WhoScored's Five Overpriced Signings...

We start with Adam Lallana at a mind-boggling £25m despite losing the ball at an alarming rate for Southampton, but add Jake Livermore and three more over-priced picks...

Last Updated: 07/08/14 at 09:33 Post Comment

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In an inflated market, it's increasingly easy to overspend to secure the services of a wanted man. Clubs set their asking prices sky high in some cases, often to ward off potential suitors but also to exploit those with cash to spare and a real need to spend it.

A whole manner of things can have an effect on a transfer value, including some that really shouldn't. In a goals-based business, strikers cost more, despite the fact that it is equally important to keep them out at the other end, and despite international failings for decades, English players demand higher fees due to player registration rulings.

Such factors may well have had an impact on the following five deals, with WhoScored.com looking at transfers that were perhaps more expensive than they should have been. This isn't to say that these players are poor or even that they will fail at their respective new clubs, just that perhaps the money could have been spent more wisely.


Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
Let's get arguably the most controversial choice out of the way early. Lallana has always shown promise and an eye for goal from midfield since breaking into the Saints first team and he made the step up to the top flight in impressive fashion, proving a crucial member of a Southampton side that secured their highest-ever Premier League finish last season. The playmaker is now 26 and while it could be argued that Liverpool have signed a player approaching his peak, the question remains as to how much Lallana will really improve.

Southampton's asking price was high due in no small part to an agreement in place that saw Bournemouth entitled to 25% of a fee that could rise to a lofty £25m. The England international contributed to 15 league goals last season (nine goals, six assists) and earned a very respectable rating of 7.20 from WhoScored.com in turn, but he also gave away possession due to a poor touch the second most times (91) and was directly dispossessed more times (93) than any other player in the Premier League. For a side already boasting the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling that have since added Lazar Markovic from Benfica, the outlay on Lallana is perhaps steep, despite the need for strength in depth given their renewed European commitments.


Brown Ideye (West Brom)
Having finished just one place above the relegation zone last season, West Brom's problem was clear. The shared top-scorer tally was just five, between Saido Berahino and Stephane Sessegnon, so the fact that new record signing Brown Ideye could only match that tally in the Ukrainian league last season doesn't immediately encourage. The striker's chances were limited in an admittedly impressive Dynamo Kiev attack line, with the Nigerian starting just seven of 19 league appearances. He did start five matches in the Europa League but failed to register on the scoresheet.

It's certainly not all doom and gloom for Baggies fans. Prior to last season Ideye had registered double figures in terms of league goals in each of the previous three campaigns and at 25, he has time on his side to acclimatise to a new and improved league. What the deal represents, however, is a big gamble. He impressed in one season in France, earning him a move to Kiev, but his only appearances at the top level in the Europa and Champions League - of which he has made 18 (excluding qualifiers) - have heralded just two goals.


Jake Livermore (Hull)
The fact that Hull were convinced to complete the permanent signing of Jake Livermore was no surprise. The midfielder was solid and dependable in the middle of the park and even managed to lead the side in terms of assists, though the tally of four was modest enough. The £8m transfer fee was eye-catching though, and is perhaps a clear case of a player's homegrown status taking effect. With The Tigers already well stocked in that department, however, their need to splash the cash was debatable.

Livermore forged a decent partnership with fellow signing from White Hart Lane Tom Huddlestone but is very much a no-frills type of player. Solid across the board, he has avoided garnering any statistical weaknesses according to WhoScored.com but has just one strength - long shots - and his rating of 6.80 last season ranked seventh of first-team regulars at the KC Stadium. It seems £8m can only really get you a 'decent' English player nowadays.


Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester)
The task for a newly promoted side is always to lure in the sort of quality that can consolidate their position in the league. Leicester's expensive splurge on Leonardo Ulloa can be seen as a real risk, with £7m in all likelihood taking a significant chunk out of their transfer budget. In his 18 months on the south coast the burly frontman certainly became a Brighton fan favourite but at 28, his lack of experience at the very top level is a concern.

He's a hard worker from the front, earning a strength of 'defensive contribution' from WhoScored.com courtesy of 0.9 tackles per game, but his strike rate is certainly not the best. A respectable tally of 14 last season came from 87 shots (16.1% conversion rate) and only two players missed more clear-cut chances in the Championship last season (16). Leicester's desire to add to their strikeforce was understandable given top scorer David Nugent's record at top-flight level but their choice of reinforcement is questionable.


Lukas Jutkiewicz (Burnley)
On a tighter budget than the sides that they came up with, Burnley's mission remains the same. The Clarets need to bolster their attacking ranks was justified following serious injury to Sam Vokes, whose 20-goal exploits were somewhat overshadowed by younger model Danny Ings last season - despite the fact that the Championship Player of the Year netted just once more than his strike partner. Sean Dyche's decision to bring in the likes of Marvin Sordell and Lukas Jutkiewicz in his place will be under scrutiny.

The latter was the more expensive of the two at around £2m but will need to improve on his figures from last season if he is to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League. Once a prospect on the books of Everton, Jutkiewicz is now 25 and has never registered double figures in a league season in English football. A loan spell at Bolton from January certainly saw his stock rise a little after an ultimately disappointing time at Middlesbrough but it would be a surprise if the forward could fire in the goals to help keep Burnley afloat next season.

Martin Laurence - Follow him on Twitter.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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