Good players who made the wrong career move

Ish

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I was chatting about Coutinho with a friend a couple of days ago and it got me thinking about this topic. Now I am not saying Coutinho has definitely made the wrong career choice, fact is, he'd still have won a few league titles in different countries - but thinking about his form and how he's also struggled, there might be a case for an argument. It's obviously not clear that Pool would have been as successful with him either, but that's not really the point of discussion. Obviously there are a few variables to consider: injuries, titles won, game time etc.

So are there any other examples of good/very good players who made the wrong career moves and had their careers derailed?
 

MrMarcello

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Veron, twice.

First to United, with mixed results, and then to Chelsea, an utter disaster granted his injuries likely occur wherever he went that season. He fared much better upon returning to Italy, likely a league suited to his abilities and fitness levels.

I read elsewhere that physically he wasn't built for the Premiership and required space and less running, like in Italy, which wouldn't tire him out as the match carried on. Dunno how much of that opinion is truth but looking back perhaps the right player but the wrong league.
 

reoffender

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Kagawa and Mkhikitaryan from Dortmund to United.

Pogba from Juventus to United?
 

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Veron, twice.

First to United, with mixed results, and then to Chelsea, an utter disaster granted his injuries likely occur wherever he went that season. He fared much better upon returning to Italy, likely a league suited to his abilities and fitness levels.

I read elsewhere that physically he wasn't built for the Premiership and required space and less running, like in Italy, which wouldn't tire him out as the match carried on. Dunno how much of that opinion is truth but looking back perhaps the right player but the wrong league.
I never really saw Verón hit the same heights again even when he’d left the Premier League. His physical level in his first stint in Serie A was the best in his career where he often duelled with some box-to-box machines such as Davids, Deschamps, Seedorf, Winter, Conte, Di Livio etc and physically more than held his own. Upon joining United he attributed a shortened pre-season as a reason for failing to reach the same level. There were obviously stylistic clashes but I simply don’t think he was the same physical specimen post 2001.
 
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Kaka from AC to Madrid
 

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Bergkamp. From the centrepiece of Ajax’s free-flowing 4-3-3 attack to a defensive Inter ploughing a lonely furrow and unable to forge a partnership with the mercurial but individualistic Sosa. Miserable I’m Milan while Ajax became the best club side in Europe.
 

el3mel

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Depay to United too can qualify.

You can bring the majority of our signings and say they made the wrong move at this point anyway. :lol:
 

Maluco

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Mendieta to Lazio. He was genuinely one of the worlds best midfielders before that.
 

el3mel

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That was a loan move and he'd been crocked. Not sure it counts
It was a terrible move for him back then. Back from ACL tear and decided to restore his fitness and form in a league as tense as premier league. This and the next move to Chelsea fecked up his career and never managed to return till few years later with Monaco.
 

McGrathsipan

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Di Maria to United as well.
Sanchez to United

Moves that did not go well at all.
 

The Siege

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Robinho to Man City. It was probably a great move financially for him, but it started fading his career away.
 
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Berbatov to Utd might be controversial, but he never really hit the heights he should have and wasn’t suited to Utd. Whether he would have been better at City we don’t know.
 

lsd

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Di Maria to United as well.
Sanchez to United

Moves that did not go well at all.

Sanchez didn't make the wrong move . He was past his best and got a huge pay day .

Di Maria however never wanted to be at United so he clesfly made the wrong move .

Torres to Chelsea ruined his reputation

Asprilla to Newcastle

Drinkwater to Chelsea

Rodwell to City
 

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Ozil to Arsenal. He should have stayed in Spain or moved to Germany.
 

JPRouve

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Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. He was playing for the best(second best) club in the world and spent the first five years of his Madrid career in an underperforming football club. I'm convinced that United and Ronaldo would have won a lot more than what he won with Madrid.
 

MrEleson

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Ronaldo to Juventus.

He would have won the 2018 Ballon D’or ahead of Modric had he remained and potentially taken Madrid to a CL 4-peat in the 18/19 season (they would have certainly gotten past Ajax with the chances they missed in the 2nd leg of that tie). Also, he would likely have helped this Madrid team to be well clear of Barca in the league both last season and this season. Moreover, his goal-record wouldn’t have taken much of a hit with the superior creativity at Madrid. At Juve he has to do more himself which could go some way to affecting his longevity.
 

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Beckham to Madrid, he went from the jewel in the crown of the best loved club in the world to a bit-part player, carrying water for lesser players for an obscene authoritarian club.
 

