5 Worst La Liga Signings from 2014 Summer Transfer Window
The clubs of La Liga spent a combined €530 million to bring in 286 new players during the 2014 summer transfer window, as per Transfermarkt.
But while some of that money was spent on players who can be expected to have a positive impact on their new teams, a portion of it went towards players who are unlikely to be well thought of by fans or pundits come the end of the season.
We present here, in no particular order, the five worst La Liga signings from the 2014 summer transfer window, taking into account ability, value for money and how well suited they are to the needs of their new employers.
Douglas Pereira (Barcelona)
Eyebrows were raised when Barcelona signed Sao Paulo full-back Douglas Pereira for an initial fee of €4 million (potentially rising to €5.5 million).
The 24-year-old had represented Brazil at under-20 level but had shown precious little afterwards to indicate that he was of the required standard to turn out for Barcelona.
Indeed, the move baffled a number of Brazilian football experts.
@migerucb Yes, Douglas is a very average player & most São Paulo fans dislike him. The idea of signing him doesn't make any possible sense.— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) August 14, 2014
Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Douglas from São Paulo. An odd deal, that. Hope he has much more than he's shown in Brazil.— Rupert Fryer (@Rupert_Fryer) August 26, 2014
@samuelJayC They are right! Douglas has done nothing at SPFC. Traffic have done a great marketing job in convincing Barcelona to buy him— jon cotterill (@Pitacodogringo) August 26, 2014
The involvement of Traffic—who owned a 40 percent stake in Douglas prior to the transfer, as per Marca (h/t Football Espana)—will also have provoked concern from Barcelona supporters who still remember the disastrous signings of Traffic-backed players Henrique and Keirrison.
The pair, signed for a combined €22 million across 2008 and 2009, failed to make a single appearance for the club and were both released on free transfers.
Time will tell if Douglas goes the same way, but the early signs are far from promising.
Helder Postiga (Deportivo La Coruna)
Deportivo La Coruna made a number of astute signings over the course of the summer transfer window, including the likes of Juanfran, Isaac Cuenca and Luis Farina.
They did, however, have less luck in securing a top-quality striker to add firepower to a side who scored just 48 goals during their promotion campaign—the least of any of La Segunda's top six.
Got to feel for Deportivo La Coruna. They've been after an exciting goalscorer to boost their survival hopes. And signed Helder Postiga.— Andy West (@andywest01) September 1, 2014
Helder Postiga signed for Deportivo on a free transfer from Valencia, as per FIFA.com. Los Che released him from his contract just a year after paying €3 million to purchase him from Real Zaragoza.
Postiga’s return of three goals in 15 appearances for Valencia saw us include him in our end-of-season roundup of the worst Primera Division signings of last season.
His intelligent movement and link play are valuable attributes, but Deportivo really needed a striker capable of scoring 15 or more goals. Postiga is unlikely to deliver that. With that in mind, even on a free transfer, he represents bad business for the Galician club.
Didac Vila (Eibar)
Like Postiga, Didac Vila was included in our worst XI of last season’s Primera Division signings after enduring an injury-prone and unimpressive season on loan at Real Betis.
Unlike his former employers, however, Vila will be part of La Liga in 2014/15 after signing for newly promoted Eibar on loan from AC Milan, as per Marca (in Spanish).
Eibar generally did very good business on a tight budget this summer, spending just €162,000, as per Transfermarkt, on 14 new players.
But while the likes of Abraham, Dani Garcia and Javi Lara have shown enough in Eibar’s first two matches of the campaign to suggest they will have a positive impact this season, the signing of Vila makes little sense.
For one, Abraham, signed on loan from Real Zaragoza, has been one of Eibar’s most impressive performers to date. Neat and tidy in possession and quick over the ground, he looks a solid and well-rounded full-back.
Secondly, Vila’s injury record suggests that he will be an ineffective back-up should Abraham be injured or suspended. He is just as likely to have injury problems of his own, as Betis found to their cost last season.
Felipe Caicedo (Espanyol)
It is difficult to believe that Felipe Caicedo is still just 25. The Ecuadorian striker seems to have been around forever but has never really lived up to the potential he showed at Basel back in 2006.
While he has been a semi-regular scorer at the international level, Caicedo’s club career has never really taken off.
Since leaving Basel in 2008, he has played for six different clubs in five different countries. Before moving to Espanyol this summer, as per FIFA.com, he had been plying his trade in the United Arab Emirates with Al Jazira.
Espanyol have not paid a fee for Caicedo, but his wages will become a drain on their resources if, as is likely, his fitness problems of the last few years again manifest themselves.
Of the 72 club matches Caicedo has started since 2010, he has completed just 21, as per Soccerway. He was also substituted before full time in five of the seven 2014 World Cup qualifiers that he started for Ecuador.
Caicedo managed just 45 minutes on his Espanyol debut, away to Almeria, and he missed last weekend’s defeat to Sevilla through injury, as per El Universo (in Spanish).
There is talent there, but if they cannot get him on the pitch on a regular basis, Caicedo’s salary will represent little more than money down the drain for Espanyol.
Vicente Guaita (Getafe)
Vicente Guaita came up through the youth ranks at Valencia and made upwards of 75 first-team appearances prior to his move to Getafe this summer.
He had, however, fallen behind Diego Alves in the pecking order over the last couple of seasons and made some crucial errors in the appearances he did make during the 2013/14 season.
As per Squawka, Guaita committed 0.32 errors leading to a goal per 90 minutes played—the highest of any goalkeeper in La Liga.
He was also at fault for goals in the first and the second legs of Valencia’s Copa del Rey defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Getafe finished just three points clear of the relegation zone last season and can ill-afford to give up points as a result of goalkeeping errors.
Guaita was in need of a fresh start and may improve as a result of receiving regular minutes at his new club. He is, for one, a very agile shot-stopper. The suspicion does, however, remain that such errors will always be a part of his game.