@SteTudor123 on the worst January transfers in Premier League history - do you agree with his selections?

It is always a high-risk endeavour signing players halfway through a season. These five clubs found this out the hard way. 

1) Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea (£50m)

Even twelve years on, the Spanish striker’s sharp decline on joining the Blues flummoxes.

Did he struggle to adapt to a change of playing style? This feels unlikely given that five different managers were at the helm during his disastrous spell in the capital, each with their own theories on how to reignite his powers.

Was the player sold against his will? Nope, Torres handed in a transfer request when an initial £40m bid was rejected. 

Was the hit-man on the wane anyway, after enduring a year of injuries? This one remains open to debate. 

Whatever the reason, Chelsea’s Premier League odds were drifting when they secured the formerly prolific forward and many believed he could fire them back into a title race. 

Instead he missed. A lot.   

2) Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal to Manchester United (swap deal) 

There is lots of optimism swirling around Old Trafford at present and this is partly because finally in the post-Fergie era the club appears to have sorted out their transfer dealings. 

The Brazilian Casemiro has come in and made an immediate impact. The same goes for Lisandro Martinez. 

Prior to last summer however – and for too long – United’s strategy in the market seemed reactionary and knee-jerk and nowhere is this better illustrated than in their ill-fated swoop for Sanchez.

On paper, the switch with Henrikh Mkhitaryan looked potentially a decent deal, only then the player’s colossal wages were leaked, and then Sanchez took to the field.

Too often anonymous, when he wasn’t anonymous, the Chilean was a bit rubbish. 

3) Kostas Mitroglou – Olympiakos to Fulham (£13m)

Back in January 2014, the Cottagers were deep in the relegation mire with all the sensible betting backing them to drop. 

Believing that a lack of firepower was the root cause of their woes, manager Rene Meulensteen persuaded his board to part with a club record fee of £13m for a striker who was tearing things up in Greece but if Mutroglou was the answer, the question was all wrong. 

Starting just one league game and scoring precisely no goals, the 26-year-old was soon back at Olympiakos, with Fulham in the Championship.

Fulham presently have another forward nicknamed ‘Mitro’. He is ever so slightly better. 

4) Jean-Alain Boumsong – Rangers to Newcastle (£8m)

The French international centre-back had been available on a free the previous summer and it’s telling that Newcastle were not among a handful of interested parties.

Yet just six months later, after impressing in Scotland with Rangers, the Magpies were prepared to shell out £8m for his services. 

It this seems like an odd way to conduct business it was a suspicion shared by the Stevens Inquiry that looked into football corruption in 2006, including the deal as part of their investigations. No evidence was found of any wrongdoing. 

There were plenty of examples of wrongdoing on the pitch though, as Boumsong flapped and flailed for 18 months, a poor defender found out. 

5) Guido Carrillo – Monaco to Southampton (£19m)

With substantial funds at their disposal after selling Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool, the Saints embarked on a lavish shopping spree in the summer of 2017, buying players who are now alas merely obscure quiz answers. Wesley Hoedt anyone?

Not realising the error of their ways, the Saints continued flashing their credit card around aimlessly, splurging a club record £19m in January for a forward who was way down the pecking order at Monaco. 

With a C.V. on the south coast that ultimately amounted to eight games and no goals, we now know why.

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*


FIRST PUBLISHED: 30th January 2023

Stephen Tudor is a freelance football writer and sports enthusiast who only knows slightly less about the beautiful game than you do.

A contributor to FourFourTwo and Forbes, he is a Manchester City fan who was taken to Maine Road as a child because his grandad predicted they would one day be good.