9 SPL players who never lived up to expectations in the Premier League

Adam Brown

The debates over the Scottish Premier League are likely to go on forever. Where would Celtic finish? Is the SPL a one-team league? And although there’s arguments to suggest Scottish football deserves more respect, there’s been more than enough failed ‘stars’ of the SPL in the Premier League.

To be fair to the Scots, the SPL has had its fair share of talent over the years – from the likes of Henrik Larsson and John Hartson to midfielders like Shunsuke Nakamura and Mikel Arteta. Currently, the main man everyone wants to see in the Premier League is Celtic’s Moussa Dembele – Let’s hope he isn’t on the gallery next year!

It seems all too frequent that players can go from looking like the next Kenny Dalglish to a flop when joining the Premier League. Is this down to the general level of the SPL? Maybe. There’s even been players like Kris Boyd who struggled to perform in the Championship but become icons in Scotland.

Given that it is a “Premier League” in Scotland, you’d expect that players there would at least be able to be successful in England’s lower divisions. Whilst there is of course plenty of examples of players who have done well when making the move south, it’s too often that players will fail to meet their expectations. Perhaps they’re being overhyped, players like Charlie Adam who are brought in as the next Steven Gerrard or Paul Scholes, it’s a ridiculous suggestion. Managing expectations would go a long way in improving the success rate of players coming from Scotland to Premier League.

Moussa Dembele looks fantastic, he’s been great in both the SPL and Champions League for Celtic, should he flop when he gets his inevitable move to England, scouts may need to re-think their strategy when looking for a player from north of the border.


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