A selection of Italian flops that graced the Premier League

Date: 9th April 2024 at 12:40pm
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Overall, when assessing the Premier League’s greatest imports, many of them have come from Italy. For example, Gianfranco Zola is a Chelsea icon. Likewise, Carlo Cudicini was a reliable goalkeeper for the Blues, while players like Fabrizio Ravanelli and Paolo Di Canio are adored at their former clubs. English football’s top competition hasn’t always been kind to Italian players, though. In fact, a number of flops have graced the Premier League over the years.

Andrea Dossena struggled to adapt to English football

A left-back who struggled to get to grips with the pace of the English game, Andrea Dossena is a name many Liverpool fans will be desperate to forget. While Reds supporters and various pundits are predicting European success this season and odds on football matches tend to favour Dossena’s former side, with Liverpool currently priced at 1/4 for a top two finish in the Premier League, things were different during the Italian’s time at Anfield. In fact, it was a period of decline for one of English football’s most successful clubs.

These days, though, players like Mohamed Salah are must-have picks in fantasy football and Premiership winner odds of 11/10 highlight just how far the club has come under Jurgen Klopp. Still, former duds like Dossena are still fresh in the memories of supporters. The signing from Udinese admitted to having difficulties adjusting to English football, something that he never really managed to adapt to. In the end, Dossena returned to Italian football with Napoli after two underwhelming years in England.

Rolando Bianchi failed to shine for Manchester City 

In the modern environment, Manchester City are shrewd operators in the transfer market and have acquired the services of some of football’s most talented players. It hasn’t always been that way, though, particularly when City’s resources weren’t as healthy as they are today.

Rolando Bianchi is a name that will make many Citizens shudder, particularly as he was signed for £8.8 million at the time. In 2007, spending that amount of money on a player was big business, but the former Reggina man never really did it in England. Bianchi scored on his debut, before failing to build on it and moving back to Italy with a loan move to Lazio after just four months.

Alberto Aquilani spent just one season on Merseyside

Liverpool fans haven’t always been graced with Italian football’s most prestigious talents. The aforementioned Andrea Dossena is certainly one of them, although Reds supporters probably haven’t forgotten about Alberto Aquilani either.

After arriving from boyhood club Roma in 2009, where he had won two Coppa Italia trophies, big things were expected of the midfield player. For £17 million, plus sporting bonuses, Liverpool certainly expected more from a player many regarded as one of the brightest prospects in European football at the time. Instead, he lasted just one season at the club and goes down in history as one of the club’s worst ever investments.

Fabio Borini didn’t build on his early promise 

Sunderland fans saw the best of Fabio Borini, but it wasn’t enough. After coming through the ranks at Chelsea, Liverpool offered him the game time Chelsea simply couldn’t. Borini was a player Brendan Rogers knew well from his time at the Blues, but it didn’t go to plan.

Even Borini’s agent was constantly angling for a move away from the club, stating that his client feels like a “lion in a cage” given the fact that some big clubs in Europe were showing an interest. In the end, Sunderland took him on.

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