What a Waste of Money XI: Premier League’s Worst Buys for the Money

What is the Premier League’s Worst XI based on highest transfer fees and worst performances? If you could pick a starting eleven, what would it look like?

In my opinion, here are my picks of the current Premier League footballers who deserve to be in my What A Waste Of Money XI:


David De Gea (£18m) – Manchester United – He’s probably going to raise at least one trophy this year, but the wins seem to happen despite his presence, rather than because of his play.  Goalkeepers need to be the vocal captain of the defense and one must wonder who is listening when De Gea is barking.  The Spaniard is lucky to be playing for a United team that scores at will to cover for their poor defending.


David Luiz (£25m) – Chelsea – Luiz’s days of being “controlled by a 10-year-old in the crowd on a Playstation” may be waning, but he’s still a liability on defense.  The Brazilian is regularly caught out of position and has a knack for giving up penalties.  Certainly Luiz is far from worst defender in the league but the price doesn’t match the return.  Maybe his recent move to the midfield can justify his high price tag.

Ivan Ramis (£4m) – Wigan – While his price tag is low, the value in the purchase is even lower.  A smaller club like Wigan cannot afford such mistakes.  Ivan conceded a penalty on his debut and his team has conceded the second most goals in the league.  Wigan now have a 28 year old defender facing a long recovery from a serious knee injury, and it appears they may have to spend in January for a replacement.

Kolo Toure (£16m) – Manchester City – We all know Kolo is kept around to keep his brother happy.  Yaya’s amazing strength and midfield domination almost justifies £16m for his older brother, but not quite.  Kolo has become a very expensive squad player struggling to get on the pitch.  Off field issues, including a 6 month drug ban, help earn his spot on the list.


Stewart Downing (£20m) – Liverpool – Poor Stewart was cursed from the minute fans saw the price tag and his age. At 27, Downing was doing well at Aston Villa, but it was tough for most fans to justify such a massive fee. The first season at Liverpool could not have been worse for him with zero league goals or assists. King Kenny’s insistence of playing him week after week only seemed to highlight his inability to adapt to the pressures of a bigger club. Downing has finally started to show some form in lesser competitions such as the domestic cups and Europa League, but his league form simply doesn’t justify his price tag.

Esteban Granero (£9m) – QPR – Mark Hughes and QPR thought they could buy their way to Premier League survival.  The price tag doesn’t seem too massive for a midfielder from Real Madrid, but it’s a big bill for small club who ended up with a bust of a player.  Granero’s youthful promise has never materialized into a solid senior career in Spain or so far in England.  QPRs early season form has been woeful and one has to wonder whether Harry Redknapp can get the best out of him.

Gaston Ramirez (£12m) – Southampton – Southampton’s record signing has impressed to date, but rumors are already surfacing regarding a move out of England.  At 22, the young Uruguayan has time on his side, but relegation would surely mean the end of his stay on the south coast and millions wasted for the Saints.  The jury is still deliberating but this could be a costly return ticket to the Championship.

Joe Allen (£15m) – Liverpool – Seems Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers can’t do anything right in the transfer market.  While Joe Allen showed early flashes of brilliance, his form of late has been underwhelming. Reds fans are hoping this dip is temporary and he returns to the level where £15m seemed almost reasonable.  Until this happens anyone has to concede Rodgers paid too much too soon for the young Welsh international.


Fernando Torres (£50m) – Chelsea – Number one on everyone’s list of transfer busts.  A last minute request and massive offer from Chelsea forced his transfer from Liverpool in 2011.  Since the move, Torres has struggled in a very public manner to find the form he displayed on Merseyside.  Torres was forced to suffer through three managers that could not find a place for his skills.  Finally he has been reunited with Rafa Benitez only to be pushed aside with the purchase of Demba Ba.

Andy Carroll (£35m) – West Ham (loan from Liverpool) – Few people seem to remember the world beating form Carroll displayed in the first half of 2011.  The youngster delivered eleven goals early in the season when he was barely old enough to drink (by US laws).  Liverpool had £50m burning a hole in their pocket and desperate need for attacking power.  Unfortunately Newcastle was fully aware of this desperate situation and took £35m for a striker who has scored only 7 league goals since the transfer and suffered through multiple injuries. Carroll hasn’t done any better during his loan spell at West Ham where he has scored once and been sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Mario Balotelli (£24m) – Manchester City –  If entertainment value was the barometer, Super Mario would be worth twice the fee City paid Inter for his services.  However, the charismatic striker has never started more than half of City’s league games in any given season and scored only once this year.  His propensity for violence on the pitch, off the pitch distractions, and near constant flair ups with manager Roberto Mancini are not justified by his increasingly rare flashes of athletic brilliance.

What are your opinions about who should play in the What A Load Of Rubbish XI? Would you like to nominate someone who wasn’t selected? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  16. Tony Butterworth January 17, 2013
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