8 World Football Transfers Destined for Failure

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor ISeptember 17, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - JULY 21:  Andre Schurrle of Chelsea in action during the match between Chelsea and Malaysia XI on July 21, 2013 at the Shah Alam Stadium in Shah Alam, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

With the season now well underway and the transfer window slipping into the distance for the time being, it is a good time to reflect on some of the changes that have taken place in recent months.

The summer was one of high transfer activity and record spending, with Premier League clubs alone spending a remarkable total of £630 million according to Sky News. Not all of that money, though, will ultimately be regarded as having been well spent.

With that in mind, then, let's take a look at some summer transfers that may be destined to be regarded as failures further down the line:


Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea)

When Chelsea secured the signing of Leverkusen forward Andre Schuerrle for a fee of £18 million earlier this summer, per BBC Sport, it was without knowing that they would later take advantage of problems at Anzhi to bring in the high-profile duo of Samuel Eto'o and Willian.

While Schuerrle has played some part in every Premier League fixture for the Blues thus far this season, his impact has been minimal. With Juan Mata, Willian and Kevin De Bruyne all looking for spaces in the team, it is difficult to see quite where the German will fit in.

The World Cup is now just months away and Schuerrle will want to be playing to secure his spot in the Germany squad for that tournament. It is difficult to see him being a regular starter at Stamford Bridge, though, and given the ages of the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar, that situation is unlikely to change soon.


Maicon (Man City to Roma)

It has now been some time since Maicon was performing at his optimum level for a run of games and despite Roma's bright start to the season, it is difficult to see the transfer being a success for the Serie A side.

The Brazilian managed just 11 games in all competitions last season and, besides his fitness issues, has also shown himself to be prone to error in recent seasons—including a major mistake for Brazil just last week.

He will likely do quite well for a few weeks in the early season, but it will be a major surprise if Maicon can perform at the top level for an entire campaign based on recent evidence.


Joaquin (Malaga to Fiorentina)

Spanish winger Joaquin joined Fiorentina in June for a reported fee of €1.5 million, per ESPN, and has thus far made one Serie A appearance for his new side.

However, with electric Colombian Juan Cuadrado on the right flank, it is difficult to see when the Spaniard will feature regularly for his new side.

Joaquin has been a consistent performer for many years in Spain, but he is now 32 and has lost the pace of his early years. He had great potential as a young player coming through but never truly reached the levels expected of him.


Duvan Zapata (Estudiantes to Napoli)

Napoli spent a remarkable €7.5 million to secure the signing of powerful Colombian Duvan Zapata earlier this summer, per Soccerway, despite his unexceptional career to date.

The transfer was one of the last additions to Rafa Benitez's squad in Naples, but it was also one of the moves that made least sense after some excellent additions in the likes of Dries Mertens and Gonzalo Higuain.

It is difficult to see how Zapata will get enough minutes to develop this season, and he is far from certain to take opportunities when they are presented. It is quite conceivable that he will be quickly offloaded if he fails to impress this campaign.


Jozy Altidore (AZ to Sunderland)

U.S. international forward Altidore is undoubtedly a good player, but he faces a tough ask to succeed at a club that appear to be in big trouble this season at Sunderland.

Altidore is not the type of player who will create chances without service and, at present, it is difficult to see how the Black Cats will consistently create enough chances to ensure a safe mid-table finish.

Three games into his renewed Premier League career, Altidore is yet to improve upon his one goal scored in the 2009-10 season at Hull City. He was unlucky not to open his Sunderland account last weekend against Arsenal, but it will be a surprise to see the £8.5 million man in double figures this campaign.


Nicolas Anelka (Juventus to WBA)

It is now three years since 34-year-old French striker Nicolas Anelka last truly stood out as a footballer, with a year of lacklustre performances in China and six months that brought just two Juventus appearances hardly good omens as to his current performance levels.

Anelka has not started well, failing to make any sort of impact for a struggling West Brom side in his opening three appearances of the season. Given that this is now a long-standing trend, it is difficult to see him turning things around anytime soon. 

West Brom could be in real trouble this season after what must be regarded as a poor summer in the transfer market. To survive this season they will need their signings to perform, and that will require Anelka to address his decline of recent years.


Felipe Anderson (Santos to Lazio)

According to Soccerway, Lazio parted with €8 million to secure the signing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Felipe Anderson. It is undoubtedly a lot of money for a player who has yet to fully convince in his homeland.

Felipe Anderson is a talented player, but he has been unable to stamp his authority on games over a consistent period. At the end of 2012, there was a period where he began to regularly contribute, but his task was made considerably easier by the presence of the excellent Neymar on his side.

He is yet to make an appearance in Serie A this campaign but will surely be a semi-regular for Lazio this season. It is highly doubtful, though, that he will make the significant impact that his transfer fee demands.


Libor Kozak (Lazio to Aston Villa)

If reports are to be believed, Aston Villa parted with a remarkable £7 million for giant Czech striker Kozak—scorer of just 13 Serie A goals in five years in Italy.

It is a remarkable fee influenced by his impressive 10-goal haul in the Europa League last season, but it is difficult to see him truly challenging Belgian Christian Benteke for a starting spot.

Given the excellent value additions Villa made this summer, Kozak would appear to be the exception to the rule. Paul Lambert has proved to have a good eye for talent in the past, but Kozak has shown little by the age of 24 to suggest that he will score regular goals in the Premier League.


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