Tuesday 30 August 2016

The 10 worst signings of the season

Published 17/04/2014 | 13:01

Marouane Fellaini £27.5m - Be careful what you wish for. United fans craved an expensive midfielder for years, yet Fellaini has struggled to such an extent that they are now pining for the glory days of Anderson wheezing after his own first touch. Whether because of the stage, the fee or both, Fellaini has been completely overwhelmed and has played nowhere near as well as he can. A nadir was reached when he was sarcastically cheered by his own fans during the 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich.
Marouane Fellaini £27.5m - Be careful what you wish for. United fans craved an expensive midfielder for years, yet Fellaini has struggled to such an extent that they are now pining for the glory days of Anderson wheezing after his own first touch. Whether because of the stage, the fee or both, Fellaini has been completely overwhelmed and has played nowhere near as well as he can. A nadir was reached when he was sarcastically cheered by his own fans during the 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich.
Erik Lamela £30m - The ghost at the famine. Lamela, Spurs’ record signing, has gone missing to such an extent that there is #freelamela campaign on Twitter and he had been the subject of a mock missing-pet poster. He struggled to adapt in the first half of the season, starting only three Premier League games, and suffered the ultimate insult when he became a Europa League regular. Has not played in 2014, officially because of a back injury.
Andreas Cornelius £8m - When strikers flop, journalists are contractually obliged to work out how much each goal has cost their club. It was not possible to do with that with Cornelius: not only did he fail to score in 11 appearances, he didn’t even start a Premier League game before being bundled out the back door and returned to FC Copenhagen in January.
Roberto Soldado £26m - You never get a second chance to make a second impression. Soldado’s Spurs career started promisingly, with four goals in his first three games, but that autumnal joy has long faded from the memory and he is now seen as a goalscorer who has forgotten how to score. A Premier League record of six goals in 26 games looks bad enough, and four of those were penalties. Not even being affectionately christened “Robbie” by Tim Sherwood has helped him get his groove back.
Dani Osvaldo £15m - No Premier League side produces better home-grown talent than Southampton, though they still need to work on their foreign imports. Their record signing Osvaldo struggled before being loaned to Juventus in January. Osvaldo, who said he struggled with the “very physical type of game” in England, was suspended by Southampton for two weeks after headbutting his team-mate Jose Fonte.
Jozy Altidore £6.5m - Of the 422 players signed by Paolo Di Canio last summer, Altidore has offered the least value for money. In 2012-13 he scored 23 league goals for AZ Alkmaar; in 2013-14 he has scored one in 1692 minutes on the field. A miserable season got worse last week when Altidore, 24, was picked for Sunderland Under-21s while the first team were playing elsewhere.
Mesut Ozil £42m -There have been flashes of his ghostly genius, particularly early in his Arsenal career, but Ozil has not played with the authority or impact that was expected of such an expensive player. At the start he was described as Arsenal’s Eric Cantona; now he looks more like their Dimitar Berbatov. A weak missed penalty against Bayern Munich – a penalty he earned with a staggering piece of skill - summed up a frustrating season.
Nicolas Anelka free transfer - Even free transfers can prove costly. Anelka’s relationship with West Brom started badly, when he took compassionate leave amid reports he has retired, and got worse after his quenelle gesture sparked one of the season’s major controversies. The player and club were then involved in a public argument over who dumped who.
Tiago Ilori £7m - The freshness of Liverpool’s title challenge has obscured the fact that most of the £50m they spent last summer brought no immediate dividend. With a nod to Kolo Toure’s comedy stylings, the least successful signing was probably the defender Tiago Ilori: the closest he got to a debut was a stint on the bench for an FA Cup tie against Oldham, and a fortnight later he was loaned to Spanish side Granada.
Martin Demichelis £3.5m - Only Fellaini has been the subject of more ridicule than Demichelis in England this season. In truth Demichelis’s performances have not been proportionate to the criticism he has received, and the usually brilliant Vincent Kompany has probably made more goal-costing mistakes. Yet for all that, a club like City should probably be signing galacticos, not geriatricos.
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