With such unprecedented levels of money in the Premier League, it is little wonder that a fair amount of it has gone to waste on some dodgy deals.
Here are the ten most head-scratching transfers involving top-flight clubs in England since the inception of the Premier League in 1992:
10. Cuco Martina (Southampton to Everton, Free, July 2017)
After a decent first season at Goodison Park, Ronald Koeman was clearly intent on preparing Everton for a serious assault on the top four.
Hefty fees were shelled out; £30 million for Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, £23.6 million for Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen and £25 million for Burnley defender Michael Keane, to name only three.
Though some of Everton’s 11 incomings that season proved catastrophic, not least Klaassen, most seemed, at least on paper, relatively shrewd deals at the time. Cuco Martina, not so much.
Aside from a wonder strike against Arsenal, Martina had done precious little in his two years at Southampton to suggest he could challenge Seamus Coleman at right-back. Having also been brought to the Saints by Koeman, it bore all the hallmarks of a manager signing his mate.
Martina could rarely be faulted for effort, but in his 28 Everton appearances in 2017-18, many of which he played out of position at left-back, he rarely impressed, to the surprise of few.
Having spent this season on loan at Stoke City and Feyenoord, there is no future at Everton for Martina, who was told to stay away from first team training in July by new boss Marco Silva.
9. Kim Källström (Spartak Moscow to Arsenal, Loan, January 2014)
Arsenal were right in the thick of the title race, one point off leaders Manchester City. They just needed some extra reinforcements, ideally a striker, to cement their credentials as potential champions.
What they didn’t need was an injured 31-year-old midfielder in Kim Källström.
Just two days after the deal to bring Källström in on loan from Spartak Moscow was completed, manager Arsene Wenger admitted he did not know the veteran had a damaged back which would sideline him for six weeks, and would not have sanctioned the transfer had he been aware of it.
Källström, who argued on Swedish radio two years later that Wenger did know of his injury when he signed, did not receive his Arsenal debut until the end of March, in one of only four appearances he would make for the club.
8. Andy Kellett (Bolton Wanderers to Manchester United, Loan, February 2015)
On the deadline day of the previous transfer window, Manchester United signed Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao. This time around, they loaned a player on who had spent part of the season on loan at League Two Plymouth Argyle.
Bolton youngster Andy Kellett said he thought manager Neil Lennon was ‘winding him up’ when he told him of United’s interest, but he spent the rest of 2014-15 on loan at Old Trafford, making no first team appearances but ten showings for the under-21s.
After spells at Wigan Athletic and Chesterfield, Kellett is now with Notts County who, following their relegation from League Two, will be a non-league club next season.
7. Steven Caulker (QPR to Liverpool, Loan, January 2016)
Liverpool have just won their sixth Champions League, and finished second in the Premier League with 97 points, thanks largely to Jurgen Klopp and his excellent signings.
But it’s fair to say one of his first as Reds boss, Steven Caulker, wasn’t the most successful of the lot.
A central defender at Championship side QPR, Caulker moved to Anfield on loan for the rest of 2015-16 after his loan at Southampton was cancelled.
But he made just three league appearances for the Reds, used more as a target man up than in his natural home at the heart of defence.
The 27-year-old is now with Turkish club Alanyaspor following a spell in Scotland with Dundee.
6. Richard Wright (Free agent to Manchester City, Free, August 2012)
Seeking extra back-up for goalkeepers Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon, Man City manager Roberto Mancini made the perplexing move to sign Richard Wright for the Premier League champions.
Wright’s first team football opportunities had been few and far between already; he had made just 15 Championship appearances in the previous three years with Sheffield United and Ipswich Town.
But he joined City in August 2012, before signing one-year extensions in each of the next three years. When he retired in May 2016, Wright had still not made his debut for the club.
It is estimated that Wright made about £1.4 million in wages while on City’s books. He remains at the club today, as a member of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff.
5. Papy Djilobodji (Nantes to Chelsea, £2.7 million, September 2015)
Another baffling deadline day deal. Papy Djilibodji had reportedly attracted the interest of Premier League clubs Sunderland and Aston Villa in the summer transfer window of 2015, but then-champions Chelsea seemed nothing more than a pipe dream.
Yet he moved to Stamford Bridge from Nantes at the eleventh hour, only to be omitted from their 25-man Champions League squad the next day. Even in a miserable season for the Blues, in which they finished tenth, he managed just one first team appearance; a League Cup third round tie at Walsall.
