Fernando Torres, worst Premier League signings in January
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Worst Premier League signings in January: Five New Year flops

| 02.01.2022

Worst Premier League signings in January

The transfer window opens on New Year’s Day when clubs get one month to add new recruits to their flying or floundering squads.

Some of the best Premier League signings in January have already been examined but not every signing at the start of the year is a success.

We’ve trawled through the archives and found some of the worst Premier League signings in January.

Jean-Alain Boumsong (2005)

Boumsong had been available on a free transfer just a few months before Newcastle decided to splash out £8million for the French defender on a five-and-a-half-year contract, one of many transfers investigated by the Stevens inquiry into football corruption.

Jean-Alain Boumsong, worst Premier League signings in January

Newcastle, looking for a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Jonathan Woodgate, had already watched Boumsong and Celtic’s Bobo Balde when Bobby Robson was in charge at St James’ Park, but scout Charlie Woods had concluded that there would be “a problem for us if we sign these two”,  but Graeme Souness thought otherwise.

Boumsong won the title with Rangers but was out of his depth against the likes of Thierry Henry in the Premier League and 18 months later left for Juventus who were playing in Serie B at the time, although he never played for the Old Lady in the top flight once they were promoted.

Juan Cuadrado (2015)

Cuadrado has been a regular in Juventus’ starting XI in the last seven seasons, but his £27.9m move to Chelsea lasted less than seven months and is widely viewed as one of the Blues’ worst signings considering how much they spent on the Colombian winger who started just four Premier League games for the Blues.

That was not the worst of it for Chelsea who sent Mo Salah to Fiorentina on loan as part of the deal, although he subsequently joined Roma permanently.

We all know how that one turned out, so it’s fair to say this piece of business wasn’t one of Chelsea’s finest hours in the transfer market as Cuadrado makes the cut in our worst Premier League signings in January.

Fernando Torres (2011)

Torres may have won the Champions League and Europa League with Chelsea, but 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances was scant return for a player that was signed for a then-British record £50m.

The former Atletico Madrid striker scored just once in that first season with Chelsea and in his first four games of the following campaign failed to find the net against Stoke, West Brom, Norwich and Sunderland which set the tone for his spell at Stamford Bridge.

Torres was loaned out to Milan for four months in the 2014-15 campaign before seeing out the rest of the season with Atletico but never really rediscovered the form that had made him such a hit in Madrid and Liverpool.

Andy Carroll (2011)

Liverpool had £50m burning in their pocket following Torres’ move to Stamford Bridge and in a moment of what can only be described as sheer panic spent £35m of it on bringing Carroll to Anfield.

Andy Carroll, worst Premier League signings in January

The Magpies had initially rejected a £30m offer for the 22-year-old striker but found an extra £5m hard to resist.

The Reds could at least argue that they signed Luis Suarez with some of the cash from Torres’ sale, but Carroll’s return of 11 goals in 58 appearances led to him joining West Ham for a £20m loss in 2013.

Wilfried Bony (2014)

Bony’s excellent 18 months at Swansea after a stunning couple of seasons with Vitesse persuaded Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City to fork out £28m for his services.

Despite scoring eight goals in a mixture of competitions in the first half of the 2015 campaign, the Ivory Coast striker failed to score in 2016 and new manager Pep Guardiola farmed him out to Stoke.

That didn’t quite work out, nor did his permanent return to Swansea where he failed to shine in either the top flight or the Championship, and Bony probably deserves a place in our list as one of the worst Premier League signings in January.

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Warren Barner