The return of Romelu Lukaku InterMilan marks the end of his nightmare at chelsea. The £97million man scored just eight Premier League goals in his terrible season back in the English capital and is now going on loan, becoming one of the worst transfers in the history of the Premier League. Here, Express Sport takes a look at other transfer moves that have gone completely wrong.
Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United and Henrik Mkhitaryan to Arsenal (swap deal)
There are few transfer deals in the history of football worse than the swap deal between Manchester United and Arsenal for Sanchez and Mkhitaryan. Both players failed at their new clubs and found themselves on loan in Serie A within 18 months.
Sanchez was a particularly expensive flop, the striker was rumored to be earning around £500,000 a week at Manchester, scoring just five goals for that expense. Mkhitaryan wasn’t much better, scoring nine times before moving on.
Both players eventually joined their loan squads on free transfers in the summer of 2020. Mkhitaryan joined Roma after his contract was terminated while Sanchez moved to Inter. A truly awful transfer that brought no benefit to anyone involved.
Angel Di Maria to Manchester United (£59.7m)
Fresh off a man of the match performance in the 2014 Champions League final, Di Maria seemed like the perfect fit at Old Trafford. The deal was the most expensive transfer ever for an English club at the time and was expected to be a long-term replacement Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, the Argentine failed during his spell in the North West scoring only four goals. It was sold to PSG in a £44million deal after one season and has had a strained relationship with United fans ever since for comments made in the media.
Andy Carroll to Liverpool (£35m)
With Fernando Torres set to move to Chelsea in a £50m deal, liverpool were left frantically searching for a replacement on January transfer deadline day in 2011. They decided to sign two players, one was the hugely successful Luis Suarez, the other was Carroll.
In truth, the striker should never have been put in the position he was in and flopped to the club like a panic buy. The Geordie scored just 11 goals in 58 games during an injury spell before being sent to West Ham initially on loan before making it permanent.
The man he replaced at Liverpool could easily have landed on this list – but Torres was saved thanks to his significant exploits in Europe.
Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea (£40m)
As an important member of Monaco’s Champions League semi-final squad in 2016-17, Bakayoko seemed like the perfect player to improve the Blues. He came to replace the impressive Nemanja Matic who was cleared to join Manchester United to make room for the Frenchman.
However, Bakayoko struggled in the capital, with his time at the club littered with silly mistakes. Bizarrely, he remains on Chelsea’s books despite having been on loan every season since 2018, with the Blues unable to find a buyer, currently halfway through a two-year loan deal at AC Milan.
Eliaquim Mangala to Man City (£42m)
Considered one of the world’s brightest young centre-backs when he signed in 2014. It looked like he could prove to be a successful signing after an impressive debut against Chelsea.
However, this turned out to be the highlight of his Manchester City career and it was a constant downward spiral thereafter. He eventually joined Valencia on a free transfer in 2019 after an unsuccessful loan spell at Everton.
Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea (£71m)
Kepa originally looked like a good signing for the London club after delivering a string of strong performances for the Blues in 2018.
However, his Chelsea career took a nosedive after refusing to be substituted in the 2019 League Cup final. Chelsea then lost the penalty shootout to Manchester City and Kepa’s confidence the accompanied. The keeper’s stats fell off a cliff in the games that followed and he has since been replaced as No.1 by Edouard Mendy.
Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea (£35m)
One of N’Golo Kante’s biggest accomplishments will be helping Drinkwater move to Chelsea. The pair struck an impressive partnership by winning the Premier League with Leicester in 2016 that Chelsea hoped to continue.
However, Drinkwater was completely outmatched at Chelsea, appearing just 23 times at Stamford Bridge. He was regularly loaned out to the club, slowly slipping through the football pyramid. His most recent move saw him join Championship wrestlers Reading. He will eventually leave the club at the end of his contract this summer.
Ali Dia in Southampton (free)
Ali Dia’s story is one of the most entertaining and bizarre stories in football history. Somehow, the Senegalese managed to convince Southampton manager Graham Souness that he was the cousin of legendary Liberian star George Weah.
This was enough to convince Souness to offer Dia a month-long contract in 1996. He made one appearance for the South Coast, filling in before being quickly substituted himself, such was the level of his performance. His contract was terminated after 14 days and he moved to Gateshead where he was transferred within a year for being too poor. He is considered by many to be the worst player to ever play in the Premier League.
Radamel Falcao to Manchester United and Chelsea (loans)
Falcao was considered one of the best strikers in the world when he signed for Manchester United on loan from Monaco in 2014. However, the Colombian had only recently recovered from a serious ACL injury when he arrived in the northwest.
The striker has found no form at Old Trafford and has scored just four goals in 29 games. He was considered by many pundits to be one of the worst signings of the season.
Inexplicably, Chelsea decided they wanted a piece of the action and loaned him out the following season. He was even worse at Stamford Bridge scoring just once in an injury spell.
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