Good players who made the wrong career move

KirkDuyt

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On the subject of lesser players. Mostly all players from Sub top Dutch teams (basically all team bar Aja and PSV) he go to the PL fail no matter how well they did in our league.

Bryan Ruiz
Steven Berghuis
Alireza Jahanbaksh
Vincent Janssen
Mateja Kezman

Especially creative dudes like the first 3, who join relegation fodder in the PL, where they're suddenly expected to mostly defend and play a completely different game.

That's why Ziyech did well to develop until a topclub came around. If he had taken an offer from something like Everton a few years ago he would've been similarly fecked.
 

youngrell

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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’m sure SAF praises Veron’s stamina and fitness levels in one of his books, saying it really stood out.

Have to agree it was a bad career move for him though. Gets unfairly labelled as one of the worst signings of the PL era.
 

Skills

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Zlatan to Barca is an obvious one. Inter won the treble in his absence.
They probably wouldn't have won it with him though (the CL).

The money they got for Ibrahimovic funded both Sneijder & Millito in addition to Eto'o who was included in the swap deal.
 

stubie

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Baggio to Milan

At the time it seemed the right move to go there and partner Weah whilst been coached by Capello but he never looked the player he was at Juventus.

After 2 below par seasons at Milan he moved onto Bologna where he reinvented himself and made the Italian squad for the 1998 World Cup
 

anant

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Mbappe to PSG. He's been a success for them, but it has meant that he's made it harder for himself to play in one of the more competitive leagues and this will definitely cost him a Ballon D'Or or two
 

Baxter

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Mbappe to PSG. He's been a success for them, but it has meant that he's made it harder for himself to play in one of the more competitive leagues and this will definitely cost him a Ballon D'Or or two
I think it’s been a great move for him. Only 21 and depending whether he extends his contract, or not, he’ll have the pick of any team going into his prime years.
 

youngrell

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They probably wouldn't have won it with him though (the CL).

The money they got for Ibrahimovic funded both Sneijder & Millito in addition to Eto'o who was included in the swap deal.
True, but the OP said to ignore that Liverpool may not have won with Coutinho so it’s only fair.
 

Hoboman

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Shearer to Newcastle
Woodgate and Owen to Real
Aubameyang to Arsenal
Griezmann to Barcelona
Gourcuff to AC Milan
 

Jibbs

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Mata to Man United. In Chelsea he could have been as influential as David Silva has been for City.
 

Robertd0803

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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
Smith was signed before Rooney to play with RVN and supposedly United werent going to bid for Rooney until the following summer but Newcastle forced their hand. And this was before Ronaldo became the best in the world. Not so much wrong with the signing until he got replaced within a few weeks by Rooney.

Being converted to a midfielder was desparation on Fergies part.

But anyway Neymar wins this thread and all similar threads.
 

Stack

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Joe Cole to Chelsea. Cole was a highly creative and talented player but he ended up at Chelsea when Mourinho had constructed a team that followed very rigid tactics. Mourinho put Cole out wide and then wanted him to track from defence to attack in a limiting manner relative to Coles strengths. Cole should have gone somewhere that played to his strengths and not inhibited them
 

Scroto Baggins

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Neymar.

Im not even sure why he left Barca? I understand players being ambitious, growing their game at places like Arsenal, Spurs, Inter etc and then getting that big move to RM, Barca etc. But Neymar got that move to a big club most players pursue their whole careers, playing alongside the likes of Messi, only young so could have played out his career at Barca. Could of been in contention for the Ballon d'or as Messi and Ronaldo got older, but instead, PSG?

Don't get me wrong ligue 1 is an ok league, but it certainly is not as competitive as the Prem or even La Liga, despite it being a two horse race a lot of the time.
 

MrMarcello

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Smith was signed before Rooney to play with RVN and supposedly United werent going to bid for Rooney until the following summer but Newcastle forced their hand. And this was before Ronaldo became the best in the world. Not so much wrong with the signing until he got replaced within a few weeks by Rooney.

Being converted to a midfielder was desparation on Fergies part.

But anyway Neymar wins this thread and all similar threads.
Smith was signed as cover to Ruud and Saha.

SAF always coveted four solid strikers to rotate and deal with inevitable injuries. Smith was to join Forlan as backups. Then Rooney was signed. Smith saw plenty of action that first season with Ruud and Saha's injuries.
 

Jack - City Fan

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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.
God he was an awful buy. Was never going to make it at City and always looked out of his debt. Utter madness.
 

Mr Smith

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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.
Nope. Won two league titles and a league cup with us, and featured in a CL final. Was the league's top scorer in 2011 and scored a slew of hattricks including one against Liverpool. All with us.

It might not have gone well all the time, but the high points of his career all came with us, and I'm sure he'd tell you the same.
 
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Nope. Won two league titles and a league cup with us, and featured in a CL final. Was the league's top scorer in 2011 and scored a slew of hattricks including one against Liverpool. All with us.

