Andy Carroll’s £36m Liverpool move in 2011 named worst Premier League signing

Andy Carroll’s big-money move to Liverpool in 2011 has been voted the WORST ever Premier League signing, according to a survey.

The injury-prone frontman, who now plies his trade for Reading, managed only 11 goals in 58 appearances during his three years at Liverpool.

A poll of 2,000 football fans found the Reds were also the beneficiaries of the second-biggest transfer blunder, when Barcelona paid them £140m for wantaway midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

But the Brazilian struggled at the Nou Camp – although his fortunes have turned since returning to the Premier League on loan at Aston Villa.

The research was commissioned by Virgin Media O2 to highlight the Transfer Centre Tool, showing the latest transfers as they happen.

Fernando Torres moving from Liverpool to Chelsea – in the same window Andy Carroll came in – was deemed the third biggest waste of money by football fans.

And Alexis Sánchez’s move from Arsenal to Manchester United in 2018 was voted the sixth biggest waste of cash – despite no actual transfer fee changing hands, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan went the other way.

On the brighter side of the balance books, Eric Cantona signing on the dotted line for Manchester United from Leeds for just £1.2m in 1992, was named the best value for money.

Jamie Vardy’s 2012 move from Fleetwood Town to Leicester City for a similar fee was second, with Cristiano Ronald’s first arrival at Man United third on the list.

David Bouchier, chief TV and entertainment officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Football fans love nothing more than talking about transfer gossip, and that is why we have launched a new live transfer tracking tool to keep them up to date with the latest ins and outs.

“As our research has shown, fans have a clear passion for how their club navigates the transfer window, with strong views on what makes a good or bad signing.

“The January transfer window looks set to conclude in exciting fashion, with many players set to be on the move – so fans can be confident in our online tool to keep them one step ahead of the game.”

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The research also found more than half of footie fans (53 percent) have gleefully chanted “What a waste of money” at a rival’s poorly-performing big signing.

And six in ten admit they “love it” when a rival team sign a player who turns out to be the wrong fit.

Just under four in ten (39 percent) believe the club they support is worst of them all when it comes to duff signings.

But, strangely, nearly half (47 percent) admit that despite a signing for their team turning out to be a flop, they still look back at their time with the club with nostalgic fondness.

It also emerged that the vast majority (75 percent) of football fans believe transfer fees are too high in the modern game, according to the OnePoll figures.

More than half (56 percent) would like to see caps on transfer fees and salaries, with 86 percent blaming agents for driving prices up too high.

It has got to such a point that 63 percent claim the astronomical fees involved in football have started to “put them off” the sport.


  1. Andy Carroll, Newcastle to Liverpool – £36m, 2011
  2. Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool to Barcelona – £140m, 2018
  3. Fernando Torres, Liverpool to Chelsea – £52m, 2011
  4. Ángel di María, Real Madrid to Man United – £67m, 2014

  5. Danny Drinkwater, Leicester to Chelsea – £34m, 2017

  6. Alexis Sánchez, Arsenal to Man United – swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 2018

  7. Nicolas Pepe, Lille to Arsenal – £72m, 2019

  8. Mario Balotelli, AC Milan to Liverpool – £18m, 2014

  9. Donny Van de Beek, Ajax to Man United – £35m, 2020

  10. Michael Owen, Real Madrid to Newcastle – £22m, 2005

  11. Rhian Brewster, Liverpool to Sheffield United – £23m, 2019

  12. Juan Sebastián Verón, Lazio to Man United – £38m, 2001

  13. Andriy Shevchenko, AC Milan to Chelsea – £40m, 2006

  14. Francis Jeffers, Everton to Arsenal – £13m, 2001

  15. Owen Hargreaves, Bayern Munich to Man United – £22m, 2007

  16. Eliaquim Mangala, Porto to Man City – £40m, 2014

  17. David Bentley, Blackburn to Tottenham – £19m, 2008

  18. Kai Havertz, Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea – £72m, 2020

  19. Roberto Soldado, Valencia to Tottenham – £26m, 2013

  20. Saido Berahino, West Brom to Stoke – £12m, 2017

  21. Robinho, Chelsea to Man City – £32m, 2008

  22. Jack Rodwell, Man City to Sunderland – £11m, 2014

  23. Bebe, Vitoria Guimaraes to Man United – £8m, 2010

  24. Alberto Aquilani, Roma to Liverpool – £18m, 2009

  25. Adrian Mutu, Parma to Chelsea – £16m, 2003

  26. Seth Johnson, Derby to Leeds – £10m, 2004

  27. Tomas Brolin, Parma to Leeds – £5m, 1995

  28. Oumar Niasse, Lokomotiv Moscow to Everton – £16m, 2016

  29. Ricky Alvarez, Inter Milan to Sunderland – £9m, 2015

  30. Roque Santa Cruz, Blackburn to Man City – £17m, 2009


  1. Eric Cantona, Leeds to Man United – £1m, 1992
  2. Jamie Vardy, Fleetwood to Leicester – £1m, 2012
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Sporting Lisbon to Man United – £12m, 2003
  4. Thierry Henry, Monaco to Arsenal – £11m, 1999
  5. Mohamed Salah, Roma to Liverpool – £37m, 2017
  6. Kenny Dalglish, Celtic to Liverpool – £440k, 1977
  7. Dennis Bergkamp, Inter Milan to Arsenal – £7m, 1995
  8. Alan Shearer, Blackburn to Newcastle – £15m, 1996
  9. Frank Lampard, West Ham to Chelsea – £11m, 2001
  10. Patrick Vieira, AC Milan to Arsenal – £3m, 1996
  11. Roy Keane, Nottingham Forest to Man United – £8m, 1993
  12. Vincent Kompany, Hamburg to Man City – £6m, 2008
  13. Wayne Rooney, Everton to Man United – £30m, 2004
  14. Sergio Aguero, Atletico Madrid to Man City – £35m, 2011
  15. Didier Drogba, Marseille to Chelsea – £24m, 2004
  16. Teddy Sheringham, Nottingham Forest to Tottenham – £3m, 1992
  17. Gianfranco Zola, Parma to Chelsea – £4m, 1996
  18. N'Golo Kante, Caen to Leicester – £5m, 2015
  19. David Silva, Valencia to Man City – £29m, 2010
  20. Eden Hazard, Lille to Chelsea – £32m, 2012

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