The 10 Worst Transfers from the 2013 Summer Transfer Window
The summer transfer window is coming around, and with the 2013/14 season rolling to an end, we can now look back on what proved to be ill-advised decisions during the summer of 2013 in the Premier League.
During the summer, what happens on the field is replaced with back-page speculation and players being exchanged in multi-million pound deals.
With so many signings, the law of probability ensures that failure is inevitable.
The amount of playing time, chances given and taken, number of injuries and general contribution to a team are all factors that must be considered to work out just who has succeeded, and who has failed.
There was a 29 percent increase in spending during the 2013 summer transfer window compared to the 2012 window, according to the BBC.
With the amount of transfer money spent every year increasing, the risk of failure is becoming more of a reality for many clubs.
Many clubs do not have the resources to allow such room for error, which makes the scouting and signing of players an even bigger risk.
Here is a list of 10 of the worst signings from last year's summer transfer window.
(All stats provided by Transfermarkt)
Jozy Altidore: AZ Alkmaar to Sunderland
Sunderland's Jozy Altidore has featured in all but three of his team's games this year in the Premier League. He has scored one goal.
Altidore was brought in during the summer for a £8.5 million, as reported by ESPN, from AZ Alkmaar on a four-year deal and has failed to live up to his billing.
He has been given an adequate number of chances to find his feet and has worked his socks off, but for the kind of money that Sunderland spent on him, a lot more was to be expected.
His first spell in England was with Hull City during the 2009/10 season, and he endured quite a difficult time during his 28 appearances in the Premier League then too, again only scoring one goal.
The 23-year-old continues to feature for Sunderland and should be included in U.S. squad to travel to the World Cup, but if selection were based on his performances for Sunderland this year, he might very well be left at home.
Stevan Jovetic: Fiorentina to Manchester City
Stevan Jovetic's inclusion on this list might appear as somewhat of a surprise, but for the money he was signed for and the limited action he has seen, he certainly deserves his place here.
The 24-year-old came as a highly rated player from Fiorentina but has been largely unimpressive in limited appearances this year.
The transfer cost Manchester city £22 million, as reported by Phil McNulty of the BBC.
He has had a difficult run with injuries hampering large parts of his season, but even prior to sustaining those hamstring and calf injuries, he had seen limited time on the field.
He has only played in nine games for City during this season's Premier League campaign, scoring only two goals.
Chelsea want Sergio Aguero, according to [Football] Direct News, and there has certainly been a place for Jovetic in the City team, given Aguero's injury woes this season.
The Montenegro striker has not taken full advantage of these opportunities and doesn't seem to feature massively in Manuel Pellegrini's plans in bigger games.
Roberto Soldado: Valencia CF to Tottenham Hotspur
He was seen as an answer to the striker problems of Emmanuel Adebayor's inconsistency and Jermain Defoe's lack of strength.
As it transpires, Soldado has scored six goals so far this season. Four of those goals have come from the penalty spot, and he has struggled to find his feet in the Premier League.
He is another player who has seen plenty of time and chances. He has featured 26 times out of a possible 32 in the Premier League so far this season, with little or no success.
Prior to his arrival at White Hart Lane, he couldn't stop scoring at Valencia CF, netting 82 goals in 141 matches for the Spanish side, thus meriting his price tag of £26 million, as reported by the BBC.
If Spurs persist with the striker, he will have to start scoring more goals or contributing more in general play or he might be considered the very worst signing of last summer.
Iago Aspas: Celta Vigo to Liverpool
In a recent interview with FTBpro, Iago Aspas hinted that he already wants a move away from Liverpool.
That is never a good sign for a striker who has featured in just 13 games in the Premier League and has not scored.
Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have been playing so well that Aspas' opportunities were always going to be limited, but the the Spaniard has not helped his cause with poor play when chances did arise.
He signed from Celta Vigo for £7.6 million, as reported by Andy Hunter of The Guardian, having scored 50 goals in 151 appearances for the Spanish side.
Liverpool are set to make the Champions League next season and are expected to keep improving. If Aspas can't improve with them, he would be better off making his way out of Anfield during the next transfer window.
Dwight Gayle: Peterborough to Crystal Palace
Dwight Gayle was signed under the management of Ian Holloway, and when Holloway was shown the door in October 2013, incoming manager Tony Pulis questioned Holloway's signing of the youngster, as reported by Neil McLeman of Mirror Football.
That does not bode well for a man who the club paid £8.5 million for from Peterborough United, as reported by Lee Bryan of the the Daily Mail.
Given his meteoric rise to the top, it is not much of a surprise that he has struggled with the transition, but he has scored just three times in 20 Premier League appearances this term.
