Whether you are in a pub, a school or having a kick about with your mates in the local park any chance to ridicule a player and his time at a certain club is something that comes from watching the game year in year out.
There are some transfers that have taken place since the introduction of the Premiership that have been laughable. However, when these specific players have made the move to whatever club, in whatever situation they are in, it has often been done with a great sense of expectation- we get told that the new signing will turn out to be a superstar. Well whatever price tag or reputation they come with, some have to fail and turn out to be a flop. Here are 10 of those players that have turned out to be signings to forget, whilst making their transfer look like a complete joke:
Massimo Taibi (Venezia to Manchester United, £4.5m, August 1999) – he was meant to be the great Peter Schmeichel’s replacement. How very wrong it all went for the Italian. He made a mere four appearances and his Old Trafford career was over after he let in 11 goals. One of them was a howler- one of the best in the bloopers section that gets shown at Christmas, where a Matt Le Tissier shot squirms between his legs as he goes to ground and rolls in to the back of the net.
Chris Sutton (Blackburn Rovers to Chelsea, £10m, July 1999) – if ever £10m was spent badly on one player than here is the example. He barely managed one season at Stamford Bridge where he scored one goal in 29 appearances.
Francis Jeffers (Everton to Arsenal, £8m, June 2001) – usually Arsene Wenger weaves his magic in the market but not this time. He may have been labeled as the ‘fox in the box’ on his arrival to Arsenal but four goals in 22 games suggests that he was not quite that. Perhaps he got carried away with that tag…
Eric Djemba-Djemba (Nantes to Manchester United, £3.5m, July 2003) – this player may well rank as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest flops. A long term replacement for Roy Keane the fans were told, it is amazing that Keane did not say something along the lines of “he’s not fit to tie my laces.” He found it difficult to find any sort of form at Old Trafford and you know that if you are being constantly rotated then even the great Ferguson must have known he made a mistake here.
Bruno Cheyrou (Lille to Liverpool, £4.5m, July 2002) – before he even arrived at Anfield he was being called the “next Zinedine Zidane” by the manager Gerard Houllier. He was indeed the “next Zidane”…for a similar shaven headed look. Staying for almost four seasons and not even reaching a half-century of games for the club says it all.
Jean-Alain Boumsong (Rangers to Newcastle, £8m, January 2005) – what is it with Newcastle and buying error-prone defenders? He was often blamed for conceding a lot of the goals and was subsequently sold to Juventus, yes it is true…not a typing error.
Winston Bogarde (Barcelona to Chelsea, free transfer, August 2000) – you come from Barcelona – a top club – you go to Chelsea – a top club – and on a free. Chelsea fans must have been rubbing their hands in delight but how Bogarde was even associated with both clubs is beyond me. Ken Bates once said that some footballers were mercenaries, well I’m sorry Winston but you are one of them. He played 11, yes 11, times for the club in four years and chose to sit out his four-year contract on the bench.
Bosko Balaban (Dinamo Zagreb to Aston Villa, £5.8m, August 2001) – first of all, nice name. He left the Croatian league as the highest scorer and joined Villa to play err…nine games.
David Bellion (Sunderland to Manchester United, £3m, August 2003) – “the new Henry” so everyone was told. Not even in the looks department this time Mr. Bellion. Made just five starts and scored four league goals in two years at Old Trafford. Ultimately he was never going to be good enough to play for one of the biggest clubs.
Tomas Brolin (Parma to Leeds, £4.5m, November 1995) – will probably be best remembered by Leeds fans for his weight problems, thus being titled “Tubby”. At the time this was seen as a big fee and Brolin scored four goals in two seasons at Elland Road. Leeds then went on to terminate his contract.
Are there any players that are missing from this list that people feel should be there? Feel free to name and shame them below.
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