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The Top Ten Worst January Signings in the Premier League



For every Coutinho or Suarez to join the Premier League during the January transfer window, there have been a few players who have not quite hit the same heights. Often clubs will spend large sums of money in order to improve their team. Unfortunately, this does not always have the desired impact and some teams have ended up with costly flops over the years. Here are ten of the worst mid-season signings made by Premier League clubs.

10: Alberto Paloschi

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

A product of the AC Milan academy, Paloschi spent five years at Chievo Verona before getting his big break in the Premier League. Swansea City had struggled after several good years with one-season wonder Michu, Ivorian hitman Wilfried Bony and even the unfashionable Danny Graham spearheading their attack during a multitude of mid-table finishes. Despite the promise shown by Andre Ayew, and Bafetimbi Gomis chipping in with a few goals, the Swans were still struggling to find a prolific goalscorer to replace Bony. They turned to Paloschi spending £8m on the Italian. He scored just twice in ten Premier League appearances before being sold to Atalanta. His form did not improve and he joined newly-promoted SPAL on loan this season having failed to score for his parent club last year.

9: Juan Cuadrado

The tricky Columbian winger joined Chelsea from Fiorentina in February 2015 for an initial fee of £23.3m. He failed to make an impact but was backed by manager Jose Mourinho who said Cuadrado would be “amazing next season.” Things didn’t quite go to plan as Juventus signed him on an initial loan deal which was later made permanent for around £17m. With just fifteen appearances to his name and no goals in England, Cuadrado will be remembered in England as an expensive flop. Although the same was said about Mohamed Salah who joined Fiorentina on loan as part of the deal to bring Cuadrado to West London. And look how that turned out…

8: Wilfred Bony

He may have been a major hit for Swansea when he first arrived from Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2013, however it has been downhill ever since for Wilfried Bony. As a £25m signing for Manchester City in January 2015, big things were expected of the hitman who had struck 35 goals in 70 games for the Swans. Yet, it turned out to be a nightmare all round as he found the back of the net just ten times during a year and a half in Manchester. It got worse as a loan spell at Stoke during the 2016/17 season yielded just two goals and eleven appearances in all competitions. City cut their losses and sold him back to Swansea for £12m, although his fortunes have hardly improved since with only two goals so far this season.

7: Afonso Alves

Premier League signings from the Eredivisie tend to go one of two ways. They generally turn out to be either brilliant signings along the lines of Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie, or major flops such as Vincent Janssen or Afonso Alves. The Brazilian had a brilliant record in Holland scoring 48 goals in as many appearances for Heerenveen. When he arrived on Teeside for just under £13m back in January 2008 big things were expected. He scored a respectable six goals in eleven appearances during his first season in England, although half of those came in Boro’s famous 8-1 thrashing of Manchester City. In his second season however he struck just four times as his side were relegated to the Championship. He moved to Qatar in the summer of 2009 where he played out the remainder of his career.

6: Kostas Mitroglou

The free-scoring Greek couldn’t stop finding the back of the net during the first half of the 2013/14 season. He struck three hat-tricks in the league for Olympiacos and one in the Champions League by the beginning of October and continued to score consistently throughout the next few months. This prompted relegation-threatened Fulham to make him their record signing during the January transfer window.
Injuries restricted him to just three appearances in which he failed to score and the Cottagers ultimately ended up in the Championship. With no desire to play in the second tier, Mitroglou re-joined Olympiacos on loan in the 2014/15 season before heading to Benfica on another temporary deal the following year. He eventually joined the Portuguese giants for around half the £12m he had cost Fulham. The man known as “Mitrogoal” has to be a strong contender for Fulham’s worst ever signing.

5: Jean-Alain Boumsong

The French defender had only been at Glasgow Rangers for a few months when Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness decided to spend £8m to bring him to Tyneside. Boumsong had a nightmare in the North-East and was responsible for his side conceding several goals. He formed one of the Premier League’s worst ever partnerships alongside the man voted 2004’s worst player in the Premier League by readers of The Fiver, Titus Bramble. Newcastle lost more than half their transfer fee when he was sold to Juventus for £3.3m in 2006 following the Italian giants’ relegation to Serie B as part of their punishments for involvement in the infamous Calciopoli match-fixing scandal. Funnily enough, he wasn’t missed by Newcastle fans after his departure.

