One of the most exciting moments in every season is when the transfer window opens. This is a period when clubs are allowed to sell, buy, or loan players to raise funds or strengthen their teams. Each transfer window usually lasts for at least a month. Some clubs make the best transfer decisions while others make the worst transfer decisions which leave their teams worse than before.
Indeed, the transfer window is always filled with drama and surprises as some of the unexpected moves can happen even on the final day. This is when players can betray their fans and team by joining their rivals.
However, the transfer window period has seen players move to clubs to become legends and also flops.
Below are the top 10 worst transfers in the world of football:
1. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona, 2021 – €120m)
Antoine Griezmann’s transfer to Barcelona came with a lot of controversies, confusion, and disaster – in the end. The Frenchman was having an amazing career in Atletico Madrid because Barcelona came knocking in 2019. Griezmann wasted no time in accepting the offer to join a club that was struggling in the form under Josep Maria Bartomeu. However, some top players were against the transfer and the coaching staff didn’t know where to fix him in the squad.
The large fee paid for Griezmann contributed to the current financial problems in the club and was also one of the reasons why Lionel Messi left.
Also, he failed to replicate the form he had at Atletico Madrid and eventually got loaned back to Atletico making him one of the worst transfers in the history of the game.
2. Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid, 2019 – €100m plus €46m add-ons)
The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus led Real Madrid into breaking their transfer record to sign the then-best player at Chelsea Eden Hazard.
Hazard was considered one of the best players at Chelsea and the English Premier League, and Real Madrid saw him as the best replacement for their legend Cristiano Ronaldo.
Well, the Belgian has one of the worst seasons of his life after he finished the 2019/20 season with one goal at Real Madrid. The 31-year-old earns £400,000 a week which makes him the highest-paid player at Real Madrid.
However, he has been in the hospital more than on the pitch for Real Madrid and only scored five goals last season.
3. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona, 2018 – £105m plus £37m add-ons)
The Brazilian was a sensation at Liverpool but one of the biggest flops to come to Barcelona. The Spanish giants secured the services of Philippe Coutinho in 2018 after Neymar went to PSG but he couldn’t perform consistently for the team.
This made the club send him on loan to Bayern Munich and he couldn’t leave Barça again when he returned from the loan because of his huge transfer fee. Aston Villa later signed him on another loan deal before making the transfer permanent.
4. Romelu Lukaku (Inter to Chelsea, 2021 – £97.5m)
The Belgium striker returned to Chelsea last season in grand style but left with his head buried on the ground. Romelu Lukaku initially joined Chelsea from Everton in 2015 before moving to Manchester United where he struggled a little bit.
He then got an Italian job at Inter Milan under Antonio Conte’s management where he found his groove.
Lukaku established himself as a goal machine in Serie A, scoring a lot of goals for Inter Milan and finally helping them to win the Serie A title.
However, he came back to Chelsea last season only to be one of the worst players on the team. Thomas Tuchel regularly left him out of his starting squad and the Belgian is back to Inter Milan on a loan deal.
5. Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors to Shanghai Shenhua, 2016 – €16m)
This may not be a costly transfer but the terms surrounding it were outrageous. Carlos Tevez, having established himself as a top striker in English, Italy, and Argentina was seen as a player who would help Shanghai to win the league title for the first time in 1995. Rather he described his time there as a holiday.
Tevez joined the Chinese club from Boca Juniors on a deal that placed him on a £630,000 a week – making him the highest-paid player in all of world football. However, he ended up scoring just 4 goals in 20 games.
6. Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona, 2017 – €105m plus €37m add-ons)
Dembele came to Camp Nou as one of the promising young players in the world but injuries took away his form.
The French winger had played just 85 games for Barça between 2017 and 2012 all because of injury and had skipped training sessions sometimes. He is now searching for a new club and could leave this summer.
7. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Club to Chelsea, 2018 – £72m)
After the departure of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea to Real Madrid, the English Premier League giants had to break the world’s transfer record to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga in a deal that made him the most expensive goalkeeper.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper left a lot of Chelsea fans disappointed with his constant mistakes in front of the goal. This led Chelsea to replace him with Edouard Mendy and he’s now an expensive second-choice goalkeeper.
8. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal to Manchester United, 2018 – Swap with Henrikh Mkhitaryan)
The Chilean was one of the best players in EPL during his time at Arsenal but turned into the best flops in the league at Manchester United. The Red Devils had to beat off competition from their neighbors Manchester City to sign Sanchez in a deal that gave him up to £500,000 a week. Well, he ended up scoring just 3 goals in 32 appearances for Man United before going to Inter Milan.
9. Danny Drinkwater (Leicester to Chelsea, 2017 – £35m)
Drinkwater was one of the players who helped Leicester City to win the Premier League in 2015 and he continued in the top form until 2017 when he moved to Chelsea. The midfielder saw himself struggling in Chelsea as he played just 12 league games for Chelsea. He later joined Reading on a loan deal last season.
10. Paul Pogba (Juventus to Man Utd, 2016 – £89m)
Paul Pogba’s last days at Manchester United are one of the reasons why he’s here. The Frenchman joined Manchester United from Juventus as a top midfielder but had a very inconsistent spell for six years. However, he made things worst last season as he publicly revealed that he wants to leave. Pogba has finally returned to Juventus on a free transfer.
Other players on the list are; Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan to Chelsea, 2006), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter to Barcelona, 2010), Gaizka Mendieta (Valencia to Lazio, 2001), Andy Carroll (Newcastle United to Liverpool, 2011), Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt to Real Madrid, 2019), Jackson Martinez (Atletico Madrid to Guangzhou Evergrande, 2016), Jonathan Woodgate (Newcastle United to Real Madrid, 2004), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid to Paris Saint-Germain, 2016), Adrian Mutu (Parma to Chelsea, 2003) and Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea, 2011).