A countdown of the 50 worst players in Premier League history features transfer flops for Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and beyond – but No 1 is beyond argument.
The list compiled byfootball magazine FourFourTwofeatures some truly hapless footballers, but the man at No 50 is an undoubtedly great striker. Yet – judged purely on his wretched Premier League form – it’s easy to see why Radamel Falcao deserves a spot.
It just gets worse after that, however. Culminating in No 1: a player who wasn’t actually a professional footballer: Southampton’s Ali Dia. The story is simply insane.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 23, 2016
“Dia had been calling round a number of clubs claiming to be George Weah’s cousin in 1995 – he had a trial at Coventry, and another at Bournemouth – both of whom swiftly turned him down when they saw him play,” explain FourFourTwo.
“But Southampton boss Graeme Souness took the bait, and after an early injury to Matt Le Tissier he threw Dia into action against Leeds. The Senegalese forward managed 52 minutes of running around aimlessly before being hauled off again.”
That was his entire top-flight career. At least Dia was free – which is more than can be said for second-place man Savio, who reportedly cost West Ham £9 million in 2009.
The striker failed to score in 10 games before he was sold for a discount £3 million only six months later.
The top 20 worst Premier League players are listed below, while FourFourTwo list the full 50here.
Are there any future contenders from this season who could one day challenge these champions of woefulness? Let us know in the comments.
20. Thomas Brolin (Leeds, Crystal Palace)
19. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich)
18. Albert Luque (Newcastle)
17. Jean-Alain Boumsong (Newcastle)
16. Marco Boogers (West Ham)
15. Antonio Nunez (Liverpool)
14. Claude Davis (Sheffield United, Derby)
13. Sean Dundee (Liverpool)
12. Eric Djemba-Djemba (Manchester United, Aston Villa)
11. Andrea Silenzi (Nottingham Forest)
10. Bosko Balaban (Aston Villa)
Manchester United are looking to sign former Aston Villa striker Bosko Balaban. The Croatian has been without a club for eight years but it is believed that Man Utd are willing to give him a route back in to football
[Sky Sports] pic.twitter.com/CBQK4H95ct
— James (@gortavfc) January 24, 2020
9. Igors Stepanovs (Arsenal)
8. Winston Bogarde (Chelsea)
7. Bebe (Manchester United)
6. Junior Lewis (Leicester)
5. Jozy Altidore (Hull, Sunderland)
4. Milton Nunez (Sunderland)
3. Massimo Taibi (Manchester United)
2. Savio (West Ham)
1. Ali Dia (Southampton)
All imagery: PA Images