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The Big Names That Failed to Deliver in the Premier League

August 11, 2015

- Grant Whittington

While many deride the description of the Premier League as being a product rather than a league, there is no doubt that it is one of the most entertaining competitions on the footballing planet. It is also unique in the modern footballing world, due to its relentless pace and extremely physical nature. Although these elements contribute to a challenging and thrilling league, they have also caused huge issues for some overseas stars who have struggled to adapt.

This even applies to some of the worlds most talented and skillful players, who have thrived in other leagues and earned big money moves to the Premier League. We take a look at three megastars who couldn’t quite manage to get the fans on their feet…

Angel Di Maria (Manchester United)

Let’s start with the most recent example, as there were huge hopes for Argentinian midfielder Angel Di Maria when he signed for Manchester United last summer. After a stellar season with Madrid in which he won the Champions League crown and was voted Man of the Match in the final, Di Maria joined United for a British-record £59.7 million and quickly recorded goals and assists in four of his first five league outings.

Injury, personal problems, and the lack of a fixed position in the first-team led to Di Maria’s downfall, however, while he also struggled with the physical demands before joining PSG for £44 million after just a year at Old Trafford.

Albert Luque (Newcastle United)

When Albert Luque was signed by Newcastle United for £9 million in the summer of 2005, the Magpies believed they were signing one of the world’s best and most promising forwards.

A Spanish international that was comfortable both as a central striker and a left-sided attacker, Luque was quick, strong, and had played an integral role in Deportivo’s run to the Champions League semi-final in 2004. He flopped amid the hustle and bustle of the British game, however, scoring just once in 21 appearances before being sold to Ajax in 2007.

Robinho (Manchester City)

The signing of Brazilian forward Robinho from Real Madrid represented the first show of intent by Manchester City after the takeover by Mansour bin Zayed Nahyan in 2008.

It was akin to sending a child into a sweet shop armed with a bucket full of pennies, however, as City’s first multi-million raid quickly turned sour. Despite scoring on his debut against Chelsea (who he had initially thought he was joining) amid a blaze of glory, he struggled with the climate and the physical nature of the Premier League before moving to AC Milan in a cut-price deal.

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