Deadline day transfers are always a fascinating spectacle.
The hustle and bustle to get deals over the line can lead to future-defining signings for clubs being completed with just minutes to go. Yet they can also easily go the other way if panic begins to set in and a last-minute move delivers disastrous results.
This, unfortunately, was the case for forward Emile Sinclair when he arrived at Sixfields Stadium in January 2014 to sign for Northampton Town on a short-term loan deal which included an option to buy at the end of the season.
Prior to the switch, the striker had enjoyed relatively successful spells at Macclesfield Town and Peterborough United yet it would become glaringly obvious that his previous exploits would not be reoccurring in a Cobblers shirt.
Although he did manage to score a brace in his third appearance under then-boss Chris Wilder in an away win at Torquay United, his ineptitude in front of goal saw him go on a run of seventeen games without finding the back of the net. In a season where Northampton survived a serious relegation scare from League Two via a miraculous cameo from Ivan Toney, it was very surprising to their supporters when they made the decision to sign Sinclair on a permanent basis in the summer.
This choice by Wilder ultimately backfired as the striker was incredibly even worse in the following season as he failed to score a single goal before leaving just a year after joining the Cobblers for fellow League Two side York City.
However, by the time he had joined the Minstermen, the damage had already been done to Sinclair as he was now a shadow of his former self. A terrible return of just two goals in two seasons for York warned any Football League clubs from making the same mistake of signing the 31-year-old, which has led to an incredible demise in recent years.
After leaving AFC Goole in 2018, Sinclair is now playing for Liversedge FC in the depths of the non-league footballing pyramid with any dream of returning to professional football all but extinguished.
Although injuries have clearly played a role in the striker’s fall from grace, he is just one of a number of players who have paid the price of taking their footballing careers for granted.
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