By 90Min
April 04, 2019

Over the years, Premier League clubs have splashed the cash on free-scoring strikers from the continent and beyond to bring them to the best league in the world.

It's one thing to be a marksman in Europe but even the best of the best play out their career with the question mark over their heads: 'But can they do it in the Premier League?'


Many have been hugely successful in England. Sergio Aguero arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has gone on to become Manchester City's all-time leading league goalscorer. Fernando Torres signed for Liverpool in 2007 and took to the division like a duck water...for three years at least. Luis SuarezDiego Costa, the list goes on.

However, not every big money striker or world class forward has managed to adapt to the Premier League - an all too familiar story for Chelsea fans in particular, who are currently enduring the limp displays of the once-prolific Gonzalo Higuain.

Here's a look at a few top strikers who failed to make the grade in England.

Gonzalo Higuain

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Let's start with poor Higuain, shall we? The Argentine striker was Maurizio Sarri's top priority in the January transfer window to replace the timid Alvaro Morata - who incidentally just misses out on this list - and fill the void left by the sorely missed Diego Costa. With just three goals in a Chelsea shirt, it looks unlikely that Higuain will be rediscovering the golden touch he possessed in Italy and Spain anytime soon.

Roberto Soldado

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After netting 82 goals in 141 games for Valencia, Soldado was signed by Tottenham Hotspur for £26m in 2013. Despite scoring on his debut, the Spanish striker only managed six goals in his first season - only two of which came from open play. The following season, a solitary goal was scored by Spurs' record signing and he was put out of his misery in 2015 with a move back to his safe space - La Liga.

Radamel Falcao

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After his astonishing spells with Porto and Atletico Madrid, scoring 142 goals in 178 games across four years, Falcao was widely regarded as one of the world's very best number nines. As he was continuing his prolific form at Ligue 1 side Monaco, a ligament injury ruled him out for six months and it was his loan move to Manchester United in 2014 which unfortunately confirmed El Tigre would never be the same animal in England, scoring just four goals in 29 games.

But kudos to Falcao, he tried once more to prove himself in the Premier League with Chelsea the following season - a move which also failed miserably to the surprise of absolutely no one.

Fernando Morientes

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Like a lot of these Premier League flops, Morientes scored for fun in La Liga with 82 goals in 112 starts for Real Madrid. Following the arrivals of Ronaldo and Michael Owen, Morientes left for England and signed for Liverpool for around €9m. In his one unsuccessful year, the former Spanish international scored just 12 goals in 61 appearances before - you guessed it - moving back to La Liga.

Andriy Shevchenko

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Perhaps the most high-profile flop to try his hand in the Premier League, Shevchenko had achieved just about all he could at Milan - scoring 173 goals in 296 games, winning the Champions League, Serie A and the 2004 Ballon d'Or. Cue move to Chelsea.

The tainted touch of the Blue shirt turned the £30m signing into a shadow of his former self, going on to scoring just nine goals in 48 league games over a two-year spell. However, Blues fans will always have a soft spot for 'Sheva' for his work ethic and a left-footed screamer at White Hart Lane. 

Diego Forlan

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A spell which continues to divide opinion amongst the United faithful. Although many United fans took a liking to Forlan thanks to a brace at Anfield in 2002, a return of 17 goals in 98 games is hardly prolific. Much like Shevchenko, fans will remember the Uruguayan fondly for his spirit and determination and even Roy Keane was willing to cut Forlan some slack during his United spell.

The Uruguayan striker enjoyed a hugely successful career thereafter, scoring 154 goals in 319 matches in La Liga. Shock.

Mateja Kezman

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

With 105 goals in 122 games for PSV Eindhoven, including a season in which he scored 35 goals in 33 games, Kezman arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004 with a lethal reputation. The Serbian striker forged a successful partnership with Arjen Robben, coining the nickname 'Batman and Robben', but Kezman wasn't quite as successful as his partner in west London.

He left Chelsea with a record of seven goals in 41 games and the number nine shirt at Stamford Bridge has been somewhat cursed ever since.

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