Flops who had forgettable one-season spells in Premiership – including Di Maria

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While the Premier League has welcomed many world class players and big-money signings, a significant price tag doesn't always mean guaranteed success.

And over the years, many and many players have been labelled as flops after only lasting in the English top-flight for a single season.

Daily Star Sport takes a look at the biggest flops who have been at the highest level league but failed to deliver…

Angel Di Maria

It is fair to say the Argentine ended up at Old Trafford against his own will. Di Maria endured a difficult time in Manchester in 2014 after not having the best relationship with then boss Louis van Gaal. "My problem at Manchester was the coach," he told the Mirror while assessing his time at the club.

"Van Gaal was the worst of my career. I would score, assist, and the next day he would show me my misplaced passes. He displaced me from one day to the other, he didn’t like players being more than him."

In the end, he made 33 appearances that season but still contributed with 12 assists and four goals however. "My intention was always to stay at Madrid," he admitted after his season-long spell. "I don’t really know what happened on the inside of the deal – these are things that representatives deal with. It happens in football.

“My move to PSG could have happened before this summer but it didn’t for financial reasons and I ended up going to United. In the summer I had the chance to go there again and I could not say no."

Afonso Alves

The Brazilian arrived at the Riverside Stadium with a great reputation, after scoring 45 goals in 39 games for Dutch side Heerenveen. But he inevitably flopped the following season.

In his 31 appearances for Boro in the Premier League during the 2008/09 season, he struck just four goals and assisted three times. His contributions were not sufficient for the club to avoid relegation as he went down as a financially bad deal after his £12.7million move.

Massimo Taibi

Replacing Peter Schmeichel was never going to be an easy task for any goalkeeper, but Taibi was way short of the mark when he signed for recently-crowned European Champions United.

The Italian cost £4.5million, but even that looked a price too steep after some of his performances, which included a horror show against Southampton and a 5-0 defeat at Chelsea.

Jean-Alain Boumsong

Newcastle paid £8.5m for the centre-back from Rangers back in 2005, and despite getting his Magpies career to a promising start – it came crashing down quite rapidly.

One of his most notorious error was against Liverpool in which he failed to make the most basic of clearances before tackling Peter Crouch to the ground. After 41 appearances for the Magpies he somehow managed to secure a move to Italian giants Juventus.

HAVE YOUR SAY!! Who else would you add to the list? Have your say in the comment section below…

Per Kroldrup

A rather strange one for Everton who spent £5million to bring the centre-back to Goodison Park. Following his four year spell at Udinese, his time at Merseyside was definitely one to forget. The Dane made just a single appearance for the Toffees, after he suffered a groin injury even before the ball had even been kicked – missing the first few months of the season.

Sean Dundee

Despite Dundee managing just three goals in the German top flight for Karlsruher SC the season before, that didn't put Liverpool off from signing him in 1998 for £2m. He only managed three substitute appearances towards the end of the campaign, and went down as one of the worst players to ever wear the shirt.

Upon leaving Anfield he said: "It’s easy to blame different people, but I wasn’t fit enough when I went there. That was my first mistake, I had to catch up a little bit. When I did get fit I got injured and that was it. When Roy left my time there was over. Gerard didn’t want me. He didn’t want a lot of other players either. You have to accept that. I knew I had to leave."

Mateja Kezman

Chelsea's new era under Roman Abramovich started with a mad trolley-dash for new signings, but from the get-go they struggled to get it right. One signing they made a year after the takeover was Dutch striker Mateja Kezman, who arrived from £5.3m and was given the coveted number 9 shirt at Stamford Bridge.

Unfortunately, he struggled to live up to the expectations placed upon him, and scored just seven goals in 41 appearances across a miserable campaign. Kezman was then sold to Atletico Madrid, where he lasted just a year before spells at Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St Petersburg and BATE.


Manchester United have a habit of signing young talented players and making them world-beaters, but unfortunately they were wide of the mark when they signed Bebe in 2010. The Portuguese winger arrived with a lot of hype following him, but his debut season at the club saw him score just twice in seven appearances across all competitions.

His four-year stay at Old Trafford saw him loaned out to Besiktas, Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira before leaving for Benfica without playing another game for the Red Devils.

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