We all want our clubs to splash the cash and sign that player that will change our side’s fortunes on Transfer Deadline Day, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Often, clubs end up paying huge money for players who just don’t work out for one reason or another, with the race against the clock forcing them to pay way over the odds.
Here are just five examples, but we could have chosen many more:
Fernando Torres, Liverpool to Chelsea, January 31st 2011 - £50m
Ah yes, it’s another inclusion in one of these lists for Fernando Torres, who is now unlikely to ever kick a ball for Chelsea ever again after he completed a two-year loan deal to AC Milan.
In truth, he never really kick many for them successfully anyway.
Once one of the continent’s most feared forwards whilst starring for Liverpool and Spain, a 2010 knee injury dented confidence that was never to return during three-and-a-half years at Chelsea, during which he scored just 20 goals in 110 Premier League games.
Andy Carroll, Newcastle to Liverpool, January 31st 2011 - £35m
But of course Liverpool’s sale of Torres always comes with an asterisk next to it; namely that they were daft enough to believe that £50m of their newfound wealth should be spent on Andy Carroll.
The Geordie forward became the most expensive English footballer ever when he signed for the Reds, but fitness issues, the pressure of the price tag and the fact that he didn’t really fit in with the club’s style of play all counted against him, and he was to last just a season-and-a-half at the Reds before a loan switch to West Ham, and later a permanent deal.
Robinho, Real Madrid to Manchester City, September 1st 2008 - £33m
Two momentous events happened to Manchester City on the same day at the beginning of September 2008, but only one turned out to be any good for them.
The club were bought by the mega-rich (and subsequently double title winning) Abu Dhabi United Group, but their first huge signing turned out to be the less than successful Robinho, who did at least score 15 goals in his first season… and then just one more after that.
The Brazilian was shipped back to Santos on loan in 2010, and left City altogether before all the fun started.
Marouane Fellaini, Everton to Manchester United, September 2nd 2013 - £27.5m
This was probably the moment that it all started to go wrong for David Moyes at Manchester United, and he was still only a matter of weeks into the job.
Moyes could have bought Marouane Fellaini for much cheaper earlier in the transfer window, but the Scot dallied until he eventually rushed into a deal to take the Belgian from Everton, where the pair had excelled together previously. They wouldn’t here.
Fellaini may still be at United but Moyes isn’t, and it’s pretty telling that of all the fantasy United formations we’re seeing doing the rounds at the moment, the Belgian midfielder isn’t on any of them.
Afonso Alves, Heerenveen to Middlesbrough, January 31st 2008 - £14m
Having famously – or perhaps infamously – once scored eight goals in the same game for Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie, Brazilian forward Afonso Alves arrived on Teesside to huge expectations in January 2008. Then everyone saw him play.
In the forward’s defence he did score two goals against Manchester United (before they were bad) and a hat-trick against Manchester City (before they were good) but he ended up departing Boro after scoring 10 goals across Premier League seasons, moving to the Qatari club Al-Sadd, which is exactly what fans weren’t as they saw the back of him.
Add up the transfer fees of our infamous five and you end up with… a massive £159.5m!
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