A lot of eyebrows were raised about Christopher Samba’s transfer in January when he moved from Anzhi for a total of £12.5m.
Samba had featured in the Premier League before with Blackburn Rovers, and because of his large stature, the centre-half was also used up front on occasions by then manager Sam Allardyce.
Samba’s original signing for Queens Park Rangers was bonkers. Yes, the acquisition of a centre-half who had previous experience of the league made sense given Rangers’ predicament in their battle for Premier League survival – but at the cost of £12.5 million on a £100,000 a week contract would have to go down as one of the more baffling signings made. Surely there were other defenders that could have been bought for better value?
Has Samba done anything in that time to hold that sort of value and justify those wages? No. He made only ten appearances, with the most memorable of them being an error strewn first-half performance in their 3-2 loss to Fulham at Craven Cottage.
That is why QPR have done very well by only making a £500,000 loss on the transfer fee, and removing such a burden from their wage bill. What started out as madness, common sense has prevailed following their relegation to the Championship.
His initial transfer was part of Anzhi’s revolution when they came into a bottomless pit of a cash courtesy of secretive billionaire Suleyman Kerimov, giving them more money than sense - and allowing them to pay the likes of Samuel Eto'o £350,000 a week.
Kerimov, incidentally, was reported to have lost a substantial sum in the banking crash but can still afford to paid such vast sums of money, afford to install Guus Hiddink as manager, and buy Roberto Carlos a Bugatti Veyron as a birthday present.
Though the surprise surrounding this deal, and where QPR must take some credit is that Kerimov is reported to want to offload the likes of record signing Willian and Diarra, and rein in his spending to a degree.
Have QPR done well to get him off the wage bill and not take a huge loss on his fee? Yes.
Would any other club have paid that amount for him? You’d be hard pressed to find one. No other club would have paid that amount of money twice for Christopher Samba, they must love him in Russia!