Meet Non-Performing Expensive Players… but who is the worst signing of the season?

article-3019207-27289CD400000578-591_964x386• Angel di Maria has failed to impress despite a bright start at Man United
• Mario Balotelli hasn’t been able to live up to his £16million price tag
• Radamel Falcao made a big-money loan move but has just four goals
• Manchester City signings Fernando and Eliaqium Mangala have struggled

Every transfer window, clubs scramble to pick up the best bargains, often leaving fans brimming with excitement over the latest big-money import.
But, seven months after last summer’s window swung shut, which of those deals have proved to be the worst value for money?

As we reach the business end of the season, Sportsmail takes a look at which summer signings have promised so much but offered so little for their respective clubs.

10 – FERNANDO
Porto to Manchester City
One of two Manchester City entries after a summer which saw Manuel Pellegrini’s side go backwards. Fernando is one-paced, doesn’t impose himself on games and is a man out of his depth, particularly in the Champions League. Porto must’ve laughed all the way to the bank when losing Fernando and Mangala.

Any better than Javi Garcia? Sportsmail’s not so sure.

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9 – RICKIE LAMBERT
Southampton to Liverpool
Who knew that a striker who spent most of his career in the lower divisions probably wasn’t going to be cut out for life at Anfield? Well, quite a few actually. But that didn’t stop Brendan Rodgers taking him from Southampton for £4m last summer.

Perhaps at that price it was worth taking a punt on Lambert but the former Bristol Rovers frontman has had no tangible effect on the side and been reduced to becoming a glorified lump up front in the final moments if Liverpool are chasing a game.

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8 – ANGEL DI MARIA
Real Madrid to Manchester United
This list is all relative. If you pay £60m for one of the world’s superstars, there is a reasonable expectation that he wins you a few games; but good performances of Di Maria’s can be counted on one hand and he hasn’t been able to get to grips with English football.

Louis van Gaal has quite rightly persisted with the former Real Madrid man, although we have witnessed just why Carlo Ancelotti wasn’t overly fussed about him leaving the Bernabeu.

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7 – GARETH BARRY
Free agent to Everton
The epitome of everything that’s been wrong at Everton during Roberto Martinez’s tricky second season in charge.
On paper an excellent signing – particularly for free – but Barry’s inability to drive forward from midfield has slowed Everton down. They’re not the most patient lot at Goodison Park and he has been no stranger to the fans’ ire.

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6 – MARIO BALOTELLI
AC Milan to Liverpool
It just hasn’t worked, has it? Balotelli’s difficulties at Anfield have actually shone quite the light on how well Roberto Mancini did in charge of the tempestuous striker at Manchester City. The £16m fee sounded a snip at the time, but Rodgers hasn’t been able to get anywhere near what’s required.

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The Italian is a completely different player to that fearsome forward of Euro 2012. Move him on.

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5 – MAURO ZARATE
Velez Sarsfield to West Ham United
The prerequisite to any signing is that they’re capable of buying into whatever ethos that club’s manager has. In this case Sam Allardyce makes his players do a bit of running. Zarate doesn’t do running.

He clearly has the ability required to be a success in the division – the Argentine was hugely impressive on his debut away at Crystal Palace – but he doesn’t appear willing to work on his fitness. Just ask QPR, who contemplated sending the forward back to the Hammers after landing him on loan in January.

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4 – RADAMEL FALCAO
Monaco to Manchester United (loan)
Remember the fuss that was made when Manchester United swooped on deadline day for the Colombian? Seems a long time ago now. It is absurd to think that Van Gaal could even contemplate making the loan move permanent at the end of the season.

Just four goals for a man heralded as one of the best finishers in the business has meant Falcao even got a run out for the Under 21 side a few weeks ago. Does not justify the astronomical wages United pay him.

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3 – RIO FERDINAND
Free agent to QPR
Another one for the QPR conveyor belt of wasted money. The club’s transfer policy of bringing in ‘experienced’ professionals on high wages was perhaps unfortunate when they suffered relegation from the Premier League two years ago, but this time it was downright foolish and has left them in serious financial trouble.

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Even Clint Hill – he of crouching on his haunches fame – is preferred to Ferdinand, who has looked anything but match fit and failed the basics. That tells the whole story, and this looks to being a desperately sad way to end a stellar career.

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2 – ELIAQUIM MANGALA
Porto to Manchester City
Abysmal. To think Manchester City paid £32m for the central defender beggars belief, and heads will undoubtedly role from a recruitment point of view.

Hasn’t been helped by the continuing slide of Vincent Kompany, but Mangala is supposed to be a big imposing brute of an enforcer and there can be no excuses for a rank average first season in the Premier League.

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1 – EMMANUEL RIVIERE
Monaco to Newcastle
He didn’t come cheap, costing more than £5m from Monaco, and for what? Poor misses, the inability to shake off markers and a source of constant frustration for supporters who want their team to attack with gumption.
Seventeen Premier League games without a goal means Riviere has the dubious honour of becoming Sportsmail’s worst signing of the 2014-15 season.

A special mention must go to Siem De Jong as well, who can’t fulfill his duties as a professional footballer by virtue of never-ending injuries. But Riviere pips the Dutchman for some downright disgusting displays.

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Source: dailymail.co.uk

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