Premier League’s 10 most expensive flops revealed – and Chelsea featured three times


With the January transfer window now open, Premier League clubs are considering potential new signings to strengthen their squads for the remainder of the season.

However, they will be careful to avoid paying large fees to players who turn out not to live up to expectations or not refunding funds spent on them.

New data produced by the football betting site OLBG could be a caveat to managers looking to tap into the transfer market.

Fees, minutes played, goals scored, assists and man-of-the-match awards were all assessed before players were ranked based on their contribution to cost per goal.

Here are the 10 most expensive flops in the Premier League.

10 – Timo Werner

Timo Werner was Chelsea’s top scorer in 2020/21 but disappointed

Chelsea striker Timo Werner arrived as the Premier League’s 10th most expensive flop after costing Chelsea £ 1.59million per goal contribution until the end of the data period.

The German was signed by RB Leipzig for £ 47.7million 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 top scorer in his debut season in England.

His 15 goals and 12 assists, coupled with three man of the match awards, keep him sidelined at the top of the list.

9 – Sofiane Boufal

Sofiane boufal
Sofiane Boufal cost Southampton just over £ 2million per goal

Sofiane Boufal has only played 3,130 minutes of league football in his four years with Southampton after arriving from Lille for just under £ 17million.

He also managed to provide just seven goals for the club, at a cost of over £ 2million each.

In total, he played 84 times for the Saints in all competitions before leaving to join Angers for free last summer after a one-season loan at Celta Vigo.

8 – Rodrigue

Rodrigo sets Leeds United club record

Like Werner, Rodrigo only moved to the Premier League in 2020 when Leeds United paid a record £ 27million to sign him from Valencia.

After several layoffs for injury, the Spaniard has managed nine respectable goals and two assists in his 2,453 minutes of league action.

However, that doesn’t stop him from making the list as he arrives at a cost per engagement goal of £ 2.25million despite a number of crucial goals.

7 – Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic reacts after failing to score in the UEFA Champions League Group H soccer match Malmo FF against Chelsea FC in Malmö, Sweden on November 2, 2021.
Christian Pulisic’s high transfer fees put him on this list

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.

A lot of it comes down to the huge cost of £ 79.4million spent to bring the US winger to the Premier League.

Pulisic has scored 18 goals and provided 10 assists in under 5,000 league minutes, including a hat-trick against Burnley in October 2019.

Additionally, Pulisic also won seven man of the match awards, more than anyone on this list.

6 – Alexis Sanchez

Alexis sanchez
Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United turned out to be a disaster

Alexis Sanchez is synonymous with the notion of Premier League transfer flops, with his move from Arsenal to Manchester United working for no one.

The Chilean cost the Red Devils £ 30.6million in January 2018 but has managed just three goals and six assists in his 32 league appearances for United.

This helps explain why data shows he cost United more than £ 2.35million per goal contribution and was sent on loan after just 18 months at Manchester.

He then made a free transfer to Inter Milan in 2020 after going on loan with the Italian giants.

5 – Allvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata’s 19 goals can’t keep him off the roster

The third and last Chelsea player to make this top 10 is Spain striker Alvaro Morata, who only gains a place again due to the scale of the fees spent on him.

Chelsea parted from £ 72million to bring Morata to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017 and he has scored 19 league goals over the next 18 months.

He also added six more assists for a total of 25 goal contributions at a cost of £ 2.77million each before being loaned to Atletico Madrid in January 2019.

4 – Joëlinton

Joelinton has struggled since joining Newcastle last summer for a record £ 40million.
Club record signing Joelinton has just seven league goals for Newcastle United

Signing of record-breaking Newcastle United club 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 seven league goals and five assists.

Joelinton has often been criticized for his lack of a goal threat since arriving in England and only narrowly misses the top three for the most expensive flops.

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3 РS̩bastien Haller

Sebastien haller
Sébastien Haller struggled for form at West Ham United

Sébastien Haller is also lucky not to be higher on this list. only missing second place due to scoring more Premier League goals.

West Ham United paid Eintracht Frankfurt £ 45million to sign the Ivorian striker in 2019, but failed to replicate his breathtaking Bundesliga form after arriving in England.

His 10 goals and one assist cost £ 3million each and he was sold to Ajax in January 2021, where he has scored 10 goals in six Champions League appearances this season.

2 – Steven Bergwijn

Steven bergwijn
Steven Bergwijn cost Tottenham Hotspur £ 3million per goal contribution

Haller is propelled to second place by Tottenham Hotspur winger Steven Bergwijn, who has also cost £ 3million per goal since joining the Premier League.

Bergwijn was signed by PSV for £ 27million and has since scored four league goals and provided five assists in his 2,634 league minutes.

However, not only has Bergwijn played less than Haller, but he is also not a striker and is mainly deployed on the outside.

1 – Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi to start for Everton against ex-club Arsenal
Alex Iwobi named the Premier League’s most expensive flop

The data shows, however, that the Premier League’s most expensive 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 also allowed only three assists for his team-mates, with his goal contributions amounting to a cost of £ 3.9million each.

The 25-year-old remains at Goodison Park but has only scored once in the league this season and started just seven times under Rafael Benitez.


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