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With the January transfer window now open, Premier League clubs are looking at potential new signings to bolster their squads for the rest of the season.
However, they will be keen to avoid splashing out large fees on players who turn out not to live up to expectations or repay the funds spent on them.
New data produced by football betting site OLBG could provide a cautionary tale for managers looking to dip into the transfer market.
Fees, minutes played, goals scored, assists and man of the match awards were all assessed before the players were ranked based on their cost per goal contribution.
So, here are the Premier League's 10 most expensive flops.
10 – Timo Werner
Chelsea striker Timo Werner came in as the 10th most expensive Premier League flop after costing Chelsea £1.59million per goal contribution up to the end of the data period.
The German was signed from RB Leipzig for £47.7million back in 2020 and has played over 4,000 minutes for the Blues since.
Despite being considered a flop by the data, Werner finished as Chelsea's joint-top scorer during his debut season in England.
His 15 goals and 12 assists paired with three man of the match awards see him stay clear of the top of the list.
9 – Sofiane Boufal
Sofiane Boufal played just 3,130 minutes of league football during his four years with Southampton after arriving from Lille for just under £17million.
He also managed to provide just seven goal contributions for the club, at a cost of over £2million each.
In total, he played 84 times for the Saints across all competitions before leaving to join Angers on a free last summer after a season-long loan spell at Celta Vigo.
8 – Rodrigo
Like Werner, Rodrigo only moved to the Premier League in 2020 when Leeds United splashed out a club record £27million fee to sign him from Valencia.
Following several injury layoffs, the Spaniard has managed a respectable nine goals and two assists in his 2,453 minutes of league action.
However, this does not keep him off the list as he comes in at a cost per goal involvement of £2.25million despite a number of crucial goals.
7 – Christian Pulisic
Arguably the biggest surprise on this list, Christian Pulisic has cost Chelsea just under £2.27million per goal contribution since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2019.
Much of this comes down to the the whopping £79.4million fee spent on bringing the American winger to the Premier League.
Pulisic has scored 18 goals and provided 10 assists in under 5,000 minutes of league action, including a hat-trick against Burnley in October 2019.
In addition, Pulisic has also won seven man of the match awards, more than anyone else on this list.
6 – Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez is synonymous with the notion of Premier League transfer flops, with his move to Manchester United from Arsenal not working out for anyone involved.
The Chilean cost the Red Devils £30.6million in January 2018 but managed just three goals and six assists in his 32 league appearances for United.
This helps explain why the data shows that he cost United over £2.35million per goal contribution and he was sent out on loan after just 18 months in Manchester.
He later completed a free transfer to Inter Milan in 2020 following his loan stint with the Italian giants.
5 – Alvaro Morata
The third and final Chelsea player to make this top 10 is Spanish striker Alvaro Morata, who again only earns a spot due to the size of the fee spent on him.
Chelsea parted with £72million to bring Morata to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017 and he went on to score 19 league goals in the next 18 months.
He also added a further six assists to total 25 goal contributions at a cost of £2.77million each before being loaned to Atletico Madrid in January 2019.
4 – Joelinton
Newcastle United's club record signing Joelinton has cost the club £2.83million per goal contribution since signing for the club in the summer of 2019.
The Magpies paid Hoffenheim £39.6million for his services and he has since scored a miserly seven league goals along with five assists.
Joelinton has often come in for criticism based on his lack of goal threat since arriving in England and only just misses out on being in the top three most expensive flops.
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3 – Sebastien Haller
Sebastien Haller is also fortunate not to feature higher on this list. only missing out on second place on account of having scored more goals in the Premier League.
West Ham United paid Eintracht Frankfurt £45million to sign the Ivorian striker in 2019 but he failed to replicate his stunning form from the Bundesliga after arriving in England.
His 10 goals and one assist came at a cost of £3million each and he was sold to Ajax in January 2021, where he has gone on to score 10 goals in six Champions League matches this season.
2 – Steven Bergwijn
Haller is pipped to second place by Tottenham Hotspur winger Steven Bergwijn, who has also cost £3million per goal contribution since moving to the Premier League.
Bergwijn was signed from PSV for £27million and has since scored four league goals and provided five assists in his 2,634 minutes of league action.
However, not only has Bergwijn played less than Haller, he is also not a striker and is predominantly deployed out wide instead.
1 – Alex Iwobi
The data shows, however, that the most expensive Premier League flop is Everton's Alex Iwobi.
The Toffees parted with just over £27million in 2019 to sign the Nigerian winger from Arsenal and he has since scored just four league goals.
Iwobi has also only laid on three assists for his teammates with his goal contributions equating to a cost of £3.9million each.
The 25-year-old remains at Goodison Park but has scored just once in the league this season and has only started seven times under Rafael Benitez.
- Premier League
- Everton FC
- Tottenham Hotspur FC
- West Ham FC
- Manchester United FC
- Chelsea FC
- Southampton FC
- Newcastle United FC
- Leeds United FC
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