Football clubs make crazy decisions on players not only when it comes to their value, but the footballing decisions which genuine professionals have made. There have been so many bad deals over the years, but I’m going to pick 5 which really stand out to me.
Dennis Wise – Chelsea to Leicester City: £3,000,000
This isn’t one which people would typically think of, but spending 3 million for a 35-year-old Dennis Wise in 2001 is actually a lot of money. Despite being a Chelsea and ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ legend, the way it turned out made this deal even worse. They were relegated from the Premier League with Wise in midfield, and he then turned up to preseason and preceded to punch his teammate over a card game, which cost him the remaining millions owed to him on his contract. Funny how he went straight to Millwall after this incident. Leicester then went into administration. He made just 17 appearances for Leicester prior to this, and was pretty ineffective overall. Well done Dennis.
Rickie Lambert – Southampton to Liverpool: £4,000,000
This one is probably one of the worst. Imagine being Liverpool, a Champions League powerhouse of a club, just narrowly missing out on the title, then losing your best player (Luis Suarez) to Barcelona only to invest on a 32-year-old Rickie Lambert from Southampton. They really did that. Don’t get me wrong, he was incredible for Southampton and for all the other clubs he played for.. in League 1. With so much young attacking talent always out there to look at, Brendan Rodgers had a shocker here. He scored just 2 goals in the 2014/15 season and then left for West Brom.
Kostas Mitroglou – Olympiakos to Fulham: £13,700,000
3 times. He played 3 times. That’s around 4.5 million that Fulham payed for every Mitroglou appearance, and no goals. They splashed out on the Greek striker for their record transfer fee when they were battling against relegation in 2014, and due to fitness and various other issues, he rarely played. Gladly for Fulham, they managed to sell him a few years later for a similar price following loans to other European clubs, but at the time, this was a shocker of a signing and one which I would count as one of the worst of all time.
Relegation Roger Johnson – Birmingham City to Wolves: £7,200,000
Imagine being relegated 4 times in your career. Even worse, imagine earning the nickname ‘Relegation Roger’. Following Birmingham’s relegation in 2011, Wolves signed the defender for quite a hefty fee of over 7 million and for that money, you’re expecting a really solid defender. This signing really went from bad to worse. He was made captain, but didn’t really lead by example. He once turned up drunk to a training session which is just leadership skills of the highest quality, and he ended up leading Wolves to back to back relegations, as they ended up in League 1 by 2013. For a bonus, Relegation Roger signed for Charlton later on in his career to add that final relegation to his CV. Poor guy.
Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City to Chelsea: £34,100,000
34 million for 12 appearances in 3 years. Did you know that he’s still there? Lets do the maths again. Chelsea have paid 2.8 million for every Danny Drinkwater appearance in a competitive football match. He was class for Leicester when they won the league, but maybe that’s because all he had to do was give it to Vardy or Mahrez, and Kante would always leave him with much less work to do because he was just a complete engine. 34 million for him is awful. If I’m honest, he will always stand out to me as an EFL player. Even his name sounds championship to me. His two loan spells at Burnley and Aston Villa since have more or less proved that. It’s not the best signing Chelsea have ever made.