Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League

The winter transfer window has become something of a sideshow in English league football, as its relatively short history is littered with stop-gap signings, expensive flops and the occasional sprinkling of season defining moves. The penchant for short-term thinking in the contemporary English game means that many managers use the January transfer window to address their problems by spending excess amounts of cash, laying the foundation for mixed and often spectacular results.

Managers will often stake their reputation on a big deadline day transfer, risking their job on the purchase of a talented but ultimately flawed player. This trend is likely to be continued this year, unless one of the Premier League’s leading lights is able to sign a sure thing like Barcelona’s wonderfully gifted Lionel Messi. To set the scene, let’s take a look back at the three biggest transfer deadline day flops from recent history: – 

Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham to Manchester United for £30.75 million, September 1st 2008)

On the same day that recently acquired Manchester City declared their future intent with the British record signing of Brazilian forward Robinho, champions Manchester United were strengthening their forward options with the signing of the languid and sublimely skilled Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham. While fans salivated over the prospect of Berbatov joining forces with Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo, however, the striker failed to find his best form at Old Trafford and left after four frustrating seasons. While his sell-on fee was undisclosed when he joined Fulham in the summer of 2012, United are likely to have taken a huge loss on the misfiring hit-man, take a look at this site.

Wigan Athletic v Manchester United

Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool for £35 million, January 31st 2011)

While there are some deadline day deals that flop despite making perfect sense at the time, there are others that defy belief and all common logic. Take Liverpool’s decision to spend a staggering £35 million on the unproven and raw Andy Carroll from Newcastle, despite the fact that the young English striker had just half a season of top flight experience. Carroll struggled with form and injuries during his time at Anfield; while the pressure of being Britain’s most expensive players seemed to weigh heavily on his shoulders. His goal return of just 11 strikes in 58 appearances tells you everything that you need to know, with Liverpool ultimately being forced to take a £20 million loss when selling Carroll to West Ham United in the summer of 2013.


Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea for £51.5 million, January 31st 2011)

The signing of Andy Carroll ended one of the most unbelievable 24 hours in modern footballing history, as Liverpool splashed the cash after selling Spanish forward Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a then British transfer record of £51.5 million. Although Torres won a number of trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge and enjoyed some moments of success (such as his crucial late goal in the 2012 Champions League semi-final against Barcelona), he failed to recapture his best form or come close to repaying his transfer fee. After just 20 league goals in 110 appearances, Torres was shipped out to Milan and currently plays for his boyhood club Atletico Madrid on loan.

If you have your own transfer headline that you would like to share with us, get in touch and share your thoughts before deadline day arrives!