Search icon


22nd Feb 2016

5 Premier League flops who cost more than Bolton Wanderers

Tom Victor

Bolton Wanderers will hope their financial misery is a thing of the past, with a takeover from Sports Shield Consortium close to being ratified.

The club has been granted an adjournment to its winding-up order so it can conclude the deal, which would see the former Premier League outfit change hands for £7.5m.

There’s no typo in that figure – £7.5m was a transfer fee for the Trotters not too long ago, but now it’s what the Championship strugglers are being valued at.

To put that into more context, we’ve taken a look at a few Premier League misfits who set their respective clubs back more than the amount Sports Shield Consortium are handing over.

Afonso Alves

The classic Premier League flop, Alves’ sophomore struggles at Middlesbrough resulted in the club dropping out of the top flight in 2009.

After signing from Heerenveen with a record of 45 goals in just 39 games, the £12.5m Brazilian scored six goals in 14 Premier League games in his first half-season with the club.

But his league tally of just four goals the following campaign was a contributing factor in Gareth Southgate’s team getting relegated.

Current Bolton midfielder Darren Pratley, then at Swansea and never known for his goalscoring ability, matched Alves’ total that season.

Carlisle United v Middlesbrough - Pre Season Friendly

Francis Jeffers

‘Fox in the box’ Jeffers was supposed to signal a new era of English talent at Arsenal when the club paid £8m to bring him over from Everton.

To say it didn’t click would be an understatement, as the Englishman struggled for both games and goals, although he did at least join the ‘one cap/one goal’ club at international level.

Two seasons, 39 games and eight goals was the final total before the striker returned to Merseyside on loan.

During the same period, Shola Ameobi, who began this season at the Macron Stadium, scored 13 goals for Newcastle United. And one of those was at Camp Nou in the Champions League.

Jeffers goes head to head with Petit

Steve Marlet

After impressing at Lyon and earning himself a place in the French squad, Marlet convinced Jean Tigana and Fulham to splash out a club record £11.5m.

But while compatriots Steed Malbranque and Louis Saha thrived at Craven Cottage, it never quite happened for the pacy forward.

He scored just 10 league goals in two full seasons with the club, before returning to France with Olympique Marseille.

In that same time period, former Bolton striker Eidur Gudjohnsen scored 24 top-flight goals for Chelsea.

Steve Marlet of Fulham puts his hands on his head in despair

Kostas Mitroglou

Fulham don’t have the best of records when it comes to big-money buys.

Mitroglou joined for more than £12m in January 2014 after tearing up the Greek league with Olympiacos.

The 27-year-old is currently thriving on loan at Benfica, but he failed to notch even a single goal as the West London club went down under Felix Magath.

Current Bolton player Ben Amos scored the same number as Mitroglou during that period, but then again, he’s a goalkeeper.

West Bromwich Albion v Fulham - Barclays Premier League

Serhiy Rebrov

Impressed by Dynamo Kiev’s lethal strike pairing of Serhiy Rebrov and Andriy Shevchenko, Tottenham decided to break the bank…to sign the wrong one.

While Sheva scored more than 25 goals in each of his first two seasons with A.C. Milan, Rebrov barely reached half that tally during his time in North London.

His first season wasn’t too bad for a player arriving from an unfamiliar league, with a match-winning display against West Ham endearing him to Spurs fans.

But the second season brought just three goals – even Bolton’s record buy Elmander beat that in his disappointing first season.

Sergei Rebrov, Richard Shaw