Five Worst Transfers in Football History
Football transfers are a gamble. They are as flimsy as most Euro 2020 prognozes. No one can know for sure if a signing will be a success. A myriad of factors come into play determining this outcome. A devastating injury can spring out of nowhere. A player could have a poor run of form, face acclimatization issues, be unable to find his role in a specific system, and so on. Football history is full of sure-fire deals that went horribly wrong. For every transfer that turned out better than expected, dozens were nothing more than money thrown down the drain.
Player signings are so risqué nowadays that some online bookmakers even put up odds if they will happen and how they will pan out in the short term. These are gambling sites with a vast array of sports markets on offer, plus a dedicated casino section sometimes rebranded as online kazino.
Below we look at a few blunders that made the annals of the sport’s history. Signings that left club directors sad that time machines do not exist that would help them right these wrongs.
Ali Dia to Southampton – 1996
How can a free transfer make its way onto this list? Well, it can when the player in question manages to trick a club manager into believing that he is the cousin of Ballon d’Or winner George Weah. That is what happened to Graeme Souness, who got fooled into believing that Ali Dia from Senegal is a relative of the legendary Millan striker. Thus, this sham led to Dia getting offered a one-month contract from Southampton. The deal resulted in Dia playing one game as a substitute before getting released. Still, his cunningness was enough to add a Premier League match to his resume.
Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona – 2018
Is Coutinho a bad player? Absolutely not. However, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks that his move to Barcelona is the worst transfer ever. Arsenal legend Ian Wright and many others agree. It is hard to argue that, when the potential max fee Barcelona paid for his services was £142 million, and he not only failed to deliver but helped knock them out of the Champions League while he was on loan at Bayern Munich.
Carlos Tevez to Shanghai Shenhua – 2017
To say that Carlos Tevez’s career has been underwhelming may seem strange. However, in 2003/04, many pundits thought that he was the next Maradona, that he would lead Argentina to a World Cup trophy. While that did not happen, Tevez still had a stellar career playing for three top European clubs. Financially, he also did more than well, as his transfer to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua made him one of the highest-paid footballers on the planet, earning him a salary of £30 million per year. What was Shenhua’s return on investment? A measly four goals in sixteen games.
Adrian Mutu to Chelsea – 2003
Adrian Mutu had a rocky start in Italy, playing only ten games for Inter after signing with the Serie A giant in 1999. In the 2002/03 season, Mutu bagged eighteen goals for Parma and drew the attention of many top clubs. At that time, Roman Abramovich had taken over Chelsea and was amidst a shopping spree, spending £15.8 million for Mutu services. However, one year into the Romanian’s stay in London, he tested positive for cocaine. That led to Chelsea voiding his contract and a judge ruling that Mutu had to pay £15.2 million in damages to his former club.
Jonathan Woodgate to Real Madrid – 2004
Johnathan Woodgate established himself at Leeds United as one of England’s finest defenders. He moved to Newcastle and had an excellent 2003/04 season, making Real Madrid pay £13.4 million to sign him. Unfortunately, his stay at the Bernabéu was a massive failure. Due to injuries, Woodgate only played fourteen games in his two-year tenure in Madrid.