10 Worst BPL Signings of 2012/13 season

Every season, the Barclays Premier League invariably uncovers its fair share of previously undiscovered gems as clubs strike gold in their transfer dealings.

The London side look headed for relegation.

This year, the likes of Swansea, Aston Villa and Manchester City have done just that by signing Michu, Christian Benteke and Matija Nastasic, who have all established themselves as bona-fide stars in English football's top flight.

However, for every Eric Cantona there is an Eric Djemba-Djemba, so it's no surprise this season has seen clubs make blunders, big and small, in the transfer market.

Below, the FOX Sports editorial team lists players who arrived on a wave of hype but failed to live up to expectations for a variety of reasons - injuries, managerial changes and of course, shambolic performances.

10) Adam Johnson (Sunderland)

Fee: £10million
Games: 35
Goals: 3

Getting us started is a player who has arguably been a flop twice in a row now, given his failed time at Manchester City.

When Johnson joined the Citizens, he was regarded as England's hottest left-wing prospect looking to take the next step in his rising career. While he never quite reached the heights he was tipped for, he did at least manage to show occasional glimpses of brilliance.

Moving to the Stadium of Light seemed an excellent idea given he would be seeing plenty more first-team football and playing without the pressure that comes with a title-challenging side. Yet for every game which justified his £10million price tag, he produced nine others worth of someone a tenth of that price.

It is clear the 25-year-old has talent but he just seems allergic to consistency, and tends to go missing during the crucial moments. If he doesn't improve quickly, he could soon find himself on his way out of Sunderland.

9) Mladen Petric (Fulham)

Fee: Free transfer
Games: 23
Goals: 5

Dimitar Berbatov and Mladen Petric; it seemed like a match made in heaven - the Balkan partnership that would fire Fulham into European contention this season.

But while the former has gone on to become a real cult hero at Craven Cottage, the same cannot be said for Petric, although no one could have predicted that on his two-goal, one-assist debut in the opening day 5-0 win over Norwich.

Since then, the 32-year-old has scored just three more times in 22 outings and is known more for his theatrical attempts to win penalties than his penalty-box prowess.

Although the Cottagers can take solace in the fact that he was a free transfer, surely plenty more was expected from a man who had five successful campaigns in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg.

And while Martin Jol revealed last month he was ready to offer Petric an extension to his one-year deal, the fact there have been no developments since then is likely to have the Croat sweating over his future.

8) Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading)

Fee: Free transfer
Games: 26
Goals: 5

One of the reasons why Fulham moved for Berbatov and Petric was to fill the void left behind by Pogrebnyak.

And while the Russian international had a successful six-month spell at Fulham with six goals in 12 games, his move to Reading has been anything but.

The Russia international, who played at Euro 2012, was tipped to be the man most likely to keep the Royals up, and while Reading were quite poor this year, one area they have looked decent in was the attacking third, where the likes of Hal Robson-Kanu, Garath McCleary and Jobi McAnuff produced a steady supply of chances.

One can only imagine how frustrated the trio must have been on seeing Pogrebnyak squander one opportunity after another. The fact that Adam Le Fondre, who spends more time on the bench than off it, is the club's leading scorer ahead of Pogrebnyak, best exemplifies the pathetic impact the latter has had.

7) Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham)

Fee: £5million (plus £4m signing-on fee)
Games: 25
Goals: 5

Adebayor has polarised opinion throughout his career but even the hardest of cynics would have been expecting him to succeed after securing a permanent move to Tottenham, following a season-long loan spell that saw him record 18 goals and 12 assists in 37 games.

But under Andre Villas-Boas the Togo international has failed to fire for Spurs despite seeing regular game time due to injuries to Jermain Defoe, and instead, it has been Gareth Bale who has had to step up as the north London side's focal point in attack.

Granted, as the season entered its final stretch, Adebayor did pop up with a couple of important goals but far more should be expected of a man who has played for three of Europe's biggest sides in Arsenal, City and Real Madrid.

To make matters worse, his red card for a two-footed challenge on Santi Cazorla in the derby against Arsenal back in November, just minutes after he had given them the lead, cost Tottenham dearly as they ultimately fell to a 5-2 defeat.

That incident was not the first time Adebayor has produced a "Jekyll and Hyde" display and best exemplified what a risk it is to have him in the side.

6) Fabio Borini (Liverpool)

Fee: £10.5million (before add-ons)
Games: 13
Goals: 1

Before we incur the wrath of Liverpool's millions of fans, we must stress that this is one of those transfers that have been underwhelming but not purely because of the player's disappointing displays.

Borini has had a wretched run with injuries in his debut season at Anfield and it's clear we haven't seen the best of him.

But injuries or not, it cannot be denied that he hasn't made the impression that was expected of him, especially considering his signing was expected to bring out the best in Luis Suarez.

Instead, in his prolonged absence, Liverpool went on to sign Daniel Sturridge in January and the England international has had the exact impact his Italian team-mate was tipped for.

