By ESPNSTAR.com Editorial Team
There are many ways a signing can be considered a flop – an underwhelming season, being under-utilised or overpriced, just to name a few criteria.
We’ve tried to make it easy – these are players who failed to justify their transfer fees. So, in no particular order of merit (or demerit), here is the list of cringe-worthy signings.
Read also: BPL:Top 10 signings of the season
Stewart Downing, Liverpool (£20m, from Aston Villa)
Front-lining the list of worst signings is Downing. The poor (not financially) winger isn’t helped by Liverpool chairman Tom Werner’s admission on Liverpool’s official TV channel that Downing’s signing was supposedly decided on a doctored YouTube video.
Yes, the above was just a rumour, but the truth is about as brutal.
The fact is that Liverpool lost out in the race to sign Ashley Young from Aston Villa, and settled for the far less effective version. It’s a bit like missing out on the dream girl and settling for her not-so-desirable friend instead.
After ending the entire season assist-less and goal-less despite making 36 appearances, it’s mind-boggling how the lynch mob hasn’t targeted Downing the way they have done Torres.
Charlie Adam, Liverpool (£7.5m, from Blackpool)
Manchester United fans should be relieved that Liverpool managed to sign Adam before Sir Alex Ferguson went on to sign the player whom he described as having a left leg worth £10m.
Just the thought of him combining with Michael Carrick to form possibly the least mobile midfield partnership can drive any football enthusiast to tears.
The tone for Adam’s season horribilis started when he was bullied by Scott Parker in Liverpool’s 4-0 defeat against Spurs. From then on, the sight of Adam in the Reds midfield would elicit a loud groan of despair from most Reds supporters.
Charles N'Zogbia, Aston Villa (£9.5m, from Wigan)
Touted as Aston Villa’s Next Big Thing after the departure of Ashley Young and Downing, N’Zogbia failed to leave up to expectations in almost every aspect of the game.
Most midfielders would relish working with Agbonlahor, but N’Zogbia actually found a way to nullify his team mate. 30 appearances this season ended with only two goals and three assists – not that I’m complaining, given that my colleague stubbornly stuck with N’Zogbia in his fantasy football team for half the season before realising his folly.
Myles Anderson, Blackburn (Free, from Aberdeen)
‘He’s young, signed for free, so what’s the problem?’, you may ask.
Given that Steve Kean laughably compared him to Chris Smalling in preseason, saying: “I feel that Myles Anderson is a player with great potential as a late developer, he could become something of a Chris Smalling, who came through late in football and Myles has done the same because of his schooling.”
Honestly, now. Myles Anderson happens to be the son of a certain agent named Jerome Anderson. For those of you oblivious to the Venky’s circus at Ewood Park, Anderson senior was hired by the board to bring in players and manager Steve Kean.
This signings reek of conspiracy – and it represents everything that went wrong for Blackburn this season.
Scott Dann, Blackburn (£7.7 m, from Birmingham City)
Blackburn fans were excited by Dann’s arrival, given that he was signed despite the attentions of both Liverpool after an impressive season with Birmingham.
Touted as the next Phil Jones, Dann had a reputation as a defender who would bust a nut to keep a clean sheet for his side. Sadly, he was later sidelined after he literally bust his nut, overstretching his lower parts to end up with a ruptured testicle.
As if it wasn’t enough, Dann’s horror injury occurred while scoring his first and only Blackburn goal.
Park Chu-young, Arsenal (£2.7 m, from Monaco)
With Monaco relegated, the Korean captain had one last throw of his dice with another club before spending two years in the army.
Park ended up making perhaps his worst career choice when he stood Lille up, leaving the former French champions waiting for him to appear for his medical while he crossed the channel to the Emirates Stadium.
His signing was much-hyped but it ended up for naught, with his few League Cup appearances not enough to warrant a spot in the starting XI despite the attacking slump the Gunners had in the middle of the season.
Connor Wickham , Sunderland (£13m, from Ipswich)
Any signing from the lower leagues is bound to catch eyeballs – Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are prime examples.
Wickham’s capture from Ipswich had the Black Cats’ fans abuzz as a brilliant prospect but it turned out to be a damp squib. It’s rather unbelievable that Wickham cost Sunderland £13m and ended up making only six starts and 12 substitute appearances with only one goal to show for it. How bad was it, really? Well, Wickham didn’t start a single game from December till the end of the season. Enough said.