Since many clubs are suffering from the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the following transfer window looks very different.
Many teams will not be able to splash the amount of money normally spent in the summer months, but as we know, large amounts don’t always pay off.
For every Jamie Vardy there is a Roberto Soldado and for every Sadio Mane there is one. An error in the transfer market can be costly for clubs if they can no longer get rid of high-wage players. Sports email views the worst signing of any Premier League Club since the division started in 1992.
Arsenal – Francis Jeffers
The so-called ‘Fox in the Box’ was signed by Everton in 2001 for £ 8 million, but it was a nickname he never lived up to.
Arsene Wenger famously chose to sign the Liverpudlian over Ruud van Nistelrooy, a decision he would later regret.
Jeffers scored eight goals in 39 appearances and had several fitness issues during his time in London. He was loaned back to Everton for the last year of his Gunners contract, but failed to find the back of the net before joining Charlton for a fee of £ 2.4 million in 2004.
A frontline from Thierry Henry and van Nistelrooy would have been frightening, but instead they were rivals and competed in the scorecards and at the top of the Premier League.
Francis Jeffers was signed to Everton for £ 8 million in 2001, but only scored eight goals
Aston Villa – Bosko Balaban
With 69 goals in 152 games for Rijeka and Dinamo Zagreb, Aston Villa was persuaded to come out of the checkbook for Croatian international Bosko Balaban.
The striker arrived at Villa Park in 2001 and was tipped as an exciting player and potential star, but it all went very wrong.
Signed by John Gregory for a fee of £ 5.8 million, Balaban made just nine games in his first season and was loaned back to Zagreb, where he seemed to rediscover his form with 15 goals.
He was released in December 2003 and signed with Club Brugge, where he had a fairly successful career. The striker managed to score regularly for just about every other team he played for, but never found the net for the Midlands side.
Bosko Balaban managed to score goals at almost every club he played for, except Aston Villa
Bournemouth AFC – Jordon Ibe
After never really fulfilling his potential in Liverpool, Bournemouth took a chance on Jordon Ibe by having him sign their record in 2015.
The winger cost £ 15 million, but failed to register or assist a goal in his first 25 Premier League games.
A record of two league goals and six assists in the 2017/2018 season is his most prolific campaign.
The 24-year-old has also had a tough time off the field. He was banned from driving for 16 months in March after crashing his Bentley into a coffee shop in London and leaving the scene.
Then, after being behind the wheel while still exiled, the winger said he checked himself into a rehab to improve his sanity and become a better person after “giving a bad judgment.”
Jordon Ibe cost Bournemouth £ 15 million, but did not perform consistently
Brighton and Hove Albion – Jurgen Locadia
The Dutch striker became the club’s record when they paid PSV Eindhoven £ 14 million in January 2018.
But he has only scored three Premier League goals since then and has been on loan from Hoffenheim this season.
The 26-year-old was recalled in January, but has only played twice since his return.
With his summer contract, it looks like he could have played his last game for the Seagulls.
Jurgen Locadia became Brighton’s signature record when they paid PSV Eindhoven £ 14 million
Burnley – Ben Gibson
Ben Gibson was on England’s radar after impressing Middlesborough in the 2016/2017 season, despite the club being banned from the Premier League.
Sean Dyche made the middle back of the club’s joint signature when he paid £ 15 million in August 2018.
But the defender has only played six games and was allowed to train with his former club Boro when a move was canceled in January.
Gibson was frustrated that he was not allowed to leave clearly and it seems unlikely that he will appear on Turf Moor in the future.
Ben Gibson has only appeared six times since Burnley paid £ 15 million for him in 2018
Chelsea – Fernando Torres
Chelsea’s dramatic deadline signing of Fernando Torres always seemed like it was a season late.
The Spaniard had returned from the 2010 World Cup a shadow of his former self and looked bleak for Liverpool in the first half of the season. But that didn’t stop the Blues from offering a massive £ 50 million.
Torres just found it 20 times in 110 Premier League appearances, and his time at Stamford Bridge was generally almost a disaster.
That goal against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League and that of Benfica in the final of the Europa League reduced his previous demons.
But the attacker never looked comfortable in blue and failed to replicate the form he produced for Liverpool in his early years.
Fernando Torres just found it just 20 times in 110 Premier League games for Chelsea
Crystal Palace – Alexander Sorloth
Signed for a £ 9 million fee on the day of the transfer window in January 2018, Alexander Sorloth was a huge disappointment to Roy Hodgson’s side.
