Football/Soccer

Top of the Flops - the Premier League mishits

AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine kicks the ball into the net during an Italian major league soccer match between AC Milan and Messina at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno).
Sports Reporters

Holland international Davy Klaassen left Everton for Werder Bremen on Friday just a year after moving to Goodison Park.

The former Ajax captain joined the Toffees as part of a huge recruitment drive but failed to impress and will now be added to an ever-growing list of expensive Premier League flops.

Here, we highlight a not-so-magnificent seven players who - carrying either a hefty transfer tag, a huge weight of expectation or a combination of both - failed to cut it in England's top-flight.

Angel Di Maria - Manchester United

Louis van Gaal's new number seven appeared to settle into Premier League life with ease having joined from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014.

However, a memorable goal in a 5-3 defeat at Leicester would remain the high-point.

The Argentina winger suffered a shocking drop-off in form, falling out of favour and being sent off against Arsenal before he departed for Paris Saint Germain less than a year later.

Andriy Shevchenko - Chelsea

Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho in the dugout and Roman Abramovich providing the cash, had won back-to-back Premier League titles before adding Ukrainian hot-shot Shevchenko to their artillery.

It seemed a logical move to even further hit home Chelsea's dominance and help progress in Europe, but it did not work out.

Shevchenko had scored goals galore during his spell at AC Milan before his big-money move but managed just nine in two seasons at Stamford Bridge before he returned to his former club on loan.

Guido Carrillo - Southampton

Probably the least-recognised name on this list, but Carrillo is the latest to make his mark - or not as the case may be.

Signed by relegation-threatened Southampton for a club-record fee in January, the Argentinian made just five Premier League starts and was largely unfancied by Mark Hughes when he arrived to steer Saints to safety.

The 27-year-old has now left for Leganes on loan, just 164 days on from his record-breaking move to Hampshire.

Jo - Manchester City & Everton

Before the billions of Sheikh Mansour allowed Manchester City to compete with any club in the world on a financial basis, they had to be a little more careful with their spending.

There was still money to be spent, however, and when Brazil striker Jo joined from CSKA Moscow for a then-club record fee much was expected.

It is fair to say he failed to deliver, scoring just once for City in the Premier League before two unsuccessful loan spells at Everton brought to an end his unhappy spell in England.

Juan Sebastian Veron - Manchester United & Chelsea

Signed in the same summer as Ruud van Nistelrooy, only one would become something of a fans favourite - and it was not the Argentinian playmaker who came in from Lazio for a club-record fee at the time.

Veron struggled to make his mark in the Premier League despite the inflated price tag and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had very few kind words to say of the midfielder in his autobiography.

A surprise move to Chelsea emerged following Abramovich's takeover but he still could not find his feet in England and was soon shipped out on loan to Inter Milan.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel - Norwich

The Dutchman was never going to fire Norwich to Premier League glory but his goalscoring record suggested he could steer the Canaries clear of relegation trouble.

Boasting an impressive goal tally at Sporting, things started well in East Anglia as a superb header on his debut earned his new side a point against Everton on the opening day of the 2013/14 season - but he failed to add to his sole Premier League strike.

Norwich dropped down to the Championship and Van Wolfswinkel left on loan moves away from Carrow Road - he now plays for Swiss outfit Basel.

Roberto Soldado - Tottenham

Another striker who moved to England with an envious goalscoring record and would end up leaving with his reputation in tatters.

Soldado joined Spurs from Valencia in 2013 for a then-club record fee but struggled from day one at White Hart Lane.

The Spain international scored just six goals in his debut Premier League season, with only two of those coming from open play, adding a solitary goal in his second campaign before he departed for Villarreal.

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