This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Back in 2013, it was a case of needs must for Harry Redknapp and Queens Park Rangers. Heading into the business end of the season at the bottom of the Premier League table, the former Spurs and Portsmouth boss turned to the transfer market in a last-ditch attempt to buy the Hoops a way out of trouble.
Backed by the financial might that came with relatively new owner Tony Fernandes, Redknapp proceeded to break the club’s transfer record twice in a matter of weeks, by following up their £8m outlay on Loic Remy with a £12.5m splash on former Blackburn defender Christopher Samba.
It may have looked like a deal that made sense – Samba was a vastly experienced Premier League defender having spent six seasons at Blackburn – notching 18 times from the back in all competitions before leaving upon their relegation from the top flight.
Back in England to try and prevent QPR from suffering the same fate, Samba could not find the touch that had served his team so well in Lancashire – and it quickly became apparent that his hefty transfer fee and £100,000-a-week wages were going to waste.
Not that Samba was solely responsible for QPR’s eventual failures that year, but after collecting just eight points from a possible 30, Samba was left out of the squad before the goalless draw at Reading that ensured the team would be in the second tier the following season.
Things had arguably come to a head nearly a month earlier, when Samba delivered a poor performance against Fulham, following which he told his own fans to ‘get over’ the size of his wages after gifting their London rivals two goals, as a double from Dimitar Berbatov – recipient on both occasions – plunged the team deeper into the relegation mire.
And in a flash, he was gone. Less than three months into his career at Loftus Road, Samba had pulled on a QPR shirt for the last time, bowing out in a 2-0 defeat at home to Stoke City in April 2013.
After just 10 appearances for the club, and having been unable to prevent a last-place finish, it was over for Samba. Safe to say, it was not the wisest investment of Redknapp’s career, as his straw-clutching attempt to preserve QPR’s top-flight status turned out to be a rather expensive mistake.
QPR fans, was Samba’s transfer ever going to work out? Were you already doomed before his arrival? Join the discussion by commenting below!
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