2016/17 summer transfer window saw teams around Europe spend close to £1.7billion in signing new players. The biggest spenders were the two Manchester clubs who broke the £150m barrier this summer.
While some of the deals were tailor made for both player and the club, there were few transfers which did not make any sense and seemed rather forced options. On that note we take a look at five such players who went to the wrong club during the recently concluded summer transfer window.
5. Hulk (Shanghai SIPG)
Brazilian powerhouse became the latest big-name to join hands with the growing force of Chinese Super League. Hulk joined Shanghai SIPG in a mammoth £55m deal but seeing the recent trend, I am confident of Hulk making big noises about returning to European football in couple of seasons.
A player who is used to competitive football week-in-week-out would indeed get bored of the low level competition in China and with all due respect to the Asian powerhouse, Chinese Super League is not yet equipped enough to keep hold of their big money signings.
4. Joao Mario (Inter Milan)
Portuguese midfield star was a revelation at Euro 2016 and was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus. In the end, Inter Milan won the race to sign him in a £38.5m deal which may not be the right option for Mario.
He is a player similar to Moussa Sissoko where he loves to drive forward but has a knack of popping up in defensive positions as well. Inter at the moment are struggling to get stability in terms of ownership and management with Frank de Boer brought in as their new manager.
Mario will fight with Antonio Candreva for a place in the starting XI which will restrict his minutes on the pitch. There are a lot of uncertainties surrounding Mario’s move to Inter Milan which may not work as well as initially thought.
3. David Luiz (Chelsea)
To put it in simpler words, David Luiz is a worse defender now than he left Chelsea the first time back in 2014. By no means, Luiz can be an Antonio Conte’s signing rather it seems like a desperate move from Roman Abramovich to bring a defender at Stamford Bridge.
Luiz has the ability to come out with ball, he has a great free-kick in him but when it comes to defending with his head on the game he cannot be relied upon. He has a mistake in him and if his errors lead to Chelsea dropping points in crucial matches, that could be the end of Luiz’s dream return to Stamford Bridge.
2. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
This was easily one of the most dragged stories of the summer with Crystal Palace, West Ham and Everton chasing for Christian Benteke’s signature. In the end, Palace won the race with a £31.2million bid accepted by Liverpool.
Benteke is arriving at Selhurst Park with a low self-confidence and needs ample support to bring him back to his free goal-scoring form. Palace for all their effort failed to land a dazzling winger following Yannick Bolassie’s exit.
Wilfried Zaha is still struggling to find form after his failed summer move to Tottenham Hotspur while Andros Townsend has not enjoyed a bright start to his season. Benteke is a striker who thrives on services from wide areas and that is where I felt West Ham could have been the right option for the Belgian striker instead of Crystal Palace.
1. Joe Hart (Torino)
Pep Guardiola got his first victim in Premier League with Joe Hart opting to move away from English football altogether and join Serie A side Torino on a season-long loan. With all due respect to Torino, Hart chose the wrong club when he could have joined either Everton or Sunderland.
English media is rather unkind on players who move away from Premier League which could come as a big stepping stone for Hart if he wants to continue being England’s number one.
Sam Allardyce would rather be in England and watch over the 25-26 players in Premier League rather than spend a weekend away in Italy scouting Hart’s developments. That is where Hart may have made a mistake by option to sign for Torino after being booted out of Manchester City.