Soccer Transfer News: 12 New Signings Who Will Flop This Season
With a new season comes new signings for teams all over the world. Unfortunately, sometimes it just doesn't work out for players and their new teams.
Famous examples include Juan Sebastian Veron, signed for £28.1 million from Lazio in 2000, and lasted just 2 years before being sold onto Chelsea for less than half what Manchester United paid. The strange thing is he was touted as one of the best midfielders in the world and seemed to lose all that talent and skill as soon as he stepped onto the sunny shores of England.
Sometimes it's just fair to say it won't work out for a player. With a new club comes new surroundings which they might just not get used too, new styles of play that they can't cope with as well as home sickness, and missing the family.
But this season has seen a lot of potential flops in the Premier League alone, but what about the rest of the Football World? Here is just a sample of new signings from around the globe that will probably flop this season. Who knows, they might prove us all wrong and prove to be brilliant, but I seriously doubt it...
1. Javier Camunas
The former Osasuna attacking midfielder and now Villarreal bench warmer, the 31-year-old has switched for a €2.3m fee and has agreed a contract running until summer 2014.
With a fantastic record of seven La Liga goals in 67 games for Osasuna, it seems Camunas is the perfect fit to bolster Villarreal's attacking options on the bench, or more likely to make up numbers for Reserve team games.
To be compared to Javier Camunas, he was a good servant to Osasuna, who would fight a relegation battle every year. He did, however, net the winner against Real Madrid at home for Osasuna last January, which all but ended Mourinho's title challenge. But for a 31 year old player with no pace, no real scoring ability, and mediocre football ability, I doubt fans of Villarreal will be singing his name come début time.
2. Hamit Altintop
A free agent that was snapped up by Mourinho's Real Madrid in preparation for the new 2011/12 campaign. It was a bit of a weird one when it was announced awhile back now, especially after Mourinho signed Nuri Sahin, a better player who plays in the same position as Altintop.
Signed from Bayern Munich on a four year deal by Madrid, Hamit Altintop was a bit part player at his old club and looks to be exactly the same at Madrid. Players there like Xabi Alonso, Nuri Sahin, and Fernando Gago are all better players who'll struggle to get in the team this season, and are already ahead of Altintop in the pecking order.
The only consolation for Real Madrid fans will be the fact that he was brought in on a free rather than splashing the cash out on him.
3. Kris Boyd
After failing to impressin England with Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest, Kris Boyd has fled to Turkish club Eskişehirspor to join up with other great players like Diomansy Kamara. This is to challenge for the Turkcell Super League for the first time in his new club's history.
Moving for an undisclosed fee, which either means it's embarrassingly big for Eskisehirspor, or absolutely pitiful for Middlesbrough, it has left Boyd only one option and that's to impress for his new club. Considering he couldn't do that during his time in England, he's got no chance whilst in Turkey.
A striker who has only been comfortable playing for Rangers in Scotland, a team that's so much better than the rest of the competition and packed full of players who can do all the hard work for Boyd to score, it begs the question why he ever left. He failed to make an impact in the Championship, which isn't even England's top tier of Football and new club Eskisehirspor think he'll make the difference?
If Kris Boyd couldn't cut the grade in a physical and highly competitive league like the Championship, he'll have no hope in Turkey, where the physicality of the teams won't give him room to cross his legs, never mind crossing a ball for Kamara.
4. Johan Elmander
He is Swedish version of Kris Boyd and as a result, he'll be getting a nice pay packet whilst at top Turkish side Galatasaray. English Premier League side Bolton actually paid £8.2 million for this 6ft 2in lumbering oaf who couldn't hit a barn door with a beach, which he proved by scoring a pitiful 18 goals in 92 Premier League appearances.
It would almost have been acceptable if it wasn't for the fact that he was a record breaking transfer for Bolton, and it took him an incredible 11 months to score his first league goal. On top of that, it wasn't even as if Bolton's style of play wouldn't be easy for a 6ft lumbering striker to get to grips with.
The shocking thing is Elmander has been handed the number 9 shirt at Galatasaray, so not only is he expected to start, but he's their key striker. Fans of Galatasaray and Turkish football beware, you will not see many goals this season.
5. Roy Carroll
To say Roy Carroll has found his level at new club OFI Crete in the Greek Superleague, is a generous overstatement of his ability. This is the same goalkeeper that somehow made 49 appearances for Manchester United and even won a Premier League winner's medal in 2003 for his "contribution" to the campaign.
His greatest moment's for United read like a comedian's gaffe list, with famous blunders including scooping a ball back from behind his goal line against Tottenham, and then conning the referees into believing it wasn't a goal. Also, spilling a shot to Hernan Crespo to let AC Milan win 1-0 against Manchester United.
Carroll joins OFI Crete from Danish club Odense Boldklub, after telling the club he wanted to go back to Britain to be closer to his family. However, after failing trials at such illustrious clubs like Sheffield United, League Two side Barnet, and Preston North End, he had to make do with the only club that would take him, relegation candidates OFI.
Whilst the Greek side may be happy to have him, I can't see a keeper who fails three trials at lower league English sides ever having a chance to do well.
6. Thomas Hitzlsperger
After ditching no-hopers West Ham and moving to Wolfsburg on a free transfer, the veteran German midfielder hopes to help his team on their title challenge despite only making a whopping 17 league appearances last year.
