The “worst January transfers of all time” XI
The players who should have stayed put in the new year
Provided that Manchester City get their chequebook out and kick start the financial merry-go-round, this January is sure to bring plenty of interesting movement in the transfer market. With this in Mind, The Spoiler decided to build a team of the worst January deals to go down since the window’s 2003 inception…
Ben Alnwick (Sunderland to Spurs, 2007) – £900,000
He didn’t exactly break the bank, but Alnwick has been at Tottenham for almost two years without troubling the first team. Instead, he has been farmed out on loan to Carlise, Leicester and Luton.
Jan Kromkamp (Villareal to Liverpool, 2006) – Swap
Forget finding Fernando Torres a new strike partner; Benitez’s main problem is deciding on his fullbacks: he has signed two per year for the past three years while the likes of John Arne Riise, Steve Finnan and Stephen Warnock have been shown the door. While Liverpool didn’t pay anything for Kromkamp (he was swapped for another crap right-back Josemi), he was useless. Jan made a handful of appearances but Rafa realised his mistake and moved him on just seven months later.
Jean-Alain Boumsong (Rangers to Newcastle, 2005) – £8m
Boumsong only lasted a year in the north-east but it was enough time to gain him the accolade as one half of ‘the Chuckle Brothers Live Show’, along with comedy sidekick Titus Bramble.
Ricardo Rocha (Benfica to Spurs, 2007) – £3.3m
The Portuguese has made 13 starts in the league over nearly two years and has failed to feature at all this campaign.
Dijimi Traore (Charlton to Portsmouth, 2007) – £1m
Following 11 league starts and a red card on his debut, Charlton were happy to sell Traore for half what they paid for him, and he managed just another 11 for Pompey before they opted to loan him out to Rennes last season. This season, he is yet to make an appearance and ‘Arry showed his faith in him by bringing in fellow left-backs Nadir Belhadj and Armand Traore on loan.
Wayne Routledge (Spurs to Villa, 2008) – £1.25m
Martin O’Neill is reknowned for his love of buying English players in the transfer market and has been successful with he likes of Ashley Young and Steve Sidwell. However, it has proven a bridge too far with Routledge, who was loaned out by Tottenham after failing to get in the side. He has made just two sub appearances for Villa since moving in January and has now been loaned out to Cardiff. Orange Palace chairman Simon Jordan sums up the situation:
“When Spurs came knocking I told Wayne to stay and learn his trade at Palace, but he went, he grabbed the money, and now he’s at Villa not getting in the first team, just like he didn’t get in the Spurs team, just like he didn’t get in the Portsmouth team and just like he didn’t get in the Fulham team.”
Scott Parker (Charlton to Chelsea, 2004) – £10m
By no means the worst player on this list, but eight league starts in 17 months merits his inclusion. And the small issue of £10m.
Nigel Quashie (West Brom to West Ham, 2007) – £1.5m
Now on loan at Birmingham, Quashie managed eight appearances in 20 injury ridden months at the Hammers, as he was brought in by Alan Curbishley to bolster his ailing side. Although West Ham stayed up, he didn’t win one game in a Hammers shirt. The relegation specialist is hardly the first person you should bring in if you find yourself near the bottom of the table.
Luis Boa Morte (Fulham to West Ham, 2007) – £5m
Another of Curbs’ frenzied January signings bought to save the club from relegation in 2007. He has made a lot of appearances for the Hammers but he has only scored once in nearly 40 starts (and over 20 sub appearances), not the kind of return you expect from someone brought in for his attacking exploits.
Michael Ricketts (Bolton to Middlesbrough, 2003) – £3.5m
£3.5 million for a 24-year-old striker who had scored 37 goals in 63 league starts for Bolton seemed a good deal at the time. Yet despite his impressive goal scoring at Bolton, he couldn’t transfer it over to ‘Boro. After three goals in 18 months, Ricketts was released on a free and joined Leeds were he failed to score in 25 league games. Following loans at Stoke, Barnsley and Cardiff he joined Southend United in 2006 on a two-year deal, but after a couple of months and only two sub appearances he was released due to a lack of fitness. He is now back at his first club, League One side Walsall. A prime example of peaking too soon.
Georgios Samaras (Heerenveen to Man City, 2006) – £6m
When City paid £6 million for 20-year-old Samaras in 2006, it was rumoured Arsenal were also interested. Samaras failed to make much of an impression over two seasons, however, despite 10 goals in a Man City shirt. After spending the second half of last season on loan at Celtic, he moved permanently in the summer. He has managed 9 league goals in 11 starts at the Scottish champions this season suggesting either City should have been a little more patient (or that the Scottish league is about as good as League One).
Do you agree with our team? Let us know below…
[Research: Danny Harris]