One time £9m West Ham record signing rejected by relegation tipped Israeli outfit

Savio Nsereko? Remember him? He has just been rejected by an Israeli outfit tipped for relegation this season.

West Ham broke their transfer record in order to bring Andy Carroll to the club on a permanent deal this summer - at a fee worth £15 million.

But a previous holder of the record as West Ham’s most expensive signing is now living a forgettable football career.

Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Nani splurged £9 million on 19-year-old German youth international Savio Nsereko in January 2009. Excitement over the deal was palpable, with Scott Duxbury, the CEO at Upton Park at the time, saying this about the player:

"We are delighted to sign Savio, particularly with the fierce competition for his services across Europe. He is an exciting prospect, who Gianfranco Zola believes will prove a valuable asset for this club now and in the years to come."

But his career has never taken off quite in the way his price-tag or sound bites suggested.

At just 24-years-old Nsereko was supposed to be a leading light in European football by now - but the career path of the Ugandan born forward has not been as straight-forward as that. His career spiralled out of control since his move from Brescia to London.

After just ten games for The Hammers he failed to score and left for Fiorentina. In that time he spent much of his time reportedly AWOL, out on loan and generally misbehaving at La Viola.

He spent time on loan with Bologna, Juve Stabia and 1860 Munich whilst also sampling football in Bulgaria and Romania with Chernomerets Burgas and FC Vaslui respectively.

After yet another unsuccessful stint back in Germany with SpVgg Unterhaching the one time under-20 international went down the football ladder, to play for Viktoria Koln in German football’s fourth tier.

He once again faltered and still hasn’t found the net since he was playing for Brescia as a teenager - and he made more headlines for the wrong reasons. In 2012 he spent three weeks in a Thai jail after faking a kidnapping to extort money from a family member.

Three months ago it was being reported that the player had agreed a free transfer move to Israeli side Hapoel Ironi Akko. Don’t be worried if you have never heard of them because they are somewhat obscure.

But despite what seemed likely to be a good deal all around - this week it was announced that Nsereko had failed to earn a contract with the club.

Now Nsereko remains a free agent, on the scrapheap, with little hope of reigniting his career after his latest rejection.

What next for Nsereko?

image: © Tom Cuppens

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