He was sold to Sunderland for an eye-watering £8 million the following summer, but was sacked by the club in September 2018, by then in League One, for gross misconduct.
He is now back in France with Guingamp, during which time he was given a six-match ban for breaking an opponent’s nose with a kick in the face.
4. Bebé (Vitória de Guimarães to Manchester United, £7.4 million, August 2010)
Sir Alex Ferguson had never seen him play, but that seemed to matter little in Manchester United’s decision to bring 20-year-old Bebé to Old Trafford in the summer of 2010, just five weeks after he signed for Portuguese club Vitória de Guimarães.
Bebé’s four years in England involved three loan spells, seven United appearances and two goals, before he was put out of his misery and returned to Portugal with Benfica in July 2014. Not exactly Sir Alex’s finest stroke of brilliance, then.
3. Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano (Corinthians to West Ham United, Undisclosed, August 2006)
Perhaps the most controversial transfer in Premier League history. Almost certainly in Neil Warnock’s eyes, anyway.
It seemed scarcely believable when, on deadline day in August 2006, West Ham signed Argentinian duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, who had both represented their country at the World Cup that summer and were said to have attracted interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
It later transpired that the Hammers had signed the pair from third-party owners; the rights to both players were owned by Media Sports Investments, headed by Kia Joorabchian.
They were fined £5.5 million that same season, and while Mascherano was moved on in January 2007 to Liverpool, Tevez scored the goals which retained West Ham’s Premier League status, at the expense of Sheffield United and a seething Warnock.
2. Julien Faubert (West Ham United to Real Madrid, Loan, January 2009)
After making just 32 West Ham appearances in his first season-and-a-half with the club, the entire football world was stunned when Real Madrid loaned right midfielder Julien Faubert from the Hammers. Even Paul Merson said his agent deserved a knighthood.
Less surprising was that Faubert made just two appearances for the Galacticos, and his ill-fated spell with the club will forever be remembered for falling asleep on the substitutes’ bench and missing training for wrongly thinking he had the day off.
Then-manager Juande Ramos defended Faubert by saying ‘he got confused’. Probably not as confused as the rest of us at the sight of him at the Bernabeu, though.
1. Ali Dia (Blyth Spartans to Southampton, Free, November 1996)
The archetypal transfer flop, Ali Dia tops the list as the Premier League footballer that never was.
But after just one substitute appearance for non-league Blyth Spartans, Dia joined Saints after manager Graeme Souness received a phone call supposedly from former FIFA World Player of the Year, George Weah, urging him to sign Dia, his cousin.
Of course, it was all a hoax; the call had come from a fellow university student of Dia’s, but he still moved to St Mary’s on a one-month contract, and proved horribly out of his depth.
In his only game for Saints, a 2-0 defeat to Leeds United, Dia came on as a first-half substitute, only to be taken off himself 53 minutes later. Clearly out of his depth, Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier said afterwards: “He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice; it was very embarrassing to watch.”
Dia was unsurprisingly released two weeks into his deal, before returning to non-league with Gateshead and Spennymoor United, where he finished his career.
But his name lives on in newspapers, magazines and websites’ ‘worst footballer of all time’ lists, which he frequently finds himself at the top of.
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DISCOVER: Best Gifts for Football Fans
- 💗【Creative 3D Visual Effect】Syomin Football 3D Illusion Lamp is a new creative night light. It comes with a 2D acrylic panel and a luminous base, and together they will creat a 3D Visual Effect. It looks like amazing 3D especially used in a dark environment.
- 🌈【Multicolor & Remote Control】The color of Syomin Football 3D night light can be changed by using remote control. There're 7 colors and 4 lighting modes for to choose from. You can choose different colors according to your mood and scene to make more fun.
- 🙂【Convenient & Safe】To get start, tear off the protective film on the surface of panel before using 3D Football night light and clean your finger print off. The light is soft, no glare and blinking, and it won't hurt children's eyes.
- 🍃【Energy-Saving】There are two ways of power supply, using USB or using three AA batteries, so there is no need to worry about sudden blackout or other issues. The energy consumption of the Football 3D night light is low, which is convenient for daily use.
- 🎁【Best Gift】Innovative appearance, exquisite design, Syomin Football 3D night light can be used as bedroom decoration and bedside lamp. Families and children will love this Football 3D lamp. This is the best birthday Christmas Thanksgiving present for kids age 3,4,5,6,7 year old.
- Be easy to use,be like real soccer !A powerful fan floats allows it to glide across most flat surfaces, like hard wood floor,tiles,carpet.Be a good parent-kid interaction toy as you can play with kids together.Provide time for enjoyment and exercise for all ages.
