Most expensive flop XI in Premier League history as £71m Kepa nears Chelsea loan exit – including Sanchez and Torres
KEPA ARRIZABALAGA looks set to end his nightmare spell at Chelsea.
SunSport revealed that the Blues are ready to send the gaffe-prone keeper out on loan – after landing Edouard Mendy as their new first-choice.
And while Chelsea insisted no decision has yet been taken on Kepa’s future, it is understood that Frank Lampard will assent to the Spaniard leaving on loan before Monday's deadline.
Kepa, 25, has struggled to live up to the world record £71million fee Chelsea paid Athletic Bilbao to land him as Thibaut Courtois’ replacement in 2018.
With his Blues nightmare almost over, we take a look at the most-expensive flops in Premier League history…
GOALKEEPER – Kepa Arrizabalaga
THE Spaniard arrived at Chelsea as the most expensive goalkeeper in history at £71.6m.
But just under two years later, Frank Lampard is desperately trying to sell Kepa after a string of high-profile blunders.
He fell out of favour last term after a series of high-profile errors before the lockdown.
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Chelsea spent much of the summer seeking to land Mendy and any chance of Kepa keeping his position as first choice evaporated with his performances in the club’s opening two league games.
He was badly at fault for Brighton’s goal in the 3-1 defeat at the Amex before a disastrous blunder in the 2-0 loss to Liverpool.
The former Athletic Bilbao keeper, who is also Chelsea's second-highest earner at £150,000 a week, will now be allowed to leave on loan.
CENTRE-BACK – Winston Bogarde
IT'S not often a free transfer can be labelled an expensive mistake…
But Bogarde arrived at Chelsea from Barcelona with a reputation – and the Blues were happy to give the Dutchman £40,000 a week – a very tidy sum at the turn of the century.
But Bogarde was happy to rot on the bench and cash in his pay-packets to wind down his career, playing just 11 times in his four years at the club,.
All in all, the defender pocketed over £8m from Chelsea.
CENTRE-BACK – Eliaquim Mangala
THE French centre-half cost Man City a staggering £1m per game.
Mangala signed for the club in a £43.5m deal – while earning a further £12.5m in wages.
All in all, City played £56m for the flop… who played just 57 times at the Etihad club before being sold.
City recouped just £9m of that in selling him to Valencia.
CENTRE-BACK – Phil Jones
SIR ALEX FERGUSON had a reputation for getting the best out of his players, while being an excellent judge of character.
However, Fergie once claimed Jones wcould become Man Utd's greatest-ever star…
United splashed nearly £20m on the former Blackburn star – a lot of cash for 2011.
Since then, Jones has been on a number of big-money contracts, now worth £75,000 a week.
In nearly a decade, the defender has played just 165 times in the Premier League.
CENTRE-MID – Juan Sebastian Veron
VERON became the most-expensive player in Premier League history when he completed his £28.1m move to Man Utd in 2001.
He signed a five-year contract but failed to impress on a consistent enough basis despite his rumoured £90,000 a week wages – astronomical for the turn of the century – and was sold to Chelsea two years later.
The Blues paid Veron similarly, albeit marginally less, after his £15m move in 2003.
The Argentine – a superstar before heading to England – managed just seven Premier League appearances at Stamford Bridge in four years.
Some reports claimed Chelsea were still contributing to Veron's wages until 2011, four years after he left, after doing whatever they could to encourage clubs to sign him.
CENTRE-MID – Alberto Aquilani
LIVERPOOL spent £18m to sign the man they hoped would replace Xabi Alonso.
However, the Italian – who raked in over £100,000 a week – played just 18 times in the league for the Reds and was shipped out on loan to Juventus and AC Milan.
Liverpool eventually managed to sell him – but only recouped a measly £2m.
CENTRE-MID – Danny Drinkwater
PART of Leicester's historic 2015-16 Premier League-winning side, Drinkwater's hot form attracted the attention of Chelsea.
The Blues paid a staggering £34m for the English midfielder who's played just 12 times in the Premier League since his 2017 move.
Drinkwater has been loaned to Burnley and Aston Villa, where his career has been plagued by off-field indiscretions.
All the while, he has been pocketing £100,000 a week at Stamford Bridge and is now valued at a mere £4m but Chelsea have struggled to find any suitors.
RIGHT-WING – Angel Di Maria
THE Argentine superstar joined Man Utd for £59.7m in 2014 and was expected to help usher in a new era with the club struggling after Fergie's retirement.
But he lasted just one season before being sold to Paris Saint-Germain – where he has been able to recapture his top form.
Not only did he struggle mightily in his sole season, he cost United an eye-watering £280,000 a week.
LEFT-WING – Alexis Sanchez
FOR a free signing, Sanchez sure has been expensive…
United were happy to splash £505,000 a week on the Chilean, believing he was the missing piece in their side.
But two-and-a-half-years and just THREE Premier League goals later, Sanchez joined Inter Milan on a permanent deal.
And at a cost £20m per Prem goal, it's easy to see why…
STRIKER – Fernando Torres
WHEN a one-time star player is struggling with injuries and looks to have lost a step, what do you do?
Pay £50m for him, according to Chelsea.
The Blues' defined the term "panic buy" when they brought in Torres from Liverpool in January 2011.
In four years, the Spaniard scored just 20 Premier League goals in 110 games.
Even without having fronted-up £50m, the £150,000 a week wages sounds bad with that sort of goalscoring return.
STRIKER – Andriy Shevchenko
THERE'S something of a theme in this XI, with a host of Chelsea stars on the list thanks to Roman Abramovich's money following his 2003 takeover.
Shevchenko was an undoubted star at AC Milan but flopped in England after his £30.8m move to the Blues in 2005.
The Ukrainian striker scored just nine times in three years in the Premier League – and earned around £190,000 a week for his work.
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