Plenty has been said regarding the dreadful season Mario Balotelli has endured at Liverpool.
The enigmatic Italian cost the Reds just £16m, but finished the campaign with just one Premier League goal and no assists to his name.
Such a substandard return has ensured Super Mario ranks high in the list of the greatest flops of all time, but in truth, the former Milan man wasn’t the worst value for money buy made by any of the top-tier’s top-six from the previous season.
That millstone is hung around the neck of Angel Di Maria, who cost Manchester United almost £20m per league goal scored and nearly £6m for every assist.
The Argentine’s lack of form meant he found himself on the fringes of Louis van Gaal’s first team towards the end of the previous campaign, despite costing the Red Devils a British record sum of £59.7m.
Weighing in at £2.21m per league outing, Di Maria surpassed the amount Balotelli cost every time he took to the field too, with Liverpool paying the equivalent of £1.6m every time the latter graced the green grass of the Premier League.
Chelsea left-back Filipe Luis rates a close third, with the Blues’ stats recorded with him on the field meaning one clean sheet was worth £3.95m, while a league appearance cost £1.1m.
Gabriel Paulista proved pricey in this regard too and Arsenal enforced just a single shutout when they allowed him to don his battle garments, meaning £11.2m was forked out to help keep the opposition at bay.
Not signed until January, the second half of the previous season was designed as an ingratiation period for the Brazilian, but paying such a sizeable figure for a player who was barely called upon does not represent a good use of money.
This is why he features higher than Eliaquim Mangala, who Manchester City paid Porto £32m for.
The sum total of his efforts equates to a beefy £2.66m per clean sheet, though a flurry of blocks, clearances and tackles saw the Frenchman’s defensive action cost drop to a reasonable £152,381.
Tottenham’s Ben Davies bests this at £140,845 per defensive action, but he was the cheapest acquisition of the top six’s sextet of worst signings and still remains Spurs’ second-string left-back.
*all stats relate to Premier League season 2014/15