- Attractive toys: This ball toy is with colored LED lights that flashes colorful lights in the dark,children can play games at night and bring more fun because of the variety of colors. The flash lights makes kids more entertained and let them play a more challenging game in the dark for ,will be more exciting and more amazing.
- Best Gift: Color packaging - moderate size. Suitable indoors or outdoors, a good toy for your kids to use it in multi-player game.The best choice for children's Birthday gifts or Christmas gifts.
- Safe toy: Made of non-toxic plastic.foam edge, flexible, safe and not hurt foot.Be enough safe and nice so that kids won't hurt themselves or damage the furniture or the wall.
- Toy size: 7 x 7 x 2.5 in, Required 4 x AA batteries (not included) - For Age 3 year old +
- Material: Made of luxury cotton-soft,stretch, breathable,very comfortable to wear.No fading, machine washable, and hold up well in the laundry.
- ONE SIZE FITS MOST: Our size will suitable for most people,funny gifts for teenage boys/boyfriends/husband/son/uncle.
- Funny design: Funny saying knitting word 'Do Not Disturb I'm Watching Football or Rugby 'socks,Ideal present for people who like football or rugby !
- Various Colors Available:Our funny socks suitable for most men and women.All of the words are stitched directly into the socks rather than iron-on transfer, so it won't peel off. These Novelty and funny socks will make your friends giggle
- Perfect Gift:Buy it as a Funny gifts for your friends who are Football or rugby Lover,Xmas Gifts, birthday present, party favor, or keep them for yourself !
- AMAZING COUNTING FOOTBALL: Introducing the latest innovation in football, Smart Ball Kick up Counting Football with lights and sounds This amazing counting football allows you to challenge yourself and your friends to see who can achieve more tricks Use your feet, legs, knees, chest and shoulders to keep the Smart Ball from hitting the ground and it will count each time it makes contact with you.
- FEATURES LIGHTS AND SOUNDS: As you reach key milestones Smart Ball will speak words of encouragement to spur you on as you challenge yourself to keep the ball in the air, and for even more fun, the Smart Ball lights up each time it comes into contact with your body.
- CHALLENGE FRIENDS: Compete with your friends to see who can get closest to the magic 100 kick ups
- PERFECT GIFT FOR FOOTBALL FANS: Whether you are looking for a Birthday gift, Christmas gift or other event, the Smart Ball Kick Up Counting Football is the perfect gift for football fans aged 6 years and over
- PRACTISE: Great for practising your kick ups and freestyling skills
- Official THFC kids graphic T-shirt
- Large club crest print to front; small crest print to sleeve
- Garment Size (Chest): 2/3yrs 25"; 4/5yrs 27"; 6/7yrs 29"; 8/9yrs 32"; 10/11yrs 34"; 12/13yrs 36"
- 100% cotton, top quality T-shirt
- ❤Standard Size 5 Football(Diameter 21.5cm ) Special TPU Exterior Material: Resists abrasions and provides optimum feel. Great for soccer training and practicing your soccer skills. Quickly control the ball and precisely pass and shoot; great ball for a beginning or young athlete.
- ❤Premier Quality: High Rebound Butyl rubber bladder for excellent air and shape retention- 2 to 4 weeks.
- ❤Great Performance: Machined-stitched construction ensures soft touch and high durability. Traditional panel graphics design.
- ❤Packaged by nice bag especially for sport ball, a good gift for your son/grandson/daughter.
- ❤Intended use: for son, grandson, daughter as a birthday/thanksgiving day/holiday/new year/christmas gift.
- NO NASTY CHEMICALS: Our kids drinking bottle is BPA FREE & LFGB certified so you know your children are safe making the perfect football water bottle. The strong food-grade silicone ensures this kids drinks bottle is safe and a great football gift or boys birthday gift
- EVERYDAY I’M GUZZLIN’: Do your kids drink enough water? With a capacity of 500ml, up to 4 refills of this kids bottle is enough for their daily intake to be met. The flip-top spout makes the elefunkie childrens drinks bottle practical as well.
