It is public knowledge that football is one of the most profitable professions in the world. Year on year, sponsors and TV companies commit hefty sums of money to football clubs making coaches, agents, and players even richer.
Football is a goal oriented sport, and the game will always be won by the team that scores the most goals. Therefore one could argue that the most important player on a football field is the man whose primary job it is to win you the game; the striker.
Basic economics teaches us that the more the demand for a commodity exceeds the supply, the more the price of that commodity surges.
The number of elite strikers in existence has been on the wane for many years; meaning clubs have to compete with their chequebooks regarding both transfer fees and wages to sign quality strikers, and this is why they tend to be the highest paid players.
The 2015/16 season saw some forwards attain some astronomical goal scoring tallies, with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Jamie Vardy, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann stealing the headlines time and time again.
However, this article focuses on those strikers who posted nearly embarrassing goal stats; costing their clubs millions of pounds over the course of the year and failing to deliver. Below are 6 of the most expensive striking flops in the season gone past:
6 Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott made it clear last year that he wanted to play as a central striker, and though many of his appearances remained on the wing, Arsenal’s number 14 got his wish and spearheaded Arsenal’s attack on some occasions.
The Englishman failed to make his chances count, however, as he bagged a minuscule tally of 9 goals despite making 42 appearances in all competitions.
With those stats in place, his wage per goal ratio stands at 726k per goal.
5 Christian Benteke
It’s obvious that Christian Benteke was unable to rekindle the fire that saw him rank among the most deadly strikers in the Premier League during his days at Villa Park. But just how costly was this failure to Liverpool?
The Reds signed the huge centre-forward for £32.5 million and placed him on wages of about £140k p/w.
Benteke fell out of favour with Brendan Rodgers and his situation worsened under new manager Jurgen Klopp as well, who picked the likes of Firmino to lead the line ahead of him even when he was the only natural striker available.
His tally of 10 goals last season means that his average cost per goal was a whopping £728k per goal.
4 Wayne Rooney
It is sad to see a striker as accomplished as ‘Wazza’ on this list, but the truth is that Wayne’s powers are on the wane, and Louis Van Gaal didn’t do him any favours by playing him in midfield.
His move further back on the field means the stats now read that Wayne Rooney gets £13 million a year, and scored 15 goals in all competitions costing Manchester United about £867k per goal as a result.
3 Mario Balotelli
Somewhere in Milan, someone decided that bringing bad boy Mario Balotelli back to AC Milan on loan was a gamble worth taking.
One year on, Super Mario’s stock is at its lowest, as more people accept that the wonder kid may not fulfil his great potential after all. In his one year at Milan, he managed to find the back of the net only 3 times, costing a cool £1.67m per goal.
2 Radamel Falcao
The only thing worse than Radamel Falcao at Manchester United was Radamel Falcao at Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho must have thought he could find some of the form the Colombian showed back in his Atletico days when he opted to take him on loan from Monaco after his terrible stint in Manchester. He was unfortunately mistaken.
Falcao earned about £13.87 million last year, and found the net only once. This leaves his wage to goal ratio at a jaw-dropping £13.87million per goal.
1 Jackson Martinez:
This man is proof of how far off the Portuguese league is from the elite leagues of Europe. The Colombian hit-man had been the hottest striker in the Portuguese league for numerous seasons when Atletico Madrid decided to transfer him across the Iberian Peninsula.
Halfway through an utterly dismal season, they found a willing buyer and promptly offloaded him to the Chinese. His 3 goals in half a season cost the Rojiblancos around £2million per goal.