We are nearly halfway through another transfer window, with the busiest period to come. Having already cast an eye towards who the Premier League’s top clubs could be after this month, it feels like a good time to look back at five of the worst Premier League transfers to have taken place in January.
Wilfried Bony – Swansea to Manchester City (£28m)
His impressive form at Swansea had all the big names gunning for his services, with Manchester City eventually going in for him at a cost of £28 million. That price tag rendered him one of the most expensive African players ever. After all, he had scored 25 goals for the Swans in his last full season there before netting nine prior to leaving for City in January 2015. He was brought in to provide a different attacking style to Sergio Aguero but he failed to display the form that caught City’s attention. When Pep Guardiola arrived at the Etihad he was pushed further into obscurity and was sent to Stoke before heading back to the Liberty Stadium, hat in hand.
Andy Carroll – Newcastle to Liverpool (£35m)
While £35 million is no longer an eye-watering fee to pay for a player, the year was 2011 and deadline day transfer Andy Carroll was meant to fill Fernando Torres’ No.9 shirt. His debut was delayed by injury which in itself wouldn’t warrant a place on this list. However, combined with his subsequent form, further injuries and potentially his ponytail, his time at Anfield was a resounding flop. He produced a return of 11 goals across 58 appearances in two-and-a-half seasons before being offloaded to West Ham. To make things worse, that deal was for only half the sum of what Liverpool paid for him.
Andy Carroll’s #EPL record since leaving Newcastle in 2011:
⚽ 48 goals
📅 183 games
⌚ 11,879 mins
Steve Bruce has declared the forward fit to play for his boyhood club, nine years on from his final season. ⚫️⚪️
— GrosvenorSport (@GrosvenorSport) September 20, 2019
Juan Cuadrado – Fiorentina to Chelsea (£23.3m)
Juan Cuadrado’s 2014 World Cup displays caught the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe. It was Chelsea who eventually got their man though, paying upwards of £23 million. He was the kind of signing that made fans believe he could really do some damage in the Premier League. Sadly for the Colombian, it just was not to be. Chelsea went on to claim the league title that season but Cuadrado had little to do with it. He only made four starts for the Blues and found himself on loan at Juventus with the move becoming permanent two seasons later for £18 million.
Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea (£51.5m)
Fernando Torres had some brilliant times at Anfield but towards the end was hampered by injuries and a lack of confidence. A 2011 move to Chelsea should have been just what the doctor ordered to get his form back on track but unfortunately for the Spaniard, things only got worse. Much worse, in fact. His debut saw the Blues lose to his former club and all in all he went on to suffer a goal drought that lasted over 900 minutes. Eventually, he found the back of the net against West Ham but that was to be his only goal that season. Come 2014 and Chelsea were finding it understandably tricky to offload him. In the end, he joined Milan and went ultimately back to first club Atletico. He does have a few trophies to his name to cushion the blow, mind.
Happy 35th birthday to Fernando Torres
World Cup 🏆
European Championships 🏆🏆
Champions League 🏆
Europa League 🏆🏆
FA Cup 🏆
— GrosvenorSport (@GrosvenorSport) March 20, 2019
Chris Samba – Anzhi Makhachkala to QPR (£12.5m)
QPR boss Harry Redknapp was trying to fix his suspect back-line in January 2013 and regarded Chris Samba as the perfect tonic. A few weeks earlier though, Redknapp had stated that massive wages should not be paid at a club whose stadium only holds 18,000. Yet on deadline day, he sewed up a £12.5m deal, with the Congolese international singing a £100,000 pw contract. Bizarrely, Redknapp resigned just days later and QPR went to to be relegated that season. Samba, who told Hoops fans to ‘get over’ his outrageous wage bill, ended up back at Anzhi in the summer.