- FUNKY & FUNCTIONAL: Stunning football design you won’t find on another drinks bottles for kids. And when it’s all said and done, collapse it and put it away. Truly a unique gift for boys & girls and great as a birthday gift for boys
- DROP RESISTANT & LEAKPROOF: When did the last boys drinks bottle you bought lasted a whole school year? The elefunkie kids sport bottle is drop resistant up to 4ft making it ideal for sports and other fun activities
- ADD TO CART: Once you’re done, collapse, clip and go. All elefunkie water bottle for kids come with a carabiner so you’ll never lose it. So CLICK ADD TO CART and take advantage of our 30 day money back guarantee and give them the perfect boys gift
- ❤[3D Visual Football Lamp] Using a creative laser engraved optical acrylic plate,Football Night Light looks like a 3D etched line when lit at night and The-three dimensional illusion effect makes your room more unique and warm,helping you to sleep better.
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- ❤[Dual-Power] Compatible with all USB interface,such as Laptop,Computer,USB Power Bank,USB Power Adaptor.and any other with USB Connector.Or use 3*AAA battery(Not included) .
- ❤ [Perfect Gift for Kids/Friends] High quality LED light is soft and harmless to children’s eyes.Simple and stylish design,suitable for Birthday,Anniversary,Housewarming,Graduation,Engagement,Velentines,Romantic time;It can be put in bedroom,child room,living room,bar,shop,cafe,restaurant etc.As decorative light ,and as best gift for your friends or children.
- ❤ [Guarantee] Please free feel to contact with our customers services team.Guarantee 100% refund or replacement if you are not happy with our 3D visual night light.
- Measure the speed of your kick! Hi-tech smart ball can measure kick speeds of up to 100 kph. Can you reach the max?
- Tells you your speed. Talking ball is a novel training aid. Great gift for footy fans ages 6 up
- Easy to use. Put the ball on the kick-off base, just one click and it’s time to kick! Ideal Gift
- Use on any surface. Rest the base on the ground in a garden, hall, field or on a beach
- High quality and great value. Tough enough for the hardest kicks. Offers outdoor fun for everyone
- WITH YOUR KIDS AS THEY GROW: Are you tired of replacing your kids drinking bottle after a few uses? Our collapsible water bottle is made with the highest grade silicone and is sure to withstand the roughest of play. Kick, throw, hit and roll, this bottle can take it all
- THE PERFECT BOREDOM BUSTER: Looking for the perfect football gifts for boys and girls to bust any lockdown boredom. No more nagging or stress, With our fun and funky kids bottle your kid will fall in love with drinking water. Drink, shrink, kick repeat
- READY TO EXPLORE: Say goodbye to wet and soggy bags with our leakproof kids water bottle! The innovative collapsible sports design of our boys water bottle can go from 550ml to 200ml easily, saving space and ensuring that your child is always hydrated
- SAFE FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS: Your child's health is our highest priority! Our kids drinks bottle is certified BPA FREE, durable, 100% leak-proof and reduces daily plastic waste. Featuring a convenient Cleaning Brush to help you keep the spout in tip top condition and germ free
- BUY PEACE OF MIND: As parents with two kids under 7 years old we strive to bring only the best quality and safe products that we know will make a difference for you and your little star's life. We are sure that your child will absolutely love this reusable water bottle, if however, you are not satisfied with your purchase, let us know via the "Ask a question" section. We offer a 30 day money back guarantee
- Premium 80% Cotton 20% Polyester
- Handprinted in the UK using the latest DTG Printing
- Size Guide Chest Measurements: Small 35-37", Medium 38-40", Large 41-43", XL 44-46", XXL 47-49"
- Great Value With No Compromise
- Machine Washable
- 7 Colors Night Light: The football night light has 7 colors change- Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Cyan, Pink, White,it can gradually change one color or 7 colors auto changing.
- Flat Arcylic Night Light: The Football night light is a flat arcylic panel, but it is a 3D illusion effect, beautiful and special design in the night, best gifts for home decor.
- USB charging interface, easy to charge. Comprised of 4mm acrylic glass which is both durable and beautiful.
- Energy Saving: Power spend: 0.012kW.H/24 hours; LED Life Span: 10000hours. Spend less energy even turn on in a whole night.
- Best Gifts and Decors for Kids Childen bedroom and for all holidays, birthdays,Christmas. 100% satisfied purchase experience available.
- ❤CREATIVE 3D VISUALS ROOM DECOR: This is a 3D illusion light that displays football when it lights up, and an optical acrylic flat board carved with laser light gives you amazing 3D visuals. The 3d night light itself actually is flat but can creates an innovative 3D visual artistic atmosphere light. This is sure to surprise and impress your children and guests. Amazing optical visual illusion home football lamp makes your room more interesting.
