The 2014/15 Premier League season is almost upon us with managers up and down the country making their final touches towards their squads ahead of the opening weekend. There’s been plenty of solid business from clubs during the summer transfer window but there have been some equally peculiar and somewhat puzzling transfers as well. Here, Easyodds.com football tipster Tom Powell looks at some of the worst value for money signings of the window so far…
#5 Jake Livermore
Best Bet: Hull To Be Relegated @ 7/2
Jake Livermore has never lived up to the hype he received as a youngster and should in no way be commanding a fee of £8million as he has done when making the move from Tottenham to Hull this summer.
His performances for Hull last season while on loan were no more than fine (41 games and three goals) while his whole Premier League career has seen him score just three goals in 72 appearances, hardly a decent tally for a box-to-box midfielder. At 24 he could arguably improve but at this stage of his career and on past showings Steve Bruce has paid well over the odds for an extremely average footballer.
#4 Marvin Sordell
Best Bet: Burnley To Finish Bottom @ 11/5
The fee paid to Bolton for Marvin Sordell may not be astronomical but it’s a decent enough sum of money for a club in need of quality players and without a large transfer kitty.
Had they cast their net further than the M65 then Sean Dyche could have a much better quality of player at his disposal for £4million, but instead he’s splashed out on a player who managed just seven goals in 31 matches last season and has not managed more than 12 goals in a campaign before with that goal haul coming in the league below. For Bolton Sordell netted just four goals in 25 matches and Burnley need a lot better than that if they want to stay in the Premier League. Fingers crossed Danny Ings stays fit for them.
#3 Jack Rodwell
Best Bet: Sunderland Bottom Half Finish @ 2/5
There will be contrasting views as to whether Jack Rodwell is a decent signing for Sunderland but in my opinion £10million was too much money to pay for a player who hasn’t played regularly in three years.
Rodwell turned out for Man City just 16 times in two seasons and though some of that can be attributed to competition for places his injury record will be a concern for Sunderland fans. Sunderland’s superb end of season form saw them to safety but has papered over the cracks somewhat considering they were woeful for much of the season and they need more than the five players they’ve signed so far.
Hopefully there’s money for them to reinforce other areas of the side but if £10million represents most of their summer outlay they have made a very bad decision.
#2 Brown Ideye
Club: West Brom
Best Bet: West Brom To Be Relegated @ 13/5
West Brom could have featured a few times in this list but at least the signings of Chris Baird, Joleon Lescott and Craig Gardner were free. However, £10million on a player who has never played at the top level is a big risk.
It was clear West Brom needed to reinforce their attacking options with just Anichebe and Berahino left in their ranks but they could have done a lot better with their money than Ideye. Alan Irvine admitted he’s never seen Ideye play while work permit issues have also prevented him taking part in a full pre-season. His goalscoring record is admirable (33 in 74 for Dynamo Kyiv) but he’s very unlikely to be as prolific in a far superior side, playing for a far superior club.
West Brom needed better and this could prove to be their undoing this season.
#1 Leonardo Ulloa
Best Bet: Burnley/Leicester/West Brom Relegation Treble @ 20/1
There’s plenty to admire about Leicester boss Nigel Pearson but he’s let himself down with the signing of Leonardo Ulloa from Brighton.
The 28 year-old was good but by no means outstanding during his stint in the Championship with Brighton and is a player that should cost no more than £2-3million at most. He’s slow and cumbersome and not the right kind of player to help Leicester stay in the Premier League. Assuming £8million represents a sizeable chunk of the Foxes’ transfer kitty this cash should have been used elsewhere to strengthen their squad.
Cardiff made the mistake on spending big on players last season and that resulted in a swift return to the Championship, Leicester could be following them.
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