4: Christopher Samba

After five successful years in the Premier League with Blackburn, Samba left for big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala. Following just one year in Russia which was marred by claims of racial abuse, Samba joined QPR in the middle of the 2012/13 season. Like Anzhi, QPR at the time were highly ambitious and brought several big names to the club including Jose Bosingwa, Esteban Granero and Park Ji-Sung. Also like Anzhi, the QPR experiment ended in disaster and Samba had a big part to play in that. He publicly apologised for two costly blunders in a 3-2 defeat to Fulham and made just ten largely forgettable performances during a season which saw Rangers finish bottom of the league. Remarkably, they recouped the majority of their transfer outlay when the giant Congolese defender was sold back to Anzhi in the summer.

3: Savio Nsereko

Back in 2009 when the forward joined West Ham from Brescia, £9m was a lot of money for a Premier League side to spend. That is what the Hammers paid for the highly-rated former Germany youth international and it turned out to be a disaster. After just one start and a handful of substitute appearances he was sold to Fiorentina for a big loss. He had scored three times in as many years for Brescia, but it was not for over five years that his next strike came during a short spell in Kazakhstan. Still only 28, he last played for a club almost a year ago, that club being Pipinsried, then of the German fifth division. Aside from his disastrous spell in East London, he is best known for a false kidnapping claim in Thailand in which he attempted to extort a ransom from his own family after racking up large debts.

2: Andy Carroll

Liverpool broke their transfer record at the end of January 2011 to bring Andy Carroll to the club for £35m from Newcastle. On the same day they bought a lesser-known striker from Ajax called Luis Suarez. The two strikers ended up taking opposite paths with Suarez becoming one of the world’s best players and Carroll establishing a reputation as one of Liverpool’s greatest flops. Whilst the Englishman has since had relative success at West Ham, he never lived up to expectations and left for just £15m. Liverpool bought Carroll to replace Fernando Torres who joined Chelsea for a then-record £50m on the same day…

1: Fernando Torres

If Carroll was the second-worst January transfer the Premier League has ever seen, then Torres has to go down as the worst. In terms of ability, Torres certainly was not one of the worst players of his time, but considering the enormous price tag and his drop in form from one of the world’s best strikers at Liverpool to bang average at Chelsea, the Spaniard was undoubtably a major flop in West London. He scored just once in his first 18 appearances and failed to improve significantly throughout his 2.5-year spell at Stamford Bridge. An unsuccessful spell at AC Milan followed before he headed back to Atletico Madrid where he initially made his name. Whilst he has improved since returning to his homeland, he has never reached the heights he found during his first spell at the club and his stint at Liverpool. An expensive mistake for Chelsea who only lost his record-signing status in July 2017 when compatriot Alvaro Morata joined the club.

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Andy Robertson – From Amateur to Anfield



Another 3 points gained under the Anfield lights on Saturday evening and another outstanding performance from one of Liverpool’s star men. Nope we’re not talking about Salah, Mane Mane or Bobby Firmino because it’s all about Robbo, Andy Robertson.
The left back who has made the position his own and is quite rightly receiving the plaudits he deserves.

Andy Robertson

Just 5 years ago Andy Robertson was playing for Scottish 3rd Division side Queens Park, a club in which he signed for after having been released by Celtic for being too small earlier in his career.
His move to Dundee United saw him instantly catch the eye of many north of the border. A renewed contract was agreed within just weeks of his debut and was followed with being PFA’s “Scotland Young Player of the Year” and a subsequent place in the PFA “Scotland Team of the Year” for the 2013-14 Scottish Premiership season.

Andy Robertson
All of this convinced Hull City to swoop with a near £3m bid to get their man, United accepted and the left back was on his way to the EPL.
3 seasons with Hull under the stewardship of former Man Utd stalwart Steve Bruce allowed him to gain what is deemed acceptable experience in England and it was Liverpool who won the race for his signature.
An absolute bargain at a reported £8m and his dream debut season is showing no signs of slowing down.

He has even earned the approval of Kop legend Stevie G. He told BT Sport: “He’s done terrifically well since coming in and the fans have taken to him. It’s not just about Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres, the top players that come, the fans love someone who gives 100 per cent.”
“He’s come in and he’s a very humble kid and gives it his all every game. To be fair to the kid. He’s been excellent.”
His lung bursting closing down run vs Man City made him a social media sensation but for those who have watched him for the past few years this was nothing out of the ordinary.
International recognition has obviously come his way and with 20 caps already under his belt, his partnership with Kieran Tierney gives The Tartan Army a strong looking left side for years to come.
He’s has never given up and has taken every chance that has come his way.
One of the signings of the 2017/18 season has undoubtedly been Liverpool’s Number 26.

