hits-miss

50-50‎ Biz! Top Hits And Mishits From Past January Transfer Windows

The January transfer window is up and running, and some clubs are making purchases in order to strengthen their sides as the season gets into the crucial stage. Sometimes it's a 50-50 transaction as the history of the beautiful game has shown. While some got it spot on with their 'big catch', it proved to be a sheer 'bad market for others.

Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at some HITS and MISHITS by clubs in the past January transfer windows.


HIT! PATRICE EVRA: Monaco To Man United (2006)

Described as one of the best left-backs in Europe by Sir Alex Ferguson, Patrice Evra came into prominence following his performances for AS Monaco.

This culminated into a move to English club Manchester United in January 2006. While playing for Manchester United, Evra won a slew of trophies, which included winning the Capital One Cup (Carling Cup then)in his debut season at the club.

In his second season, he eclipsed compatriot Mikaël Silvestre and Gabriel Heinze as first-choice left-back and has since won five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League title, one FIFA Club World Cup, three League Cups, and four Community Shield titles.

Evra has been named to the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Team of the Year on three occasions. For his performances during the 2008–09 season, he was named to both the FIFPro World XI and the UEFA Team of the Year.

 

HIT! LUIZ SUAREZ: Ajax To Liverpool (2011)

Formerly a player of Nacional, Groningen and Ajax, Luiz Suarez moved to Liverpool in January 2011 for €26.5 million (£22.8 million). The following season, he  won the Capital One Cup with the club.

In April 2014, he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. As the Premier League's top scorer with 31 goals he won the Premier League Golden Boot, and shared the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Currently with Spanish giant Barcelona, and starring alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, an attacking trio dubbed MSN (Messi, Suárez, Neymar), Suarez helped Barcelona win their second treble after achieving the feat in 2009.

HIT! NEMANJA VIDIC: Red Star Belgrade To Man United (2006)

Currently a free agent after terminating his contract with Inter Milan, Nemanja Matic  established a prominent defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand, earning a reputation as one of the world's best centre-backs.

Vidic joined Manchester United from Serbian side Red Star Belgrade for £7 million in January 2006. And while at United, Vidić collected a host of honours, including three consecutive Premier League titles (five titles in total), the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Club Cup, three League Cup medals, as well as being included in three consecutive (four in total) PFA Team of the Year sides from 2007 to 2009.

In the 2008–09 season, he helped United to a record-breaking run of 14 consecutive clean sheets and was awarded the Premier League Player of the Season award. He also collected both the club's Fans' and Players' Player of the Year awards.

The 2010–11 season would also mark further personal accolades for Vidić, most notably clinching his second Premier League Player of the Season award. A feat, only Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo had achieved before him.

Vidić was eventually selected as the new team captain of Manchester United at the start of the 2010–11 season. His captaincy ran over the course of three seasons, until his departure from Manchester United after the 2013–14 season.


HIT! NWANKWO KANU: Inter Milan To Arsenal (1999)

In February 1999, after just twelve games and one goal for Inter, Kanu was signed by Arsenal for approximately £4.15 million, scoring his first goal for the club in the FA Cup against Derby County, coming off the bench to net the only goal of the game.

Scoring 44 goals in 197 appearances for Arsenal, kanu quickly became known for his goalscoring prowess from the bench, scoring important goals against Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa as a substitute. He became very popular among the fans for his two-fingered salute which started in 1999 against Middlesbrough – something that he later explained was based on the team's nickname, The Gunners.

In the 1999-2000 season Kanu scored 17 times in 50 matches for the Gunners, including a hat-trick in fifteen minutes against Chelsea to turn a 2–0 deficit into a 3–2 victory.

Kanu won the Premier League and FA Cup in the 2001/02 season. He clinched his second  FA Cup title with the Gunners in 2003 and is a member of the "Invincibles"; the Arsenal team that finished a season of the Barclays Premier League unbeaten in the season of 2003/04. And in 2008, he was voted 13th in the "Gunners' Greatest 50 Players" poll.

Kanu joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer in the summer of 2004, after his contract with Arsenal ended.

 

HIT! EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR: Monaco To Arsenal (2006)

Nickname "Baby Kanu" due to his resemblance to former Arsenal star Nwankwo Kanu, Emmanuel Adebayor signed for the Gunners on 13 January 2006, for a reported £3m.

On 4 February 2006, Adebayor made his Arsenal debut in a Premiership match at Birmingham City and scored after 21 minutes, with Arsenal winning 2–0. At the end of his first season for the Gunners he had scored four goals in ten matches.

In the 2007/08 season, Adebayor scored his first hat-trick for Arsenal in a 5–0 home win against Derby County; this was the second-ever hat-trick scored at the Emirates. Adebayor scored his second hat-trick for Arsenal after coming off the bench at half time in a 6–2 victory against Derby County, making him the only player in the Premiership's history to score a hat-trick home and away against the same side in the same season.

