Is Raheem Sterling the most over-rated player of his generation?
Published 28/06/2015 | 15:26
Liverpool legend John Aldridge has insisted Raheem Sterling is not worth the £40m Manchester City bid to sign him last week - yet he is not the first player to be handed such an over-inflated price tag.
It remains to be seen whether Sterling lives up to his billing if he does secure his big money move this summer, but many critics are predicting he will following in the footsteps of these expensive flops.
As all of these players were experienced performers when they were sold for vast sums, the idea that Sterling is already worth £50m seems somewhat laughable.
ANGEL DI MARIA
Club: Manchester United
Cost: £59.7m in August 2014
This Argentine superstar struggled horribly to make his mark in his first season at United, but it looks as if he will be back for more next season and it seems impossible to imagine that he will be so disappointing again.
Di Maria still produced a glut of assists for United last season and he has a chance to turn his tag as a flop into something far more commendable next season.
Club: Manchester City
Cost: £32m in August 2014
This French international was hailed as the key defensive signing for City last summer, but Mangala struggled horribly in his first season at the club.
Looking out-of-his-depth on numerous occasions, Mangala needs to confirm he has adapted to the English game quickly if he is to justify the vast wages he was offered a year ago.
Cost: £30 in August 2013
Spurs splashed the cash in a big way when they sold Gareth Bale for a world record £86m to Real Madrid and their biggest purchase was Argentine youngster Lamela.
He has proved to be a disastrous purchase. Two seasons of indifferent form highlighted by the odd high profile moment of magic have not justified his vast price tag and Spurs would be lucky to get half of their money back now.
Cost: £50m in January 2011
No flop transfer list is complete without the inclusion of the Spanish striker who lost his way long before he showed up at Stamford Bridge in what was a British record transfer.
Torres never managed to find his feet at Chelsea and even though he was the favourite player of club owner Roman Abramovich, he failed to make his mark in a blue shirt despite winning a host of top trophies, including the 2012 Champions League.
Cost: £35m in January 2011
Liverpool would argue that Carroll was a free punt in the transfer market after the £50m sale of Torres to Chelsea, but the truth must be that he was a major flop at Anfield.
Often injured and only occasionally impressive when he was fit, Liverpool did well to get around £18m back on their investment when they sold this fragile forward to West Ham.
Cost: £20m in July 2008
The Ireland captain may never have had a chance to prove his worth in his few short months at Liverpool, as Anfield boss Rafael Benitez seemed determined to drive him out of the Anfield door from the moment he arrived amid rumours that he never wanted to sign the Dubliner in the first place.
Keane's contributions to Liverpool’s efforts were decent when he was given the odd first team chance, but he must still be licking his wounds from a humiliation that ended with him returning to his former club Tottenham. This is one transfer mystery that was never fully explained.
Cost: £15m in July 2008
Bentley is one of those modern footballers who is hard to have any admiration for, with his arrogance and self-obsession not worthy of the limited talent he was bless with.
Bentley looked like a star in the making at Blackburn, but a step up in class at Tottenham was too much for him and he retired from the game at the age of 29 claiming he had lost his motivation. Too much money far too soon for a player who was not as good as he thought he was.
Cost: £30.8m in May 2006
This Ukrainian was one of the world's finest marksman when he was in his prime at AC Milan, but it quickly became evident that his best days were behind him before he arrived at Chelsea.
Lacking pace and struggling to adapt to English football, Shevchenko was one of the most expensive mistakes made by Chelsea and he left the club for nothing in August 2009.
Cost: £21m in July 2005
If there is a player Raheem Sterling could be compared to, it might be Wright-Phillips, who flopped horribly after his high profile move from Manchester City to Chelsea.
Back in the day, City were very much a minnow of the Premier League and the step up in class to work with Jose Mourinho's squad was too much for Wright-Phillips. He has been earning huge money without playing for QPR in recent years.