Worse players may have represented all of the Premier League clubs but there can’t be many worse deals than these…
ARSENAL – Shkodran Mustafi
Arsenal made the £35million defender Germany’s most expensive centre-back in 2016, despite Mustafi’s name never featuring among the scouting department’s list of recommendations. According to The Athletic, the Gunners were blinded by stats – Lucas Perez’s too – and the pair signed for a combined £52.1million on the same day in 2016, 24 hours before they sold Serge Gnabry for £5million. Since then, Mustafi has become one of the poster boys for Arsenal’s decline but so far they have been unable to shift the 28-year-old. According to the defender, his wife told him: “If you were that bad, you would never have been a world champion – or signed for Arsenal.” Well, Mrs Mustafi: Stephane Guivarc’h, Kleberson, Bernard Diomede, Roque Junior. And also, Arsenal sign all sorts of sh*te.
Why does Mustafi defend like he’s playing Fifa and randomly sliding in 😭 pic.twitter.com/prb03eTGOz
— Riley (@UtdRileyy) July 12, 2020
ASTON VILLA – Bosko Balaban
“He’ll be a star in the Premiership,” said deadly Croatian hitman Davor Suker of Balaban, proving that it doesn’t always take one to know one. Balaban cost Villa £6million in 2001, for which they got no goals in nine appearances – seven as a sub – before he was released for nothing a couple of years later. His form at Club Brugge – 53 goals in 114 appearances – suggested there was a striker in there somewhere. Just not in the Midlands.
BRIGHTON – Jurgen Locadia
The Seagulls broke their transfer record to land Locadia from PSV in a £15million deal in January 2018. The Dutch forward had bagged nine goals in 15 games during the first half of the 2017/18 season but he managed only three in 34 Premier League games before being shipped out to Hoffenheim on loan for last season. Locadia is currently being borrowed by FC Cincinnati.
BURNLEY – Ben Gibson
Burnley coughed up £15million – a joint-record sum for the Clarets – for Gibson in 2018 but within 18 months, the defender was back training on Teesside having failed to secure a January move away from Turf Moor. Even when Sean Dyche was down to two fit centre-backs when the Premier League resumed, Gibson remained out of the picture. Norwich have since rescued the one-time England call-up by taking him on loan for the season and, somehow, Burnley will get more than half their money back if the Canaries achieve promotion.
CHELSEA – Kepa Arrizabalaga
Matt Stead will argue that Andriy Shevchenko was a bigger transfer turkey for the Blues and this may come down to what you think is most damaging to a team’s prospects: a striker that can’t score or a goalkeeper that can’t save. Or, in Kepa’s case, a keeper who can’t stop chucking them in. This certainly isn’t what Chelsea paid £71.6million for in 2018. Since then, the Spaniard has openly…