Transfers that Football Teams May Come to Regret
While some football transfers make big headlines and draw massive amounts of attention, others tend to go unnoticed and often it is these that clubs come to regret further down the road. Here we take a quick look at some of these less conspicuous transfers that clubs probably wished they had never agreed to.
Ander Herrera – Manchester United to Paris Saint-Germain
In recent times, Manchester United have made some strange decisions, such as the sale of Romelu Lukaku. However, in that instance the money was used to help fund a much needed summer rebuild. However, the decision to let Herrera, a highly experienced and capable midfielder leave for free without signing a successor, seems completely insane.
While Herrera may not be the perfect player, he is not a prolific scorer, he is not creative, and he has average passing and dribbling abilities, he would still have a guaranteed place on the current United first team. Fans will still remember his performances, shadowing Eden Hazard for complete games when they faced Chelsea, and probably shared Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s astonishment to discover that the team made very little effort to negotiate a new contract with him.
Vincent Kompany – Manchester City to Anderlecht
While some may have exaggerated the impact of Vincent Kompany’s departure from Manchester City, it is widely agreed that the team would certainly benefit from having him on side. The team, which recently began a game with two central midfielders at centre-half, are not exactly short on options, but they are not swimming in them either.
There is no way that they could have foreseen Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi being injured simultaneously, but they should still have avoided letting Kompany leave for nothing with having a replacement lined up. The result is that a number of Premier League teams now have a better defensive record than City while Kompany appears to be flourishing back in Belgium.
Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal to Juventus
Very few people know whether it was Arsenal, Ramsey, or a joint decision to let Ramsey leave Arsenal at the end of his eleventh year there last summer. At the time, it was suggested that Arsenal were responsible and took away an offer of a new deal. However, some suggested that at no point did Ramsey intend to sign a new contract and always intended to leave the club for free. However, more recently Ramsey has said that there was confusion and the truth may never be known.
However, if Arsenal wanted to keep him then they could and should have. The team’s midfield is not its biggest problem and Ramsey is not the perfect player. However, he would be a much better option than the players that the team does have. It is likely that Matteo Guendouzi would have benefited from more playing time with him rather than Granit Xhaka.
Ramsey would also have bolstered the team’s attack. He is still the joint third-highest scorer at the club since Unai Emery took over, level with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Joe Willock on six goals. There is little doubt that the team is missing him.
Fernando Llorente – Tottenham Hotspur to Napoli
There is no doubt that Tottenham Hotspur are missing Fernando Llorente. He currently has more combined goals and assists this season than all but two of his former teammates do and he has played very few minutes at Napoli. Just Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are keeping up with him.
It seems that Mauricio Pochettino was unconcerned with trying to retain his back-up striker last season and Llorente’s return to Italy seemed to go largely unnoticed. Speaking in August Pochettino said, “Arsenal, in the last two years, signed Aubameyang, the best striker in Germany, Lacazette, the best striker in France and, one year after, Pépé. If you see us in five years – now our main striker is Harry Kane but our second specific striker is 17 years old, Troy Parrott. That is the difference in the projects”.
The fact that Kane has missed just minutes of Premier League or Champions League football since the Champions League final last year shows just how poor Tottenham’s backup plans currently are.
Grady Diangana – West Ham to West Bromwich Albion
Writing recently the West Bromwich Albion journalist Steve Madeley said that the club “will be painfully aware of the possibility of losing” Grady Diangana. He went on to say that the club will be hoping that “West Ham continue doing well and that their wingers are in good form come January!”
However West Ham have lost three of their last five games and drawn the other two, suggesting that they certainly have space for a confident and talented 21-year-old who has been scoring goals or providing assists about once per match on average in the Championship. Instead, West Ham have Felipe Anderson, who has not scored in a West Ham league win this year, Pablo Fornals, who is a continual disappointment, Andriy Yarmolenko, who is on the bench, and Manuel Lanzini, who is struggling.
Ken Sema – Watford to Udinese
Ken Sema went from scoring a Europa League knockout goal against Arsenal in February 2018 to signing a five-year contract with Watford in July 2018, to featuring regularly for the team, before then being loaned out to Udinese. However, Watford’s last Premier League win came in the last game that Sema started in for the team.
While Sema may not have been spectacular for Watford last season, with just one goal and three assists in 22 game, the team’s record for the nine games he started in was impressive, four wins, four draws and just one loss. While the team’s struggles this season are not just due to the loaning out of Sema, they must certainly be wishing that he were still around.
Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool to Trabzonspor
Some believe that Jurgen Klopp was overly impressed by Divock Origi’s heroics in the Champions League semi-final and final last season. Since then, Origi has failed to take his chances. His goal in the opening game of the season is his only one so far, despite playing in numerous matches, and in general, he appears to be struggling. While Daniel Sturridge was no super star, Liverpool certainly look as if they would be better off had he remained on the team and still contributed his individualism and moments of inspiration.
Gary Cahill – Chelsea to Crystal Palace
It is more than likely that Frank Lampard would have been involved in the decision to let Gary Cahill go, despite the decision being made a month before he was appointed by Chelsea. While Cahill may be 33 years old, and played just 22 minutes in the Premier League last season, he probably could have contributed more to the team. He is a good leader and he would probably have provided helpful guidance to players such as Fikayo Tomori, Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma. It is likely that Cahill wanted more regular playing time than he would have had at Chelsea, but the team’s reluctance to give substantial contracts to players older than 30 will also have affected his decision. Nonetheless, letting both Cahill and David Luiz leave in the same summer may be a decision that Chelsea now regrets.
Wesley Hoedt – Southampton to Royal Antwerp
Over the summer Wesley Hoedt complained that, “[Ralph Hasenhuttl] told me he wanted to give me a second chance, but I never got one to begin with. I trained hard for six weeks, but it was for nothing.”
It is fair to say that Hoedt may have a point; he has not played a single minute in any competition under Hasenhuttl since the manager was appointed back in December. In the meantime, he is playing at Royal Antwerp while Maya Yoshida somehow continues to retain his position at Southampton despite repeated terrible performances. Southampton have conceded a huge amount of goals so far this season, more than any other team, and it seems bizarre that Hoedt was not even given a chance.
Ademola Lookman – Everton to RB Leipzig
There may be some Everton fans who are pleased to see Lookman playing in the Bundesliga. A player that fans did not consider good enough a number of years ago is unlikely to be considered good enough today. So far, Lookman has not made much of an impact at Leipzig, just as he failed to do at Everton last year. However, while he may be raw, inconsistent and need some refining work done, he is an explosive forward with a range of skills and abilities, and it seems fair to say that he would have been a better option than Theo Walcott.