FootballHQ

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Andy Carroll to Liverpool?

According to him he didn't even want to move but Newcastle badly wanted the money. He'd already scored 11 prem goals by Boxing day of that season. With all the injuries hasn't come close to beating that tally since.

Signed on same day as Luis Suarez.
 

schwalbe

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I always thought that joining Arsenal was a bit of a weird career move by Aubameyang. But there probably wasn't any interest from a bigger club.

Financially it was probably a no brainer and he's playing in a better league but it's not like his chance of winning something increased, if anything it's the opposite. With Dortmund he at least got to play in the champions League.
 

Tom Cato

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Neymar to PSG has to be the worst career move in recent years. Completely blew his shot at being one of the greats. Still has a career, but what an absolute waste in PSG.
 

padr81

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Probably controversial but Mangala to City.

He was a good defender whose inability to use the ball at City, destroyed his confidence and mentally ruined him, led to mistake after mistake at a point where he was on the verge of the French squad. Never developed after that and just fell away into a reserve at Everton.
 

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Depay to United too can qualify.

You can bring the majority of our signings and say they made the wrong move at this point anyway. :lol:
His stock seems to have risen for Lyon and Holland but I still think he's a level below the top European sides
 

norm87cro

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Alan Smith to United. He was a striker not a f... midfielder. The team had Ronaldo and Rooney and he definetly could have had a better career some where else
 

el3mel

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His stock seems to have risen for Lyon and Holland but I still think he's a level below the top European sides
He was considered one of the top talents around at PSV before moving to United. This move did hurt him a lot back then (regardless of my opinion about him). LVG tried to play him as a striker then left winger, then totally gave up on him and benched him for good, while switching Martial from striker to left winger to play there instead of him, and kept Rooney as a striker, before Rashford emerged and took the spot and Rooney became a midfielder, all while Depay was playing for few games here and there and never managed to take his spot back. He did nothing at the end of the day in the season and half he spent at United.

His move to Lyon did reignited his career but looking back he chose the wrong move to United back then.
 

fps

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Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. He was playing for the best(second best) club in the world and spent the first five years of his Madrid career in an underperforming football club. I'm convinced that United and Ronaldo would have won a lot more than what he won with Madrid.
It had been his dream to play for Madrid since he was a kid and he’s written himself into their record books and legend. It doesn’t get better than that for him.
 

JPRouve

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It had been his dream to play for Madrid since he was a kid and he’s written himself into their record books and legend. It doesn’t get better than that for him.
I know but you could say that for pretty much all the transfers mentioned, they all have a good reason it doesn't mean that it was the good career move. What you are describing is the good personal move.
 

RedNed77

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Gascogne to Spurs. Was given free reign to be a party boy and as great as he was, I still can’t help but feel a father figure like Fergie could have worked a lot better for him than what his career actually turned into.
 
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Alan Smith to United. He was a striker not a f... midfielder. The team had Ronaldo and Rooney and he definetly could have had a better career some where else
he started off very well, and injury ruined his career. He was always going to be a squad player.
 

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I want to say Bale to Madrid, but he did win 4 CL's and Im quite sure he scored a bicycle kick in one of those finals.
 

pascell

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Malcom to Barca springs to mind, just finding some form and seemed settled. No idea what he's doing now.

Also the Brazilian striker Barca also signed.

Jovic to Real could turn into the same situation.

Renato Sanches to Bayern, never found any kind of form.
 

SilentWitness

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I want to say Bale to Madrid, but he did win 4 CL's and Im quite sure he scored a bicycle kick in one of those finals.
Yeah, he probably scored the best ever CL Final goal (along with Zidane) and was MOTM in that final because he won it for them. I suppose he would have been loved more at other clubs so I get what you mean but in terms of trophies and wealth I think he's done alright.
 

Sandikan

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Stretching the level of "good" player a bit here with the company of names above, but as someone mentioned Rodwell he's fair game... Scott Sinclair.

Ripped it up at Swansea both in the champs 2010-11, and prem 2011-12, then played just 19 games in 3 seasons at City,
Then it took until 2015-16 for him to play a decent amount of games in a season again - 33, having not played above 16 games in a season for 4 years.

Had some fun at Celtic later on, but City was a disaster.
 

hasanejaz88

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Hotlby to Spurs.

He was doing well enough at Schalke but refused to sign a contract and then moved to Spurs, where he just sat on the bench and declined. I think he would've had a bigger impact had he stayed in a BL club and played more.

Meyer to Crystal Palace is similar as well. Why the hell did he move to that team?!