Ahead of next week's summer transfer deadline day, we take a look at the 10 biggest and most controversial deadline day deals in Premier League history.
Transfer deadline day is almost upon us, and with it will come the extortionate fees, last-minute buys, and panicked purchases that have transformed the day into one of the highlights of the Premier League season.
Ahead of what is sure to be one of the craziest climaxes to the summer transfer window in living memory, we take a look at the 10 biggest and most controversial deadline day deals, in Premier League history
If we are looking for record fees, precocious talent, and all-round controversy in abundance, what better way to start countdown than with Luis Suarez.
Signed by Liverpool in January of 2011 for a then-club record £22.8 million – a record which ultimately only stood for a few hours – Suarez arrived in Merseyside having made something of a name for himself in European football.
Having scored 111 goals in just 159 games at his former club Ajax, the temperamental Uruguayan forward was as famous for his controversies on the pitch as he was for his goal-scoring exploits – having bitten an opponent in Holland just two months prior to his move to England.
Despite these issues – amongst many others – continuing to plague Suarez’s time spent playing for Liverpool, the all-action forward quickly established himself as a cult hero amongst the club’s numerous fans – and a player to be feared amongst opposing club’s defensive lines.
After scoring 82 goals in 133 appearances, as well as claiming the 2013-14 PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year awards, Suarez eventually departed for greener pastures, joining Barcelona in July of 2014 for a fee of around £65 million.
After shining at the 2014 World Cup for Colombia, and impressing many in Italy with his lightning pace and attacking mentality, Juan Cuadrado joined Chelsea in February of 2015 for a fee of £24 million.
Initially touted as a player ideally suited to the Premier League and someone who might just take the league by storm, this proved to be far from the case in the end.
Making just 14 appearances in the latter half of the 2014-2015 season, before being loaned to Italian champions Juventus for the following season, Cuadrado failed to make any sort of impression on then-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
With a new boss at the helm however in the form of Antonio Conte – formerly of Juventus and an admirer of Cuadrado in the past – the winger may still yet have a future at the club.
Having broken through in explosive fashion at boyhood club Everton aged just 16, Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United in August of 2004 in a deal worth a reported £27 million – a then-world record for a teenager.
After scoring a hat-trick on his competitive debut for the Red Devils – as part of a 6-2 home win over Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualifying round – Rooney hasn’t looked back since, scoring 246 goals for the club in 523 appearances.
Still aged just 30, and having started the season in blistering form under new manager Jose Mourinho, Rooney certainly isn’t finished at the North-West club either – with Sir Bobby Charlton’s club-record 249 goals firmly in the striker’s sights for this season.
Having collected five Premier League winner’s medals, one Champions League title, two League Cups, four Community Shields, one FA Cup, and one FIFA Club World Cup Trophy in his time at the club, Rooney’s deadline day move to Manchester United is sure to go down in history as one of the best pieces of business the league has ever seen.
Marouane Fellaini - Everton to Manchester United, £27 million (Summer 2013)
Staying on the theme of players moving from Everton to Manchester United, up next we have the ill-fated David Moyes’ first marquee signing at Manchester United, Marouane Fellaini.
A key part of Moyes’ Everton team whilst the Scotsman was still at the helm, Fellaini followed his former manager to Old Trafford in the summer of 2013, joining the club in a protracted and much-mocked £27 million deal on the final day of the window.
Often a source of ridicule and criticism in his first season at the club – due to his undeniable links with the underperforming Moyes – Fellaini endured a tough start to his United career, but has since proved that he has a definite role to play at the club.
A key part of the side that returned United to the Champions League under Moyes’ successor Louis van Gaal, and having also started well under new manager Jose Mourinho, Fellaini may just yet prove his many doubters wrong, and justify the near-£30 million that the club laid out to secure his signature.
Dimitar Berbatov - Tottenham to Manchester United, £32 million (Summer 2008)
Yet another record-breaking last-minute Manchester United deal up next, in the form of divisive Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov.
Having joined Tottenham from German side Bayer Leverkusen just three years previously, the enigmatic striker joined Manchester United in the summer of 2008 for a club-record fee of £32 million.
A constant source of debate amongst fans all around the country during his time at the club, Berbatov’s non-energetic style of play failed to win round many United fans – with some questioning his ability to fit into the club’s well-established attacking philosophy of pace and power on the break.
Scoring 56 goals in his 149 appearances for the club – including 48 in 108 league appearances – Berbatov’s joint-highest 20 league goals in the 2010-2011 season did fire United to their penultimate title under outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and was enough for many to forever secure the Bulgarian’s place as a cult hero amongst fans of the club.
