5 Football Transfers That Were More Of A Gamble Than They Should Have Been

Once you hear football transfers, your mind immediately races to the big money move of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG, Alexis Sanchez’s imminent move to Manchester United where he is set to be the highest paid player in the premier league (£400,000), Lukaku’s £75 million transfer to Manchester United, Philippe Countinho’s to Barcelona and many more.


Transfer season comes up as the summer moves along. Every day we scurry to use the net , check in on social media and talk to co-workers about the latest rumors, gossip and player moves. For the most part, we get all cozy, when rumors fly around about our clubs being linked to big player moves.

All wonderful isn’t it?

Certainly, signing a couple of new faces can be a bit of a gamble.


Every now and then a player will have a breakthrough and become a real star of the club. More often than not, new players will be okay, do about what you expected from them and eventually move on in a few years. Then there are the duds. In every window we are treated to footballing flops. These are the players who force us to put our faces in our hands or (if they are on the opposition) point and laugh at the on and off-field hilarity.

The issue of football transfers that have backfired is one which has trended since the advent of clubs signing players with huge money.

The following five man list in absolutely no particular order are players who have failed to live up to expectations, a striker who scores goals regularly suddenly struggles to score one, a midfielder whose creativity is top notch but no longer finds his feet, a defender who makes goal saving tackles, but now suddenly sees himself getting own goals and low tackle rates.

Put to say, this list will highlight five players whose transfers have flopped badly or to put mildly, been a disaster.



In 2008, Robinho made a big money move (£54 million) from Real Madrid to Manchester City, in one of the most followed transfers of all time.

The Abu Dhabi group had just taken over Manchester City and they were now a financial muscle, making big name signings and all.

Robinho first season at City was a highly successful one, as he scored 14 goals In little less than 41 games.

Then came match after match of repeated poor performances from the small striker, frequent bench warming and subsequently being loaned to smaller clubs.

He was eventually sold to Italian side, Ac Milan for half his price (£25 million).



Roman Abrahimovic had  taken over the reins of Chelsea and made a statement of intent by signing one of the hottest properties at that time- Andrey Shevchenko, from Ac Milan to Chelsea. At Milan, he banged goals in nearly every match, tearing up teams with his subtle style, scoring 175 in less than 7 years.

But at Chelsea, it was not the same.

Every team In England waited anxiously for Shevchenko to tear their teams apart with goals, but simply put, it never happened. He managed to score 22 goals in 77 appearances.

Everyone was no longer afraid of the dreaded Shevchenko, as he slowly withered, loaned back to Milan, went back to his home country, upon his release by Chelsea, where he plied his trade for Dynamo Kiev.



You’d be wondering what Kaka’s name is doing here, but put to say kaka was a flop at Real Madrid when comparing his performances and statistics at Ac Milan.

Scoring 95 goals in 270 appearances for Milan, he caught the eye of Real Madrid, who needed the magic touches of Kaka, and his wonderful foot play.

In 2009, Real Madrid secured Kaka’s signature for a then record of $94 million.

He couldn’t replicate the same form he had shown at Ac Milan, neither where the goals coming in.

He was expected to live up to his price tag, but he couldn’t, managing just 29 goals in 120 appearances for the Madrid club.


He was shipped back to Milan on a free transfer, before heading to his home country where he plies his trade for Orlando City.



Still financially pregnant from the £80 million sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea, Liverpool needed a new talisman.

At Newcastle, Andy Carroll was hot property, as he scored 11 goals in 20 appearances.

In 2011, he was signed by Liverpool for £57 million, therefore making him the most expensive Reds signing, at that time.

Over the next two-and-a-half seasons playing for Liverpool, he only managed 11 goals in 58 appearances, hardly befitting of one of the biggest club sides in the world. In 2013, Carroll made a permanent move to West Ham United for a fee of around $24 million.



Last but definitely not the least , was Fernando Torres’ historic transfer to Stamford Bridge.

Popularly nicknamed ‘El Niño’, Torres was one of the hottest strikers in Europe at the time, scoring a mammoth 81 goals in 142 appearances which spanned over nearly four years.

On paper, he gave Chelsea’s attack a killer edge over most other teams, but in figures, he was a disaster. When he arrived El Niño want not a risk, he was a certainty. Proven quality. He had already vanquished so many foes that it seemed certain he was the real deal. He had become one of the most feared strikers in the world.

But everything started dwindling.

His stock reduced, managing 45 goals in 172 appearances for the West London side.

He was loaned to Ac Milan, and eventually completed his switch to the Italian side for £3 million.


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