The 2015/16 campaign is just around the corner but despite the excitement for that reaching fever pitch, it is worth noting that the summer transfer window has still got plenty to offer.
After some rather hit and miss pre-season campaigns, it’s clear that a few clubs will need to dip into the transfer market once again before the window slams shut if they want to improve on last season – and we include Champions Chelsea in that.
Now Angel Di Maria is set to finally complete his move to Paris Saint Germain, Manchester United are expected to make at least one more big signing, but looking at just how badly their record signing failed last season, they might want to exercise a bit of caution before splashing the cash again.
With that in mind, just who were the biggest flops of last season and what does the future hold for them?
Angel Di Maria
The most expensive signing in British history joined Manchester United for a staggering £59.7 million. On paper, he was the full package. In reality, he couldn’t match Ashley Young.
He couldn’t live up to his price tag, or the number on his shirt – something that seems to be a bit of an issue for United. Now, according to Thiago Silva, Di Maria has made a step up, joining a ‘bigger club’ in PSG, and aside from taking a moment to question quite what the centre back is smoking and where we can get some from, the fact remains, Di Maria will always be considered a coward for bailing on United after only a season.
Mentally stronger players would have stuck around and tried to impress in a second season, but Di Maria ran away at the earliest available opportunity, and you have to think that no matter how well he does in France or with Argentina, his career will at least in part be defined by his failure at Old Trafford.
£16 million for the Italian was a calculated gamble that would pay off according to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers was wrong, as the forward only managed one league goal during the entire season.
Balo has now been given his marching orders by Rodgers, who feels he no longer has a future at Anfield, and is currently training with the rest of the transfer listed players away from the first team, until he can find a side willing to take him, which may be a bit of an ask. Why always Balo?
Blink and you would have missed him. Chelsea signed the defender from Atletico Madrid last summer, who made just nine appearances in their title winning campaign. His best moment probably came with a cracking goal against Derby, but bar that the Brazilian was hardly afforded a chance to shine, and when he did, it wasn’t enough.
His failure came as no surprise, given that Mourniho rarely rotates his XI. He couldn’t make his name known in the Premier League, and is now back at Atleti, where he will probably restore his reputation as one of the best left backs in Europe – note ‘one of the best’, because sadly for Luis and probably Baba Rahman, the best is Cesar Azpilicueta.
When Liverpool raided Southampton last summer, they brought in 32 year old Rickie Lambert. The dream move hasn’t quite worked out as planned – he made more appearances as a sub than a starter, and only bagged two goals – the same amount he scored on his debut for West Brom, who he joined in this transfer window.
Lambert will probably be a class signing for the Albion, and even though his spell at Liverpool didn’t work out and is one to forget for Liverpool fans, the player himself probably doesn’t regret it, after skippering the club for a game and getting to wear the shirt of his boyhood dreams.
Manchester United fans were gutted when #DatGuyWelbz upped sticks and left for Arsenal. He may have gotten one over on his former club by knocking them out of the FA Cup… but that’s really about it. Four goals and three assists in the League for last season is about as Arsenal as it gets.
Now Welbeck has to contend with Theo Walcott for a starting berth as well as Olivier Giroud, and that’s without even considering the unlikely scenario that Arsene Wenger does act on his side’s need for a forward and bring Karim Benzema in.
Quite simply, Welbeck isn’t a top level forward and those who think he is are either delusional or members of the forward’s family.
Oh and you might be wondering why Radamel Falcao didn’t warrant a paragraph or ten – it’s mainly because his performances spoke for themselves – and judging by his Community Shield showing, are continuing to do so.