The one banging in the goals on a regular basis could so easily have been Borini had he been able to stay out of the Melwood treatment room, but unlike so many others on this list, the future still looks very bright for the 22-year-old Italy international.

5) Junior Hoilett (QPR)

Fee: £4million
Games: 26
Goals: 2

Last season, Hoilett nearly kept Blackburn in the Premier League with some outstanding displays, and it was clear he would be remaining in English football's top flight given there was plenty of interest in his services.

But despite being linked with a host of top sides, the Canadian opted to move to Loftus Road - which of course earned him, the dubious distinction of being relegated twice in two seasons.

And unlike last season where he came out of the whole mess with plenty of credit, the same cannot be said this term.

At the time of writing, Hoilett has netted just three times, once in a Capital One Cup tie against Reading, and it remains to be seen how many top-flight clubs will be interested in signing him this summer.

4) Park Ji-sung (QPR)

Fee: £2million (before add-ons)
Games: 20
Goals: 0

Ex-Manchester United man Park is the second QPR player on our list and like Hoilett, he has really failed to live up to expectations after being named captain on his move to Loftus Road.

It may have seemed like a bargain that the Rs only forked out £2m for a player with four Premier League titles and a Champions League winner's medal to his name, but there is no point having all the experience in the world if you don't deliver on the pitch, and that has been the case with the ex-Korea Republic captain.

A player like Park was never going to win games off his own boot given his style of play, but QPR would have expected him to provide a steadying influence in the middle of the park. Instead, he was anonymous in almost every game he played, and was ultimately stripped of the captaincy.

it's looking increasingly likely the Korean will be leaving the English game for good in the coming weeks.

3) Esteban Granero (QPR)

Fee: £9million
Games: 23
Goals: 1

Completing a hat-trick of QPR flops is Granero, and it's hard not to like the former Real man given the attractive football he is capable of producing, as well as his easy-going nature off the pitch.

But considering the club forked out a reported £9m transfer fee, and a bit more for his wages, Granero failed to produce the goods.

It was clear from the start that the 25-year-old was going to be QPR's playmaker-in-chief as he was immediately handed a free role and took charge of set-piece situations.

Yet, Granero was never able to take hold of a game by the scruff of its neck and looked far too content being a mere passenger.

Some players do need time to adjust to a new country and style of football, and Spanish players haven't always succeeded in England. Having failed to prove himself after a season in the Premier League, perhaps Granero is better off returning to La Liga to ply his trade.

2) Marko Marin (Chelsea)

Fee: £6.5million (estimated)
Games: 6
Goals: 1

"The German Messi", "the next big thing in German football", and "a player who can decide a game on his own" according to Germany coach Joachim Low. These are just some the words of praise that have been bestowed on Marin.

Yet after seven years as a professional football, the 24-year-old remains a "promising prospect" when some of his peers like Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller have gone on to establish themselves as world-class players.

To be fair, he was still playing some very good football at Werder Bremen even if he wasn't thrilling audiences in the Champions League on a weekly basis. But everything has gone downhill since he was lured by Stamford Bridge's bright lights.

Revealing he chose to join Chelsea over Tottenham as they "suited him better" and having scored a debut goal in the 4-2 friendly win over Seattle Sounder in pre-season, Marin has since made just six league appearances for the Blues.

With Bayer Leverkusen's Andre Schurrle reportedly close to joining Chelsea, and Kevin de Bruyne tipped to return after an impressive loan spell with Werder Bremen, perhaps it is Tottenham that would have "suited him better".

1) Scott Sinclair (Man City)

Fee: £8million (estimated)
Games: 11
Goals: 0

But in terms of utter disappointment, no one has flattered to deceive more than City winger Sinclair, a man who started the season starring for Great Britain at last year's London Olympic Games.

He showed no signs of being worn out by his summer exertions and returned to club football with a bang, scoring in Swansea's 5-0 opening-day win over QPR, which was his last contribution to the club before completing a transfer that reportedly could see the Swans bag £8m including add-ons.

Even before his campaign was ended earlier this month following surgery to remove a blood clot in his shoulder, Sinclair had made just 11 league appearances for the Citizens, only two of which have been starts.

He has no goals or assists to his name, and since moving to the Etihad Stadium, his name is no longer being bandied around as a potential England international.

If he wants that to change, he's going to have to step up his game come the 2013/14 season. Or find a new club.

Dishonourable Mentions

Jose Bosingwa (QPR)
Free transfer, 23 games, 0 goals

Charlie Adam (Stoke)
£4million, 27 games, 3 goals, 1 red card

Matt Jarvis (West Ham)
£10million, 29 games, 2 goals

Modibo Maiga (West Ham)
£7million (estimated), 17 games, 2 goals

Bryan Oviedo (Everton)
£5million (including add-ons), 15 games, 0 goals

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update