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Which players are the biggest transfer losses in Premier League history?

From Paul Pogba's back and forth between Man Utd and Juventus, to Chelsea's £50 million flop Fernando Torres, join Planet Sport as we pick the worst transfer losses in Premier League history.

Premier League clubs throw hundreds of millions at transfers each season without any guarantee their shiny new star will take to the top flight.

Scores of terrible transfers end up on the ever-growing pile of forgotten and failed footballers, tossed aside by clubs like a teenager no longer enamoured with last year's trend.

Here we pick out some of the worst transfer losses in Premier League history.

 

Romelu Lukaku (No loss.. yet!)

Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea

We could spend all day writing about Chelsea and questionable signings, but they’ve yet to start making a loss on their £1 billion squad, including Romelu Lukaku, but it's coming.

We're jumping the gun a little here but it's fair to say the Romelu Lukaku saga belongs to the same school of stupidity as United’s management of Pogba.

The Belgian joined for £12 million in 2011 and was allowed to bang in goals elsewhere for two years before netting a sizeable profit when moving to Everton for £28 million.

Did it make financial sense? Sure. Should they have kept him anyway? Probably. Big Rom banged in 177 goals across seven seasons after his departure.

He returned in a staggering £97 million deal in 2021 but left his shooting boots at Inter Milan, where he returned on loan the following season.

At the time of writing, Chelsea hope Napoli can help them recover some of their mammoth loss by selling Victor Osimhen to fund a move for Lukaku.

 

Sebastien Haller (58% loss)

Sebastien Haller at West Ham

With 165 goals in 393 appearances over the years, Borussia Dortmund forward Sebastien Haller is no slouch. However, West Ham fans may have a different opinion.

Splashing out £45 million was not the norm for the Irons and indeed, the prolific Frenchman broke their previous record transfer fee, which they forked out for Felipe Anderson, by £9 million.

Haller scored 51 in 98 for Utrecht before moving to Eintracht Frankfurt where he continued to develop, scoring 33 in 77.

Goals were few and far between in claret and sky blue and just 18 months into a five-year contract, Haller was sold to Ajax for around £19 million.

The Hammers ate a 58% loss but the French forward rediscovered his form and was later sold to Dortmund for a profit.

 

Donny van de Beek (98.5% loss)

Donny van de Beek at Man Utd

Donny van de Beek joined Man Utd from Ajax for a fee in the region of £35 million in 2020 on the back of several terrific seasons in the Eredivisie.

The Dutchman scored 28 goals, registered 24 assists in 118 appearances, and even made it onto the Ballon d’Or shortlist in 2019.

He failed to match his ratio of a goal contribution every other game in England, scoring just four goals in 42 appearances.

Van de Beek spent the past two seasons on loan, prompting United to cut their losses and sell him for an initial fee of £500,000 to Girona, meaning a loss of around 98.5% on their initial outlay.

 

Fernando Torres (96% loss)

Fernando Torres at Chelsea

Chelsea signing Fernando Torres from Liverpool made sense at the time. The Spaniard was one of the most dangerous strikers in world football.

He announced his arrival on English shores in style in the 2007/08 season as he rattled in 33 goals in 46 matches across all competitions.

While that was peak Torres, he still contributed 48 more goals across two and a half seasons before moving to Stamford Bridge for £50 million.

El Nino scored 45 goals in West London so it would be unfair to label him a flop, but he never hit the same heights. His £2 million transfer to Milan represented a 96% loss for the Blues.

 

Eliaquim Mangala (100% loss)

Eliaquim Mangala became the most expensive defender in the world when Man City forked out around £43million to sign him from Porto in 2014.

Despite winning the League Cup in 2016 and 2018, and the Premier League in 2017, Mangala goes down as a massive flop. His own goal against Liverpool, in particular, is unforgettable.

The French centre-back made 81 appearances across his five-year contract at the Etihad and was shipped out on loan to Valencia, who he would later sign for, and Everton.

Despite that, City offered him a one-year contract extension to protect his value. That went well as he left to join the Spanish side on a free transfer in August 2019.

 

Paul Pogba (100% loss)

Paul Pogba at Man Utd

Paul Pogba’s Manchester United to Juventus and back again saga has to represent the worst transfer business in history.

A youthful Pogba left Man Utd to join Juventus on a free transfer in 2012. Alex Ferguson has faced criticism over the years, although he points the finger at Mino Raiola.

The Reds would recapture him four years later for the eye-watering fee of £89 million. His talent was undeniable but his attitude and work ethic was questionable.

United opted not to renew his contract in June 2021, allowing the Frenchman to join Juventus on a free transfer for the second time.

Pogba pocketed just shy of £4 million in loyalty bonuses when he departed and spoke out to say ‘I need to enjoy what I do’.

 

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