Come the transfer season, football managers get twitchy fingers. They have to pick the best of the old horses and young turks in a way to achieve team balance, money balance and popularity balance. It’s definitely not the easiest job in the world.
But sometimes, signings go wrong – horribly wrong!
Here are 5 such football signings that kept going from going bad to worse.
1. Fernando Torres – From Liverpool to Chelsea (£50 million, 2011)
This is a no brainer, really.
Chelsea – a club renowned for notorious unpopularity among neutral fans – managed to turn the clock backwards by signing an out-of-form and short-on-luck Torres for a whopping sum of £50 million.
While fans would argue that during his stay at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea managed to win the coveted Champions League and FA Cup, to boot. But contributions to these wins from this golden haired Spaniard were little to none. Every goal he missed out on got people talking about his hefty price tag.
Torres himself shouldn’t be too upset, though. We are pretty sure he laughs his way to his bank.
2. Andy Carrol – Newcastle to Liverpool (£35 m, 2011)
Liverpudlian fans have a very, very bad memory that spells ‘Andy Carrol’.
Carrol was a pretty accomplished player at Newcastle – make no mistake. But at Anfield, he was a pale shadow of his burly and towering self that came equipped with a ponytail matched only by Khal Drogo.
Many praised Damien Comolli when he signed Suarez. But his decisions to splurge out on Carrol and Stewart Downing earned him a ticket out of office.
3. Andriy Shevchenko – From AC Milan to Chelsea (€45 million, 2005)
This is a rather sad tale of a very, very good player. Shevchenko was expressly signed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich from AC Milan with some aggressive bidding. Jose Mourinho – then in charge of Chelsea – wasn’t too happy about this big shopping.
But to give credit to Chelsea, it must be said that in previous two seasons, Sheva was undoubtedly the most prolific scorer in Europe. However, at Stamford Bridge, he never received his dues and ended up scoring just paltry nine goals in four dozen full appearances. He even managed to see the backs of Mourinho and Scolari before being shipped to San Siro on a loan again.
4. Robbie Keane – From Coventry City to Inter Milan (£13 million, 2000)
Yes, a top club in Europe does buy an exceptional talent from second division in England – sometimes.
In 2000, Marcello Lippi saw some incredible talent in 19-year old Robbie Keane and brought him on the first plane to Milan – for a big cheque of £13 million.
But soon, Lippi himself was sacked in favour of Marco Tardelli and that was as good as curtains for young Robbie Keane’s career in Milan. He never received enough starts to justify his price tag and eventually ended up being tossed around or loaned.
5. Ali Dia – To Southampton as a free agent (1996)
This is, quite certainly, the most ludicrous football signing ever. A player named Ali Dia – someone who claimed to be a cousin to famous Liberian star George Weah – somehow managed to made some phone calls and bag a free agent contract at Southampton for one month!
He even went on to make a Premier League appearance – something that players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Balotelli have had to wait months for.
As it turned to, Ali Dia was a really mediocre player and was released from his contract within two weeks. He was named the worst footballer ever in Premier League History by The Times in 2007.