shores. We take a look at the ten biggest Spanish flops in Premier League history.

10. Enrique De Lucas - Chelsea

Quique De Lucas signed for Chelsea in 2002 from Espanyol on a four-year deal. During that time he scored just the one goal in the aggregate defeat against Viking of Norway in the UEFA Cup and featured sparingly in the Premiership.

The day before Roman Abramovich took over De Lucas was fired by Chelsea; which led to a court case in 2005. He now plays for Celta Vigo in La Liga.

9. Marcelino - Newcastle United

The first of three ex-Newcastle players on the list but Marcelino was the slightly less poor of all the Spanish imports to grace St James Park.

He cost £5.8 million from Mallorca in 1999 and suffered several severe injury problems during his time on Tyneside. After nearly two years without playing for The Toon he was released in 2003.

He is now a football agent

8. Antonio Nunez - Liverpool

He moved to Merseyside as part of a deal that saw Michael Owen go to Real Madrid and despite scoring his one and only goal for The Reds in the League Final loss to Chelsea his season was largely disappointing.

He has since had stints in Cyprus and is now playing alongside on-loan Liverpool player Dani Pacheco at SD Huesca.

7. Xisco - Newcastle United

It all started so well for this highly thought of Spanish talent; scoring on his debut against Hull City. But he soon found himself out-of-favour and the £5.7 million striker only featured in nine games for the club in five years at the club.

In January he left for Cordoba.

6. Borja Valero - West Brom

After impressing at Mallorca he was the subject of a successful £4.7 million bid from West Brom. However he struggled to settle in at The Hawthorns as The Baggies were relegated to the Championship.

Loan spells at Mallorca and Villarreal followed before signing a lucrative deal at Fiorentina last summer.

5. Raul Bravo - Leeds United

He was brought up to shore up a defence that had been left threadbare after fire-sale tactics were adopted at the financially paralysed Yorkshire club.

He was a major disappointment at the club but went on to have success with Greek side Olympiakos.

He now plays for Beerschot AC in Belgium.

4. Asier Del Horno - Chelsea

Signed for £8 million in 2005 his most telling contribution in a Chelsea shirt involved Lionel Messi and a red card.

Nowadays the 32-year-old is a free agent who has spent much of his career recent career battling injuries and problems with his weight.

3. Jose Antonio Reyes - Arsenal

Not to say the Spaniard did not have his moments unfortunately many of those happened off the pitch, including being duped by a Spanish radio station into confessing his disillusion at Arsenal in 2005.

The £10.5 million fee that was spent on him was barely rewarded in his three year stint at the club.

He now finds himself back at boyhood club Sevilla.

2. Albert Luque - Newcastle United

£9.5 million was the whopping amount Newcastle paid Deportivo for the left-sided attacker in 2005 and given his pedigree it seemed a good price.

He struggled with injuries throughout his time at the club and was allowed to join Ajax in 2007.

He has now retired from professional football and has been working as a football pundit with Spanish station TVE.

1. Fernando Morientes - Liverpool

After his performances on loan at Monaco in 2003-04 Liverpool were more than happy to splash the cash on Morientes that summer.

12 goals and 61 appearances later and he was allowed to go on his way.

He is now manager of Real Madrid’s Juvenil B side.

Who do you think has been the biggest Spanish Premier League flop?

image: © amg lincuden

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