Top 5 Transfer Flops of the Last Decade

New signings are always great to a club, whether for 5 million or 50 million. But when the 50-million player does not perform, he goes under the knife. These transfers were more of a liability than an asset to the club who dished out more than 30 million for their signature.

Let’s take a look at the players who delayed their entrance to stardom by making poor decisions along the way.

Top 5 Transfer Flops 

1) Fernando Torres (Liverpool-Chelsea, 2011)

After four fabulous seasons with Liverpool—when he scored 65 goals in a period of 102 games—Chelsea was ready to splash the cash on a new striker and Torres was on their checklist. They spent a monumental 58 million euros on the Spanish talisman. Torres turned out to be the biggest flop in the Premier League for years to come. Across four seasons with Chelsea, appearing 110 times for the Blues, he only found the net 20 times. After 2 seasons on loan, Chelsea finally sold him to AC Milan for 3 million Euros, incurring a 50-million euros loss.

2)Andy Carroll (Newcastle-Liverpool, 2012)

After selling their star striker, Torres, to Chelsea, Liverpool needed a striker to fill the void. Following a fairly successful season with Newcastle scoring 11 goals in 14 games, Carroll joined Liverpool for 41 million euros. In 44 appearances for the Reds, Carroll only scored 6 times. After just 2 seasons with Liverpool, they sold him to West Ham for 18 million euros.

3) Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund-Bayern Munich – Dortmund, 2013, 2016)

In three seasons with Dortmund, Mario Götze scored 22 goals and provided 32 assists in 78 games. He decided to move to Munich after they offered 37 million for his services. He impressed his first season there, scoring 10 times and giving 9 assists. But after that season everything just went downhill for him. Failing to make the team, he left in 2016 back to his former club for 22 million. Once dubbed “one of the greatest prodigies of football”, he failed to make a mark at Borussia too, having lost his charm.

4) Asier Illaramendi (Real Sociedad-Real Madrid, 2013)

The Spanish playmaker arrived in Madrid for 32 million, hoping to impress Carlo Ancelotti. Ancelotti was impressed by his tough-tackling and ball-playing, however, put him on the bench for the 10 games of the season. Due to injuries, Illaramendi became a starter but failed to make an impact. Across 2 seasons, he played 90 matches but did not get a spot in the line-up because of Casemiro. He was sold to Sociedad for only 15 million.

5) Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid-Manchester United, 2014)

Having been the Man of the Match in the 2014 Champions League Final, Di Maria won many plaudits. This made United make a move for him for 75 million. Di Maria’s season of 4 goals and 18 assists with Real Madrid set high expectations of him at United. However, he had a shambolic first season which proved to be his only for the Red Devils. In only a year, he shifted to PSG for 63 million, where he has resurrected his career.


These were the top 5 transfer flops of the past decade. As fans of your own club, you hope your club does not make transfers like these.

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