Although Arsenal finished the season empty handed in the 2007/08 season, Adebayor was named in the PFA Team of the Year. His second goal against Tottenham Hotspur won Match of the Day's Goal of the Season competition for the 2007–08 season. He was also awarded the BBC African Footballer of the Year for his performance for Arsenal in the 2007/08 season.

He later signed a five-year contract with Manchester City on 18 July 2009, for a transfer fee believed to be in the region of £25million.

 

MISHIT! FERNANDO TORRES: Liverpool To Chelsea (2011)

Despite not winning any major trophy with Liverpool, Fernando Torres proved to be one of the best ever strikers to featured for the Reds.

Torres netted 65 goals in 102 appearances for Liverpool and was the subject of a £40 million bid from Chelsea, which was rejected by Liverpool. But on 31 January 2011 Torres completed his move to Chelsea on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee reported to be £50 million, which set a new record for a British transfer and made him the sixth most expensive footballer in history.

Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned as Torres struggled for form. On 23 April 2011, Torres scored his first goal for Chelsea against West Ham United in a 3–0 victory, which ended a run of 903 minutes of football without a goal. 

This was his only goal for Chelsea in the 2010–11 season, having made 18 appearances for his new club.

Torres struggles in front of goal persisted, and it was reported that one reason for Benítez's appointment was to help him return to his best form.

He eventually left Chelsea on 31 August 2014 after scoring 20 goals in 110 appearances, and joined Serie A club Milan on a two-year loan. He currently plies his trade with boyhood club Atletico Madrid.

 

MISHIT! ANDREY ARSHAVIN: Zenit Saint Petersburg To Arsenal (2009)

Arshavin won numerous trophies with Zenit until his departure in 2009; the Russian Premier League, Russian Premier League Cup, Russian Super Cup, UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.  Andrey Arshavin signed for Arsenal in 2009, becoming the most expensive player in the club's history at that time with a fee of £15 million.

It was believed that Arshavin's signing will spark a change in fortune for Arsenal who have gone several seasons without winning any trophy.

He gave a taste of what to expect by the fans when he score four goals in a 4-4 draw against Liverpool at Anfield. But high expectations soon turned to frustration as the diminutive player failed to justify the huge amount spent on him.

Arshavin sealed a loan move to his boyhood club FC Zenit Saint Petersburg for the remainder of the 2011–12 season, just 40 seconds before the end of the deadline day of the Russian transfer window.

And after scoring 23 goals in 105 games for Arsenal, Arsenal announced On 5 June 2013, that Arshavin, along with teammates Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci, would leave the club when their contracts expire on 30 June. After leaving the club, Arshavin said he found long periods out of the starting eleven "psychologically difficult", and he "nearly suffered depression".

 

MISHIT! ANDY CARROLL: Newcastle To Liverpool (2011)

Andy Carroll started his professional career with Newcastle United in 2006, before spending a brief period on loan with Preston North End, during which time he scored his first league goal. He established himself as a regular in the Newcastle first team in 2008, and following Newcastle's relegation from the Premier League to the Championship in 2009, scored 17 goals in 39 appearances to help Newcastle finish first in the league, earning immediate promotion back to the Premier League in the process. He continued to play for Newcastle in the Premier League, scoring 11 goals in 19 appearances.

On 31 January 2011, Liverpool put in a bid of £30 million for Carroll, which was rejected. 

Newcastle then accepted a bid of £35 million and, following the agreement of personal terms and a medical, the transfer was completed shortly before 11.00pm deadline day.

The transfer made Carroll the eighth overall most expensive footballer at the time, and also the most expensive British footballer of all time.

He also became the second most expensive footballer playing for a British club, after Torres.

Unfortunately, Carroll never replicated the feats achieved by the likes of kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Michael Owen and Fernando Torres. And after six goals in 44 appearances for the Reds, he was loaned out to West Ham in 2012 before making it permanent in 2013.

 

MISHIT! JUAN CUADRADO: Fiorentina To Chelsea (2015)

On 2 February 2015, Premier League club Chelsea announced the signing of Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina on a four-and-a-half-year deal, for an initial fee of £23.3 million, which could potentially rise to £26.8 million; Mohamed Salah went the other way on loan.

Despite winning the Premier League title and the Capital One Cup, Cuadrado never lived up to expectation. He struggled for game time, mostly coming on as a substitute in some of the games he featured in.

In response towards the criticism of Cuadrado's lack of immediate impact, Mourinho argued in an interview: "Everyone believes that he needs to play all the time or at least every match, but like every player that joins a new club, he needs time. Time which hasn't been given to Cuadrado. I do believe that he'll be amazing next season."

And after failing to score in 13 appearances for the Blues, the Colombian moved to Juventus on 25 August 2015, signing a season-long loan.

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