Many fans didn’t enjoy certain players playing in the Premier League for their club. We hope you don’t get the shivers reading this but here are the 10 worst players to ever play in England.
Most of the individuals on the list were not necessarily bad at the sport, but often it’s a case of bad timing.
Sometimes they’re actually top-quality players and it’s still a bit of a mystery how they failed so badly.
Which leads us nicely on to our opening player at No.10…
10. Bosko Balaban
The first one on the list is Croatian striker Bosko Balaban. He signed for Aston Villa back in 2001, in a £5.8m, £20,000 a week deal. His time at Villa was a disaster with no goals in any of the nine appearances over two and a half years.
In contrast, however, he had some great seasons once he moved away from the Premier League. He got 15 goals in 24 when loaned back to Zagreb. He also netted 52 goals in 54 appearances when he joined Brugge on a free transfer.
9. Igors Stepanovs
He was brought to Arsenal by Arsene Wenger in 2000 after an injury to Tony Adams. He started his adventure in North London very well netting a goal on his debut. However, it all went the other way following a disastrous match against Manchester United.
A Stepanovs-Gilles Grimandi centre-back pairing was no match for Dwight Yorke, who smashed in a 21-minute hat-trick. United were 5-1 up at half-time and won 6-1 with the Latvian culpable for at least two of the goals.
Stepanovs only made one more appearance that season. He did, however, collect a Premier League winners medal the following year by virtue of being an unused substitute on the day Arsenal clinched the title.
8. Winston Bogarde
Despite the Dutchman’s spells at Ajax, Milan and Barcelona before joining Chelsea, he didn’t make an impact in London. He was given a lucrative £40,000 a week contract in 2000 and opted to stay with Chelsea. This regardless of manager Claudio Ranieri not being interested in the player.
Chelsea tried to force him to leave, even dropping him down to train with the youth teams, but Bogarde stubbornly remained as his career ticked away.
Bebe’s arrival to the Premier League happened through a transfer to Manchester United in 2010. The reported transfer fee for the Portuguese forward was £7.4m. The back-then Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson had also admitted that he had never seen Bebe play before.
The Portuguese forward made seven appearances for United in his first season. He was labelled by most United fans as a player not possessing the necessary traits of a competition winner. The remainder of his United career was spent out on loan before he was sold to Benfica.
6. Junior Lewis
Junior Lewis was voted the worst ever player by fans from two of his former clubs, Leicester and Stevenage. He joined the Premier League thanks to a move to Leicester in 2001.
Lewis spent three years with the Foxes but only managed 30 appearances. That’s an average of just 10 appearances per season. We think that is enough to describe the success he’s had in the Premier League!
5. Jozy Altidore
The numbers don’t look good for Altidore. The American striker played 70 league games in English football across two spells with relegation strugglers Hull and Sunderland. He scored only two goals. He was strong, quick and could hold the ball up – but it all seemed to fall woefully apart when he had a chance to score.
However, things have picked up since he left Sunderland in 2015. His record for MLS side Toronto is a prolific 47 goals in 88 games and counting.
4. Milton Nunez
Honduran striker Milton Nunez was signed by Peter Reid for Sunderland in 2000. He made a miserable one appearance for the Black Cats during his spell in the Premier League.
What is interesting about his transfer are the rumours that Sunderland had actually signed the wrong player when they got him. Reportedly they had been after his PAOK teammate Adolfo Valencia. Nunez didn’t know what he was doing on Wearside, and no one else did either.
3. Massimo Taibi
According to reports, Ferguson had preferred Taibi to Francesco Toldo on a recommendation of his brother. Apparently, he had been impressed by the goalkeeper’s performances for Venezia.
The player didn’t speak the English language and had an Italian restaurant owner translate instructions from the pitch side. Taibi’s United career actually started pretty well, with a man of the match performance in a 3-2 win over Chelsea. However, he made a horrible mistake against Southampton and that his United career ended.
Following Craig Bellamy’s sale to Manchester City in 2009, West Ham had to find a replacement. However we think it shouldn’t have been a player capable of being a flop at Serie B side Brescia i.e. Savio.
The Ugandan-born German struggled to adjust to the Premier League and was sold to Fiorentina after just 10 appearances for £3m. After that, Savio’s career drifted through a number of goalless loan spells and personal issues. In 2012, he reportedly spent time in a Thai prison after faking his own kidnapping.
1. Ali Dia
Inevitably, the worst Premier League player of all time is Ali Dia. This story remains ridiculous, no matter how many times you hear it.
Dia apparently contacted numerous clubs claiming to be George Weah’s cousin in 1995. First, this got him two trials with Coventry and Bournemouth but both turned him down. However, Southampton manager Graeme Souness took the bait and signed the Senegalese forward.
He only managed 52 minutes on his debut before being substituted during the match against Leeds. Then he disappeared, landing at Gateshead for an eight-game spell a few months later before seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth.
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