As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Tribal Transfer XI: Since summer 2011 who have been the biggest flops?

Below is's take on the worst-performed signings since the summer 2011 transfer window opened.

Over the past four transfer market openings, managers from all Premier League clubs have made poor signings but some have been more costly than others.

 tribalfootball's Flop XI since 2011


Robert Green - Signed by QPR for free

Maybe not worst value for money as he was signed for free but it was hard to find a goalkeeper over the odds perhaps aside from Hugo Lloris who will eventually prove his worth at Tottenham. Green was given a chance by Mark Hughes last summer but just two games into his Loftus Road career, was brushed aside to make way for Julio Cesar. The former West Ham man ended up making 16 league appearances for the R's last term.


Maicon - Signed by Man City from Inter Milan for £3m, sold to AS Roma for £3m

Man City are right back (pardon the pun) where they started after trying Brazilian right-back Maicon for a season. In terms of money lost, the Eastlands club were ok with this one but the time and effort of signing an international player only to sell him a year later seems redundant. The 32-year old was a massive flop at City, making a total of 13 appearances in all competitions.

Stefan Savic - Signed by Man City from Partizan for £6m, joined Fiorentina for free

City took a chance on the young Montenegrin defender but it didn't really pay off as he was well below par in his 21 outings for the club. He cost City £6m when he signed a four-year deal in 2011 but was offloaded to Fiorentina for free to sweeten the £13m deal for Matija Nastasic last summer.

Christopher Samba - Signed by QPR from Anzhi for £12.5m, sold back to Anzhi for £12m

Samba was the big hope for QPR when the relegation-threatened club signed him for an exorbitant fee in January but the risk did not pay off as he bumbled his way through 10 matches as the R's dropped down to the Championship. Mega-rich Anzhi saved QPR's skins by buying him back for £12m…for some reason.

Andre Santos - Signed by Arsenal for £6m, joined Flamengo for free

The Brazilian left-back does not have much of a defensive bone in his body and was almost a complete flop at Arsenal. The Gunners signed him from Fenerbahce for around £6m but he wasn't up to it in England and left on loan for Gremio in February this year. His two-year spell with Arsenal came to and earlier this summer and we was given permission to depart for free to Flamengo after just 33 appearances.


Stewart Downing - Signed by Liverpool from Aston Villa for £19.6m

Downing's performances have been well below par since his big-money move from Villa. Sure, he's not the first player to be bought for above the odds but I fail to see why the Reds coughed up so much for a so-so winger. He hasn't produced a great deal for Liverpool, just seven goals and 12 assists in 91 appearances, and will need to have a standout season in 2013/14 to justify his price tag. That or move to Newcastle at the behest of Joe Kinnear.

Charlie Adam - Signed by Liverpool from Blackpool for £7m, sold to Stoke for £4m

Liverpool managed to recoup a little bit of money for Adam but his spell at Anfield was extremely mediocre. The Scottish midfielder managed 37 appearances in all competitions for the Reds, scoring just twice, and providing only ten assists. He hasn't fared much better at Stoke with three goals and six assists in 28 outings. A shadow of the player he was at Blackpool.

Javi Garcia - Signed by Manchester City from Benfica for £16m

Maybe a little early to be labelled a 'flop' but Garcia certainly did not prove to City fans why he was purchased for £16m. The 26-year old Spaniard played 24 times in the Premier League last season but did not live up to expectations, giving outsiders like us the impression that former club Benfica would be laughing all the way to the bank.

Charles N'Zogbia - Signed by Aston Villa from Wigan Athletic for £9.5m

N'Zogbia was electric for Wigan in the 2010/11 season with nine goals and ten assists before heading to Villa in July 2011. Since then he has struggled for his best form over two seasons at Villa Park and will be looking to recapture his DW Stadium days as soon as he can otherwise he will end up on the 'what ever happened to?' scrapheap.


Andy Carroll - Signed by Liverpool from Newcastle for £35m, sold to West Ham for £15m

There were many people scratching their heads when Liverpool signed Carroll from Newcastle United for £35m in January 2011. The now 24-year old was hardly proven at the top level and it was a bizarre move for a club to spend a British transfer record on such a player. It clearly did not pay off as he produced just 11 goals in 58 outings in all competitions before the Reds sent him on loan to West Ham United in August 2012. They then offloaded him to the Hammers for £15m earlier this summer for a loss of £20m….or around £1.8m per goal.

Gervinho - Signed by Arsenal from Lille for £10.5m

The Ivory Coast attacker came to Arsenal in July 2011 with big expectations after scoring freely in France in the previous two seasons. So far, he has disappointed with just 11 goals in over 60 appearances and is on the verge of being sold to AS Roma. Unfortunately it hasn't worked out for the 26-year old in North London and a lot of Arsenal fans are keen to see the back of Gervinho who managed just 18 league appearances last term.

Dishonourable mentions

Alan Hutton - Signed by Aston Villa from Tottenham for £3.8m

The Scottish defender started on £30,000-a-week at Villa when he signed from Spurs in August 2011. He made 31 Premier League appearances in his debut season at Villa Park but was loaned to Championship side Nottingham Forest in November 2012 and then found himself with Spanish club Mallorca early in 2013. Hutton is still on the outer at Villa and there are major doubts on his future.

Marko Marin - Signed by Chelsea from Werder Bremen for £7m

The German winger made just six appearances for the Blues last season and has subsequently been loaned to Sevilla for the upcoming campaign. A bit of a waste for a 24-year old.

Danny Graham - Signed by Sunderland from Swansea City for £5m, loaned to Hull City

The 27-year old striker had a solid season with the Swans in 2011/12, scoring 12 goals in the Welsh clubs Premier League debut. From there, things took a downward spiral with the arrival of Michu giving him much less to do at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea offloaded him to Sunderland for £5m in January 2013 but even the Black Cats don't want him now, sending him to top flight returnees Hull City for the 2013/14 season.

Video of the day:

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free