The Great Debate: Who is the worst signing in Premier League history?

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Kepa Arrizabalaga has another shocker the weekend, drawing even more attention to the £71m Chelsea spent on him back in 2018.

But is the Spanish goalkeeper the worst signing in Premier League history? Or does that unwanted accolade belong to someone else?

Our writers have their say …


Lewis Ambrose

Is it controversial to choose Fernando Torres?

Electric at Liverpool, the Spaniard joined Chelsea for a British record £50m fee in January 2011. He scored 20 times in 110 league appearances for the Blues before going on to loan to Milan and eventually joining the club for free.

Things worked out a better in Europe but in Premier League terms, this was a massive failure that nobody saw coming.


Dan Burke

It has to be Kepa for me.

He’s the most expensive goalkeeper in the history of football but he’s never even shown even glimpses of living up to the hype in a Chelsea shirt.

I feel sorry for him actually and hope he can regain his composure one day soon, either at Chelsea or another club.


Matt Frohlich

For a multitude of reasons, I’m going with Alexis Sánchez.

Sánchez signed a four-and-a-half year deal worth around £400k-per-week when he joined Manchester United and followed that up with shocking performances over the following 18 months, scoring just three Premier League goals.

And then United still paid over half of his wages as he moved on loan to Inter for a year.


Séamus Leonard

There are bad signings, and then there’s Jack Rodwell’s £10m move from Manchester City to Sunderland.

Not only a catastrophe from a footballing perspective, the midfielder’s £70,000 per week salary would become a financial millstone around the Mackems’ neck as they suffered successive relegations in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Fair or not, Rodwell is inextricably linked with the Wearsiders’ dramatic implosion.


Alex Mott

It took Manchester United nearly seven years to find a suitable replacement for Peter Schmeichel.

Between the Dane and Edwin van der Sar, United had a litany of terrible shot-stoppers but undoubtedly the worst was Massimo Taibi.

The Italian has become a byword for terrible goalkeeping, with his error in a 3-3 draw against Southampton up there with the most cataclysm in Premier League history.


Joel Sanderson-Murray

When you consider how good he used to be, the right answer to this has to be Andriy Shevchenko’s stint at Chelsea.

Roman Abramovich courted the Ukranian for years and finally got his man when he paid nearly £40m to Milan in 2006. At the time he was one of the best strikers in Europe but the version of ‘Sheva’ that turned up at Stamford Bridge was almost a hologram.

Just nine goals were scored across his two years in the Premier League. Not what Abramovich was chasing for all that time.


Pádraig Whelan

Radamel Falcao was an appalling signing on two separate occasions, looking a ghostly shadow of the man who had tore it up everywhere else previously.

Even after Manchester United signed him on a £265,000 per week deal and he scored just four times in 29 games, Chelsea offered him a second chance a year later and he was even worse.

A solitary goal in his 12 appearances was all he mustered and neither club took up their option to buy him permanently.