11 Transfers That Made No Sense and Quickly Descended Into Disappointment

With an ever-growing obsession with big-money moves, clubs find themselves under huge pressure to keep fans happy by showing ambition in the transfer market.


Long-term planning has become secondary to instant success as clubs are constantly looking for talent that could immediately improve the team.


This pressure can sometimes backfire, as clubs occasionally make signings that make little sense from a financial or playing perspective.


Here are eleven of the most unnecessary transfers that made little sense at the time and inevitably ended in disappointment for all involved.

11. Nolito (Celta Vigo to Manchester City)

When Pep Guardiola took charge of Manchester City ahead of the 2016/17 season, the main challenge appearing to face him was the defence.


Instead, he signed Nolito for £13.8m to add to his attacking options, and while the player made a decent start to his City career, he found himself sidelined for the second half of the season.


After voicing his discontent, stating that his daughter's face looked like she'd been "stuck in a cave" he made the inevitable return to Spain this summer as he signed for Sevilla.

10. Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool)

In a remarkable January transfer window in 2011, Andy Carroll moved from Newcastle to Liverpool for a staggering £35m to make him the most expensive British player ever.


He arrived injured, making his debut two months later and certainly wasn't in the mould of successful Liverpool strikers who had graced Anfield before him.


After eighteen months at Liverpool, scoring eleven goals, he moved to West Ham on loan before eventually making the move permanent for £15m.

9. Alexander Hleb (Arsenal to Barcelona)

While Hleb was an important player for Arsenal while at the club, Barcelona's interest in the player and subsequent signing of him for €15m in 2008 was certainly unexpected.


Up against the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi, Hleb unsurprisingly found his first-team opportunities limited. He soon began fluttering his eyelashes at Bayern Munich - "Their interest in me is a delightful honour."


In 2012 his contract at Barcelona was ended by mutual consent after just nineteen league appearances, and would later reveal that leaving Arsenal for Barcelona was the biggest regret of his career.

8. Steven Caulker (QPR to Liverpool)

If Steven Caulker's loan move to Liverpool for the second half of the 2016/17 season seemed strange, Jurgen Klopp's utilisation of the defender was even more curious.


Klopp seemed reluctant to use Caulker as a centre-back, instead using him off the bench as a striker and it worked to an extent, as Caulker contributed to a last minute winner against Norwich.


Caulker would play just four games for Liverpool before the end of the season, bringing in to question why the player was signed on loan in the first place.

7. Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal to Juventus)

Nicklas Bendtner's loan move to Juventus in August 2012 made little sense - the Italian side didn't need another striker, and even if they did Bendtner was surely not the best available option.


Bendtner arrived in Turin eager to make an impression, though it would be a goalless one as the main headlines he made surrounded his arrest for drink driving.


Juventus used the player just ten times and after failing to score, it was hardly surprising the Italian side chose not to make the deal permanent.

6. Papy Djilobodji (Nantes to Chelsea)

Not only did Papy Djilobodji appear to be not needed by Chelsea, he also seemed to be unwanted after his £4m move to the club from Nantes in 2015.


The day after his transfer, he was left out of Chelsea's Champions League squad and would go on to play a grand total of sixty-two seconds for the club.


Sunderland clearly liked what they saw from these crucial seconds, as they stumped up £8m to sign the player and give Chelsea a remarkable £4m profit.

5. Jonathan Woodgate (Newcastle to Real Madrid)

Although Jonathan Woodgate was widely recognised as an extremely talented centre-back, his horrendous injury record hampered any consistent playing time at Newcastle.


Real Madrid took the plunge and signed Woodgate for £13m in August 2004, though they would soon regret it as he missed the entire season through injury.


His debut in September saw him score an own goal and get sent-off and then after just fourteen appearances for the club, he returned to England with Middlesbrough in 2006.

4. Andy Kellett (Bolton to Manchester United)

Louis van Gaal's loan signing of unknown Bolton right-back Andy Kellett was so strange that even the player thought it was a joke when he first heard about it.


Kellett was struggling to get in the Bolton first-team, but soon found himself at Old Trafford in February 2015 as Manchester United beat off interest from Plymouth.


The player returned to Bolton after a pointless four-month spell having made no appearances for United, and soon made a permanent move to Wigan.

3. Julien Faubert (West Ham to Real Madrid)

“His agent should be knighted by the Queen.”


Paul Merson was as surprised as everyone else when West Ham's Julien Faubert somehow earned himself a loan move to Real Madrid for the second half of the 2008/09 season.


Having missed training thinking he had a day off, the player then fell asleep on the bench during a game against Villarreal. After just two appearances, Faubert's bizarre spell at Madrid ended as he returned to West Ham at the end of the season.

2. Kim Kallstrom (Spartak Moscow to Arsenal)

If Arsenal could be summed up in a single piece of transfer activity, it would be Kallstrom's loan signing in January 2014.


Arsene Wenger entered the transfer market looking for cover for his depleted midfield and  decided Kallstrom was his man. Undeterred by the medical report showing three damaged vertebrae in Kallstrom's back, Wenger signed the injured player as cover for his existing injured players.


Two months later, Kallstrom recovered to make his debut before leaving the club in May having made four glorious appearances.

1. Ali Dia (Blyth Spartans to Southampton)

Receiving a phone call from George Weah to recommend the signing of his cousin Ali Dia who had played for PSG, Graham Souness decided this was sufficient evidence to offer a one-month contract.


Dia even made it onto the pitch for Southampton, coming off the bench against Leeds before finding himself substituted off before too long.


It transpired it was not George Weah on the phone, and Ali Dia was nothing more than a Sunday league player who had got a friend to pretend to be Weah. Suitably embarrassed, Southampton ended the player's contract immediately.

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