Premiership's Top 10 Foreign Flops
There's a lot of talk online and in newspapers about how Andriy Shevchenko is set to be the biggest foreign flop in Premiership history, which is frankly nonsense cause he's scored several goals already. He's taking time to adjust to the pace of English football, but there's nothing surprising in that. Here are ten genuine Prem disasters who came to England and sunk without trace…
10 Winston Bogarde
Chelsea's Dutch defender insisted that the club honour his contract, reportedly worth £40,000 a week, even though manager Claudio Ranieri didn't want to keep him. Bogarde made 11 appearances in four years at Stamford Bridge. No club would touch him after he left the club in 2004. Hmm, wonder why?
9 Bosko Balaban
Aston Villa signed the Croatian striker for almost £6m in 2001. A more realistic price would have been 60p. Balaban scored precisely no league goals for Villa and made less than ten appearances in two years. He now plays for Club Brugge in Belgium.
8 Steve Marlet
Fulham paid £11.5m for Marlet in 2002, one of the worst deals in Premiership history. Marlet wasn't an awful player – although he wasn't worth £11.5m either – but his attitude stunk. Fulham loaned him to Olympique Marseille in 2003 but were forced to pay his wages until 2005, when his contract was finally cancelled.
7 William Prunier
Prunier, a French centre-back who looked a bit like Jaap Stam (but played nothing like him), was one of Alex Ferguson's worst ever signings. He looked pretty good on his Man U debut, against QPR, but had an absolute shocker in his next game in a red shirt, a 4-1 defeat to Spurs. That was the last time he pulled on a red shirt for United.
6 Ali Dia
Ali Dia (or Ali Dire) arrived at Southampton in 1996, with an endorsement from George Weah (well, Dia's agent posing as Weah), who claimed he was Dia's cousin. Dia somehow convinced manager Graeme Souness that he was a Senegalese international striker. He wasn't - but Dia was signed and brought on as a substitute against Leeds. After a gloriously inept 53 minutes he was brought off again, and 14 days later his contract was cancelled. He's such a spectacular flop that I couldn't even find a photo of him in action.
5 Andrea Silenzi
Signed for £1.8m by Nottm Forest in 1995, Silenzi, aka the 'Big Brush' (he's a lanky Italian with bad hair), earned a then-whopping £30,000 a month. He was so bad that half way through his first season, he lost his first-team place to Jason Lee, was loaned to Venezia, and when told to return by Dave Bassett, refused. Forest tore up his contract. Silenzi scored just two goals for Forest. He wasn't helped by a first touch that made Carlton Palmer look like Zinedine Zidane.
4 Sergei Rebrov
Rebrov looked like a world beater for Dynamo Kiev, but a panel beater for Spurs. Go figure. Maybe it had something to do with the fact he'd been separated from Kiev strike partner Andriy Shevchenko. Rebrov was clearly a talented player but not half as talented as Shevchenko. Tottenham fans had glimpses of Rebrov's talent, but they were as rare as a Gary Neville goal.
3 Sean Dundee
Sean 'Crocodile' Dundee is regularly cited by Liverppol fans as the worst player in the club's history. You can't really argue with that opinion. He arrived at Anfield with a reputation as a fast, powerful goalscorer. When he was overhauled during a game against Leicester by the less-than-speedy Frank Sinclair, the writing was on the wall. Dundee, who had a reputation as a bit of a party animal, made just three substitute appearances for Liverpool before he was sold on.
2 Jean-Alain Boumsong
A radio commentator said recently that Boumsong 'looked more like a Newcastle fan whom had won a competition to play for the club he supports rather than a professional football player'. Whilst at St James Park, Boumsong made even Titus Bramble look half-decent by comparison. The hapless Frenchman is now playing in Serie B for Juventus, where he's mysteriously doing quite well.
1 Tomas Brolin
Leeds United manager George Graham paid Parma £4.5m for Brolin in 1995. The baby-faced Swede turned up at Elland Road looking just a wee bit out of shape. Brolin made just 19 appearances in two years for Leeds before Graham got rid of him. He then returned to England for a final Premiership fling at Crystal Palace in 1998, but, after 13 appearances, was deemed too fat to play, and made assistant manager to slaphead Attilio Lombardo. Palace were instantly relegated. Cheers Tomas.