Top 10 transfer flops

10 STEPHEN DOBIE & FLORIAN MARANGE (Crystal Palace)

Determined to bolster his squad in readiness for a shot at top-flight survival, then-Palace boss Ian Holloway proceeded to sign anyone with a pulse and a pair of boots as long as they were cheap.

Alas, Holloway's supermarket sweep ultimately led to heartbreak for Dobie and Marange, who found themselves excluded from Palace's 25-man EPL squad.

Marange had joined the club only a fortnight before the squad announcement was made, but Holloway told The Daily Mail: "He wasn't exactly the player we thought he was going to be. I needed some pace in that backline and he hasn't got it."

Ouch.

9 STEVAN JOVETIC (Man City)

The talented Montenegro No. 10 has been at City for only a matter of months, yet rumours are circulating that boss Manuel Pellegrini is ready to listen to offers for the 24-year-old who has hardly had a sniff of first-team action.

Jovetic's sole EPL start was in the 0-0 draw at Stoke in September, but a below-par display saw him hooked after 63 minutes.

A succession of calf problems has hampered his progress since, but, on the evidence of City's demolition of Spurs' last Sunday, he's hardly being missed.

8 IAGO ASPAS (Liverpool)

Aspas left Spain for England a hero after his goals helped boyhood club Celta Vigo avoid relegation in May.

A goal on his Liverpool debut in a friendly against Preston in July suggested a big season ahead, but Aspas has looked about as comfortable in the Premier League as a frog in a blender.

After a dreadful first-half display in the 1-0 home defeat by Southampton in September, he has been conspicuous by his absence and was last seen telling anyone who will listen that he wants to join Valencia in January.

7 MAROUANE FELLAINI (Man United)

The Belgian midfielder and I share the same birthday. We also both wear Warrior boots.

But that's where the similarities end - Fellaini is a giant of a man with more hair than a chimpanzee, whereas I'm vertically challenged with a hairline that's travelling further south than Roald Amundsen.

Fellaini looked a top, top player (not just a top player) at Everton, and it was no surprise when David Moyes persuaded his trusted lieutenant to swap Goodison Park for Old Trafford.

However, with more than three months of the season gone, the 26-year-old has failed to demonstrate that he belongs in a United engine room that has been spluttering for several years.

6 AROUNA KONE (Everton)

The £6 million ($12m) fee that Roberto Martinez splashed out on his old Wigan charge was perceived to be decent business.

In the previous two seasons, the Ivory Coast striker (above) had bagged 28 goals in 70 starts for Levante in La Liga and struggling Wigan in the EPL.

Surrounded by a better class of players at Everton, the 30-year-old was expected to spearhead a challenge for a top-six place and a cup or two.

However, no goals from five substitute appearances was followed by a knee cartilage operation that ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.

5 JOZY ALTIDORE (Sunderland)

The wholehearted American striker can score goals for fun - anywhere but in the EPL.

Altidore (below) had his first crack at the EPL with Hull City four seasons ago, but flopped badly, scoring just once in 28 games.

He dusted himself down and re-emerged with 38 goals in 59 starts for AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie, looking ready for another crack at arguably the best league in the world.

A move to the Paolo di Canio circus at Sunderland followed but, despite some typically-energetic displays in his 11 EPL appearances, Altidore has yet to break his scoring duck.

4 ADEL TAARABT (Fulham)

Some of the best managers in the business have tried and failed to keep the gifted playmaker on the straight and narrow.

When Taarabt's (above) on his game, he's difficult to live with, but his self-confidence borders on delusion. While languishing in the Spurs reserves three years ago, he suggested that Real Madrid and Barcelona were among the clubs coveting his signature. In the end, he decided QPR were the team for him.

At the end of last season, he was being fined as often as he played - usually for turning up late for training. A July bust-up with Hoops boss Harry Redknapp led to a season-long loan with Fulham, whose manager Martin Jol was quick to describe the Moroccan as "our version of Maradona".

However, even though his side are marooned in the relegation zone, Jol hasn't picked Taarabt in his starting 11 for three months.

3 CARLTON COLE (West Ham)

How bad must Cole be that he can't get into a side that contain precisely no centre forwards? How demoralising must it be to sit on the bench knowing that your manager would rather play with an extremely false No. 9 in Kevin Nolan than give you a run-out?

Cole left West Ham at the end of last season but, when Andy Carroll failed to recover from a heel injury in time for the start of the campaign, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce invited him to rejoin the club. However, Cole had apparently enjoyed a rather self-indulgent summer and was nowhere near fit enough for the EPL. He has been trusted with a whole 69 minutes of action, despite the Hammers' obvious lack of firepower.

2 WILLIAN (Chelsea)

When Jose Mourinho returned to his spiritual home in the off-season, he inherited a squad that looked a few tweaks away from being genuine title contenders.

Maybe a new centre back to provide competition for John Terry, an energetic scoring midfielder to eventually succeed Frank Lampard and a world-class goal-getter were needed.

The one department where the Blues were already swamped with options was in the attacking midfield area - Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard were all outstanding last season.

However, Mourinho proceeded to buy Andre Schuerrle and Marco van Ginkel and recall Kevin de Bruyne from a loan spell at Werder Bremen. And, just when you thought the Special One couldn't squeeze another winger onto the Chelsea bench, he snapped up Willian (above) - a snip at just £32m ($64m). He has started two games.

1 ERIK LAMELA (Tottenham)

When Spurs cashed in on Gareth Bale and used the proceeds to bring in a whole host of supposedly-proven world stars, one well-known football pundit said: "Tottenham have sold Elvis and bought The Beatles."

Well, if that's the case, then Lamela must be Ringo. Or even Stuart Sutcliffe.

The Argentina winger dazzled at Roma last season, terrorising fullbacks from his preferred position on the right flank. However, Andre Villas-Boas has opted to use him sparingly.

Very sparingly. And out of position on the left - where he looks like a fish up a tree.

Last Sunday's 6-0 drubbing at Man City was his first EPL start. He may have to wait a while for his second.


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