Gayle signed for Peterborough in January 2012 after a short loan period from Dagenham & Redbridge, was spotted by Palace scouts and signed to help Palace beat relegation in their first year back in the top flight of English football.
He has not featured in Palace's last six games and will have to fight to win over Tony Pulis in an effort to stay with the club.
Marouane Fellaini: Everton to Manchester United
It has been an inconsistent season for many of United's players and staff, but given the fact that David Moyes chased Fellaini so vehemently, more was to be expected.
Where Fellaini is most effective on the field is up for debate, but given United's attacking options, he has been deployed mostly as a defensive midfielder and has struggled with everything from the pace of the game to his positioning on the field.
He missed 11 games in the middle of the season with back and wrist injuries and has not scored for the outgoing champions. He is coming off a season with Everton that included 11 goals and six assists. United fans hoped they had an answer to their midfield problems, to no avail.
What Fellaini has added is even further inconsistency to a team looking for the opposite. There is still time for the Belgian international, and with a rise in United's fortunes could come an improvement in Fellaini's displays.
But for now, given the price tag and the hype, Fellaini must certainly make this list.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel: Sporting Lisbon to Norwich City
In Ricky van Wolfswinkel's 20 appearances this year for his new club, Norwich City, he has scored one goal.
That goal came on the opening day of the season against Everton, and he has not scored since.
Van Wolfswinkel signed from Sporting Lisbon after a very successful stint in Portugal, where he scored 45 goals in 88 appearances.
There have been little or no public signs of discontent or public attention brought to the matter, aside from getting his backing from former manager Chris Hughton, per TeamTalk.com.
No fights with teammates or other reasoning has been provided for such poor form. It has just been exactly that. Poor form for a player who cost £8.5 million during the summer, as reported by BBC Football.
Chris Hughton was recently sacked as Norwich City Football manager, as reported by The Guardian, and you can't help but think that the shortcomings of his highest-priced striker are part of the reason for Norwich's struggles this season.
Erik Lamela: As Roma to Tottenham Hotspur
Erik Lamela has suffered a horrid time in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur since his arrival from AS Roma last summer. A man who was supposed to replace Gareth Bale turned into a man who warms the bench, and sometimes not even that.
He has been part of the squad 17 times and was an unused substitute in eight of those games. He chipped in with one assist in his appearances and little else.
The problem with the Lamela transfer is that nobody is quite sure where the blame lies when it comes to his shortcomings in a Spurs shirt.
The Argentinian playmaker was nothing short of a revelation for Roma, and the reported £25.8 million, as reported by The Guardian, for a player with such ability would appear to be good business. He has been far from a revelation since he arrived in London.
Andre Villas-Boas, perhaps, used him in the wrong position and in the wrong system before he was fired in December.
He has been largely injured during Tim Sherwood's reign as manager, but Sherwood prefers to play two strikers and Christian Eriksen as his primary playmaker, and so Lamela's writing could be on the wall.
Not only has the move affected his club career, but he is also unlikely to make the Argentina squad for the World Cup with such limited time on the field this season.
Pablo Osvaldo: AS Roma to Southampton
Pablo Osvaldo arrived in Southampton with few questioning his ability to influence a game. His temperament, however, was always considered a talking point.
He signed with Southampton for £15 million from AS Roma during the summer, as reported by BBC Football.
He was fined and suspended by his former club after a punch-up with his then-teammate Erik Lamela, as reported by ESPN.
This proved not to be an isolated incident when he was involved in a fight with Southampton teammate Jose Fonte, as reported by Neil Ashton and Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail. He was also branded as "arrogant" following the incident.
The 28-year-old striker appeared in 13 games for the Saints in the Premier League and scored three goals, but after the very public incident, he was suspended and moved to Juventus on loan in January with a view to making the move permanent in the summer.
Many of the most creative sports personalities have problems with authority, along with an immature outlook of where they stand in the realm of football.
Osvaldo certainly fits this bill, and for that reason, his transfer to Southampton must be questioned when it was clear these problems were there before and are not going away any time soon.
Andreas Cornelius: FC Copenhagen to Cardiff City
Andreas Cornelius makes the top of this list because not only did he not perform for Cardiff City, but his signing and shortcomings were part of the reason Cardiff sacked Malky Mackay in December, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Cardiff's chief executive claimed that "imprudent and careless management" led to Cornelius' high transfer fee and wages, as reported in the Mail article.
It was, essentially, an £8.5-million write-off as Cornelius returned to his former club FC Copenhagen after seven months with just eight appearances for Cardiff, no goals and no starts.
The Dane failed to score during his time at Cardiff but returned to Copenhagen and scored a hat-trick during his second game back.
Cornelius' transfer meets the requirements for everything that could make a transfer go bad. And it certainly went bad.