TT’s Top Five: Premier League’s biggest transfer mistakes

Date published: Wednesday 14th September 2016 11:53

Kevin De Bruyne: Given few opportunities at Chelsea

With Kevin De Bruyne excelling at Manchester City after failing to get a sniff at former club Chelsea, TEAMtalk looks back at some of the biggest transfer mistakes of recent years.


Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba: Left for just £800,000 in 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has not got many things wrong in his illustrious managerial career, but selling Paul Pogba to Juventus in 2012 is probably one of his biggest mistakes.

Pogba refused to sign a new deal at Old Trafford as he was unhappy with his lack of first-team opportunities and he left to join Juventus for a bargain fee of £1.5million

The French international went on to establish himself as a global superstar and one of the best players in the world during his time at Juventus, making Ferguson’s decision to let the midfielder leave a bad one with United failing to include a sell-on clause or a buy-back option in his deal when he left Old Trafford.

It also proved a costly one as Jose Mourinho broke the world transfer record by shelling out £89million to bring Pogba back to United as the club looked to solve their midfield problems.

If Pogba helps brings success to United it will look money well spent, but the whole situation could have been easily avoided.


Kevin De Bruyne

De bruyne

Chelsea might see Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne as the one who got away considering the progress he has made since leaving Stamford Bridge.

De Bruyne was sold by Chelsea for £18million in January 2014 to Wolfsburg for albeit a profit of £11million after initially signing him from Genk for £6.7million in 2012.

The skilful performer saw his time at Chelsea short-lived after reportedly failing to impress then-Blues boss Jose Mourinho and Chelsea fans never saw the best of De Bruyne until now in the blue shirt of Manchester City

Since leaving Chelsea the attacking midfielder has gone from strength to strength with his stellar form at Wolfsburg seeing Manchester City spending £55million to bring De Bruyne back to the Premier League in the summer of 2015.

De Bruyne endured an injury-interupted debut season at City last season, but so far this season he has taken his game to another level under Pep Guardiola and he could prove the difference for City in the title race this year.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic


Arsene Wenger could almost have his own top five having had so many costly errors of judgement in the transfer market none more so than Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Arsenal boss Wenger had the opportunity to sign Ibrahimovic as a 16-year-old when he was spotted playing in his native Sweden, but instead of giving the forward a deal he offered him a trial in North London which the young teenager rejected.

Wenger must regret that chance now to have signed Ibrahimovic with the Swede going onto enjoy a trophy-laden career wherever he has been and he has played for some of the biggest names in world football as he can count Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain amongst his former clubs, while he now calls Manchester United home.

Wenger reflected on the incident, saying: “I said I hear you’re a good player and I invite you to train with the first-team to see how good you are.”

“I was shocked, I thought he must be crazy.

“I was the coach of Arsenal and he was 16-years-old. I regret it sometimes, but I knew nothing about him, so I had to see him.”

No doubt Ibrahimovic will be keen to prove a point to Wenger when United face Arsenal in the Premier League later this season!


Andy Carroll

Luis Suarez, Kenny Dalglish, Andy Carroll: One out of two ain't bad

Andy Carroll is to this day Liverpool’s most expensive signing, having joined the club from Newcastle for £35million in January 2011. And he remains arguably their biggest mistake.

Carroll was brought in alongside Luis Suarez at the same time to try and replace Fernando Torres after his £50million departure to Chelsea, but the Geordie was unable to match the impact of Suarez.

The England international arrived at Anfield injured and with just six months experience of Premier League football and he spent most of his two years at Liverpool on the sidelines rather than the actual pitch.

Once Brendan Rodgers took over at Liverpool he immediately farmed him out on loan to West Ham who in the end signed him on a permanent deal the following season for £18million.

Carroll actually scored 11 goals in 58 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions and only for injuries things may have been different for the player, but in hindsight Carroll was never going to be able to live up that price-tag and was something of a panic buy by Kenny Dalglish.



Bebe (centre): Leaked documents reveal what he cost Man Utd

I may have said earlier Sir Alex Ferguson does not get many things wrong, but the signing of unknown Portuguese forward Bebe was a disaster for the Manchester United legend.

Ferguson signed Bebe for £7.4million from Vitoória de Guimarães in 2010, despite famously admitting he had never seen the attacker play.

Ferguson first met Bebe the day before his transfer was completed and the player even admitted recently he was thought it was a joke when he was informed of United’s interest in his services.

Bebe made a total of seven appearances during his at four years at Old Trafford spending time out on loan at Besiktas, Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira before being sold to Benfica in 2014 for £2.3m.

Bebe reportedly cost United £165,000 a minute when he played for them and he goes down as one of the biggest ever flops in Ferguson’s glittering career.


Pete O’Rourke


Agree with our top five? Who would make your list? Let us know in the story comment facility below

Related Articles