Little was known about the Norweigan international when he arrived at Selhurst Park and he had limited opportunities to impress. He made only 16 Premier League appearances and did not score in the league with his only goal in the Carabao Cup.
He has loaned out to Trabzonspor this season, where he has had a much more successful time with 19 goals in 26 appearances.
His contract will expire next summer and he can be sold in the next window after failing to master English football.
Alexander Sorloth has been a huge disappointment to Roy Hodgson’s side since his signing
Everton – Davy Klaassen
Purchased for £ 23.6 million in 2017, Ronald Koeman was convinced Davy Klaassen was a smart company.
But a year later, both Klaassen and Koeman had left Goodison Park and the Toffees could only recoup half of the transfer fee they paid Ajax.
He failed to register one goal and only one assist and never really looked at home in the Premier League.
Davy Klaassen only lasted a year in Goodison Park after he couldn’t find the back of the net
Leicester – Ade Akinbiyi
With 70 goals in 161 games spells in Gillingham, Bristol City and Wolves, was Ade Akinbiyi destined to become a star for the Foxes?
A £ 5.5 million fee was a lot of money in the year 2000, but the striker has not paid back that investment from manager Peter Taylor.
Four gilded opportunities fell forward in a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool, but he couldn’t put them down – a story that summed up his time at the club.
He only scored 11 goals in 58 appearances before moving to Crystal Palace in 2002.
Ade Akinbiyi only scored 11 goals in 58 appearances before leaving Leicester in 2002
Liverpool – El Hadji Diouf
Few former players are despised by the Anfield crowd as El Hadji Diouf.
Jamie Carragher famously recalled how the £ 10m signing was the only Liverpool 9 to go through an entire season without scoring.
The Senegalese international also had several off-field incidents. In an UEFA Cup match with Celtic at Parkhead, the attacker spat at one of the home fans.
Steven Gerrard also said that Diouf was the worst signing he played alongside. The striker has played for other English teams, including Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland, Leeds and Doncaster and has remained a controversial figure throughout his career.
His recent comments about Liverpool’s ‘bottling’ of the Premier League title probably didn’t please him either.
Few former players are despised by the Anfield audience as striker El Hadji Diouf
Manchester City – Wilfried Bony
Wilfried Bony scored goals for fun in Swansea and his £ 25 million price tag seemed relatively small, given the cost City had paid in the past.
The club reportedly turned down the opportunity to sign Pablo Dybala in favor of the Ivory Coast, but it was the wrong move.
The striker never seemed to fit Manuel Pellegrini’s passing team and looked lost when he was in the lead.
With only six goals in 36 Premier League games in two years, he was loaned to Stoke City before eventually returning to Swansea in 2017.
But he never rediscovered his previous form on the Liberty and after a few short spells elsewhere he found himself training with League Two Newport County. He now plays his football in Saudi Arabia.
Wilfried Bony signed for £ 25 million in 2015, but only scored six league goals for Manchester City
Manchester United – Alexis Sanchez
The last time Manchester United signed Arsenal’s top scorer – Robin van Persie – it turned out pretty well for the Red Devils.
But while Van Persie will be remembered for his goal of helping United win the title, Alexis Sanchez will be remembered for his astronomical wages and abject achievements.
He could never replicate his form for the Gunners at Old Trafford. Arsenal received £ 30 million and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in return and probably got the better end of the deal.
Reports at the time showed that the total cost to United would be £ 180 million if wages, application fees and agent fees are taken into account in the amount of Arsenal paid.
The announcement video of the forward-playing ‘Glory Glory Man United’ on the piano is about the most entertainment the Chilean has provided at the club in his two years.
The 31-year-old spent the season on a rental basis with Inter Milan, but managed to score only one goal and two assists. His contract will expire in June, but his future is in the air given the coronavirus pandemic.
Alexis Sanchez has only scored four goals in a Manchester United shirt in two years
Newcastle – Michael Owen
A transfer that may have always been destined to fail.
Michael Owen wanted to leave Real Madrid in 2005 and the Spanish club was happy to let him go.
But the striker only wanted to return to Liverpool and the Reds would not meet the LaLiga party’s asking price. Popped in to Newcastle to throw a spanner in the works.
