February 1st 2013. Congolese defender Christopher Samba has just signed on the dotted line with Queens Park Rangers.
The 28-year-old defender is to be paid £100k-a-week for his services including bonuses and add-ons. The length of the deal is four-and-a-half-years.
He is tasked with adding defensive stability to a team clutching at hope of relegation survival at the foot of the Premier League. He seemed up for the challenge and excited by the move on that day:
"All the money in the world cannot make you happy if you don't have your family with you. I came back to be with my family. Life needs to have both sides - enjoy your football and have your loved ones close to you. I have no plans to go back to Russia."
He has ‘no plans to go back to Russia’.
July 2nd 2013. Almost exactly five months to the day since he arrived and Samba is on the verge of signing for Anzhi Makhachkala once again.
Not quite as bad as Carlos ‘I want to be closer to my family’ Tevez’s transfer switch to Juventus; with Turin being about 11,000 km away from Buenos Aires; but still quite a shocking turnaround for the player.
Essentially Samba failed in his mission. When he arrived for £12.5 million he was greeted with glee. Finally a marshal for the defence who can stop us leaking goals like rusty guttering.
A little way down the line and Samba was staunchly defending himself on Twitter against fans who criticised his abject performance against Fulham.
‘Get over it’ were the now infamous words the former Blackburn Rovers player used; that didn’t go down well.
The most shocking statistic of all; QPR must have paid a figure in the region of £2million in wages for the player for five months of below-par services.
We all knew Samba was not going to stay but his return to Russia is a real shock. Guus Hiddink said when Samba left Anzhi that the club did not even get to say goodbye to the player such was the haste in the deal.
Perhaps Samba didn’t say bye because he knew he would be back in a few months.
For QPR today should be celebrated.
They have lost a good player; as well as £500k on the transfer fees.
But they would have paid that amount to Samba after just five weeks of the season.
Getting his wage bill off the agenda was the first major stumbling block in the reshaping process at Loftus Road.
Now Harry Redknapp must use his new breathing space to add wisely whilst also continuing the cull further if they are to be promoted automatically.
Otherwise this cash cow is going to be tipped before you know it.