Ranked! The 50 worst players in Premier League history
Nobody really knows where he came from, nobody knows what happened to him.
Gilberto was signed by Tottenham on the final day of the January 2008 window (hello, Daniel Levy) from Hertha Berlin and was representative of all the bad transfer habits which the club had developed. Doubtless a combination of Levy’s love of a late deal and director of football Damien Comolli’s flawed science, the left-sided Brazilian never really had a definitive purpose at Tottenham - other than becoming a target for supporter dissatisfaction during Juande Ramos’s increasingly chaotic time at the club.
Naturally, Harry Redknapp took one look at Gilberto and decided he wasn’t fit even for Europa League purposes. As far as anyone is aware, he was substituted at half-time against Shakhtar Donetsk and then immediately put into a taxi, disappearing into the north London night.
24. Corrado Grabbi
This is actually quite a sad story. Grabbi, who had hitherto been a nondescript player in the Italian leagues, was signed on the basis of a prolific run of form at Ternana, where he scored 20 goals in 34 games.
That was apparently enough for Blackburn to part with £6.75m for him. It was not a good fit. Alongside the normal complaints about the British weather, Grabbi would also claim years later that he was ostracised by many of his fellow players.
Two goals in 30 league games certainly suggests that any unease bled into his form, but more likely this was a case of flawed scouting. Blackburn evidently saw a player at the peak of his form and signed him without considering whether it was reflective of his ability at a higher level.
23. Grzegorz Rasiak
There’s definitely something David Nugent-esque about Rasiak’s career. The Polish striker wasn’t quite as prolific in the Football League – and he didn’t produce his form over such a long period – but he was very clearly not good enough to play at the highest level. As Tottenham quickly found out when they signed him in 2005.
Even then, before the club’s renaissance had truly begun, he was way short of being the player the supporters wanted him to be. Rasiak worked hard, but the all-round package he represented - size and strength - never looked remarkable away from Derby County.
The player might argue that, having made just eight Premier League appearances, he was never given a proper opportunity at White Hart Lane. His career since, however, suggests he should never have been there at all.
22. Kostas Mitroglou
A bit of an outlier, because Mitroglou wasn’t bad a player; he just wasn’t anything at all. Fulham lunged after a goalscorer in the January 2014 transfer window, spent a club-record £12.4m on the Greek striker, and expected an instant dividend on a player with no experience in this country.
What they got was three instantly forgettable appearances, two of them from the substitutes’ bench. It’s actually the only spell of Mitroglou’s career which hasn’t been successful – he’s provided a steady flow of goals for the likes of Benfica and Olympiacos since – meaning that this costly failure is probably more on the club’s shoulders than his.
21. Bruno Cheyrou
One of the advantages of Gerard Houllier’s appointment - and one of the reasons why Liverpool were convinced to create that unworkable manager-share with Roy Evans - was Houllier’s past as a technical director of the French Football Federation. The logic being that it would give the club a pipeline into the country which had just won its first World Cup and was a hotbed of talent.
Cheyrou, signed in 2002 for £4.5m, was lumbered with the title of the “new Zidane” by Houllier. Not quite. The midfielder struggled during his first season and although he’d actually score one or two important goals for the club (his first league goal was in a 1-0 win over Chelsea), he's also emblematic of Liverpool’s wayward transfer dealings.
Houllier brought relative success and silverware to Anfield, but he also drove some dreadful recruiting. While Cheyrou wasn’t quite Sean Dundee, it was telling that he was loaned away the moment Rafael Benitez was appointed as manager.