Back in 2010, Mick McCarthy oversaw the £2.5m signing of Jelle van Damme from Anderlecht.
The Irish boss said that the full-back was a player who Wolves had been monitoring for a long time, before showering his latest capture in praise and also referring to Van Damme’s Champions League experience – the defender also had 22 caps for Belgium at the time too.
In that respect, this move may have seemed like quite a coup at the time – however, it turned out to be a complete and utter write-off for the Midlands-based club.
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Under McCarthy’s management, the Lokeren-born player only made six appearances for Wolves, failing to settle at Molineux before leaving just months later to join Standard Liege – the Belgian side effectively gave Wolves their money back, signing him for £2.5m.
Ultimately, the signing of Van Damme cost Wolves a total of £417k per game, making him a terrible signing and one who may as well not have made the switch at all, such was his ineffectiveness – it was a complete and utter write off.
As far as £2.5m transfers go, this one was extremely non-eventful and might as well not even have been made.
Van Damme eventually made a huge 205 appearances for Standard Liege, before earning a move to LA Galaxy.
He also managed to rack up 31 caps for Belgium – a sizeable amount in fairness to him.
It is clear that the defender had some talent, even if it did only appear to show while he was playing Belgian football.
Despite whatever ability he may have, this switch was certainly amongst McCarthy’s poorest moves.
Wolves went on to finish 17th without the Belgian in their ranks that season, just one point above the drop zone, although we presume that Van Damme wouldn’t have made much of a difference to their season had he remained at Molineux.
In other news, this 2012 Stale Solbakken move saw Wolves uncover a hidden gem…