11 Worst January Transfer Window Signings In Premier League History
Clubs across the country are desperate to improve their fortunes in the January transfer window by bringing in a bargain or snapping up a world class player whose contract is nearing the end.
Unfortunately, with just a month to get deals done, transfer fees are inflated and panic buying is very, very common. This results in expensive mistakes being made; here are 10 of the very worst signings made in the January transfer window.
11. Afonso Alves – Heerenveen to Boro – 2008 - £12.7m
This transfer wasn’t quite as bad as it is made out to be, but it certainly wasn’t a success and Afonso Alves definitely did not live up to the fantastic reputation he had earned himself.
Middlesbrough fans were rightfully excited to sign a man that had scored 48 goals in 48 games for Heerenveen in Holland and had previously been on fire in Sweden as well. However, that form didn’t quite translate to the Premier League.
Six goals in 11 league games in his first half season was pretty encouraging, but then just seven in his only full campaign which ended in Boro’s relegation was less impressive. He was off to Qatar at the end of that season.
10. Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace to Man Utd – 2013 - £10m
Manchester United shelled out £10m for the young prospect Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace in 2013 and it did not work out for either club or player.
He only pulled on the United shirt four times, was loaned out to Cardiff City and then returned to Crystal Palace where he has returned to the kind of form that earned him a move to Old Trafford in the first place.
Clearly a player with a lot of talent, he was not given any kind of chance to show it in Manchester.
9. Michael Ricketts – Bolton to Middlesbrough – 2003 - £3.5m
Often referenced as one of the worst players to pull on an England shirt, Michael Ricketts was the flavour of the month back in 2002. He was banging them in for Bolton and was picked for his country, before moving to Middlesbrough in January 2003.
It is fair to say that he had already peaked as he managed one goal during the rest of the 2002-03 season then three in 30 appearances before being moved on to Leeds.
Boro were a decent side back then, finishing 11th in the Premier League, so playing all those games with such a meagre return was very, very poor from the frontman.
8. Wilfried Bony – Swansea to Man City – 2014 -- £27.5m
Manchester City are in the financial position that allows them to spend nearly £30m on a back-up striker and so they did just that on Swansea’s Wilfried Bony in 2014.
He was never likely to be a massive hit as he had Sergio Aguero in front of him in the pecking order, but Bony didn’t even get close to cutting the mustard at the Etihad.
The Ivorian managed 10 goals in 46 appearances over a season-and-a-half, which wasn’t totally disastrous, but seems pretty meagre for the outlay. At the start of the 2016-17 season he was loaned out to Stoke where he was equally floppy.
7. Benni McCarthy – Blackburn to West Ham – 2010 - £2.2m
The South African had been very good for Blackburn over three-and-a-half seasons at Ewood Park, scoring 52 goals in that time. Performances which prompted West Ham to spend £2.2m on him in January 2010.
Fitness issues and poor performances saw McCarthy make just two league starts for the Hammers and 13 appearances in all competitions in total, scoring ZERO goals.
West Ham ended up paying him £1.5m to terminate his contract and McCarthy labelled Hammers vice-chairman Karren Brady, ‘a devil with a set of tits.’
6. Juan Cuadrado – Fiorentina to Chelsea – 2015 - £23m
It looked like Juan Cuadrado was an excellent signing for Chelsea in January 2015, but just 15 appearances later and the Colombian was gone. Seen as those 15 appearances cost well over £20m and the services of Mohamed Salah, it really was a dreadful bit of business.
The pacey, tricky winger never really got a proper chance at Stamford Bridge, despite having been excellent for Fiorentina previously and then going on to be superb for Juventus ever since.
5. Savio Nsereko – West Ham – 2009 - £9m
West Ham took a punt on a 20-year-old Savio Nsereko in January 2009, splashing out £9m on a man who had not done a great deal for Brescia in Serie A.
Nsereko did even less in the Premier League than he did in Italy, starting once, making nine substitute appearances and not managing a single goal. He was sold to Fiorentina the following summer for a fraction of the price the Hammers paid for him and has barely achieved anything since.
4. Christopher Samba – Anzhi Makhachkala - QPR – 2013 - £12.5m
The giant Congolese centre-back had been very impressive with Blackburn in the Premier League, so Harry Redknapp was more than happy to spend £12.5m on bringing him back to England from Russia in January 2013.
