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Biggest January Transfer Window Flops!

With Premier League clubs ready to splash the cash in the January sales, we look at some cautionary tales that prove a mid-season fix does not always end in positive results.

Savio Nsereko
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Savio who? Exactly. The Germany Under-19 striker had scored just three times in three seasons at Brescia, before an eyebrow-raising £9 million move to West Ham in January 2009.

The Uganda-born player started just one Premier League game before being shipped back to Italy at a huge loss to the Hammers. He’s subsequently failed to make an impact at a further seven clubs and is now plying his trade in Bulgaria, having been arrested by Thai police in 2012 on a false kidnap claim.

West Ham promised an investigation into Gianfranco Zola’s disastrous signing, but it has yet to materialize- much like Nsereko’s promise.

Andy Carroll
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Injuries to Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge have severely limited the striking options available to Jurgen Klopp up-front this season.

Some Pool fans lamented Brendan Rodgers’ decision to jettison Andy Carroll to West Ham, but a look at his time at Anfield is damning for the England striker. A £35 million signing by Kenny Dalglish on the day he also bought Luis Suarez and sold Fernando Torres, Carroll scored just six goals during a wretched eighteen months at Liverpool.

They were fortunate to recoup £15 million from West Ham, a figure close to their original offer to Newcastle United for the misfiring flop.

Fernando Torres
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While Andy Carroll was arriving at Anfield, Fernando Torres was making a sensational move to Chelsea for a then British record fee of £50 million.

At Liverpool he was one of the world’s most feared strikers, but there is a feeling that the Reds sold the Spaniard at the optimum time. He took over 900 minutes to notch his first Chelsea goal and Blues fans never took to their record signing as those at Anfield had.

He scored just 20 league goals in three-and-a-half seasons at Stamford Bridge, before an unsuccessful spell at AC Milan. He’s now back at boyhood club Atletico Madrid, where he’s notched two goals this season.

Diego Forlan
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Manchester United fans did warm to Diego Forlan but he’s fondly remembered for some uncharacteristic goals against Liverpool rather than his general form while at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson hijacked a move to Middlesborough in January 2002 for the Uruguayan, splashing around £7 million on the Independiente striker.

It famously took Forlan 27 games to register his first goal for United and he notched just nine more in the league before being offloaded to Villareal two years later at a £5 million loss.

He resurrected his career in Spain, becoming one of La Liga’s most prolific forwards and was named top player at the 2010 World Cup – feats which make his unsuccessful spell at United even more bewildering.

Afonso Alves
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Georginio Wijnaldum became the latest Dutch Player of the Year to make the move to the Premier League eighteen months ago, following in the successful footsteps of players like Luis Suarez, Jan Vertonghen, Dirk Kuyt and Jaap Stam.

However, success in the Eredivisie is no guarantee of success in England, as fans of Middlesborough can attest. Afonso Alves’ goalscoring record for Heerenveen was better than a goal per game, and Boro felt they’d nabbed a January bargain in 2008 when they stumped up £12 million for the Brazilian striker.

However, his time in the Premier League was the polar opposite of his success in Holland. He did start brightly with a few goals but his first full season at Boro was an unmitigated disaster.

He managed just four league goals in a campaign that led to Boro’s relegation to the Championship.




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