Best and worst PL transfers revealed including Ronaldo and Carroll to Liverpool

ANDY CARROLL’S big-money move to Liverpool in 2011 has been voted the WORST ever Premier League signing, according to a survey.

The injury-prone frontman, who is a free agent after his short-term deal at Reading expired, managed only 11 goals in 58 appearances in his three years at Liverpool.

Former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll failed to hit the heights at Anfield after joining from Newcastle in 2011

Former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll failed to hit the heights at Anfield after joining from Newcastle in 2011Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Cristiano Ronaldo was an instant hit at Old Trafford after making the move to Manchester United in 2003

Cristiano Ronaldo was an instant hit at Old Trafford after making the move to Manchester United in 2003Credit: Reuters

A poll of 2,000 football fans found the Reds were the beneficiaries of the second-biggest transfer blunder, when Barcelona paid them £140m for wantaway midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

But the Brazilian playmaker struggled at the Nou Camp, although his fortunes have turned since returning to the Premier League on loan at Aston Villa.

The research was commissioned by Virgin Media O2 to highlight the Transfer Centre Tool showing the latest transfers as they happen.

Fernando Torres moving from Liverpool to Chelsea – in the same window Andy Carroll came in – was deemed the third biggest waste of money by football fans.

And Alexis Sanchez’s move from Arsenal to Manchester United in 2018 was voted the sixth biggest waste of cash – despite no actual transfer fee changing hands, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan went the other way.

On the brighter side of the balance books, Eric Cantona signing on the dotted line for Manchester United from Leeds for just £1.2m in 1992 was named the best ever value for money.

Red Devils legend Eric Cantona has been named as the Premier League's best value for money signing

Red Devils legend Eric Cantona has been named as the Premier League’s best value for money signingCredit: PA

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Fernando Torres was a shadow of the player he was at Liverpool for Chelsea

Fernando Torres was a shadow of the player he was at Liverpool for ChelseaCredit: AFP

Jamie Vardy’s 2012 move from Fleetwood Town to Leicester City for a similar fee was second, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s first arrival at Man United third on the list.

David Bouchier, chief TV and entertainment officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Football fans love nothing more than talking about transfer gossip and that is why we have launched a new live transfer tracking tool to keep them up to date with the latest ins and outs. 

“As our research has shown, fans have a clear passion for how their club navigates the transfer window with strong views on what makes a good or bad signing.

“The January transfer window looks set to conclude in exciting fashion with many players set to be on the move so fans can be confident in our online tool to keep them one step ahead of the game.”

The research also found more than half of footie fans (53 per cent) have gleefully chanted ‘What a waste of money’ at a rival’s poorly-performing big signing.

And six in ten admit they ‘love it’ when a rival team sign a player who turns out to be the wrong fit.

Just under four in ten (39 per cent) believe the club they support is worst of them all when it comes to duff signings.

But, strangely, 47 per cent admit that despite a signing for their team turning out to be a flop, they still look back at their time with the club with nostalgic fondness.


1.            Andy Carroll, Newcastle to Liverpool – £36m, 2011

2.            Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool to Barcelona – £140m, 2018

3.            Fernando Torres, Liverpool to Chelsea – £52m, 2011

4.            Angel Di Maria, Real Madrid to Man United – £67m, 2014

5.            Danny Drinkwater, Leicester to Chelsea – £34m, 2017

6.            Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal to Man United – swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 2018

7.            Nicolas Pepe, Lille to Arsenal – £72m, 2019

8.            Mario Balotteli, AC Milan to Liverpool – £18m, 2014

9.            Donny Van de Beek, Ajax to Man United – £35m, 2020

10.          Michael Owen, Real Madrid to Newcastle – £22m, 2005

11.          Rhian Brewster, Liverpool to Sheffield United – £23m, 2019

12.          Juan Sebastian Veron, Lazio to Man United – £38m, 2001

13.          Andriy Shevchenko, AC Milan to Chelsea – £40m, 2006

14.          Francis Jeffers, Everton to Arsenal – £13m, 2001

15.          Owen Hargreaves, Bayern Munich to Man United – £22m, 2007

16.          Eliaquim Mangala, Porto to Man City – £40m, 2014

17.          David Bentley, Blackburn to Tottenham – £19m, 2008

18.          Kai Havertz, Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea – £72m, 2020

19.          Roberto Soldado, Valencia to Tottenham – £26m, 2013

20.          Saido Berahino, West Brom to Stoke – £12m, 2017

21.          Robinho, Chelsea to Man City – £32m, 2008

22.          Jack Rodwell, Man City to Sunderland – £11m, 2014

23.          Bebe, Vitoria Guimaraes to Man United – £8m, 2010

24.          Alberto Aquilani, Roma to Liverpool – £18m, 2009

25.          Adrian Mutu, Parma to Chelsea – £16m, 2003

26.          Seth Johnson, Derby to Leeds – £10m, 2004

27.          Tomas Brolin, Parma to Leeds – £5m, 1995

28.          Oumar Niasse, Lokomotiv Moscow to Everton – £16m, 2016

29.          Ricky Alvarez, Inter Milan to Sunderland – £9m, 2015

30.          Roque Santa Cruz, Blackburn to Man City – £17m, 2009


1.            Eric Cantona, Leeds to Man United – £1m, 1992

2.            Jamie Vardy, Fleetwood to Leicester – £1m, 2012

3.            Cristiano Ronaldo, Sporting Lisbon to Man United – £12m, 2003

4.            Thierry Henry, Monaco to Arsenal – £11m, 1999

5.            Mohamed Salah, Roma to Liverpool – £37m, 2017

6.            Kenny Dalglish, Celtic to Liverpool – £440k, 1977

7.            Dennis Bergkamp, Inter Milan to Arsenal – £7m, 1995

8.            Alan Shearer, Blackburn to Newcastle – £15m, 1996

9.            Frank Lampard, West Ham to Chelsea – £11m, 2001

10.          Patrick Vieira, AC Milan to Arsenal – £3m, 1996

11.          Roy Keane, Nottingham Forest to Manchester United – £8m, 1993

12.          Vincent Kompany, Hamburg to Manchester City – £6m, 2008

13.          Wayne Rooney, Everton to Manchester United – £30m, 2004

14.          Sergio Aguero, Atletico Madrid to Man City – £35m, 2011

15.          Didier Drogba, Marseille to Chelsea – £24m, 2004

16.          Teddy Sheringham, Nottingham Forest to Tottenham – £3m, 1992

17.          Gianfranco Zola, Parma to Chelsea – £4m, 1996

18.          N’Golo Kante, Caen to Leicester – £5m, 2015

19.          David Silva, Valencia to Manchester City – £29m, 2010

20.          Eden Hazard, Lille to Chelsea – £32m, 2012

It also emerged that the vast majority – 75 per cent – of football fans believe transfer fees are too high in the modern game, according to the OnePoll figures.

More than half (56 per cent) would like to see caps on transfer fees and salaries, with 86 per cent blaming agents for driving prices up too high.

It has got to such a point that 63 per cent claim the astronomical fees involved in football have started to ‘put them off’ the sport.

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