5 high-profile Premier League signings who didn’t live up to their billing


Several high-profile moves have occurred in the Premier League’s history. England is home to some of the world’s wealthiest clubs, all of which are more than capable of splashing the cash on big-name acquisitions. While some have worked out and gone on to defy expectations, a number of high-profile moves have fallen short of expectations.

Let’s take a look at five high-profile Premier League deals that were supposed to flourish but ultimately failed to do so.
#5. Andriy Shevchenko – Chelsea

Andriy Shevchenko in action for Ukraine
Andriy Shevchenko in action for Ukraine

Andriy Shevchenko was bought from AC Milan for £30.8 million in 2006, making him the most expensive player ever signed by a Premier League club at the time.

Shevchenko had a lot riding on his shoulders as he donned the famous number seven shirt. He was undoubtedly one of the best players in the world at the time, and he was pursued by a number of top clubs until Chelsea won his services.

Shevchenko was a world-class player for AC Milan, having won the Scuddetto and the UEFA Champions League with the Rossoneri. He had also won the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy in 2004, confirming his status as one of the top players in the world.

Shevchenko failed to live up to the high expectations placed on him at Chelsea. The Ukrainian had injury issues and even had a hernia procedure, but the truth remains that he did not perform consistently for the Premier League club during his time there.

Shevchenko spent two years at Stamford Bridge, making 77 appearances and scoring 22 goals. In 2008, he was loaned back to AC Milan after becoming a shadow of his former self at Chelsea. He was sold to previous club Dynamo Kyiv after his return to the Premier League, where he played the final three years of his career.

#4. Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku

Manchester United signed Romelu Lukaku in 2017 for a reported £75 million plus £15 million in add-ons.

The Belgian arrived at Old Trafford with great hopes. He was regarded as one of the top centre attackers in the Premier League during his previous spells with Everton and West Brom. Lukaku had a fantastic goal-scoring record for Everton, and he had also impressed for the Belgian national team.

Lukaku had high expectations after taking Wayne Rooney’s place at Manchester United. He signed a five-year contract with the Red Devils, but only stayed for two years.

Lukaku started well and initially looked set to justify the transfer fee paid for him. He even became the fifth-youngest player in Premier League history to score 100 goals while at United. However, this was followed by a four-month goal drought that spread across 12 games. After the sacking of Jose Mourinho, his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to start other players such as Marcus Rashford over Lukaku, who didn’t appreciate the lack of game time

Lukaku left Old Trafford as a result of these events, and he joined Inter Milan in 2019, where he has been a huge success. Lukaku only scored 28 Premier League goals in his two years with Manchester United, and he failed to win any trophies with the club.

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