Andy Robertson

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Nick Pope – From League Two to Russia as Englands most in form keeper?



Some pretty daft things are said in the wake of a team winning promotion. Players who, in the depths of winter, you were berating for not being able to pass a ball two yards are suddenly going to be providing the names of your first born. You claim that you believed in the team all along, when in reality, after a home defeat by Dagenham & Redbridge, you had sworn never to go again. Most stupidly of all however, you claim that your young loanee goalkeeper will go to the next World Cup. Or at least that’s what I did after Bury’s promotion on the last day of the 2014/15 season. While little Thomas Daniel has yet to show his face, the latter statement may actually come true as Gareth Southgate takes a look at Burnley’s Nick Pope in his latest England squad.

Nick joined Bury in January 2015, on loan from Charlton Athletic. Our promotion campaign wasn’t running particularly smoothly. The day before Pope’s debut we sat 9th in League Two, two points outside the play off places and nine points off the automatic promotion places. We’d lost nine games, shipped as many goals as Tranmere, who went on to be relegated and the aforementioned Dagenham & Redbridge had managed to do the double over us as they fought at the wrong end of the table. Three goalkeepers had already worn the ‘keeper’s jersey before Pope. Shwan Jalal, Rob Lainton and Scott Loach had tried and failed to provide the solid goalkeeper David Flitcroft was looking for.

Pope’s debut was a pretty forgettable home draw against Wycombe Wanderers. He conceded a goal, which was to be rarity during Nick’s time with Bury. In the following 21 games, Pope conceded only nine goals, won fifteen games and lost only four. Pope exuded a calmness rarely sighted in the fourth tier of English football, instilling a new confidence in a defence which had underperformed for most the season. Come the final day of the season, Bury needed to win to be promoted. Away at Tranmere, who had already been relegated, the nerves showed. Pope was called upon to make crucial saves to keep the scores level. In the 61st minute however, Tom Soares wrote himself into Bury folklore and at the end of game, Bury found themselves in League One.

The following season, Pope was back with parent club Charlton. He began and ended the season as Charlton’s first choice goalkeeper, not playing all the games as Charlton preferred Stephen Henderson through the middle part of the season. This season was to be one of disappointment however, as Charlton were relegated to League One. Rather than drop down to League One with Charlton, Pope’s career took a different path. The winners of the Championship, Burnley, decided to take Nick onto the Premier League, signing him on a three year deal in July 2016. Pope played only cup matches in his first season with the Clarets. Even when Tom Heaton missed Premier League matches, 37 year old former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson was the preferred option.

With Robinson retiring in July of 2017 and a further injury to Tom Heaton opening the door, the 2017/18 season has seen Pope grasp his opportunity with both hands. To date Pope has kept ten clean sheets in twenty seven Premier League appearances, working behind a defence containing fellow England hopefuls James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.

Could Pope go from League Two to a World Cup in three years? Despite being arguably England’s most in-form goalkeeper heading into the tournament the chances are probably slim. Without any injuries, Gareth Southgate will take Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford. Despite being woefully out of form, going into a tournament without Joe Hart would be seen as a mistake by most, given his experience, even if he is just there to lend a helping hand to the number one. Butland doesn’t seem to be losing any favour from being embroiled in Stoke’s relegation battle while Pickford could claim to be Everton’s best player of this season. However one mistake, a loss of form or injury could see Pope take the place of any of these three.

Back at Bury, nearly three years have passed since that rainy day promotion at Tranmere and we have never properly replaced Nick Pope. Since that day twelve (!) different goalkeepers have been used, seven during the 2015/16 season alone. As we head towards relegation back to League Two, the summer would be that little bit more bearable knowing that an ex – Shaker was on the biggest stage of them all. All the best Nick, lad. UTS.

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How good is your FA Cup Knowledge?




LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 27: The FA Cup Trophy is seen prior to The Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

How good is your FA Cup knowledge?

FA Cup Quiz

Test your FA Cup knowledge with our quiz to mark the occasion.

Leaderboard: FA Cup Quiz

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