11 Premier League transfers that time forgot


1. Ricardo Quaresma to Chelsea

The Rajah of Rabonas has had a long and varied career, with spells in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Turkey and the UAE. But nestled in a dusty corner of his CV, in tiny size 6 font, is a decidedly unmemorable five-month loan stint at Chelsea, during which pretty much nothing of note happened.

Licking his wounds after being unceremoniously bombed out of Internazionale by Jose Mourinho, Quaresma certainly talked a good game upon arrival. "I have got my joy back," he said. "I wasn't very happy and I believe footballers need to play with joy in their game so they can show their qualities. I'm going to play with joy and to do my best to win titles with Chelsea."

Luiz Felipe Scolari, though, was not convinced, and when Quaresma trudged back to Italy at the end of the season, he had played just 175 minutes of football in a blue shirt. There are no concrete stats on the number of backheels he tried in that time.

 

2. Davor Suker to West Ham

I'm willing to bet that you can just about remember the slick Croatian playing for Arsenal after leaving Real Madrid. Close your eyes for a second and picture him in a red jersey... it rings a bell, doesn't it?

Now do the same thing but with a West Ham shirt. Sorry, no. No results returned. I'm fairly sure this never happened, no matter what Wikipedia says. 

 

3. David Pizarro to Manchester City

After years of understated brilliance in Serie A, the pint-sized Chilean looked a handy signing when Roberto Mancini brought him in on loan from Roma. City occasionally lacked a bit of craft in midfield, especially in Europe, and Pizarro, with his calm passing and vision, appeared a neat fit.

But while he showed sparks of quality in the Europa League, Pizarro only managed five appearances in the Premier League, meaning he missed out on a winner's medal when City clambered above Manchester United with that dramatic win over QPR.

 

4. Lacina Traore to Everton

Only the player Oumar Niasse could have been. 

 

5. Gary Medel to Cardiff

Boca Juniors. Sevilla. Internazionale. Chile. A year spent playing for Cardiff? Erm, sure, why not?

"It was a bit surreal," then-manager Malky Mackay admitted. "He is someone who believes he should be playing at the top level... which is what he is doing." Well rescued.

 

6. Yildiray Basturk to Blackburn

A mainstay of the Bayer Leverkusen side that reached the 2002 Champions League final, Basturk was on the wane but still only 31 when Rovers picked him up on loan from Stuttgart. Sam Allardyce, who had had plenty of joy with similarly storied players at Bolton, believed he had struck gold again: "I hope I can repeat the success I had with the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo," he purred.

But Basturk only made one appearance for the club, contributing little more than an over-hit cross before being hooked at half-time in a 1-1 draw with Wolves. More Turkish despair than Turkish delight.

 

7. Diego Tristan to West Ham

Ilan, Mido, Victor Obinna, Modibo Maiga, Wellington Paulista, Mladen Petric, Marco Borriello, Emmanuel Emenike: just some of the strikers who have tried to fill the boots of Diego Tristan in east London. 

 

8. Andy Goram to Manchester United

There are glamour signings and then there are 36-year-old goalkeepers brought in on loan from Motherwell. Goram very much fell into the latter group, coming in to cover for the injured Fabien Barthez and Raimond van der Gouw.

Pat Nevin, then serving as Motherwell's director of football, called the deal "a clever piece of lateral thinking", but not everyone was overly happy with Goram's arrival. “Shark’s eyes. Dead, devoid of emotion, glaring at me," Goram later wrote in his autobiography. "No handshake. Welcome to Manchester United. Roy Keane-style."

 

9. Vincenzo Montella to Fulham

The Little Aeroplane touched down in west London in 2007 and for a short time was a firm fan favourite at Craven Cottage, even if starts were few and far between under Chris Coleman.

After six months, though, he was back off to Italy, possibly because he couldn't quite get used to the climate. "In England the difficulty is not bumping into people but the weather," he said at the time. "It’s been very windy recently!”

 

10. Kim Kallstrom to Arsenal 

Arsenal fans wanted a marquee signing on deadline day. They got an ageing defensive midfielder with a chronic back problem who had been playing for Spartak Moscow. It was Arsene Wenger to the power of a million.

Kallstrom didn't play for months and ended up with just four appearances to his name. But while his stay didn't live long in the memories of those at the Emirates, he remembers his FA Cup cameo against Wigan – when he scored in the penalty shootout at Wembley – fondly. "The greatest 15 minutes of my life," he told Swedish radio last year. Bless.

 

11. Robert Jarni to Coventry

If you can't actually recall the Croatian wingback donning the sky blue shirt, don't worry; he never did. Jarni joined Coventry from Real Betis in 1998 but moved on to Real Madrid before even making an appearance in England.

There were rumours that the whole thing was a ruse thought up by Madrid, to whom Betis didn't want to sell directly. But Jarni has denied those claims, saying it was just a change of heart.

"Gordon Strachan wanted me to sign with Coventry," he told The Herald in 2013. "He liked the way I played, but after I received an offer from Real Madrid I decided to sign for them instead. It was a family decision – my family was against moving to England. I was honest about it, and when I told Strachan, he understood."

Fair enough then. Coventry legend.