In Fan Park today, the crew takes a look at five of the worst big money signings ever.
The Spanish striker moved from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool, where he was a tremendous success, in 2007. After building up an incredible reputation with the Anfield club, he was sold to Chelsea for a then-British record fee of £50 million in 2010. In 172 appearances for the Blues, he scored only 45 goals and is considered to be a monumental failure for the club.
In 2010, Liverpool used some of the money they got for Torres on the up-and-coming Newcastle United striker, Andy Carroll. Carroll fetched the highest ever fee paid for an English player, as Newcastle received £35 million in exchange for his services. He scored only 11 goals in 58 appearances for the club, before he was loaned out to West Ham and later sold.
In 2009, Real Madrid paid a then-world record fee of €70 million for AC Milan’s Brazilian midfielder Kaka. The Brazilian was previously a Ballon d’Or winner but experienced an injury ridden spell at the Spanish giants, making 120 appearances, scoring 29 goals and making 32 assists. He was then allowed to leave the club to return to Milan for free.
In the same summer that Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka joined Real Madrid, Barcelona bought Zlatan Ibrahimovic for €46 million plus Samuel Eto’o (valued at €20 million). The Swede wasn’t exactly bad at Barcelona, scoring 22 goals in 46 appearances, but relative to the club’s expectations, his performances never warranted the trouble that he caused with his attitude. He fell out with Pep Guardiola and several Barcelona players, and was eventually loaned out and sold to AC Milan for €24 million.
Cameroonian striker, Samuel Eto’o had seen it all while playing for the likes of Inter Milan and Barcelona. However, in 2011, he completed a transfer to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala on a free transfer. However, don’t let the transfer fee fool you, because he signed a three-and-a-half year deal that made him the highest paid player in the world, earning €20 million (after taxes per year. Eventually the money dried out as Anzhi’s owners jumped ship and he re-joined Jose Mourinho at Chelsea in 2013.
What other failed big money signings can you think of?