Saturday 26 May 2018

From Cuadrado to Carroll - The Premier League's most expensive panic buys

Juan Cuadrado, left, and Andy Carroll did not prove to be astute January buys for Chelsea and Liverpool respectively
Juan Cuadrado, left, and Andy Carroll did not prove to be astute January buys for Chelsea and Liverpool respectively

Kevon Palmer

A desperate buyer tends to tempted into buying goods they barely need when the final days of the January sales force their hand and that is likely to be the scenario for Premier League football managers in the next few days.

Next Monday’s 11pm transfer deadline is firmly on their horizon and with an eagerness to sign anyone to lift their team and their supporters for the final weeks of the season, football agents are likely to be cashing in on some of their second rate clients in a mid-season window that is ready-made for desperate buyers.

Here are a few reminders of players who have benefitted financially from becoming a panic buy, with these deals also serving as a warning to managers looking to splash the cash this summer.

JUAN CUADRADO – Fiorentina to Chelsea, February 2015 (£24m)

Jose Mourinho was denying suggestions that this Colombian midfielder was a panic buy just a few days after he arrived at Stamford Bridge, yet those words look pretty hollow now from the former Chelsea manager.

Cuadrado played just 13 Premier League games for Chelsea and made a limited impact before he was shipped out on loan to Juventus last summer.

RADAMEL FALCAO – Monaco to Manchester United, August 2014 (loan)

This looked like a decent move by United, with Falcao’s reputation for being one of the world’s most prolific goal scorers suggesting he was a better option than Danny Welbeck, who was allowed to join Arsenal.

Sadly for United and their manager Louis van Gaal, Falcao was a major disappointment in his season at Old Trafford and it was no surprise when he was allowed to leave at the end of his first campaign.

KIM KALLSTROM - Spartak Moscow to Arsenal, January 2014 (loan)

What was an experienced manager of Arsene Wenger’s calibre doing when he agreed to put his name to this bizarre deal a couple of years ago?

Kallstrom was injured when he arrived and made one Premier League start for Arsenal before his slightly bizarre stay at the club came to an end. He is currently playing for Grasshoppers in the Swiss league.

MARIO BALOTELLI – AC Milan to Liverpool in August 2014 (£16m)

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was looking for an additional forward to add to his list and after initially denying he would sign this maverick Italian, a deal was thrashed out as the window edged towards a close.

Has there ever been a more disastrous panic buy? Balotelli caused predictable chaos at Anfield and to this day, the debate over who was to blame for agreeing a deal for the Italian rages on.

MAROUANE FELLAINI - Everton to Manchester United in September 2013 (£27.5m)

This fuzzy-haired Belgian midfielder became a symbol of United’s failure under departed boss David Moyes and even after his exit, Fellaini is being hailed as one of the reasons why the club are now in free fall under manager Louis van Gaal.

A deadline day signing that fell into the ‘panic bin’ as the Old Trafford club closed out a deal that ended a summer of miserable transfer trading, Fellaini is not good enough to play for United as either a midfield or make-shift forward. What is he still doing in their team at the start of 2016?

ERIK LAMELA – Roma to Tottenham in August 2013 (£30m)

The price tag placed on this Argentine youngster always appeared to be inflated and so it has proved, with Lamela only just starting to make an impact in the Premier League in his third season at Spurs.

However, the odd flash of brilliance is not what Tottenham officials had in mind when they sign Lamela and doubts will remain over his future at the club unless he confirms his worth in the final months of this season.

CHRIS SAMBA - Anzhi Makhachkala to QPR, January 2013 (£12.5m)

Harry Redknapp declared QPR had pulled off the signing of the transfer window when they brought this powerhouse defender to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day, but he did not have the impact his manager would have hoped.

Samba was accident prone during his time with a doomed QPR side, who were relegated amid massive debts (not helped by this big defender's wages) at the end of the season.

ANDY CARROLL - Newcastle to Liverpool in January 2011 (£35m)

With the windfall received for Torres’ sale to Chelsea, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish splashed out a crazy amount of cash to sign the towering Carroll.

It was a move doomed to failure, with the pony-tailed forward suffering from injuries and struggling to fit into the Liverpool set-up. He was sold to West Ham when new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers decided he didn’t fit into his plans some 18 months later.

FERNANDO TORRES – Liverpool to Chelsea in January 2011 (£50m)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich broke the British transfer record to sign Torres, but the striker he got was not the goal machine he had been seduced by as the Spaniard made a sparkling impact at Liverpool a few years earlier.

Even though Torres was a flop at Chelsea, his impressive medal haul included Champions League and FA Cup success, even his role in the triumphs was limited.

ANDREY ARSHAVIN - £16m from Zenit St Petersburg to Arsenal, February 2009 (£16m)

Something of a panic buy by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and this Russian proved to be a major flop, even though he showed the odd glimpse of the brilliance that led many to believe the Gunners has signed a world class talent on deadline day.

Arshavin scored a famous winner against Barcelona in the Champions League and famously hit four goals in a Premier League tie against Liverpool at Anfield, but he lost interest in the game in his final few months at Arsenal and left when his contract expired in 2013.

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