Top 10 Flops of English Premier League 2014-15


5. Rio Ferdinand (Queens Park Rangers) – Free

While Queens Park Rangers’ signings didn’t make any sort of impact , none have failed as badly as former Manchester United veteran Rio Ferdinand. Signed on a free, the veteran is still commands a hefty wage packet. Reports suggest that his salary is around a third of what he earned at Manchester United, which is still close to £70,000 per week.

For a club in perilous financial troubles, the R’s would have certainly been hoping that a player of Ferdinand’s experience would play a pivotal role in their relegation battle. Instead, Ferdinand has looked woefully off-pace and out-of-depth to deal with the pace of the Premier League all of a sudden, particularly when asked to play in a back three. The fact that QPR have fared better with the likes of Hill and Onuoha partnering Steven Caulker in defence and that he has played just once in the league since October shows just how poor he has been.

4. Emmanuel Rivière (Newcastle United) – £6 million

A striker whose style is better suited to playing with a partner. Looked wholly bereft of confidence when he was stuck up front on his own by then manager Alan Pardew, wandering out to the wings when his midfielders needed him to hold the ball up in the centre to bring them into play. The 24-year-old averaged a goal every four games in Ligue 1 but is yet to get off the mark in 17 Premier League appearances following his £6m summer transfer from financially troubled AS Monaco. Looked a bargain-signing for the Toon’s French revolution after top-scoring for Monaco last season considering the fact that he was playing alongside the likes of Radamel Falcao, James Rodríguez and Dimitar Berbatov.


3. Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) – £20 million

Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren

It’s extremely telling that Liverpool’s best run defensively and have done so largely without any help from central defender Dejan Lovren. The Croatian was signed for a hefty £20 million, after being identified as the remedy for the Reds’ defensive woes that cost them the title last season. However, he has arguably caused more issues than he has resolved since putting on a Red shirt.

Southampton’s continued defensive stoicism suggests that other players—particularly Jose Fonte—carried Lovren, and not the other way around.

2. Mario Balotelli (Liverpool) – £16 million

Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli

There’s little left to say about Mario Balotelli and his time in Liverpool that hasn’t already been said. Brought in as a replacement for Luis Suarez, the Italian was never going to be an exact match for the all-action, tireless Uruguayan. However, Brendan Rodgers would have hoped for a more significant contribution from the former Manchester City player. His failure to find the net was made even worse by the destabilizing effect he had on the team’s attacking philosophy, which simply couldn’t accommodate a striker with little mobility.

In fairness, the £16 million fee wasn’t particularly costly for Liverpool, and Balotelli hasn’t been helped by the pressure placed upon him by Daniel Sturridge’s absence.

1. Radamel Falcao (Manchester United) – £6 million (loan fee)

Falcao manchester unitedRadamel Falcao may have cost Manchester United peanuts in terms of his loan fee, but his humungous wages—£265,000 a week, more than make up for that. Reports state that it will cost Louis van Gaal’s United £43 million to make the Colombian’s move permanent in the summer, although he has never looked like justifying that sort of outlay in his season in Mancunian Red.

While he hasn’t been particularly poor, he has struggled with the pace of the Premier League. For the wages alone, which make him the league’s highest-paid player, the Red Devils would have hoped for a better return than just 4 goals from 26 appearances.


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