Date: 12th February 2021 at 10:00am
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It is time to cover your eyes, just as many football fans did when they got the pleasure of watching this hapless bunch. We are about to remind you of some of the worst players to grace the Premier League. Before we start though, we are not saying that the following players were useless or pathetic excuses for footballers, well maybe a few were, but mostly it was a case of bad timing. For whatever reason, the following players struggled in the Premier League, to the mystery of many. So, without further ado, let us crack on.

Bosko Balaban

The Croatian was Dinamo Zagreb’s top goalscorer for two seasons in a row before Aston Villa signed him in 2001 for a fee of £5.8 million. However, and I am sure that he will admit it himself, his time in the Second City was a complete disaster. In his two and a half years at the club, he started just twice and made seven appearances off the bench, failing to find the back of the net. He was loaned back to Zagreb, and he started scoring again. He then joined Brugge and scored 25 goals in 24 matches in his first season for them and 27 goals in 30 matches the following season.

Igors Stepanovs

Marian Pahars was touted as the Latvian Michael Owen, while Stepanovs was more like like Latvia’s version of Titus Bramble. An injury to Tony Adamas in 2000 forced Arsene Wenger into a panic buy, and Stepanovs was his answer. His career in the top-flight of English football started really well as he scored in his first match, but his playing time soon started to diminish until the game against Manchester United that every Arsenal fan still has nightmares about. Stepanovs was terrified by Dwight Yorke, who completed his hat-trick within 21 minutes. United had scored 5 goals by half-time, and the Latvian was at fault for at least two of them. He went on to make just one more appearance, but he did actually end up with a Premier League medal as he was an unused substitute when Arsenal clinched the title. Probably the least deserving Premier League medal ever.

I remember that Arsenal title win quite clearly though as I had placed £150 on the Gunners to win the league that season at odds of 4.50. My friend is an Arsenal fan, and he placed the same value bet on them to lift the trophy but won quite a bit less than me because he does not like to use odds comparison sites. They are great to use as it allows me to find the best odds when betting on football. The one that I make use of at the moment is https://www.mybettingsite.uk/ and it has greatly improved my sports betting experience.

Winston Bogarde

Before he joined Chelsea, the Dutchman had played with the likes of Milan, Ajax, and Barcelona. It was this that convinced Chelsea to give him a lucrative contract back in 2000, but his hopes of having an impact at the Bridge were over right away. He signed when Gianluca Vialli was the coach, but when Vialli was replaced by Claudio Ranieri not long after it was decided that he was not the right fit for the club. However, instead of trying to find another club to play regular football, he decided to just stay at Chelsea and see out his contract worth £15 million. Chelsea tried to force him to leave, but he stood his ground, and did not care that he was one of the worst buys in Premiership history.

Bebe

This has got to be one of the most baffling buys in Premier League history. In 2010, Manchester United announced that they had signed Bebe for £7.4 million, and it was news that was greeted with confusion especially since Ferguson had never seen him play before. In his first season at the club, he made just seven appearances and walked around the pitch like he would rather be elsewhere. He spent the rest of his United career out on loan at various clubs before he was shipped off to Benfica, where he was also pretty rubbish. He should be thankful that he had a pretty good agent.

Jozy Altidore

When you look at the numbers, it is safe to say that they do not look very good for the big American. He played 70 Premier League games for Sunderland and Hull and found the back of the net just twice. To be fair to him, he was quick, strong, and could hold the ball well, but when it came to sticking the ball in the back of the net he struggled. He left the Premier League for the MLS and scored 47 goals in 88 matches.

Milton Nunez

Nunez was signed by Peter Reid in 2000 for a £1.6 million fee, but he only made one appearance for Sunderland. It was rumoured that they made a mistake and signed the wrong footballer. Before he signed for Sunderland, Nunez played for PAOK alongside Adolfo Valencia, and it is believed that this was the player that Reid actually wanted. Nunez even went on to confirm these rumours in 2017. He did not know what he was doing playing football on Wearside, and the Sunderland fans certainly felt the same way.

Massimo Taibi

The Manchester Evening News declared that Alex Ferguson signed Taibi instead of Francesco Toldo due to a recommendation from his brother Martin, who was really impressed by his performances for Venezia. Taibi spoke no English and a local Italian restaurant owner used to translate for him. His career at Old Trafford got off to a good start, and he picked up the Man of the Match award during a 3-2 victory against Chelsea. However, he was not registered to play in Europe and his United career came to an end when he allowed a shot from Matt Le Tissier to go through his legs and into the net. He played just four games for United before he was sold to Reggina.

Savio

West Ham decided to sell Craig Bellamy to Manchester City for £14 million in 2009, and they replaced him with Savio, who had scored just 3 goals in 22 matches for Serie B team Brescia, for a fee of £9 million. He struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League, which seemed to be far too physical for his lightweight stature. Six months later, West Ham decided to cut their losses and sold him to Fiorentina for £3 million. After he left West Ham, he played at 10 other clubs before he scored another goal. Maybe he should have looked at another hobby besides playing football.

Ali Dia

I do not think that there would be many who would disagree with me when I say that Dia has got to be one of the worst players to ever grace the Premier League. The story goes that Dia had been calling a number of different clubs claiming to be George Weah’s cousin – he had trials at Coventry and Bournemouth, but both turned him down when they watched him play. However, Graeme Souness, who was managing Southampton at the time, took the bait and when Le Tissier got injured Dia saw his first taste of Premier League action. He ran around for 52 minutes not doing an awful lot and was hauled off and never played for them again.

 

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