The seciond in the series looking at twelve of the biggest transfer flops of all time, and where moves for large amounts of money really did not work out as planned.
Foe the first part in this series, please click here.
Ángel Di Maria – Real Madrid to Manchester United
In 2014 Manchester United broke their club record to sign Argentine winger Ángel Di Maria from Real Madrid. He had been a big success in Spain where he had won the Champions League, the league title, and the Spanish Cup twice, but the move to England just did not work out, despite being handed the iconic number seven shirt at Old Trafford.
He had a fine start, scoring two goals and providing two assists, and was voted United’s player of the month. It was downhill from there though, as injuries and a poor run of form hindered his progress.
There were problems off the field as well as Di Maria and his family were deeply shaken when three men tried it break into their house in Manchester.
After just one season and only 4 goals ion 32 appearances, he was allowed to join PSG, where he has since gone to thrive.
Andriy Shevchenko – AC Milan to Chelsea
A Ballon D’or Winner in 2004, Shevchenko had a great career first with Dynamo Kiev, and then with AC Milan, with whom he scored 173 goals in 296 appearances, winning the Champions League and the Serie A title as well as the Copa Italia during his first spell in Italy.
When Chelsea signed him in May 2006, they broke the transfer recorded at the time for a fee paid by an English club for a player at the time. But it just did not work out for the Ukrainian in London, wit a modest return of just 9 goals from 48 Premier League starts, whilst the emergence of Didier Drogba saw his opportunities becoming increasingly limited,.
After a loan spell back with Milan, he returned to Dynamo Kiev.
Denilson – Sao Paolo to Real Betis
In 1998 after a decent showing at that year’s World Cup in France, Spanish club Real Betis were persuaded to spend what was then a world record fee on Brazilian winger Denilson.
Although they thought they were signing the new superstar of world football, the reality proved top be somewhat different. He stayed on their books for seven years but managed just 14 goals in nearly 200 appearances, many of those from the bench.
In the end, he went back on loan to Brazil, before embarking on an itinerant journey that took in clubs in France, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam as well as back in his homeland. .
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.