10. Alex Song
This defender-turned-midfielder turned out to be a hit at his former club, which is why the hierarchy at Barca kept an eye on this tall and strong Cameroonian. However, after getting transferred to Barcelona, he wouldn’t get a spot in the first team to prove himself better than Sergio Busquets and truth be told, he’ll be regretting ever moving to Spain.
9. Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane was a lethal striker but his move to Liverpool, while it may have been “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity, proved itself to be a horrendous transfer. The forward rarely got to play and when it did get on the pitch, it would either be out of position or for a very short spell. It’s a good thing he left for Tottenham, where he would get the opportunity to revive his career.
8. Michael Owen
The former Manchester United striker used to play for Liverpool before going to Real Madrid. Once he left Anfield, he’d be plagued by injuries for the rest of his career and would rarely get off the bench in a match. Perhaps he wasn’t suited for Madrid, which is a matter for debate. He wasn’t fast enough to get behind the defenders and escape an offside. He might have international caps but at club level, he could have achieved a lot more than what he did and maybe he’ll continue to wonder what might’ve been for the rest of his life.
7. Theo Walcott
This case is quite odd, since some might argue Theo Walcott was nurtured to a greater extent in Arsenal rather than his previous club Southampton. However, there is no doubt that the forward has failed to hit his potential with the Gunners.
6. Jack Rodwell
Many expected great things from this budding English midfielder during his time at Everton, and he was even called up to the national squad as well. However, his £15 million transfer to Manchester City would prove erroneous, as he managed only 16 appearances in two seasons at the Etihad. He now plays for Sunderland.
Great footballers usually start at a minor club and move to giants such as Real Madrid; but then perhaps Robinho isn’t that great after all. Signed by Real Madrid when he was just 19, he showed the world what he’s capable of and Manchester City, having been acquired by Saudi owners, came in with copious amounts of cash to buy the player. He admitted that his transfer to Man City was the worst move of all; a feeling that will be reciprocated by the Citizens’ fan base. He was also cited as having attitude problems during his time in the EPL.
4. Juan Sebastian Veron
Sir Alex Ferguson broke a transfer record by buying the Argentine midfielder for £28 million. However, EPL demands a lot more from players and Veron, unfortunately, didn’t have all that much to offer to the league. After two disastrous seasons where he represented the Red Devils on just 51 occasions, he was sent back to Italy.
3. Andy Carroll
After Torres had left Liverpool, the club had to look for other alternatives and Andy Carroll, aged just 22, seemed to be the perfect choice at the time. It surprised many that instead of using the cash to buy a world-class striker, Liverpool opted to buy Carroll. The Englishman was plagued with injuries in Liverpool and managed to score only six goals for the Reds. Even defenders score more than that for them on a permanent basis.
There isn’t any doubt that Kaka is a great player and many may be surprised to see his name on the list. But the Brazilian legend just wasn’t suitable for Real Madrid. Some may argue that he was at his peak when he initially transferred but nevertheless, from a goals and money point of view, Kaka was a flop at £65 million. Happily for him, he returned to Milan in 2013, the club which made him into a prodigy.
1. Fernando Torres
The wonder blunder of our list, Chelsea will do anything to get back their £50 million and give Liverpool back their star striker. Since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, he’s managed to score only 20 goals in nearly 100 matches. His three-year-long run of disappointing form has led him to be loaned out to Milan this season.
Header image: “Fernando Torres & Laurent Koscielny 2” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald