Over the years the Premier League has seen some of the very best players to have ever graced the game from Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United to the current brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne at Manchester City. However there have also been those players who didn’t shine so brightly.
Making the grade in the Premier League isn’t easy. For some, the wet and windy nights at Stoke and the ruff and tumble of the opposition defence is all just too much to take and today we take a look at those players who failed to settle.
Kicking off the list we have Andriy Shevchenko. Adored at Italian giants AC Milan, the Ukrainian arrived in England back in the summer of 2006 joining then champions Chelsea in a record £30 million deal. Things started well enough for Shevchenko scoring against Liverpool in the Charity Shield in Cardiff ,but after making a bright start his life in a Chelsea shirt his career at Stamford Bridge soon faded as it became clear the striker’s best days were long gone.
The Shevchenko we had seen in Milan was no longer the same player. Many point to his spot kick miss in the European cup final against Liverpool in Istanbul as the turning moment in the forward’s career. His confidence was shot and he just never seemed to get over it and was a shadow of his former self. He looked a lost man and his stay in England finally came to an end in 2009 where he re-joined his beloved club AC Milan in a cut price deal.
Next up we have Ricardo Quaresma. It’s hard to believe looking back now but there was a time when people genuinely debated amongst themselves who would be the better player – Ricardo Quaresma or Cristiano Ronaldo. He was just that special of a talent and the hype surrounding the then teenager was enormous.
The excitement surrounding the signing of Quaresma particularly from the younger generation who having watched his skills for years on YouTube was enormous. His brilliant trickery on the ball combined with ability to not only score goals but create them made him one of the most sought-after players in European football and he finally got his chance to showcase himself in England in 2009 when Chelsea come calling signing the youngster on a six month loan deal.
You got the feeling this period was a real decisive moment in Quaresma’s footballing career. Had he succeeded and made a name for himself at Chelsea then he could have fulfilled his talent and really gone on to do special things in the game, but unfortunately this didn’t materialize and despite the brief glimpse of brilliance Quaresma’s talent failed to show through. It was clear Quaresma was a special talent but for how talented he may have been he failed to show it on a consistent basis and his decision making in the final third let him down.
As the months went by Quaresma found himself more often than not on the substitutes bench rather than in the starting eleven and his stay in England finally came to an end in May 2009 where it was announced Chelsea would not be taking up the option to sign Quaresma on a permanent basis.
Next we have Juan Sebastian Veron. Much was expected of the Argentinian when Manchester United splashed out nearly £30 million for the then sought after midfielder having shone for Lazio.
With Paul Scholes and Roy Keane already at the heart of United’s midfield adding Veron to the mix made it feel as though United would become unstoppable. The Reds were already the best team in the land having won the Premier League Title three years in a row and with Veron now on board it made it seem almost unfair to the rest as to how strong Alex Ferguson’s side was but unfortunately things didn’t quite turn out as well as many had anticipated for Veron.
Right from the off it was clear that Veron was finding life at Old Trafford difficult. In Italy at Lazio he was allowed time on the ball to pick his passes whereas here in England he didn’t have that luxury and was struggling to adapt he just didn’t look the same player.
There was moments and flashes of brilliance particularly in the Champions League where Veron looked more at home but it was still a far cry from the Veron we had seen at Lazio and his stay at Old Trafford only lasted two years where in the summer of 2003 it was announced Veron would be joining Chelsea in a cut price deal, his luck didn’t get any better there either and later signed for Inter Milan just a year later.
Last but by no means certainly least we have Robinho. The Brazilian stunned the footballing world back on the last day of the summer of 2008 joining Manchester City for a then club record breaking fee of £32 million.
Much was expected of Robinho having shone for Real Madrid over the years but despite a showing a promising start the Brazilian fell way short of expectations and eventually led to Robinho leaving the Etihad after just two seasons.
The talent was clearly there, but for how talented he may have been he lacked in work rate and consistency and it was that combination which led to his downfall at the club. At first he looked happy and settled at the club but as the months wore on he looked more and more out of place and eventually found himself out of the starting eleven and sitting on the substitutes bench.
His stay at the club ended in 2010 where it was announced Robinho would be joining AC Milan and it was a familiar story for the Brazilian there where once again inconsistency and poor work rate let him down and it was that combination which played a key role in preventing Robinho from ever going on to fulfill his footballing potential.