- ❤7 COLORS CHANGING WITH SMART TOUCH: By acrylic light guide and the LED colorful source, LED football light can export a variety of color visual effects with a touch of the button on the base. This 3D LED illusion lamp has 7 different colors for you to change and choose, easily realizing your colourful 3D visual illusion depending on your mood or surrounding. Then the 8th touch to turn on makes it into the random colors.
- ❤A GUARANTEE OF QUALITY SLEEP: The kids lamp adopts newly designed ABS lamp holder and environment-friendly acrylic material, which is strong and high in toughness. 3D illusion lamp football is the most suitable bedside decoration lamps for infants and children. The light of table desk lamp is soft and bright, let your lovely child feel warm and have a good sleep at night.
- ❤LONG LASTING & ENERGY SAVING: Give your child a 3d football light to satisfy his curiosity about the unknown area. Durable ABS base in which there are 9 LED beads, powered by 5V USB cable connected to computer, laptop or your household adaptor. Power dissipation: 0.012kw.h/24 hours; LED Life span: 10000hours. This football night light for boys takes less energy, and even turns it on all night.
- ❤FOOTBALL GIFTS FOR BOYS: The beautifully designed gift boxes with our colour changing lamp are not only the best football toys for young football fans, but also the best Christmas gifts for children on birthdays, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, weddings, anniversaries, baby gifts, farewell parties, New Year's day and other best gifts for your family and friends.
- Hollow Chocolate Football
- Premier League Edition made with milk chocolate
- Made with the delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate
- Our cocoa beans are sourced through the Cocoa Life Sustainability Program
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Official Liverpool FC mens polo shirt
- Club crest embroidery to chest
- Garment Size (CHEST): Small 40"; Medium 42"; Large 44"; XL 46"; XXL 50"; 3XL 54"
- Hi spec polo shirt: club branded buttons & neck label
- Collect it, colour it, play it, an ideal gift for boys and girls whatever the occasion
- Mini football with five colouring pens for distinct colouring-in fun
- Includes ball pump and stand to proudly display their handiwork
- But it isn’t just for colouring in, it also encourages children to get into the garden for a kickabout
- BrainBox Football is the 10-minute brain challenge that'll test your football knowledge while developing your memory and observation skills
- Each of its 54 cards features fun facts about a beloved football club; try to memorise everything that you see and read before flipping over the card to answer questions
- You won't only be learning about famous players and stadiums but also keeping an eye out for details. Can you remember if the penalty spot was visible?
- Made with a minimum of 70 Percent recycled materials, this green and travel-friendly game is a quick-playing delight that's good for play with family or groups of friends
- 1+ Players | Ages 8+ | 10 Minute Playing Time
- ⚽ Pratice And Enjoy - Perfect solo soccer trainer with premium quality and adjustable cord stretching up to 18 ft.Also comes with a durable tethered waistband, Enjoy praticing and improving your skills of control ball, shooting, passing, receiving, dribbling, throw-in like without chasing and pressured all around
- ⚽ Universal fits different sized balls-The football elastic band includes 5 velcro straps, the length of the velcro has 28cm, suitable ball size of 3, 4 and 5 ball.Players of all levels can gain more soccer skills through using this soccer training equipment
- ⚽ Flexible and Adjustable - The football training kit's belt strap is adjustable to fit waist sizes (33"-39").The elastic strap stretches 6ft -18 ft.Flexible adjustment of the ball length for better praticing and playing in backyard,playground and park for kids and adults
- ⚽ Develop Confidence - Shooting, passing, receiving, throw-ins, all of these ball control skills can obtain by training with this solo soccer kick trainer.Develop your confidence by improve the accuracy of the goal for each game
- ⚽ 100% Satisfaction After-sales Service: Kuyou promise to provide you the best option for outdoor articles. Please email us if you have any question, we will reply in 24 working hours
- Official LFC boys zip through hoody
- Full colour club crest; LFC branded zip
- Garment Size (Chest): 2-3yrs 27"; 4-5yrs 28"; 6-7yrs 30"; 8-9yrs 34"; 10-11yrs 38"; 12-13yrs 40"
- Elasticated rib detail to cuffs & waist
- The 5 ft stretch cord with adjustable clip lets you vary your training and practice even in smaller spaces
- The Velcro strap attaches to your wrist Hands-free use means you can focus on training
- The adjustable strap can accept any size 3, 4 or 5 footballs
- Ball not included
- The fastest, easiest way to work on your skills, without the frustrating ball-retrieval bits, practice shooting, passing and ball control whenever and wherever you like