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Erik Lamela and the all-time Premier League Flops XI

| 12.02.2014

Erik Lamela is already feeling the pressure of being Tottenham’s club-record transfer but with news that the player may be out for the rest of the season, he could soon find himself filed under the category of Premier League transfer flop – much like the following rag tag bunch of players.

Tottenham are on the rise under Tim Sherwood, but if the club are to claim a top four spot – something available at 3/1 with Ladbrokes – they will have to do it without Lamela after their new manager revealed he would be out for a minimum of six weeks.

But since moving to White Hart Lane for €30m in the summer, the attacker has hardly impressed and with just one goal in 17 appearances for the club, the only team he is likely to be competing for a place in is our all-time Premier League Flops XI!

1. Massimo Taibi – Venezia to Manchester United (£4.5m)


The Italian stopper quite literally saw his opportunity at a career in the Premier League big time slip through his fingers – as well as his legs – following a string of unfortunate and costly errors for the Old Trafford club.

2. Titus Bramble – Ipswich Town to Newcastle United (£6m)


Bobby Robson may have transformed Alan Shearer into a great old fashioned no.9 after injuries took away his pace, but he also oversaw Bramble’s transition from England hopeful to Premier League clown.

3. Jean-Alain Boumsong – Glasgow Rangers to Newcastle United (£8m)


No line-up of this kind would be complete without Bramble’s partner in crime. Signed from Auxerre on a free by Rangers, they couldn’t believe their luck when the Toon Army came calling. 47 calamitous games later he was off.

4. Per Kroldrup – Udinese to Everton (£5m)


David Moyes may have had a reputation for astute signings at Everton but United fans should take note of the story of Kroldrup, who was rumoured to have been signed on the advice of a scout, only for the Toffees boss to realise he had bought the wrong player.

5. Albert Luque – Deportivo La Coruna to Newcastle United (£9.5m) 


Like Boumsong, Luque was signed by then Magpies boss Graeme Souness – a manager with an eye for a flop, as Corrado Grabbi would attest. He promised to deliver goals – he scored one. At least it was against Sunderland.

6. Alberto Aquilani – AS Roma to Liverpool (£17m)


Signed as the replacement for Xabi Alonso, Aquilani had more in common with Samuel L Jackson’s Mr Glass character from Unbreakable, suffering a string of injuries before being put out of his misery with a move back to Serie A.

7. Juan Sebastian Veron – Lazio to Manchester United (£28.1m)


A double Premier League flop with United and Chelsea, it was his spell with the first of these clubs that was most memorable for all the wrong reasons as Veron steered the club to disappointment in the Premier League and Europe.

8. David Bentley – Blackburn Rovers to Tottenham (£15m)


He was nicknamed “Becks” but in reality the only thing Bentley shared with Goldenballs was regret at having left Lancashire. Beckham, at least, can console himself with a La Liga title – all Bentley has is one freak goal against Arsenal.

9. Andrei Shevchenko – AC Milan to Chelsea (£30m) 


Has a player disappointed more in the Premier League? In truth, Chelsea should have seen Sheva was on the wane after watching Milan’s incredible Champions League final loss to Liverpool – a game made all the more astonishing for this miss.

10. Steve Marlet – Lyon to Fulham (£11.5m)


The Cottagers certainly lived the high-life under former owner Mohammed Al-Fayed who forked out a club record amount for Marlet, with the striker delivering 11 goals in 54 appearances at a rate of roughly £1 million per goal! Posh!

11. Francis Jeffers – Everton to Arsenal (£8m)


The fox in the box managed just four goals in 22 games for the Gunners before being loaned out and eventually sold to Charlton. A spell in Australia followed, with Jeffers last in the news after being arrested for attacking his father-in-law with a broomstick.

Substitutes/Special mentions

12. Adrian Mutu – Parma to Chelsea (£15.8m) – The first of Chelsea’s big money signings to flop, Mutu managed just six goals in 27 games before being sacked after testing positive for cocaine. Chelsea sought compensation, with the forward at one time ordered to pay them €22 million. Ouch.

13. Sergei Rebrov – Dynamo Kyiv to Tottenham Hotspur (£11m) – Things started reasonably well for Shevchenko’s partner in crime from his days at Dynamo, but a loss of form and some rather dodgy comments about Londoners soon saw Rebrov struggling at White Hart Lane and on his way out.

14. Tomas Brolin – Parma to Leeds United (£4.5m) – In retrospect, sending a player with a love of pastry to Leeds – the city where one in every three shops is a Greggs – wasn’t a great idea.  After four goals in 20 appearances over two years, Brolin waddled out of Elland Road never to return.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.