The transfer window has once again slammed shut (why does it never close slowly?) and Liverpool prepare to put Lou and Andy together as their dream strike force, whilst Chelsea have improved considerably.
Andy Carroll may be heading for Risley remand centre, and Luis Suarez could possibly be the most hated forward in Premiership history thanks to his World Cup antics, but what of the signings we love to hate because they were so dreadful, here are my pick of 5 big money berks.
5) Francis Jeffers (Everton – Arsenal 2001)
Once described as a ‘fox in the box’, if so this fox was suffering from TB. Jeffers came through the Everton academy and was looking a decent prospect managing 18 goals in 49 games, Wenger always an eye for young talents snapped him up and just like that his career was over.
He cost £8million, one of the clubs biggest outlays at the time and ‘Franny’ hit 4 goals in 22 league appearences before leaving in 2004. Jeffers was playing until the end of 2010 and in the 6 years since leaving Arsenal he has scored 13 goals…
4) Steve Marlet (Lyon – Fulham 2001)
Steve Marlet was so bad Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed attempted to sue Jean Tigana who brought him to the club for overpayment (charges were ultimately dropped), there isn’t much more to say!
Marlet was Fulham’s most expensive player until 2008, they paid £11.5million when they were promoted to the Premier League and in a 4 year spell he made 54 appearences and managed a meagre 11 goals.
3) Jo (CSKA Moscow – Manchester City 2008)
Joao Alves de Assis Silva is a terrible footballer, so terrible he is now suffering that prospect all bad strikers face, that of playing on the wing in an attempt to find something he is good at. Signed under the Shinawatra reign it is unclear what City actually paid for him, figures range from £6million up front through to £20million with bonuses. The sad fact is that in 2 years Jo has managed 1 league goal, and yet with such a horrible return Roberto Mancini still tortures City fans with the Sideshow Bob look-a-like.
2) Andriy Shevchenko (A.C Milan – Chelsea 2006)
Shevchenko is clearly not a bad striker and had a glittering career in Milan, but was he ever going to live up to a transfer fee of £30million? Fighting a losing battle from the start with the size of fee ‘Sheva’ appeared to roll over and die rather than fight. Arguably the improvement of Didier Drogba didn’t help, but the fact that in 47 games he was left stranded on 9 goals told its own story. He appeared to be perfectly suited with his mixture of hard man and unforgiving finisher but it simply never worked in England and at times it was a sorry sight.
1) Juan Sebastian Veron (Lazio – Manchester United 2001, Manchester United – Chelsea 2003)
This list has been profilerated with strikers but could there be any other number 1? Veron should have been fantastic, pinging balls around the pitch releasing the likes of Van Nistelrooy and Hernan Crespo, but much like with Shevchenko it never happened. A combined fee of £43million kept him in England for around 3 frustrating years where the game just appeared too quick for someone who was used to having time and space to weave his magic. If there was ever proof that a massive transfer flop can be depressing in many ways rather than amusing, Veron is that proof.
There has to be honorable mentions to players such as Taibi, Sutton, Hargreaves and Mutu – but when it comes to a transfer disaster you can’t beat those 5 surely.?!!!
If you disagree, or just want to read more of my ramblings follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe.
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