As we enter into the final weeks of this year’s January transfer window, it is time to look back at past transfers yet again. We made list of potentially great transfer moves which never lived up to their expectations.
These are the Top Eleven January transfer window flops:
11. Maxi Lopez (River Plate – Barcelona, €6.2 m, January 2005)
Regarded highly as a youngster, Maxi Lopez came through the River Plate academy and represented Argentina regularly at both an Under-17 and Under-20 level, playing and scoring goals regularly.
He joined Barcelona for around €6.2 million in 2005, aged 21, but unlike his compatriots Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, Lopez wasn’t able to leave a positive mark at Barcelona. Maxi played 19 games over two seasons, scoring two goals before joining FC Moscow.
10. Afonso Alves (Heerenveen – Middlesbrough, €17m, January 2008)
Remember this guy? Middlesbrough fans wish they could forget him.
The Brazilian striker cost €17 million in 2008 and arrived at the Riverside stadium with a fearsome reputation, having scored 45 goals in 39 appearances for Heerenveen in the Dutch league.
The following season Alves scored just four goals, as Middlesbrough were relegated. The Teesiders are yet to return to the top flight and the striker currently plays for Al-Gharafa Sports Club in Qatar. Alves somehow has eight caps for Brazil.
9. Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow – Roma, €14.4m, January 2015)
On 31 January 2015, Doumbia joined Italian club Roma on a four-and-a-half-year deal but things haven’t quite gone to plan since his January move to the Italian capital.
Doumbia needed nine games to get off the mark in the Serie A, and he drew the anger of some of the club’s supporters when he appeared to fail to warm-up when he was on the bench during a match against Inter Milan.
Seven months later the Ivorian returned to CSKA Moscow on a season-long loan deal.
8. Lucas Silva (Cruzeiro – Real Madrid, €14m, January 2015)
Real Madrid has had some terrible transfer mistakes in the last couple of years and Lucas Silva is one of the biggest.
Real agreed an undisclosed fee for Silva with Cruzeiro, rumored to be 14 million euros. The signing of Silva only added to the packed central midfield options of Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Isco, and many others.
The Brazilian midfielder played only eight games for the Merengues in all competitions before he was loaned to Marseille.
7. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal – Inter, loan, January 2015)
The curious career of Lukas Podolski took another strange turn when he signed for Inter Milan on loan from Arsenal last January.
Flitting in and out of a poor Inter side, Podolski scored just one goal in his 18 appearances for the club.
The Polish-born striker signed a three-year contract with Galatasaray six months later and has since become one of the best players in the Turkish club.
6. Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina – Chelsea, €31m, January 2015)
While many consider Juan Cuadrado’s move to Chelsea one of the key moves of the transfer window, it was certainly not one of the best. The Colombian international joined the league leaders on deadline day in a move that saw Mohamed Salah go the other way and Schurrle join Wolfsburg.
The major issue with this transfer was the considerable depth at the same position. That was the main reason Cuadrado played only 13 matches for the Blues before being sent on loan back to Italy, this time to Juventus.
5. Antonio Cassano (AS Roma – Real Madrid, € 5.5m, January 2007)
In his time at Roma, Cassano and Francesco Totti did not get on too well, and the former left the club to join Real Madrid, who paid a bargain price for him in January 2007, considering that Cassano had only six months left on his Roma contract.
He clashed with Capello and was benched, after which he soon joined Sampdoria where he would end up permanently following a season on loan.
4. Kim Kallstrom (Spartak Moscow – Arsenal, loan, January 2014)
At the end of January 2014, Arsenal were a point off the top of the table, and it was widely felt that with the addition of an established striker or defensive midfielder, the Gunners could win their first Premier League title in 10 years.
What they got instead was an injured 31-year-old, who had not played a match in over a month, and whose best days were clearly behind him.
Almost two months after joining, Kallstrom made his Arsenal debut as a substitute against Swansea. Three more appearances followed before Kim bade London farewell and returned to Russia.
3. Diego Forlan (Independiente – Man United, €11m, January 2002)
Forlan came to Europe as a 22-year-old who was ready to compete at the highest level and together with Ruud van Nistelrooy replace Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham up front.
Forlan spent three seasons with Ferguson’s side, scoring only 14 goals in 92 matches. The Uruguayan then moved to Spain where he managed to play at the level that was expected of him in England.
2. Andy Carroll (Newcastle – Liverpool, €41m, January 2011)
The transfer of Andy Carroll to Liverpool left everyone bewildered – not so much that Dalglish opted to sign him, but for the seemingly unjustifiable fee involved. Carroll was partnered with another newcomer, Luis Suarez, with the latter being cheaper and far more successful.
Carroll played in 58 matches and scored 11 goals before he moved to West Ham – an unimpressive performance for a 40-million euro man.
1. Fernando Torres (Liverpool – Chelsea, €58.5m, January 2011)
Another Chelsea signing that didn’t work out despite the incredible price tag involved – a record fee in British football at the time. Torres arrived at the club with the experience of playing in England and with the pedigree of one of the best strikers in the league – the Spaniard scored 81 goals in 142 appearances while playing in red.
During his time at Chelsea, he scored barely half as many goals despite playing 30 matches more. His performances were so poor that fans easily forgot that Torres was one of the best players in the league and jokes about his lack of quality went viral. His lack of confidence was evident and his painful Chelsea career came to an end in 2014.