Worst XI of 2013/14 Serie A Signings
For every Giuseppe Rossi, there's an Alessandro Matri.
It's the horrifying reality for any Serie A team that decides to splurge in the transfer market.
A gem is just as easy to uncover as a dud, and we'll be focusing on the latter in this particular installment on Bleacher Report.
Without further ado, here's the not-so-worthy starting XI of busts who were unfortunately brought in by their respective teams and disappointed just about everybody.
Note: no goalkeeper is on the least because none were purchased for a decent figure who were alarmingly disappointing.
Wallace Oliveira Dos Santos, otherwise known as "disappointing, over-hyped bust," has been an interesting entity since joining in a much-hyped affair from Chelsea.
The 20-year-old fullback hailed as the new Maicon could only muster three appearances for Inter all season as substitute. Plenty of smoke without fire, it's time for the Brazilian to spark up the match and give the Nerazzurri what they bargained for.
Defender: Matias Silvestre
The photo above is just about the only time Matias Silvestre has smiled this entire season at Milan, so consider it a rare artifact of the highest order and save it to your desktop.
After being labeled as an enormous disappointment at Inter and nearly winning the Bidone D'oro award, Milan salivated and decided they just had to roll the dice on the Argentine defender.
Silvestre repaid their faith by being a dedicated cheerleader on the sidelines, making the team halftime espresso, and acting as a pillar for Adel Taarabt to practice his dribbling skills on in practice.
Defender: Diego Novaretti
Slow, cumbersome and just plain diabolical.
These are a few adjectives to describe Lazio's experiment to sign the hulking Diego Novaretti from Mexican side Toluca.
After they realized that it'd be more effective to plant a traffic cone in front of the goalkeeper to keep the opposing attack at bay, Novaretti was shunned to the bench and managed to get on the pitch a total of nine times throughout the campaign.
Defender: Angelo Ogbonna
By far the most talented defender on this list, even though that's not saying much.
Angelo Ogbonna was purchased by Juventus last summer for upwards of €13 million from cross-city rivals Torino, a decent price to pay in this economy.
Even though he wasn't poor throughout, he certainly hasn't impressed in the way many thought he would after looking like a stud at Torino. At times he looks like he's panicking in possession when being pressed by an opponent, a trait that his main competition—Leo Bonucci—certainly doesn't struggle with.
Midfield: Michael Essien
Milan brought in Michael Essien to—well—no one really knows why they brought in Michael Essien.
As we've learned in the past few seasons, there's no free-transfer proposition that Adriano Galliani will decline.
For a side that already had Nigel De Jong and Sulley Muntari to fill the defensive midfield role, giving the ex-Chelsea man a go seemed redundant as well as a step in the wrong direction considering this washed-up former star.
Essien played a few games but looked slower than evolution, thus slotting him back on the bench in favor of players who showed the slightest bit of mobility.
Midfield: Adem Ljajic
Purchased from Fiorentina, Adem Ljajic showed flashes of brilliance in his time with Roma this season but he was too inconsistent overall as he'd drift out of games often.
In a lineup as talented as the one the Giallorossi have available, Ljajic will need to show more consistency if he wants more playing time next season. The opportunities will be there, as Roma will be plying their trade in three different competitions, including the Champions League.
Midfield: Francesco Lodi
Genoa pulled the trigger on Francesco Lodi after he built a cult following and the reputation for being one of the most feared free-kick takers in the world. As a matter of fact, the numbers proved last summer that he was in fact the best in Europe for turning set pieces into goals.
Unfortunately, he doesn't excel at anything else, and Genoa grew tired of this one-trick pony and sent him back on loan to Catania in the January transfer window.
Midfield: Keisuke Honda
If you haven't realized that marketing reasons played a major role in Milan's signing of Japanese international Keisuke Honda, then I don't know what to tell you.
A plethora of excuses have already been made for the inexplicably poor performances from a player that arrived for free in January—he's tired, he's not playing in the right position, or that he's just not adapting to the Italian way of life.
What ever the case may be, the word lethargic would be best suited to describe his time on the field, as he mastered his favored move of awkwardly staving off defenders when in possession.
On a positive note, a few thousand more people will be donning the Milan crest on the streets of Japan.
Attack: Mario Gomez
There was much fanfare surrounding the big German hitman after Fiorentina made him the most expensive signing in their history.
Gomez came with an impressive resume from Bayern Munich, but two serious injuries have limited his Viola spell to just three goals all season from nine matches.
The idea to partner him alongside Giuseppe Rossi is one that could reap unbelievable rewards assuming that both of them stay healthy and play together next season in Tuscany.
Attack: Ishak Belfodil
After scoring eight goals last season with Parma as a 21-year-old, the Algerian striker Ishak Belfodil has failed to recreate any of the previous magic after going goalless in 25 domestic appearances this season for both Inter and Livorno.
A lanky, awkward athlete, Belfodil showed some decent touch with Parma but has been unable to even find much room in Livorno's attack—a team that sits at the bottom of the table and will be relegated to Serie B.
Attack: Alessandro Matri
Last summer, Milan were actually foolish enough to spend €11 million on the 29-year-old who was effectively shunned from Juventus, making Matri their most expensive purchase of the year.
His good looks didn't transfer on the field, as he was abysmal in the few matches Massimiliano Allegri gave him. Desperate to get rid of him, Milan loaned him to Fiorentina where he had another anonymous spell apart from scoring a brace in his first match with the team.
This summer, he returns to the Rossoneri and it'll be interesting to see where they ship him off to next.
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