With Bafana Bafana journeyman May Mahlangu completing a shock move to Kazakhstan - here are six other somewhat surprising loan deals in the last decade, including a former FC Barcelona player and a Real Madrid star who infamously fell asleep on the bench.
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The 29-year-old, who has made 19 appearances for the South African national team, joined his seventh club in Europe, after penning a loan-deal with Ordabasy. Having played for Dinamo Bucharest and most recently Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad in the 2018/19 campaign, Mahlangu has found a new club in Kazakhstan with their league campaign running from March to November.
Paulinho became Tottenham Hotspur's club’s record signing in 2013, when he completed a £17million (R312 million) move from Corinthians. After two disappointing years at Spurs, the midfielder made a move to China, where he joined Guangzhou Evergrande. After scoring 28 goals in 95 appearances, LaLiga giants FC Barcelona came knocking. The Brazilian completed a shock €40 million (R621 million) in August 2017, helping the Blaugrana complete a league and cup double before starting all five of Brazil’s games at the 2018 World Cup. But to the shock of many just a year after penning a deal with Barca, Paulinho rejoined Guangzhou Evergrande on loan, and was later bought on a permanent basis for €42 million (R672 million).
Premier League outfit West Ham paid £6.1million (R112 million) to sign Julien Faubert from Bordeaux on a five-year contract back in 2007, but the France international failed to justify the price-tag. After making 32 appearances without finding the back of the net in his first two seasons at the club, Faubert was somehow shipped off to Los Blancos on a six-month loan deal in January 2009. He didn't fare better in Madrid and made a mere two appearances in a stint which will be most remembered for him sleeping on the bench during a LaLiga clash against Villareal.
Which loan deal in football history has shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments section below.