Panic Buy Busts: Deadline Day Flops

It’s Deadline Day again and what a day it could become with many deals still yet to be completed and many fans sure to be shocked before 11pm.

With the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Virgil Van Dijk and Philippe Coutinho’s futures still yet to be decided we could be looking at the busiest end to a transfer window in some time – and the costliest.

However, not all transfer Deadline Day deals are created equal, whilst some like Dimitar Berbatov and David Luiz help sides capture league titles, there are others that create a lot of head scratching amongst fans.

The transfer deadline day deals listed here are the amongst some of the worst signings in Premier League history and certainly ask the question as to why club’s still insist on last minute panic buying.

Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco to Manchester United: Loan)

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Certainly the most exciting deal of 2014’s transfer Deadline Day, the move of Colombian forward Falcao from Monaco to Manchester United, with the deadly marksman making his long awaited move to the Premier League.

Having suffered an ACL injury that caused him to miss the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it was expected Falcao would be hungry for success in England and his Old Trafford career started well enough scoring the winner against Everton in October but it soon went downhill.

Still suffering from the loss of pace following the knee injury he suffered at Monaco he struggled to regain any form and finished the season with just four goals for United and even ended up playing in an Under-21 game against Spurs in what was one of the worst signings of the season.

Surprisingly, that didn’t stop Jose Mourinho signing him on loan for Chelsea the next season where Falcao scored one goal in 10 league appearances, although his return to Monaco in 2016 did coincide with a restoration in form alongside Kylian Mbappe and delivered the principality side their first French league title since 2000.

Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea: £50m)

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One of the Premier League’s most lethal finishers, Fernando Torres was well on his way to becoming a Kop legend scoring 72 goals in his first three seasons at Anfield, including becoming the quickest player to reach 50 goals for Liverpool.

After an injury ended his third season early, Torres appeared to struggle for fitness and form, including in Spain’s successful 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign and into the next season with Liverpool under Roy Hodgson.

Having only scored nine goals in 23 league games by January (bearing in mind he’d scored 18 in 22 league games the previous season) the news that Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea were preparing a £50m transfer for him was shocking news.

Becoming a then-British transfer record, Torres made the move to Stamford Bridge linking up with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, however, Torres’ form continued to dip, with the Spanish international eventually bagging his first Chelsea goal in April ending a run of 903 minutes without a goal.

Torres never again made double figures in the Premier League, although his European performances would impress, scoring the goal that took the Blues to their second UEFA Champions League final in 2012 and scoring nine in 16 the following season in Europe as Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League.

The return of Jose Mourinho marked the eventual end for El Nino as he was loaned to AC Milan in 2014 and allowed to rejoin former club Atletico Madrid on a free transfer in 2015.

Andy Carroll (Newcastle United to Liverpool: £35m)

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With £50m from Torres’ sale burning a hole in their pockets, Liverpool set out to replace the Spaniard’s goals with two strikers, Luis Suarez from Ajax and young up and coming Andy Carroll from Newcastle for the still astronomical transfer fee of £35m.

Carroll, having only played half a season in the Premier League, had started well scoring 11 goals in 19 league games for the Magpies, still not enough to justify making him the most expensive British player ever at that time, though.

Whilst Suarez went on to be a fan favourite on Merseyside, so nearly delivering the league title in 2014 before his move to FC Barcelona, Carroll flattered to deceive.

Struggling with injuries, he never found any of the form that had made him so coveted by Liverpool with his only real high point being the winning goal in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton and a goal in the 2012 FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea.

Having scored just 11 goals in 58 games for the Reds, he left to join West Ham on loan in 2012 in a move that was made permanent the next summer for £15m a loss of £20m in two years.

Robinho (Real Madrid to Manchester City: £32.5m)

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The biggest news of deadline day 2008 wasn’t at all to do with one player, whilst Manchester dominated the headlines with United signing Dimitar Berbatov for a club record £30.75m from Spurs, it was rivals City that were shocking everyone.

The takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group was akin to that of Roman Abramovic at Chelsea five years previous, with the new billionaire owners ready to plough in millions to take City to the top.

It began with Real Madrid striker Robinho, the Brazilian one of the most sought after talents in Europe and one that looked destined for Stamford Bridge.

In the end, City shocked everyone by landing the Brazilian, who himself appeared confused as to where he’d be headed and the Sheikh Mansour era was underway.

For Robinho, time in England would start well finishing the club’s top scorer with 14 but injuries and three new forward additions in Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz limited his time in his second season and after suffering from home sickness was allowed to join first club Santos on loan and by 2010 was sold to AC Milan for £15m.

Julio Baptista (Real Madrid to Arsenal: Loan swap for Jose Antonio Reyes)

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The Beast had made a huge impact at Sevilla scoring 38 league goals in 63 games that had caught the attention of all of Europe, including Arsene Wenger at Arsenal before his £17m to Real Madrid in 2005.

However, in the midst of the Galacticos worst run, he struggled to re-capture his Sevilla form for Los Blancos and after one season made the move to England as part of a loan swap deal for Arsenal’s Jose Antonio Reyes who was ready to leave north London, himself.

Despite Wenger being a massive fan of Baptista, Le Professeur failed to get the best out of him as he scored just three times in the Premier League in his 24 league games and only made double figures thanks to his outstanding form in the League Cup including scoring four goals at Anfield in a 6-3 win over Liverpool.

However, he couldn’t help Arsenal win the League Cup as the Gunners lost 2-1 to Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium and returned to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Xisco (Deportivo La Coruna to Newcastle United: £5.7m)

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Having risen up through the ranks at Deportivo, he made the surprise move to Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United a team that already boasted six strikers and one that was sinking like a stone.

Despite scoring on his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Hull City, Xisco found himself as seventh-choice and by February was already being forced out of the club but the Magpies attempt to sell him was eventually blocked by FIFA as he couldn’t register for three different clubs in one season.

Andre Santos (Fenerbahce to Arsenal: £6.2m)

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For most Arsenal fans, this summer feels again like the summer of 2011 as the Gunners make a last gasp trolley dash for players following an embarrassing away defeat to a top six rival.

In 2011, having already sold Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy and following an 8-2 hammering by Manchester United, Arsene Wenger went into full-blown panic mode, signing five players in the last two days of the window.

Whilst, Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker were fine servants, the third player that arrived on a permanent deal on Deadline Day was anything but.

Brazilian left-back Andre Santos was an odd signing from Fenerbahce and one that most fans are still baffled by.

Although he did score a fine goal against Chelsea in a 5-3 victory at Stamford Bridge and a crucial equaliser against West Bromwich Albion to set up the 3-2 victory that secured UEFA Champions League football for the following season, Santos never quite looked good enough for the Premier League.

His Arsenal career was compounded when after a terrible first-half performance against Manchester United in November 2012 he swapped shirts with former Arsenal teammate Robin van Persie at half-time which did nothing to endear him to the Gunners fans and he was allowed to join Gremio on loan in February 2013.

Marouane Fellaini (Everton to Manchester United: £27.5m)

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Manchester United have had a tough time post-Sir Alex Ferguson, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League only twice (and only once via a top four league position), however, not quite as bad as their first summer without him and their only summer under David Moyes.

Having spent most of the summer trying to sign his former Toffees stalwarts Leighton Baines and Fellaini, Moyes finally ended the summer with the Belgian midfielder, however, not with the form he’d shown the previous season at Goodison Park.

Having scored 11 goals in 31 league games the previous season, Fellaini made just fifteen starts at Old Trafford in his first season and failed to look the part in any of them finishing the season without a goal entirely.

Since then he’s become a walking meme for United’s downturn post-Fergie and although he’s improved under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, he’s been nowhere close to the player he was at Everton.

Ricky Alvarez (Inter Milan to Sunderland: Loan)

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Some transfers are instant impact, this one was anything but.

Having been part of the Argentina squad that lost the 2014 FIFA World Cup final, Alvarez made the strange move to Sunderland in summer 2014 on loan from Inter Milan with a view to a permanent deal.

On loan with the Black Cats, Alvarez played eight league games, failed to score in any of them and in fact ended his time in the North East with one goal in 11 games (an FA Cup replay with Fulham).

However, as Sunderland stayed up, they were expected to pay Inter Milan £9m to sign Alvarez on a permanent deal, as per the terms of the loan agreement and so a two-year legal battle ensued with the Wearside club eventually being find liable to pay the transfer fee by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July 2017, despite the fact he’s spent the last two seasons with Sampdoria.

How Sunderland messed up a transfer that badly, we’ll never know.

Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United to Tottenham Hotspur: £30m)

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Spurs aren’t ones to spend heaps of money on one player, at least not since the disaster that was spending the Gareth Bale windfall in summer 2013.

However, they broke that trend in summer 2016, to sign French international Moussa Sissoko from recently relegated Newcastle for £30m.

The midfielder had put in a great performance in France’s UEFA Euro 2016 Final defeat to Portugal months prior to everyone’s surprise, however, most pundits believed Sissoko to be far too inconsistent for the top six.

After being sent-off against Bournemouth in October for an elbow on Harry Arter, Sissoko didn’t play for Spurs for over a month and by the end of November manager Mauricio Pochettino was already quoted as saying that he’d “failed to live up to expectations”

In his first season, Sissoko played 33 games for Spurs and had failed to score in any of them with most believing him to be one the biggest flops of last season.