As the amount of money being spent on signing footballers by English Premier League clubs is rapidly increasing, the pressure on players to live-up to expectations is enormous. As we approach the end of the season, here are five strikers who have impressed with previous clubs, but just haven’t been able to deliver the goods for their new club, since their big-money move last summer.
Swansea City centre- forward Eder, signed for the Swans last summer from Portuguese side S.C Braga, for £5million, and within seven months of the move, he was already on his way out to Ligue 1 side Lille OSC for the reminder of the season. Swansea were hoping Eder could add competition in attack alongside Bafetimbi Gomis, after Eder’s successful spell at his previous club with 26 goals in 60 games. Although, after 17 appearances, Eder couldn’t even bag one goal for his new side, and he has seemed a long way off from even competing for the number 9 spot in a Swansea shirt. At a cost of £18,500 for every minute he spent on the pitch, it never looked like the club were going to get their money’s worth from the player they brought in from Sporting Braga, and it appears the Portuguese needs a miracle if his career is going to turn around with goals at Swansea City.
4. Fabio Borini
Sunderland took a slight risk with Fabio Borini, but after his loan spell in the previous two seasons with the Black Cats, he showed enough quality with some important goals at crucial times, to sign the Italian permanently, for £8million, from Liverpool. However, Sunderland’s dearest signing of the season, hasn’t become their relegation savior they were hoping for, as Borini has only bagged three goals in 17 league games, and hasn’t been able to live-up to expectations. As relegation now beckons for Sunderland, Borini could be once again on the move, and if he does decide to leave struggling Sunderland, then for sure in the fans eyes, he has been a huge disappointment in a red-and-white shirt.
3. Salomon Rondon
The West Brom forward signed last summer for a club-record fee of £12million, after dominating the Russian Premier league, with 13 goals in 26 games, leaving him the second highest goalscorer of the season. Rondon’s impressive record didn’t go unnoticed, and that’s why Baggies boss, Tony Pulis, brought him over to the Premier League.
However, he hasn’t been the 6ft 1ins powerhouse they were expecting, and so far with only seven goals to his name in the league, Rondon hasn’t been able to adapt from the Russian Premier League, to the English Premier League. Tony Pulis clearly needed someone to aid West Brom’s poor goalscoring in the Premier League, after finishing 16th in goals scored last season from each Premiership side, and Rondon has failed in improving that, as currently, they have dropped to only scoring more goals than bottom side Aston Villa this season with only 30 goals scored from West Brom in 31 games.
2. Radamel Falcao
One of the biggest flops of the century, Falcao’s career started to descend ever since his huge £52million move to A.S Monaco. Before his 2013 summer move to Ligue 1, Falcao was a Champions League goalscorer, and was one of the best finishers around at the time. The Colombian carried on his superb form from Atletico Madrid, with nine goals in 17 appearances in Ligue 1, before his devastating long-term injury, as he suffered a severe ACL injury, ruling him out for six months.
After eventually regaining full fitness, his heart was set on a Premier League move, and Manchester United came in for the striker, to try and save his career. However, after playing 17 times for United, he was mocked for being one of Man United’s worst ever signings, and ended his loan spell with just four goals in 29 appearances.
Falcao’s career was devastated even more, after being loaned out once again to a Premier League club. This time it was Chelsea who took the gamble to add him to their attacking options. Chelsea have had a lack of attacking options all season, and for Falcao to only have made 13 appearances so far, it indicates that they don’t want to play him if possible, but with only one goal in this spell, you can’t argue with Guus Hiddink to why he has kept him out of the side as much as he has. This also leads to why he has been one of the most wasteful signings of the season, and how his career as declined so quickly since that horrific injury he picked up in January 2014.
1. Christian Benteke
Benteke signed for Liverpool at the start of the season for £32.5million, which gave Liverpool fans a reason to believe they were back on the chase for a top-four position. Although, Benteke has played like a completely different forward than the monster he was infront of goal for Aston Villa, in the previous three seasons in the Premier League. Benteke single-handedly kept Villa up with his amount of goals. The Belgian scored 42 goals in 82 league games for the Villans, and became one of the best signings for Villa in the last decade.
Then, after his sublime scoring tally for Villa, Liverpool rightly went in search to land the big Belgian, but so far, he has been a huge disappointment for the Reds. His sharpness and composure infront of goal has decreased significantly compared to his days in a claret and blue shirt, but the main reason Benteke doesn’t seem to be able to fire goals for the Reds, is the struggle to fit into Liverpool’s tactics in the way they attack. In comparison to how direct Villa were in their play, and always tried to play-off the 6ft 3ins target-man, instead of playing around him, with more passes and slower build-up play when going forward like Liverpool seem to do. Benteke looks to have made a disastrous decision in joining Liverpool, especially with a number of big clubs circling around him last summer, he had and still does have the potential to be the leading goalscorer to Premier League or even Champions League success for a team.