Top Ten - "Worst Transfer Flops"
Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool to Barcelona – £140 Million
Liverpool had paid Inter Milan just £8.5 Million to bring Coutinho to Anfield and it proved fantastic business for the Merseyside club. Coutinho was consistently Liverpool’s best player and having been linked with Barcelona for a number of Months the transfer finally went through for £140m. Coutinho really struggled to make an impact at the Nou Camp, often asked to play out of position and always playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi it was understandable it was not heading for a positive conclusion. Finding himself on the bench more often than not Coutinho sought a move away but with no club willing to pay his transfer fee it was eventually agreed he would move on loan to Bayern Munich. Further more by winning the Champions League whilst at Bayern it forced Barcelona to pay Liverpool a further £8 Million Pounds due to a clause in his contract.
Gianluigi Lentini – Torino to AC Milan – £13 Million Pounds
Gianluigi Lentini was a supremely talented footballer with Torino in Serie A, His footballing talents were always going to earn him a big money move and AC Milan paid a world record fee of £13 Million to take him to the San Siro. This was a period when Milan were dominating in both Italy and Europe and Lentini was meant to add to that. Lentini scored 7 goals in his first season in Milan and won the Serie A title but his life and career was about to change dramatically. Lentini was involved in a serious car accident which left him with a fractured skull and he spent a couple of days in a coma. It is testament to Lentini that he was able to make a return to professional football but he never got anywhere near his pervious talents and spent the rest of his career in the lower leagues of Italian Football.
Angel Di Maria – Real Madrid to Man Utd – £59.6 Million Pounds
Maybe tough to include Di Maria in this list as he only spent one season at Man Utd however after successful spells at Benfica and Real Madrid Louis Van Gaal forked out £59 Million pounds on the Argentine. He actually started off brightly at Old Trafford winning the Player of the Month Award but his form soon dipped off and he struggled with the physicality of the play in England and it became clear he would be moving after one season and Utd took a £15 Million Pound hit on him when he moved to Ligue 1 with PSG. Di Maria has been a mainstay in the PSG side as they have dominated French Football which makes his poor time at Utd seem like such a mystery.
Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea – £50 Million Pounds
Chelsea were no strangers to spending millions of pounds on players and it looked like they had done a brilliant bit of business when they managed to lure Torres from rivals Liverpool for £50 Million Pounds. Torres was one of the most deadliest strikers in the Premier League but his spell at Stamford Bridge never reached the heights they did at Anfield. Torres did score 45 times for the Blues and picked up a Champions League Winners medal in 2012 but he wasnt the same player and never hit double figures during his time in West London. He returned to Atletico Madrid in 2014.
Ousmane Dembele – Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona – £98.6 Million Pounds & Add Ons
Ousmane Dembele was the most sought after teenager in the game after some impressive performances for Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona got there man in 2018 for a reported £98.6 Million plus a further £35 Million in potential add ons. There is a history of Barcelona signing talented teenagers who have not fulfilled potential at the club such as Ricardo Quaresma and Ibrahim Affellayand Dembele will surely be remembered in that category. It’s easy to forget he was brought in as Neymar’s replacement but he was always going to be burdened by his price tag and the Frenchman has really struggled and only completed 90 minutes eight times in 30 Months at The Camp Nou. Barcelona are reportedly offering Dembele around for as little as £40 Million Pounds this summer which would be a massive financial loss for the struggling Catalan club.
Gaizka Mendieta – Valencia to Lazio – £38 Million Pounds
Gaizka Mendieta was one of the most covereted midfielders in Europe at the turn of the century, he was captain of a Valencia side that had reached 2 Champions League finals and was named best midfielder in Europe on 2 occasions. Many of Europe’s top clubs were hoping to sign Mendieta but it was Lazio who clinched the deal for a reported £38 Million Pounds making him the 6th most expensive player of all time. Mendieta struggled with the style of play in Italy and after just 1 goal and 1 season in Serie A he was on the move back to La Liga with Barcelona where he once again struggled before a slightly move successful spell in England with Middlesbrough.
Carlos Tevez – Boca Juniors to Shanghai Shenhua
Carlos Tevez enjoyed a stunning time in English Football and was a fans favourite at West Ham, Man Utd and Man City during his spells at each club mainly due to his never say die attitude. Following his spell in England Tevez rejoined boyhood club Boca Juniors but he was tempted by a move to China and it is suggested that Shanghai Shenua paid over £70 Million Pounds for Tevez’s signiature. On top of that Tevez was to be paid a staggering £605k per week in salary. Shenhua were hoping Tevez would lead them to a first Title since 1995 but the Argentine never looked interested in China and was overweight and chipped in with just 4 goals in 20 games. Tevez later described his time in China as “A Holiday”
Andy Carroll – Newcastle Utd to Liverpool – £35 Million Pounds
Kenny Dalglish was the Liverpool Manager and in fairness he made some great signings as manager of the club second time around with Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez both signed but the signing of Andy Carroll just did not look right from the get go. It wasn’t that Carroll was in bad form having scored 11 times in 19 games for Newcastle it was just he didnt look a Liverpool player, especially given they were trying to replace Fernando Torres. £35 Million Pounds was forked out for The Geordie frontman and as many expected he struggled at Anfield with just 6 Premier League Goals in 44 Appearances before Liverpool took a £20 Million Pound Loss on him just two years later
Denilson – Sao Paolo to Real Betis Balompie – £21.5 Million Pounds
In 1998 Real Betis broke the World Transfer Record to take Brazilian International Denilson to La Liga, Denilson was a tricky winger with an array of tricks and speed to burn and he cost Betis a tidy £21.5 Million Pounds. This in turn with a 10 Year contract with £40k wages per week meant this was one of footballs most lucrative deals. His spell in Seville was simply a disaster, he showed all his tricks but that wasnt enough to please the Betis faithful and he soon became a scapegoat for a poor Betis side that were eventually relegated in the 1999-2000 season. He stayed at the club and helped them back to La Liga but he averaged a goal every 14 games. Denilson won the world cup with Brazil in 2002 but he never gave value for money to Betis and after serving 7 of his ten year contract at Betis returned home to Brazil.
Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City to Chelsea – £35 Million Pounds
Danny Drinkwater was a Premier League winner with Leicester City in 2015/16 and was a regular in England Squads but it was still a surprise when Chelsea paid £35 Million Pounds to take him to Stamford Bridge. It Appears that Drinkwater has a serious attitude problem and his career has spiralled downhill since he moved to Chelsea. He struggled to get into the Chelsea team and will be most remembered for off field incidents including head butting a team mate, a drink driving charge and being attacked outside a nightclub after hitting on the girlfriend of a League 1 Player. Chelsea have tried to move him on but only succeeded in offloading him twice on loan to Burnley and Aston Villa and the 3 cap England man has struggled with both. Still on Chelsea’s books this looks like a huge £35 Million Pound error.