Worst Transfers of all Time

Classical Mechanic

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People like to cite Sanchez from Arsenal to United as the worst of all time but is it?

His wages are crazy so it’s broken our wage structure but there was no fee as he was swapped for a dud who now driving Arsenal fans crazy.

Some other contenders

Denilson São Paulo to Betis in 1998 for £21.5m which was a world record fee at the time.

Often cited as the worst transfer of all time but he made 186 appearances for Betis over 7 season, although only scoring a meagre 13 goals. It was more that he turned out to be very average rather than flopping spectacularly.

Gaizka Mendiata Valencia to Lazio in 2001 for around £40m which made him the 6th most expensive player of all time.

He was rated as one of the world’s top players when he signed for Lazio. Sadly (for the Lazio board) he flopped hard in Italy and only made 20 Serie A appearances before being shipped off on loan to Barcelona. He played a lot in a relatively terrible Barca side in the season he was there finishing 6th. Weirdly he then found a happy home in Middlesbrough for 5 seasons, after joining on a free transfer. Lazio recouped no money on the fee they paid only 3 years after signing him.

Eliaquim Mangala FC Porto - Man City in 2014 for £42m, a world record fee for a centre back.

Came in a typically dodgy deal to City where they tried to report his fee as less than it was. Footy leaks later revealed the fee to be a world record one for a centre back after City had paid off some dodgy third party owner.

He won a couple of titles at City but was kind of rubbish and never established himself as an important member of the team. He wasn’t for giving up his big wages so stayed on City’s payroll until this summer when they granted him a free transfer to Valencia.

Any others?
 
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simonhch

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Lentini for 10.9M, which was a world record, and just gargantuan fee at the time. Promptly had a massive car crash, and was never the same player again.
 

Shakesey

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Damn, Kaka was bad, forgot about that. I so wished that City had signed him, alas, he bottled it.
And we will never know if the Kaka who signed for City turned out to be a hit...

And what about the Sanchez who signed for City? He might have been good, who knows?
 

Halds

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Andy Carroll. The 8th most expensive transfer in the world at the time, and british transfer record. What a waste of money that was.
 

Classical Mechanic

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Lentini for 10.9M, which was a world record, and just gargantuan fee at the time. Promptly had a massive car crash, and was never the same player again.
I remember reading about the transfer happening when I was a kid and thinking ‘Wow he must be amazing’ but then he disappeared completely, took a few years to get the full story in the pre-internet days.
 

Stepney73

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In recent times Di Maria must be one of the worst because he made it clear from the start he wanted to go to PSG and never realy wanted to be here.

How the club allowed that deal to go ahead God only knows.
 

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Was Mendiata really only the 6th most expensive player of all time? I’d have thought £40m in 2001 was in the top 3.
 

fps

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Ousmane Dembele and Phillippe Coutinho.

People forget about them and the crazy numbers involved! People (Barcelona) started paying these stupid fees for players, and boy have they not paid off. There is time for them to, of course, but I think time will be very unkind to these deals.
 

Classical Mechanic

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Surely Neymar's would be looked back on as the worst. Surely. Someone should work out how much PSG paid per goal and per game Neymar has played for them so far.
It depends on what deal they can do for him. I think transfers like Mendieta, Sanchez and Mangala are the worst because they were so bad and earned so much they basically became worthless in the transfer market. Neymar still holds a very high value. I think Barca offered something like 90m + Countinho for him.
 

JPRouve

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In 2000 Severino Lucas joined Rennes for 21m€, he was absolutely shoddy.
 

Kajus

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Surely Neymar's would be looked back on as the worst. Surely. Someone should work out how much PSG paid per goal and per game Neymar has played for them so far.
I thought he was doing alright for them? Aside from the dodgy sister birthday business I mean. Not worth the fee obviously, but not a flop either.
 
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Ousmane Dembele and Phillippe Coutinho.

People forget about them and the crazy numbers involved! People (Barcelona) started paying these stupid fees for players, and boy have they not paid off. There is time for them to, of course, but I think time will be very unkind to these deals.
Think they bought Ibra (good player mind) from Inter for £50m+ PLUS ETO!

