Davy Klaassen joins Angel Di Maria and Jo among Premier League flops

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Netherlands international Davy Klaassen left Everton for Werder Bremen on Friday just a year after moving to Goodison Park.

The former Ajax captain joined the Toffees as part of a huge recruitment drive last summer but failed to impress and will now be added to an ever-growing list of expensive Premier League flops.

Here, we highlight a not-so-magnificent seven players who – carrying either a hefty transfer tag, a huge weight of expectation or a combination of both – failed to cut it in England’s top-flight.

Angel Di Maria – Manchester United

Louis van Gaal’s new number seven appeared to settle into Premier League life with ease having joined from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014.

However, a memorable goal in a 5-3 defeat at Leicester would remain the high-point.

The Argentina winger suffered a shocking drop-off in form, falling out of favour and being sent off against Arsenal before he departed for Paris Saint-Germain less than a year later.

di maria

Andriy Shevchenko – Chelsea

Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho in the dugout and Roman Abramovich providing the cash, had won back-to-back Premier League titles before adding Ukrainian hot-shot Shevchenko to their artillery.

It seemed a logical move to even further hit home Chelsea’s dominance and help progress in Europe, but it did not work out.

Shevchenko had scored goals galore during his spell at AC Milan before his big-money move but managed just nine in two seasons at Stamford Bridge before he returned to his former club on loan.

Andriy Shevchenko,

Guido Carrillo – Southampton

Probably the least-recognised name on this list, but Carrillo is the latest to make his mark – or not as the case may be.

Signed by relegation-threatened Southampton for a club-record fee in January, the Argentinian made just five Premier League starts and was largely unfancied by Mark Hughes when he arrived to steer Saints to safety.

The 27-year-old has now left for Leganes on loan, just 164 days on from his record-breaking move to Hampshire.

Guido Carrillo

Jo – Manchester City & Everton

Before the billions of Sheikh Mansour allowed Manchester City to compete with any club in the world on a financial basis, they had to be a little more careful with their spending.

There was still money to be spent, however, and when Brazil striker Jo joined from CSKA Moscow for a then-club record fee, much was expected.

It is fair to say he failed to deliver, scoring just once for City in the Premier League before two unsuccessful loan spells at Everton brought to an end his unhappy spell in England.

jo

Juan Sebastian Veron – Manchester United & Chelsea

Signed in the same summer as Ruud van Nistelrooy, only one would become something a fans favourite – and it was not the Argentinian playmaker who came in from Lazio for a club-record fee at the time.

Veron struggled to make his mark in the Premier League despite the inflated price tag and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had very few kind words to say of the midfielder in his autobiography.

A surprise move to Chelsea emerged following Abramovich’s takeover but he still could not find his feet in England and was soon shipped out on loan to Inter Milan.

Juan Sebastian Veron

Ricky van Wolfswinkel – Norwich

The Dutchman was never going to fire Norwich to Premier League glory but his goalscoring record suggested he could steer the Canaries clear of relegation trouble.

Boasting an impressive goal tally at Sporting Lisbon, things started well in East Anglia as a superb header on his debut earned his new side a point against Everton on the opening day of the 2013/14 season – but he failed to add to his sole Premier League strike.

Norwich dropped down to the Championship and Van Wolfswinkel left on loan moves away from Carrow Road – he now plays for Swiss outfit Basel.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Roberto Soldado – Tottenham

Another striker who moved to England with an envious goalscoring record and would end up leaving with his reputation in tatters.

Soldado joined Spurs from Valencia in 2013 for a then-club record fee but struggled from day one at White Hart Lane.

The Spain international scored just six goals in his debut Premier League season, with only two of those coming from open play, adding a solitary goal in his second campaign before he departed for Villarreal.

Roberto Soldado - Tottenham

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Hector Bellerin insists he is happy at Arsenal

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Hector Bellerin insists he is “very happy” at Arsenal as the full-back continues to be linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium.