Robinho - Real Madrid to Manchester City, £32 million (Summer 2008)
After City tried – and failed – to lure Dimitar Berbatov away from the red half of Manchester in the summer of 2008, not many people were expecting them to announce the signing of Brazil and Real Madrid star Robinho just hours later.
Very big things were expected from the 24-year-old upon his arrival in Manchester, with Brazilian legend Pele himself having stated his belief that the young forward could reach the very top of the game.
Things were not to be however, and despite scoring 15 goals in his first season in English football – coming from 41 appearances – Robinho made only 10 appearances the next season, before being loaned back to boyhood club Santos in his native Brazil.
Eventually leaving the Citizens just one year later for Italian side A.C. Milan, Robinho’s career has since been one of wasted ability and unfulfilled potential. His move to Manchester did however mark the start of City’s transformation under current owner Sheikh Mansour.
Andy Carroll - Newcastle to Liverpool, £35 million (Winter 2011)
One half of the Torres-Carroll transfer saga that dominated much of the 2011-2011 season, Andy Carroll’s move to Liverpool in January of 2011 certainly caught the headlines.
Joining Liverpool for £35 million on the same day that Spanish striker Fernando Torres departed for Premier League rivals Chelsea for £50 million, Carroll was meant to pick up exactly where Torres had left off at the Merseyside club.
Unfortunately, the only thing that Carroll inherited from Torres was his lack of fortune with injuries, with the six-foot four-inch striker making only 58 appearances for the club in his three seasons – scoring 11 goals in the process.
Frequently heralded as a shining example of a last-minute panic buy, Carroll has since moved from Liverpool to West Ham, where injuries have continued to dominate his career – limiting him to just 91 appearances in the past four seasons.
Anthony Martial - AS Monaco to Manchester United, £36 million (Summer 2015)
Young Anthony Martial’s £36 million deadline day move to Manchester United in 2015 certainly caught many fans of the Premier League club by surprise.
Paying £36 million – as well as a potential further £12 million dependent on various clauses – for a player who had made just 49 senior league appearances seemed like almost madness to many.
Just 12 months later, however, and the story is already very different. Scoring 11 league goals – 17 In all competitions – and taking the Premier League by storm in his debut season, Martial has certainly already proved that he has the ability and potential to fulfil the vast amount of money that United invested in him.
Now, with Jose Mourinho at the helm, and United’s attacking ways of old seemingly ready to return, many fans are hoping that Martial can kick on once again, and truly establish himself as one of the league’s very best.
One of the few times in recent years Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been willing to spend big to secure his man; Arsenal fans certainly weren’t complaining about lack of transfer activity when their club splashed the cash on Mesut Ozil.
Joining from Real Madrid for a club record fee of almost £42.5 million, Ozil joined Arsenal just 18 months after having played an instrumental role in helping Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid score 121 league goals en route to their 32nd title.
Making the move to the Gunners still aged just 24, and at the absolute peak of his powers, Ozil’s transfer from Real Madrid was seen as such a surprise that even Real Madrid and Portugal legend Cristiano Ronaldo questioned the logic of the deal.
Since making the switch, Ozil has made 117 appearances in all competitions, scoring 20 goals – including 15 in the league - and racked up a notoriously impressive assists record. Still regarded as one of the world’s best midfielders, and one of the best players in the Premier League.
Fernando Torres - Liverpool to Chelsea, £50 million (Winter 2011)
And finally, in first place and last up on our list – although certainly not least – is Fernando Torres’ move from Liverpool to Chelsea in the January window of 2011.
At £50 million pounds, the deal made Torres the most expensive player in British footballing history, and the sixth most expensive football player of all time – although such is the escalation of the transfer market in recent years that it now only lies in 20th place.
Seemingly doomed to fail right from the off, Torres’ spectacular fall from grace at Chelsea is one of the greatest modern mysteries in worldwide football.
Despite managing 65 league goals in his 102 appearances whilst playing for Liverpool, Torres managed only 20 in his next 110 at Chelsea, quickly transforming from lethal, predatory striker, to a player who seemingly couldn’t hit a barn door with a football – let alone the back of the net.
Perhaps Torres’ lowest point at Chelsea, was his spectacular miss against Manchester United in September of 2011 – firing wide on a completely open net after having rounded United goalkeeper David de Gea.
In terms of highs however, not many players can claim to have scored a last-minute goal in a Champions League semi-final to knock Barcelona out. Nor can they claim to have picked up a Champions League winner’s medal in their first full season at their new club.
So there we have it. Who do you think proved to be the most prudent purchase ever completed on transfer deadline day? And were it possible to turn back the hands of time, which one deal would you absolutely seek to stop from ever happening?
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