What a deal for Inter? Then years later, they went full reverse by buying Lukaku off us :)
 

buckooo1978

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Bogarde for Chelsea was a bad one - flew back to Amsterdam after training most days and barely played a game
 

JPRouve

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I’ve literally never heard of him!
That's why it's probably the worst transfer of all time. Most of the transfers mentioned aren't fit to be named next to that because they concern footballers that are/were actually good at some point.
 

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Ibra for Barca. They lost a shit load of money and Samuel Etoo who won another treble with Inter.
That was a horrible transfer by Barcelona. Eto'o was world class and fitted in perfectly at Barcelona. He was in his prime at 28. And then they paid Inter £35 mio for the swap and had no idea how to fit in Ibrahimovich.
 

fps

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Think they bought Ibra (good player mind) from Inter for £50m+ PLUS ETO!

What a deal for Inter? Then years later, they went full reverse by buying Lukaku off us :)
Absolute shocker. Eto'o was SO GOOD, wow, he could do anything, would if anything be even more devastating in today's systems. Possible he was a bit difficult in the dressing room.
 

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It depends on what deal they can do for him. I think transfers like Mendieta, Sanchez and Mangala are the worst because they were so bad and earned so much they basically became worthless in the transfer market. Neymar still holds a very high value. I think Barca offered something like 90m + Countinho for him.
I thought he was doing alright for them? Aside from the dodgy sister birthday business I mean. Not worth the fee obviously, but not a flop either.
I guess you're both right. He does still have value.

Yet, PSG paid 222mil Euros and he only played 51 games for them in two seasons. That's 4.3mil per game.

And now he's itching to get out. Looking back at the fanfare and the PSG smugness after that transfer, I think he is/was a massive disappointment.
 

Casanova85

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By worst I consider those too expensive for what they offered on the pitch, or plain terrible failures/barely played despite being great players (previously)

Hagi to Barça.
Petit to Barça.
Overmars to Barça.
Riquelme to Barça.
Ibra to Barça.
Coutinho to Barça.

Farinós to Inter.
Mendieta to Lazio and then to Barça.

Balotelli to Liverpool.

Owen to Real M.
Kaká to Real M.

Shevchenko to Chelsea.

Ronaldinho to AC Milan.

Neymar to PSG: 222 million ! (that means CR + Ibra back in 2009) = no UCL, injured, poor discipline + lack of professionalism-overblown drama
 
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stepic

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By worst I consider those too expensive for what they offered on the pitch, or plain terrible failures/barely played despite being great players (previously)

Hagi to Barça.
Petit to Barça.
Overmars to Barça.
Riquelme to Barça.
Ibra to Barça.
Coutinho to Barça.

Farinós to Inter.
Mendieta to Lazio and then to Barça.

Owen to Real M.
Kaká to Real M.

Shevchenko to Chelsea.

Ronaldinho to AC Milan.

Neymar to PSG: no UCL, injured, poor discipline + lack of professionalism-overblown drama
Owen did alright for Madrid didnt he?
 

simonhch

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I remember reading about the transfer happening when I was a kid and thinking ‘Wow he must be amazing’ but then he disappeared completely, took a few years to get the full story in the pre-internet days.
Yep, similar reaction from me. I'd never even seen him play. Think I was about 12 or 13 when the transfer happened.
 

De Portago

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Here's another Barca doozy = Thomas Vermaelen for £15mil
Funnily Vermaelen was actually pretty good whenever he played besides maybe the last season. He was just injured 90% of the time sadly.
 

DavidDeSchmikes

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Mitroglou to Fulham. £12 million for 3 appearances and no goals
Carlos Tevez to Shanghai Shenhua. Cost £71m, on a MASSIVE salary 16 games, 4 goals, overweight, went back to Boca
Jackson Martinez at Atletico Madrid.
Roberto Soldado at Tottenham. £26m
 

simonhch

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Mendy from Monaco to Manchester City is pretty fecking appalling, given it's the 50th largest transfer of all time, and he's been massively shite the whole time.