Top 7 most desperate panic buys in the Premier League. The intensity of the competition sometimes forces clubs to act in haste and desperation in the transfer market.
For every Bruno Fernandes, there is an Odion Ighalo. While Manchester United took a lot longer than their fans would have liked to bring in the midfielder, the former Watford striker’s recruitment was not given much thought. In fact, with United failing to bring in a forward in January, one would not be wrong to consider the Nigerian a panic buy.
As things stand, United are pleased with the signing. However, not all panic buys end the same way. Let us take a look at the top 7 most desperate panic buys in the Premier League and what did they amount to. For the purpose of this list, we will only look at players who were purchased by the club through cash or player trade. Therefore, players who came on loan will not be featured.
With that out of the way, let us now go ahead and list the players.
1) Papy Djilobodji- Nantes to Chelsea (2015)
Papy Djilobodji was a regular starter for Nantes and a solid defender, but during his days in Ligue 1, he never really looked like a player who could come in and do a job for Chelsea. Even Jose Mourinho admitted that Djilobodji was someone he wanted to bring in but was recommended by someone he trusted.
The Senegalese only featured in one game for the Blues after coming in as a deadline day before being sent out on loan and eventually sold the next summer. In truth Chelsea were desperate for a defender in their squad and in doing so, bought in a player they had no use for.
2) Marouane Fellaini- Everton to Manchester United (2013)
Marouane Fellaini fared much better than Djilobodji did for Chelsea. However, that is not worth bragging about. The Belgian was a workhorse who seemed to try his best for the club. However, the truth is he was never the player capable of overseeing United’s transition from Sir Alex Ferguson to Moyes and all others who came after him.
Even Ryan Gigg’s has gone on to say that Fallaini was a panic buy that Moyes felt pressured to make following his appointment as the club’s manager. While the fans expected a statement signing, they had to suffice with a player from his former club on the deadline day. The rest is history.
3) Mikel Arteta- Everton to Arsenal (2011)
Arsenal were going through a troubling time having lost both Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. The club was under pressure to replace two of their best midfielders. Instead, they bought in Mikel Arteta, a then 29-year old, who as at best a slightly above average player.
However, despite the criticism over the signing, Arteta slowly began winning over his critics with solid performances on the pitch. He was a tireless, consistent and resilient soldier for the side and bought in a level headedness in the dressing room that was sorely missed in the summer of 2011.
Over the years he would become the captain of the side and even received a standing ovation from the crowd after his final match for the club. Not too shabby for a panic buy.
4) Andre Santos- Fenerbahce to Arsenal (2011)
While Arteta turned out to be an excellent buy, Andre Santos was not. The Brazilian failed to improve the side during his shirt tenure at the club. Unlike Arteta, who managed to turn the fans to his side, Santos spurned them even more by swapping shirts with former Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie during a game between Arsenal and Manchester United,
By 2013, he was sent out on loan and was eventually sold by the summer of the very year to bring an end to his miserable run at the club.
5) Mario Balotelli- AC Milan to Liverpool (2014)
Liverpool had for the first time experienced a proper Premier League title race. The side were desperate to improve on their 2nd place finish. However, their hero of the season, Luis Suarez had left them to team up with Lionel Messi and Neymar at Barcelona.
The Reds were desperate to fill the gap left by the Uruguayan striker. They brought in Mario Balotelli from AC Milan. However, the Italian only matched Suarez in controversies with 4 goals in 28 appearances for the club.
He was sent on loan back to AC Milan the next season and was eventually sold to French club Nice in 2016. Both Liverpool and Balotelli himself have acknowledged that the move was a low point for all parties involved.
6) Robinho- Real Madrid to Manchester City (2008)
Back in 2008, Manchester City had just been bought out by Arab investment company Abu Dhabi United group. The club were desperate to announce their intent with a statement signing and did so by purchasing a young Brazilian from Real Madrid, touted as the next Pele.
For most of the summer, Chelsea was linked with Robinho. However, in the end it was City who managed to get his signatures. In an extraordinary fub, Robinho called out Chelsea’s name in his introductory speech before the interviewer corrected him.
In his first season. Robinho proved to be an excellent signing for the club and ended up as their highest goal scorer that season. By his second season however, he had fallen down their pecking order and was eventually sent out on loan to Santos.
He was eventually sold to AC Milan for much less than the then record fee they splashed on him. City have since greatly improved their scouting and purchases in the market. Robinho on the other hand, has just gone one rung below with every step in his career so far. At 36, there is very little hope of his career looking up.
7) Andy Carroll
On 31st January 2011, Liverpool purchased Andy Carroll from Newcastle. A decision that has been termed by many as the worst transfer of all time.
The Reds were washed with cash after the purchase of Fernando Torress to Chelsea in the 2011 January window. The side decided to spend the money on 2 strikers on the transfer deadline day with a bulk of the money going towards securing the signature of Andy Carroll.
Carroll’s most significant time in the club was when he secured the winner against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. His then teammate Jamie Carragher proclaimed that Carroll would be remembered forever.
Carroll would indeed be remembered forever. However, due to his massive price tag and the fact that he only found the back of the net 6 times in his entire Liverpool career, he will always be remembered as the most desperate panic buy in the Premier League.
The only consolation for Liverpool in all this, was that Luis Suarez was the other striker who joined the club on the very same day as Carroll.
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