If he remembers how to kick a ball properly and make it through a season without being injured, Hitzlsperger does actually have the ability to make an impact for his team. However, he's rapidly reaching the twilight of his career and in the Bundesliga they don't take prisoners.
If his performances for West Ham are anything to go by, Hitzlsperger will find it difficult for Wolfsburg. He's a few yards short of the pace, brittle and unfit. His days are numbered at his new club.
Moving on loan to Besiktas is Manchester United's much hyped Portuguese winger Bebe. After thoroughly impressing in their Reserves and not at when it really matters i.e. real games, he has been rewarded with a season long move to one of Turkey's top sides.
Now unfortunately for Bebe his move to Man United was heavily scrutinised, mainly for the £7.4 million transfer fee. Sir Alex Ferguson had bought the player because his mate and former assistant Carlos Queiroz told him Bebe was worth a punt.
With a surprising 28 appearance and 4 goals to his name (though only 2 of those appearances are for Man United), Besiktas decided he was worth taking on loan with an agreement to buy the player for £2 million at the end of the loan period. Why they'd want to is anyone's guess and with news that he's suffered cruciate knee ligament damage that will sideline him for 6 months, it's pretty much the kiss of death for Bebe. That and the fact that he's pretty much unproven at any level whatsoever.
Saying that, fair play to the lad, he was homeless before he became a footballer, so he might as well ride every club for all their worth.
8. Tuncay Sanli
Now in all honesty, Tuncay is not a bad player. Especially when he's contract's running up, he's a brilliant player then. Unfortunately, the club he's playing for makes the mistake of giving him a new contact based on his recent performances, and he becomes crap again until his contracts are about to run out.
This sort of behaviour from Tuncay was most evident during his time at Stoke. He was brilliant in pre-season, but when the goings got tough he wanted out, and that's exactly what he got, shipped off to Wolfsburg before Bolton decided to take him on loan for this season.
Fans of the Premier League might know him for "one of the finest back-heels the Premier League has ever seen", as according to the Daily Mail. But fans of his former clubs, Middlesbrough and Stoke, might know him as 'that bloke who makes himself look busy at the top of the pitch.' This is mainly because a hefty 21 goals in over a 100 appearances for English sides, shows that as a striker he's well versed in English football.
Or alternatively, it means Bolton are wasting time and might be cutting that loan deal short.
9. Gabriel Obertan
Moving from Manchester United to Newcastle in a £3.4 million move is the much maligned French winger who can't cross his legs, never mind a ball. For a fee of £3.4 mil you're going to get what you paid for unfortunately.
At Manchester he never really looked to bring anything to the team, even in those games were United walked all over the opposition, he was anonymous and at Newcastle, a team that relies on their wingers. He's going to find it difficult to have the impact that the Newcastle fans and management want him to have. He just doesn't have the ability to be anything more than a bit-part player, the exact reason why Manchester United got rid of him.
And you know what they say, no-one who leaves Manchester United goes on to do anything good.
10. Keiren Westwood
Signed on a free from Championship strugglers, Coventry City, Keiren Westwood seems to be a third choice at Sunderland, behind Craig Gordon and Trevor Carson. The need to buy another goalkeeper at Sunderland, however, is quite clear considering that their first choice keeper, Craig Gordon, is made of glass and gets injured every other week.
Westwood comes from the Championship with zero experience of playing in the Premier League, but he has got seven caps for the well known footballing nation of the Republic of Ireland, so in theory should find his feet quickly if his time to play ever comes.
Or more likely he'll rot on the bench for most of the year, get one or two games, and muck them up badly. That's just how no.2 goalies go, ask Chelsea's Hilario if you don't believe me.
11. Leroy Lita
Now Leroy Lita does have all the tools in his arsenal to be a good striker. He's got some strength on him, and he can score goals. Add the fact that he's come into the team with a relatively small price tag of £2 million from Middlesbrough to Swansea, and he's got the potential to do well.
However, the fact that Lita has moved from one style of play at Middlesbrough to one-touch football at Swansea means he's going to struggle to adapt to how the team plays, and when you add in the pace and physicality of the Premier League, Swansea are going to struggle to find the space necessary to split open defences the way they did in the Championship.
As such, Lita is going to struggle to make an impact for the team and with limited experience of the Premier League under his belt, he's going to have to adjust from playing at a Championship level to an entirely new one. Very few strikers are able to make that transition successfully and the hot-headed Leroy Lita just hasn't got the mentality to do so either.
12. Miroslav Klose
At the grand old age of 33, you would think moving on a free to the Italian Serie A, and Lazio would be a good move for the German striker Miroslav Klose. However with the German's goal tally dwindling each year for his club, age creeping up on him, and those legs of his (meaning those jumping headers he's so famous for), it might be harder to connect with.
Klose is a legendary player and can still do a job at a high level for any club around the world. Unfortunately for him, Lazio aren't known for accommodating big target men up top. Then of course there's the question about his fitness and ability to have a good run of games. Last year he only managed 26 appearances in all competitions and for a top player, you would expect better.
Unfortunately, it just seems that the career of Klose is coming to an end. Fortunately, Lazio are a good side and can mange their players well, but after playing in Germany for all of his career, the transition to the Italian style of football may be difficult to get accustomed to for a 33 year old football who has past his peak in his career.