Jean-Kévin Augustin’s inauspicious spell at Elland Road equates to an expected earning of £500,000 for every minute spent in Leeds United. But is he the worst signing in the history of English football?
Telegraph Sport rates the other contenders:
11. Paul Pogba – From Juventus to Manchester United, 2016, 89 million pounds
There have been glimpses of world-class talent, but the World Cup-winning French maestro has made a faint impression in a Manchester United shirt following his return from Juventus.
10. Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea, £50m, 2011
Torres left Liverpool as one of the best strikers in world football at Liverpool. Aside from the Champions League semi-final, all goals ran out as soon as he set foot at Stamford Bridge.
9. Sergey Rebrov, Dynamo Kyiv to Tottenham, £16.2m, 2000
The other half of a famous strike partnership with Andrey Shevchenko in Ukraine. Shevchenko starred at Milan before disappointing at Chelsea. Rebrov’s time at White Hart Lane meanwhile was hopeless.
8. Danny Drinkwater, Leicester City to Chelsea, £34.1m, 2017
Drinkwater was on the sidelines of the England squad when he joined Chelsea a year after Leicester won the Premier League. He made 12 Premier League appearances in his debut season for Chelsea but then spent years in the reserves on £100,000 a week.
7. Andy Carroll, Newcastle to Liverpool, £35m, 2011
Six goals in 44 league appearances were a major disappointment for a club with a rich history of prolific goalscoring. Injuries hampered his efforts but he never looked up to the required standard.
6. Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal to Manchester United, swap with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 2018
Like Torres, Alexis Sanchez is one of the best or worst signings in the Premier League, depending on which club you ask. The Chilean was one of England’s best players at Arsenal, but after signing a £14million contract with United, he failed.
5. Bebe, Vitoria Guimaraes (Portugal) to Manchester United, £7.9m, 2010
Sir Alex Ferguson’s worst signing. He never saw him play, but he followed a recommendation from Carlos Queiroz. He played just 75 minutes in the Premier League during his time at Old Trafford.
4. Tomas Brolin, Parma to Leeds United, £4.5m, 1995
Brolin was a great talent but suffered a serious foot injury for Sweden in 1994 before Leeds spent a club record £4.5m to sign him in summer 1995. Relations with the club eventually soured to the extent that he was banned from Elland Road during the matchdays.
3. Ali Dia, Southampton free agent, trial, 1996
He lied on a Premier League pitch. Graeme Souness was tricked into giving Dia a play after receiving a phone call from an imposter posing as George Weah. He came on as a 32nd-minute substitute for Matt Le Tissier against Leeds.
2. Winston Bogarde, from Barcelona to Chelsea, on a free transfer, 2000
The best paid reserve team player in the world in the pre-Roman Abramovich era when Chelsea were in financial trouble. He received a contract worth £40,000 a week, but made just nine Premier League appearances before leaving the club in 2004. Reporting he commuted regularly from the Netherlands, his average salary around £686,000 per appearance plus travel expenses rate him among the most expensive players in history.
1. Jean-Kévin Augustin, RB Leipzig at Leeds United, £40m, 2020
Despite only signing Augustin on loan, Leeds were forced to pay two substantial fees for the striker as a result of failing to fulfill their obligation to sign him following their 2020 promotion to the Premier League. After agreeing to settle a legal dispute with Leipzig for £15.5m last December, the club has now been ordered by a FIFA committee to pay £24.5m. If they decide not to appeal or lose any challenge, it will cost a staggering £13.33m per appearance, or £1.2m per minute played.