The 23-year-old Spanish right-back joined the Gunners as a teenager from Barcelona and has gone on to play over 150 games for the club.

But his former club are believed to be interested in bringing him back to the Camp Nou, while he has also reportedly drawn long-term interest from the likes of Juventus, while Pep Guardiola is believed to have considered a move to bring him to Manchester City.

But Bellerin insists he ‘does not want to be anywhere else’ than Arsenal. He has emerged as one of the most promising full-backs in Europe but struggled last season in what was Arsene Wenger’s final campaign in charge.

He will hope to revive his career under new manager Unai Emery and says it is ‘crazy’ that there are question marks over his commitment to Arsenal.

He signed a six-and-a-half year contract in 2016 and has developed through the Arsenal ranks to become a key member of their squad.

Bellerin, who has been handed the number 2 shirt ahead of the new season, has now moved to rubbish questions over his future.

“It is crazy that people ask me these questions all the time,” he told the London Evening Standard.

“A few years ago I signed a very long-term contract. I have never said that I have wanted to be anywhere else.

“I am very happy in London. I am very happy at this club.

“The club have made me who I am and gave me the chance to be the footballer I am today. So I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

Bellerin will face stiff competition at right-back from new recruit Stephan Lichtsteiner this season as head coach Emery looks to hit the ground running after replacing Wenger in May.

Switzerland skipper Lichtsteiner joined on a free transfer from Juventus, with goalkeeper Bernd Leno, defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and midfield duo Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira also signing for the Gunners this summer.

Emery appears happy with the shape of his squad ahead of the August transfer deadline and revealed at a press conference as part of Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Singapore that winger Alex Iwobi is close to extending his deal.

“I have the information, he is near,” he said of the Nigeria international.

“Mesut (Ozil), Mohamed Elneny and Iwobi are working with us – my first impression is very good. My information is he will sign to stay with us.”

Arsenal face Emery’s former club Paris Saint-Germain at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday as part of the International Champions Cup.

That follows a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on Thursday in the same pre-season friendly tournament, where youngster Alex Smith Rowe impressed as Arsenal lost 3-1 on penalties to the Europa League holders.

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Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita to miss two days of training after injuring his neck

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Keita has been asked to sit out two days of training as a precautionary measure.

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita is to miss training over the next couple of days because of a neck problem.

The £53million new arrival sat out the International Champions Cup win over Manchester City after reporting the issue and has now been sidelined from the squad’s sessions as they prepare to face Manchester United in Michigan on Saturday.

“Naby Keita is set to sit out training for the next couple of days as a precautionary measure as he recovers from a sore neck,” said a statement from Liverpool.

“Keita will be afforded time to recover by not taking part in the immediate sessions, although he has not been ruled out of the fixture with Manchester United in Michigan at this stage.”

Meanwhile, defender Nathaniel Clyne has been granted permission to return home from the tour early for family reasons.

The full-back will leave his side’s New Jersey base on Thursday, meaning he will miss the United game.

Clyne has been given permission to return home.

Clyne has been given permission to return home.

Clyne will return to the squad for Liverpool’s training camp in France next week.

New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, meanwhile, insists his “conscience is clear” after criticism of his attitude while with Stoke.

The Switzerland international managed eight goals and seven assists last season, leading the relegated Potters in both categories.

But his inconsistency led to disapproval from the likes of pundits Gary and Phil Neville, former England internationals, who respectively labelled him “unprofessional” and “a disgrace”.

Shaqiri, who moved to Anfield earlier this month for a fee understood to be £13million, is unconcerned by the pair’s opinions.

He told several national newspapers: “They were Man United players – maybe they don’t like Liverpool. I don’t know, it could be.

“Some people like you, some don’t. I’ve played three years in the Premier League. I’ve proved I can play in this league.

“I was the top scorer in the team with goals and assists. For me, my conscience is clear and I don’t have to comment any more on this.”

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