OTP revisits some of the transfers that the country’s largest clubs would rather forget…
10. Marco Materazzi
Although Everton were actually able to make a profit on the Italian, his time in England was not a success. Four red cards in his 27 games did not exactly help matters, and he was sold after just one season. He then went and won the World Cup five years later, and Everton fans wondered how that could be the same player.
9. Li Weifeng
Although only a loan move, Weifeng’s arrival in England was ridiculous, as he had clearly been recruited in an effort to promote the club’s brand in China, coming shortly after their sponsorship deal with Chang beer. The Chinese defender played just one game for the club, looked out of his depth and promptly returned to China after a season
8. Daniel Amokachi
Amokachi might have been a bit of a Premier League legend, but he was never actually that successful for Everton. After Mike Walker had paid £3million for the Nigerian in 1994, he played just over 40 league games in three years before moving to Turkey. Best thing about him? Putting his surname into Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi (as in Amo… Amokachi). It’s addictive.
7. Stephen Hughes
Hughes had been seen as a promising young talent at Arsenal, and although he had not cemented a place in the Gunners’ first team, the £3million shelled out by Everton seemed money well spent. Hughes lasted just 16 months on Merseyside before Everton released him on a free transfer, and his career never really got back on track. He retired in 2009 aged 32, after playing for Walsall.
6. Ibrahima Bakayoko
Championship Manager hero, but not Everton hero. He impressed enough at Montpellier for Walter Smith to pay £4.5million for his services, but never made his mark on Merseyside. The Ivorian scored just four times, and was sold to Marseille after one season in England. Impressively, Everton managed to get £4million for a player dubbed ‘Baka-joke-o’.
5. Steve Simonsen
After being released by Nottingham Forest, Simonsen joined Tranmere, and made the short trip to Goodison for £3.3million, a British record for a goalkeeper at the time. The keeper didn’t even make an appearance in his first season, and although he stayed at Everton for six years only made 35 appearances in all competitions. He was finally released in 2004.
4. James Beattie
Beattie had impressed at Southampton before joining Everton for £6million, but he had never really looked like an England prospect (which, given the price tag, he really ought to have been). He made 86 appearances over three seasons, but the majority of these were from the substitutes’ bench. Beattie had promised much, but delivered very little.
3. Slaven Bilic
He might get credit for his prowess at international management, but after a good spell at West Ham, Bilic turned into one of Everton’s worst Premier League players. Signed for (the not inconsiderable amount of) £4.5million, Bilic was seemingly booked in just about all of his games during his first season, missing five games through suspension. After two seasons of underperformance Everton tried to offload the defender on a free, but with no takers Bilic continued to get paid £27,000 per week by Everton while living in Zagreb and playing only for Croatia. The club was eventually forced to pay Bilic off with £1million to leave the club.
2. Alex Njarko
A sorry tale. Nyarko was massively overvalued by Everton, who paid Lens £4.5million and handed the player a five-year contract. He played 33 times in four seasons, scored one goal and was the subject of a protest by a fan who ran onto the pitch to essentially tell Nyarko that he was sh*t. Nyarko was substituted and then immediately asked to leave the club, going on two loan spells that were also unsuccessful.
1. Per Kroldrup
Described as one of the worst transfers in the English game, Denmark defender Kroldrup moved to Everton from Udinese for £5million in 2005. He cost the club £5million per appearance, as he played just once against Aston Villa. The defender admitted that he simply couldn’t cope with the pace and intensity of the Premier League, but one would have thought that Everton scouts might just have sourced that information in advance.
Have we missed your favourite worst Everton signing? Let us know below.