It might not have gone well all the time, but the high points of his career all came with us, and I'm sure he'd tell you the same.
He never fitted in at United. Of course he won trophies, but was never integral to the team.
 

lysglimt

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There are hundreds of players who made the wrong move:

in addition to the most obvious ones already mentioned - Torres, Veron, Di Maria etc etc - here are some more

Mateja Kezman to Chelsea
Adrian Mutu to Chelsea
Michael Owen to Newcastle
Tore Andre Flo to Rangers and then to Sunderland
Hugo Viana to Newcastle
Albert Luque to Newcastle
Stephane G'uivarch to Newcastle
Alberto Aquilani to Liverpool
Thomas Brolin to Leeds
Francis Jeffers to Arsenal
Sergei Rebrov to Spurs
 

Invictus

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Edwin van der Sar, the first non-Italian goalkeeper bought by Juventus. An integral part of van Gaal's legendary Ajax team given his organisational skills and composure on the ball — winning the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year award in 1995, ESM Goalkeeper of the Year award in 1996, finishing 3rd in the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper rankings in 1998. Never quite looked the part in Turin and frequently copped a lot of flack for them conceding the title to Lazio/Roma, and replaced by the apple of everyone's eye, Buffon. Bounced back quite nicely, though — sturdy at Fulham, and probably the greatest old-category modern goalkeeper at United to wrap up his career. Should've just moved to United in 1999, instead of taking a needlessly long route! ;)

Thierry Henry, also to Juventus — where he was miscast as a winger by Ancelotti, and probably couldn't have ever thrived given the presence of Del Piero (as they were both skillful ball carriers with a certain virtuoso streak). Moved to Arsenal after just half a season in Turin, and the rest is history of course.

Zlatan Ibrahimović to Barcelona as well: good player, but not a great fit for the club or Guardiola's collective ethos, too much of a distraction at certain points with Raiola in the background, and not submissive or tactically rigorous enough to form a beneficial axis over the medium term with Messi. Again, did pretty well for himself in the years to come so it wasn't a career-derailing move.

Maybe Robert Prosinečki to Real Madrid, too. Never truly hit the performance levels of Crvena Zvezda, and then spent couple of mediocre years in Sevilla and Barcelona. Did reasonably well on his return to Zagreb, but not a leading light of the generation at club level from a broader view — so a bit different from van der Sar, Henry and Ibrahimović.
 

Pretzels81

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Ronaldinho to AC Milan
Ibra to FCB
Shevchenko to Chelsea
Torres to Chelsea
Rémy to Chelsea
Gotze to Bayern
Coutinho to FCB
Sánchez to Man Utd
Lukaku to Man Utd

Too early to say but the signs are already there:
Neymar to PSG
Hazard to Madrid
Griezmann to FCB
De Jong to FCB
 

Gio

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Neil Franklin to Independiente Sante Fe. Established as the best defender in the country and probably its greatest so far, he left Stoke for the Colombian league, but came back after just 3 months as an outcast, missing out of the 1950 and 1954 World Cups (with the war putting paid to the two before that).
Tom Finney said:
Neil was the best centre-half I ever played with or against. Just before the 1950 World Cup, he went off to play in Colombia thinking he was going to make a bit of money, but it didn't work out. When he came back, the FA were furious and clubs wouldn't touch him. He was still good enough to play for England, though. It was very sad.
 

Gopher Brown

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On the subject of lesser players. Mostly all players from Sub top Dutch teams (basically all team bar Aja and PSV) he go to the PL fail no matter how well they did in our league.

Bryan Ruiz
Steven Berghuis
Alireza Jahanbaksh
Vincent Janssen
Mateja Kezman

Especially creative dudes like the first 3, who join relegation fodder in the PL, where they're suddenly expected to mostly defend and play a completely different game.

That's why Ziyech did well to develop until a topclub came around. If he had taken an offer from something like Everton a few years ago he would've been similarly fecked.
It’s a bit early to be calling Ziyech a success.
 

The Cat

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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.
SAF said in his book that he just couldn't get him to do what he wanted. He didn't speak a word and would pop up all over the place and never fitted the team plan. At the same time he did things that were fantastic but he just didn't fit the team structure that everyone else was following.
 

sugar_kane

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Mata to Man United. In Chelsea he could have been as influential as David Silva has been for City.
Shearer tuning United down. BIg mistake.
Agreed on Mata/Shearer - was buzzing when we signed Mata but he wasted the best years of his career with us because we were a club in disarray.

While he was right to leave Mourinho's Chelsea he would have much better suited a role to a team with pace and creativity around him.

Shearer one doesn't really need explaining, although to be fair Newcastle seemed to be on the cusp of achieving something when he moved. He definitely thought with his heart rather than his head though.

Martial to Utd...probably cost him a World Cup.
Going to United was a good move for him, he was just unlucky to get saddled with Mourinho once LVG left.

Still not 100% convinced he'll make it here (or any big club for that matter) but I think that will be of his own doing now rather than the coaching staff.