Owen didn’t want to go to St James’ Park, but completed the move for a £ 18 million club record, hoping he could eventually return to Anfield.
A series of injury problems limited the striker’s playing time and in Newcastle’s relegation in 2009, Owen joined Manchester United.
Owen scored 30 goals in 79 games for the magpies, which was not a great return considering the compensation and the huge pay the striker earned. The striker apparently regrets the transfer as much as Newcastle and no love has been lost between the player and the fans.
Michael Owen scored 30 goals in 79 games during his four-year stint with Newcastle
Norwich City – Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Ricky van Wolfswinkel arrived on Carrow Road in 2013 for a club record amount of around £ 8 million, but he only scored one goal when the Canaries were relegated to the championship.
The hopes were high for the striker who had an impressive scoreboard in the Netherlands and was on the radar of some larger clubs.
But he failed to emulate that form in England, later claiming that the club’s football style did not suit him.
Not even a call from Delia Smith could have changed his fortune.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel arrived on Carrow Road in 2013 for a club record amount of around £ 8 million
Sheffield United – Geoff Horsfield
Neil Warnock signed incumbent goalscorer Geoff Horsfield on loan from West Brom in February 2006 with an agreement that the deal would be finalized in the summer.
But after only playing three games for the Blades, Warnock tried to cancel the deal and send him back to the Hawthorns.
But the Baggies refused, and the permanent transfer went ahead for £ 1.2m in May – when United earned promotion to the Premier League and West Brom went the other way.
He was loaned to Leeds in August and then Leicester the following season for a final loan period with Scunthorpe. In 2009, he finally left Bramall Lane to Lincoln City.
Geoff Horsfield played three games for the Blades before Neil Warnock attempted to end his spell
Southampton – Dani Osvaldo
As one of the few failures of Mauricio Pochettino’s government, Dani Osvaldo would be an exciting signing when he arrived from Roma for £ 15 million.
But the attacker never seemed to be really interested in playing for the Saints, scoring only three goals in 13 appearances.
When Italian Jose Fonte headbutted during training, his fate was sealed and he was given several loan periods before finally leaving the club in 2015.
Osvaldo retired a year later to focus on his music career, but came back this year and played his first game in February.
Dani Osvaldo’s career in Southampton was over when he headed Jose Fonte into training
Tottenham – Roberto Soldado
Roberto Soldado was one of the great additions to Gareth Bale’s departure from White Hart Lane.
Spurs spent £ 26 million on the striker hoping he would be a striker of 30 goals per season and it seemed he would if he scored on his debut against Crystal Palace.
But in his two years in London, he found it just seven times in the league.
Only two of his goals came from open play and the attacker seemed to lack calmness for the goal. He returned to Spain in 2015 when he joined Villarreal.
Luckily for Spurs, a man named Harry Kane came by.
Roberto Soldado was one of the great acquisitions after Gareth Bale’s departure
Watford – Steve Kabba
Drawing a striker from your relegation rivals has always been a bold move and it was one that didn’t yield for Watford.
Steve Kabba came from fellow wrestlers Sheffield United in January 2007 for an initial consideration of £ 500,000 which would go up to £ 750,000.
But the attacker did not score any goals in the Premier League, as both Watford and the Bladesmwere were relegated. He only scored once for the club in the next championship campaign.
Steve Kabba came from fellow wrestlers Sheffield United in January 2007, but did not score
West Ham – Benni McCarthy
A former Champions League winner with Porto was undoubtedly a success at Upton Park, right? Apparently not.
Signed on the day of the transfer for an undisclosed fee from Blackburn in 2010, McCarthy failed to score in his 14 appearances for the club and subsequently his contract was terminated at the end of the season.
He was also reportedly paid £ 1 million to leave and had many bad things to say about the Hammers’ administration. But the less said about his football, the better.
Benni McCarthey did not score in his 14 appearances for West Ham during a terrible period
Wolves – Roger Johnson
Birmingham charged their domestic rivals £ 7 million to central defender Roger Johnson in 2011, but got very little in return for money – other than issues.
Johnson was fined for heavy drinking before a game, came up with Wayne Hennessey on the field and accused fans of being disrespectful.
He was loaned to West Ham during the 2013-2014 season before his contract was terminated in the championship in 2015 by mutual consent with Wolves.
Roger Johnson cost Wolves £ 7 million in 2011, but brought little to the team other than issues