Five Of The Most Controversial Transfers Of The Last Decade



With the Raheem Sterling saga now thankfully put to bed, the next question is just how well will the 20-year-old cope with the continued media attention that will surround him both this season and beyond.

Clearly a talented footballer with the world at his feet, City need to successfully turnaround the stereotype that the Etihad Stadium is a tainted location for young English talents to prosper and thrive.

His transfer fee of £49 million brings with it a high level of expectation and you can only imagine the fans and their chants – let alone Twitter posts – should Sterling score for City at Anfield.

In a league table of controversial transfers of the last decade however, Sterling would only be battling for a Europa League place, with far bigger footballing traitors out there, and here are five of the worst.


Ashley Cole

A name that immediately strikes up feelings of extreme hate and repulse amongst most neutrals, let alone the Arsenal fanbase, Ashley Cole is the dictionary definition of a Judas.

A grounded product of the Arsenal academy, 2006 was the year in which life changed for Cole forever after he joined the Gunners’ London rivals and proverbial new rich kids on the block Chelsea.

Marking the precise moment in which Cole fell out of love with Arsenal, he committed the ultimate sin in joining Chelsea ahead of going on to win all there was to win while rubbing Gunners fans’ noses in it along the journey.


Mario Gotze then Robert Lewandowski

Of all the top divisions in Europe, are any of them truly dominated by a single side in the way Bayern Munich dominate the Bundesliga?

Ever since the turn of the millennium, the Bavarian giants have only failed to win the league title on just six occasions.

Whilst domination is of course ecstasy for Bayern fans, for neutrals and envious followers of alternative Bundesliga clubs, competition is looked upon favourably, so for Borussia Dortmund to win two titles back to back in 2010/11 and 2011/12 under Jurgen Klopp, many were billing it the best thing to happen to the league in years.

Given this context, for Dortmund to then sell the two foremost cogs in this success to the big bullies of German football in Bayern left a sour taste.

With both Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski joining Bayern in July 2013 and July 2014 respectively, it’s fair to say Borussia were simply giving the league title to Bayern while converting a lot of their fans into firestarters regarding the burning of replica jerseys.


Robin van Persie

If Arsenal fans received a punch to the chest back in 2006 with Cole, they were then kicked in the behind after Robin van Persie traded the trust and love of Arsene Wenger for the impulsive glances of Sir Alex Ferguson six years later.

In a transfer that truly rocked world football while giving Piers Morgan the green light to seemingly spend the rest of his life trolling, RVP’s impatience in boasting a Premier League winners’ medal in his cabinet proved too hard to ignore.

Leaving a desperately close but not close enough Arsenal side to join a United outfit that had won the league four times in the previous six years under Sir Alex, his debut 2012/13 season was a campaign in which all of the forward’s dreams came true, claiming his first Premier League title triumph while winning the Golden Boot with 26 strikes.

RVP has joined Fenerbahce this summer, but quite if the little boy inside Robin was screaming for Istanbul as a youngster growing up in Rotterdam remains to be seen.

Chelsea's Torres reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool in London4.BP

Fernando Torres

In the modern era, has any footballers’ fall from grace been as dramatic as Fernando Torres’?

Given everybody is human with fading memories, it’s now a lot harder to remember the days in which the Spaniard coolly slotted goals left, right and centre, no matter the occasion for Liverpool, after being brought to Anfield in his prime for what nowadays would be considered a steal at £20 million.

El Nino departed Merseyside with a total of 65 goals in 102 Premier League appearances, securing his status as one of the best in the world.

So for this divine son of Anfield to trade Liverpool for the success hungry clutches of Chelsea in 2011 left supporters wondering whether this was a Hollywood horror script, let alone a transfer that was happening before their very eyes.

But between August 2010 and January 2011, Liverpool were experiencing one of the more forgettable chapters in their recent history under Roy Hodgson and with the going getting tough, like rats leaving a sinking ship, Torres was off.

And that was that – a British record breaking £50 million transfer was reluctantly accepted by the Reds and Chelsea signed a player at the peak of his powers. We all know what happened next.


Carlos Tevez

Completing an equally eyebrow raising transfer to West Ham United in 2006, Carlos Tevez decided to add yet another dramatic chapter to his career portfolio in 2009 when he traded Manchester United for noisy neighbours Manchester City.

Undoubtedly a fan favourite in his time at Old Trafford, the milk started turning sour in the summer of 2009, with the Argentine basically telling United to stick their five-year contract that’d make him one of their highest earners up their ar*e.

In a classic case of the dummy being spat out after Sir Alex Ferguson withdrew him in his final United game, we can only imagine the hairdryer treatment Fergie wanted to unleash on Tevez after seeing him join City, who had more money than they knew what to do with following Sheikh Mansour’s cash injection a year earlier.

At this stage, City were all about getting in their rival’s faces regarding their new found status as a rich elite club and this pompous attitude infamously resulted in Tevez’s sky blue ‘Welcome To Manchester’ poster going up right in the middle of the city.

Talk about rubbing your rivals’ nose in it much.