Clubs frequently look to the January transfer window as an opportunity to give their respective squads a boost before the home stretch at the end of the campaign, and though some shrewd signings can be made, there are others that firmly fall under the category of “panic buy”.
These can range from big names that are past their best, to big money signings brought in on a whim simply because they are in a purple patch of form.
Listed below are five of the most ridiculous January panic buys, so keep these in mind the next time your club are linked with a move for somebody!
Kostas Mitroglu – Olympiacos to Fulham (£12m)
At one point the Greek international was linked with a move to Arsenal, after his form in his home country suggested he would provide the goals they desperately needed to maintain a title challenge. However, when Fulham laid out £12m for his signature in 2014 proved that the Gunners had dodged a bullet.
He made just three appearances during his time in west London as the club slipped down to the Championship, and was since shipped back to Olympiacos before joining Benfica on loan this summer.
Wilfried Bony – Swansea to Manchester City (£32m)
The fee City paid was big enough to be considered eye watering for a summer transfer, let alone during January, so when £32m was laid out for the Swans goal machine, City were confident of landing a proven hit man capable of carrying the burden left by the injuries they’d sustained to their forwards.
However, the Ivorian managed just two goals in 12 games last season – form he has carried on into the new campaign by bagging a paltry four goals in 15 league appearances.
Juan Cuadrado – Fiorentina to Chelsea (£28m)
Cuadrado had given football fans a real thrill at the World Cup in 2014, and most were surprised that he remained with La Viola until the new year. So when Chelsea laid out nearly £30m for his signature a year ago, the move seemed to make sense.
However, they gave up Andre Schurrle to make the move go ahead, and quickly realised they’d been short changed as the Colombian managed just 14 appearances, mostly from the bench. He was quickly sent back to Italy with a loan move to Juventus, which will likely become permanent this summer.
Andy Carroll – Newcastle to Liverpool (£35m)
Carroll’s move to Liverpool was a classic case of a club not doing their homework. Having impressed in the Championship with 17 goals, he carried on his fine form into the new season with a further 11, and once Liverpool lost Fernando Torres to Chelsea, he seemed like the ideal replacement.
However, his struggle for form was emphasised by several chronic injuries and he garnered a return of just 11 goals in 58 appearances during his time there before being shifted to West Ham for a big loss.
Benjani – Portsmouth to Man City (£9m)
Panic buy personified, and a welcome reminder that Manchester City used to be like the rest of us. The Zimbabwean spent three seasons with City, but only mustered three goals in 31 appearances.