Samba was reportedly on £100k-a-week at Loftus Road, and for that salary he provided 10 appearances for the R’s before they were relegated to the Championship. Big Chris returned to Makhachkala in the summer.
3. Konstantinos Mitroglou – Olympiakos to Fulham – 2014 - £12m
Fulham spent a club record £12m on Greek striker Konstantinos Mitroglou in January 2014, hoping the prolific frontman would fire them to Premier League survival. He had a superb record for Olympiakos and looked a very promising signing.
There were fitness issues and a lot of mystery behind why Mitroglou wasn’t getting on the pitch, but all he managed was three appearances and no goals for the Cottagers before they were relegated.
The Greek went back to Olympiakos and scored a load of goals, then to Benfica where he netted plenty more. His abject failure at Craven Cottage remains quite confusing.
2. Andy Carroll – Newcastle to Liverpool - 2011 - £35m
It was a big gamble by Liverpool when they paid £35m for a man who had really only played half a season of Premier League football. It had been an impressive start to the 2010-11 season for Andy Carroll, but he could not keep up those performances at Anfield.
The big man was gone less than two years later, having scored just 11 goals and the Reds managed to recoup around just £17m of their whopping outlay. An expensive and regrettable mistake from the management on Merseyside.
1. Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea - 2011 - £50m
What happened to Fernando Torres will never be fully known, but the Spaniard went from one of the world’s finest striker to an absolute donkey, right about the time that Chelsea paid £50m for his services.
It was a worrying start at Stamford Bridge, as from January to May of 2011, Torres managed one goal in 18 games. He ended up returning 45 goals in 172 appearances, which is pretty atrocious given the enormous price tag that was hanging round his neck.
18+. Acca Insurance: Min selection odds 1/10. Acca odds 3/1. Pre-match straight line accas only. 1 free bet up to £/€10 per customer/day, credited within 24 hrs, valid for 7 days, Min 1 boost per day. Full T&Cs apply
New customers only (+18) • £10 dep using promo code "PL35" • Min stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets credited upon qual bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Withdrawal restrictions and full Ts & Cs apply.
New customers only • £10 min dep using promo code "BOOST" req • Qual bet must be placed at the normal odds • max bet £5 • Extra winnings paid in FREE BETS added within 72 hrs of qual bet settlement. Full T&C’s apply
New customer offer, min €/£10 single Sports bet, min odds 1/2 (1.5), on Aston Villa v Everton, Fri 23rd Aug, 2019. Deps using credit/debit cards or PayPal only. Free bet stakes not returned with winnings. T&Cs apply.
New Customers only. Deposit and place a £10 qual bet on first race at York during the Ebor Festival from Wed 21st Aug until Sat 24th Aug. £30 Free Bets split into 6 bets of £5 each, Credit or Debit card only. T&C's apply.
New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Once your £10 qual bet is settled £40 Racing bonus will be triggered. Wagering requirements: Racing 1x, odds of 2.00 min. £10 Casino Bonus 35x. Valid 7 days and Ts&Cs apply
- 9 Potential Winners of the World Cup 2018 Golden Glove Award
- Top 10 World Cup Humiliations
- Top 10 Mourinho Master Classes
- Top Eight Premier League Title Races
- Top 10 Uncapped Players that could make the England World Cup squad
- Top 10 England Goalkeepers
- Top 10 Transfer Deadline Day Flops
- Top 10 Football Rivalries
- Top 10 Retired Cricketers Who Would Have Been T20 Kings
- Top 10 footballers to play in North America
- 7 Unique things we LOVE about the Ryder Cup
- Top 10 Team GB Winter Olympic Gold Medal Winners
- Top 8 Valentines Day Sports Stars
- Top 10 Cracking Cricketers with Dodgy Debuts
- Top 10 Sporting Nicknames
- Top 10 Chinese Sports Stars
- Top 10 Sporting Whitewashes
- Top 10 Desperate Aussie Pre-Ashes Mind Games
- Top 10 Boxers Avenging Defeats
- Top 10 Multi-Sport Sportsmen
- Top 10 Sporting Veterans
- Top 10 Royal Sporting Names
- Top 10 Sporting Debuts
- Top 10 Sporting Upsets
- Top 10 Thrashings in Sporting Finals
- Top 10 UK Open Shock Results
- Top 10 Fights in London
- Top Six Play-Off Heartaches
- Top 10 Moments that ended a sporting era
- Top 10 sportsmen who should retire
- Top 10 Footballers Luis Suarez can feast on next
- Top Eight Grand National Long Shots
- Top Five Six Nations Climaxes
- Top Five British Europa League Heartbreaks
- Top 10 England Opening Batsmen
- Top Five Champions League Comebacks
- Top 10 England stars of the future
- 13 Greatest World Cup Players Of All Time
- Top Eight All-Rounders in world cricket
- Top Five Premier League Summer Signings
- Top Eight Premier League Veterans
- Top 10 Football Player Comebacks
- Top 10 England one-cap wonders
- Top Five Welsh Snooker Players
- Top 10 World Number Ones
- Top 10 Foreign England Cricketers
- Top 10 Worst Managerial Appointments
- Top 10 Goal Celebrations
- Top Seven Euro 2016 Kits
- Top Nine Football Stadiums in Europe
- Top Five European Championship Goals
- Top Five Iconic UK Sporting Venues
- Top Five Most Controversial Boxers of All Time
- 6 Typical Cheltenham Festival Goers
- Top 10 British Boxing Grudge Matches
- 10 of the Best Managerial Sackings
- Top 10 Unlikely Masters Champions
- Top 10 Greatest Manchester Derbies
- Top 10 Relegation Escapes
- Top England ODI XI of All-Time
- Top 10 Greatest FA Cup Finals of All-Time
- 4 World Cup 2018 group stage shock exits to look out for
- Top 10 Clay Court Tennis Players of the Open Era
- Top 10 Champions League Finals
- The 9 Greatest England v Scotland Matches
- 11 Greatest victories for English teams in the Champions League
- Top 10 Players Missing the World Cup
- The 8 Greatest Lions Victories
- The 14 Worst Transfers in Premier League History
- Top 10 Premier League Bargains
- Top 7 Premier League One Season Wonders
- 11 Best Premier League Opening Day Matches
- 7 Best Premier League Debut Campaigns
- Top 10 Upsets in Boxing and UFC history
- Top 7 Football Shirts of All-Time
- 10 Greatest American Tennis Players of the Open Era
- The 11 Greatest World Cup Matches Ever
- Top 10 Greatest T20 players in history
- Top 10 Darts Players of all Time
- 14 Greatest Champions League Players Ever
- 9 Greatest Liverpool vs Manchester United games of the Premier League era
- The 10 Greatest World Cup Goals Ever
- 10 uncapped players that could make the England World Cup squad
- The 12 Greatest South Americans in Premier League history
- Top 10 Players who could win the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot
- Top Five FA Cup Final Upsets
- 10 English wins over Spanish teams in the Champions League
- The 15 Greatest British Heavyweight Boxers in History
- 10 worst England players ever to make a World Cup squad
- Top Seven Australian Open Outsiders
- Top 10 Individual Ashes Performances
- 10 Worst January transfer window signings in Premier League history
- 9 Best January transfer window signings in Premier League history
- 14 UFC fights we want to see in 2018
- Top 10 British boxers that could become world champions in 2018
- Top 10 Boxing Rematches Ending in the Same Result
- Top Five Formula One Drivers Of All Time
- Top 10 Craziest Premier League Players
- Top 10 Gaps not filled in the Transfer Window
- Top 10 Cricket All-Rounders
- Top 10 Worst Current World Champions
- Top 10 Players to watch at the ICC Champions Trophy
- Top 10 Potential Future World Snooker Champions
- Top 10 Opponents Tyson Fury Can Face
- Top Five Heavyweight Contenders
- Top 11 Undefeated Streaks in Boxing History
- The 5 worst England performances at World Cups ever
- Top 5 Current Pound for Pound Boxers
- The 5 Best England performances at World Cups
- 11 World Cup 2018 Fantasy Football Bargains
- The 10 Biggest Shock Group Stage Exits in World Cup History
- The 10 Biggest Premier League Opening Day Upsets Ever
- The 10 best transfer deadline day signings in Premier League history
- 2018 World Cup: Top 10 Young Players to Watch
- US Open Tennis Betting Preview
- Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde Betting Preview
- Premier League Game Week 3 Preview
- Third Ashes Test Betting Preview
- UFC 241 Betting Preview
- Premier League Game Week 2 Preview
- Second Ashes Test Betting Preview
If you fancy a break from the serious side of betting, take a look at our Topical Feature List for a bit of a giggle.Click Here To View The List »
View our latest sports articles in our betting blogRead Our Blog »