20 Worst Signings of the 2013/14 La Liga Season

Tre' Atkinson@@TreAtkinsonFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2014

20 Worst Signings of the 2013/14 La Liga Season

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    The La Liga season has finally come to a close, and that means it is time for reflection. While many will be taking a look at the highlights from this year, it is also important to discuss what went wrong.

    Every summer, clubs make moves in hopes of strengthening their team. Some players leave, others are brought in and the club is just hoping they made the right choice. For the most part, transfers usually work out for the best, but others go terribly wrong.

    In this article, we will take a look at the 20 worst signings of the La Liga season and discuss what effect those transfers had on the clubs involved.

    For this recap, we will be using the summer and winter transfer trackers from InsideSpanishFootball.com.

    Note that all player statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com.

Joan Roman

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    Previous Club: Barcelona B

    Club Transferred To: Villarreal

    Transfer Type: Six-month loan deal

    Joan Roman left Barcelona B in January to join Villarreal on loan for the rest of the season. It looked like a great move for the young winger as he would get a lot more experience in the first division, but that wasn't the case.

    The 21-year-old featured in only two games for the Yellow Submarine and put in dismal performances in both. For Roman, this was the chance to prove that he has a future in top-flight football, but that may not be the case.

    Not only did Villarreal get a dud out of the deal, but the winger missed out on valuable experience. The entire point of the move for Barcelona was to give him the chance to face tougher competition. The move backfired.

Gabriel Torje

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    Previous Club: Udinese (Granada on loan)

    Club Transferred To: Espanyol

    Transfer Type: Season-long loan deal

    After a solid season at Granada last year, Udinese once again looked to keep Gabriel Torje in Spain to continue his development. The winger joined Espanyol in the summer on a season-long loan deal, and it seemed like a great move for everyone involved.

    Torje's year at Espanyol was filled with disappointment. He appeared in only 12 games and had little to show for his efforts. His statistics show just how much he struggled, as he finished the year having completed only 60 percent of his passes.

Haris Seferovic

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    Previous Club: Fiorentina

    Club Transferred To: Real Sociedad

    Transfer Fee: €3 million

    Real Sociedad were looking to strengthen their squad ahead of Champions League play last summer, spending €3 million on striker Haris Seferovic. At first, the forward looked great and scored some big goals, but he would soon drop off.

    The 22-year-old managed to score only two goals in 30 games and was soon nothing more than a backup. With time, he could find his footing at Real Sociedad, but this season was a lost cause.

Xavi Torres

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    Previous Club: Getafe

    Club Transferred To: Real Betis

    Transfer Fee: €1.5 million

    Like Real Sociedad, Real Betis needed to strengthen their squad with European competition on the horizon. The club didn't have a lot of money to spend, but they did shell out €1.5 million for Getafe midfielder Xavi Torres.

    The midfielder was seen as the perfect player to command the center of the pitch. Yet, after an injury ruled him out for the rest of the season, the transfer had little effect on the club's season. Maybe next year.

Aloys Nong

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    Previous Club: RAEC Mons (Belgium)

    Club Transferred To: Levante

    Transfer Fee: €200,000

    Levante is known for being a club that makes a lot of strange moves, and that remained the case this past summer. The Spanish side paid a very small sum to secure the services of striker Aloys Nong, but it was money thrown away at best.

    Not only did the 30-year-old manage to only feature six times as a substitute, but his appearances were dreadful. It was clear that the striker was not at a high enough level to play in the Primera, which begs the question why Levante thought it was a wise purchase in the first place.


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    Previous Club: Sao Paulo (Brazil)

    Club Transferred To: Real Madrid

    Transfer Fee: €6 million

    Real Madrid have a lot of money to spend every summer, so paying €6 million for someone doesn't look like much. Yet, the transfer of Casemiro was still very questionable.

    At the time of the transfer, Real Madrid boasted a very strong midfield and would later add Isco and Asier Illarramendi. There really was little room for the Brazilian in the squad, but Real Madrid moved for him anyway.

    Casemiro never really played badly this season, but he also never gave anyone a reason to believe that he will be a star. His spot could have been given to a youth player, but for now, you have to wonder why the club thought the deal was worth it.

Manu del Moral

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    Previous Club: Sevilla

    Club Transferred To: Elche

    Transfer Type: Season-long loan deal

    When Elche signed Sevilla attacker Manu del Moral on loan last summer, it looked like a brilliant move. The 30-year-old would provide Primera experience and quality to a newly promoted side, while Sevilla could lighten some of their load.

    In truth, the move made sense. In execution, it didn't really help anyone. The striker featured in 24 matches, playing all over the pitch. He only managed to score two goals and never looked sharp in the squad.

Bartlomiej Pawlowski

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    Previous Club: Widzew Lodz (Poland) 

    Club Transferred To: Malaga

    Transfer Type: Season-long loan deal

    Bartlomiej Pawlowski was brought in to strengthen the Malaga squad and to provide new hunger and youth. On the surface, the 21-year-old fit that mold, but he never panned out.

    The young striker only featured in eight games, scoring a single goal. It was clear that he was not ready for the Primera, and the loan deal will be seen as a wasted effort.


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    Previous Club: Numancia

    Club Transferred To: Real Betis

    Transfer Fee: Free

    Anytime a club is able to sign a promising talent for free, you really cannot complain. Such was the case when Real Betis signed Cedrick last summer. The 22-year-old began his career with the club by showcasing skill that no one knew he had.

    Cedrick's speed made him a constant threat, and many began to think that the winger had been the steal of the summer. However, once opponents knew about his speed, he disappeared. He did appear in 32 games for Betis, but he managed to score only one goal and was found out by defenders early on.


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    Previous Club: Deportivo La Coruna

    Club Transferred To: Granada

    Transfer Fee: Free

    After a brilliant season last year, striker Riki joined Granada on a free transfer in a deal that seemed like the right step forward. Granada received an experience player that could lead the attack, and Riki got to be a star yet again.

    But that isn't how it worked out. Riki struggled to find his form for the entirety of the season and was never the leader that Granada had hoped for. Although he came for free, the club never got the player they were expecting.


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    Previous Club: Alcorcon

    Club Transferred To: Espanyol

    Transfer Fee: Free

    Abraham was yet another free signing that took place last summer. The experienced midfielder left the lower division to sign with Espanyol, but his talent didn't carry over that well.

    The 28-year-old played in over 20 games, though he never looked convincing. His experience helped him do a decent job in the middle of the pitch, but he was merely a depth player at best. For what the club was expecting, signing Abraham backfired.

Mohamed Sissoko

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    Previous Club: PSG (France)

    Club Transferred To: Levante

    Transfer Type: Six-month loan deal

    When Mohamed Sissoko joined Levante on loan in January, the deal looked perfect. The Spanish club got an experienced midfielder, and Sissoko would have the chance to play regularly.

    Sissoko, however, only appeared in 10 matches and never looked sharp. Perhaps playing in a different country really hurt the 29-year-old, but he was not the player that Levante needed. For everyone involved, the loan deal was wasted time.

Joan Verdu

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    Previous Club: Espanyol

    Club Transferred To: Real Betis

    Transfer Fee: Free

    When Joan Verdu left Espanyol to sign for Real Betis last summer, there were a lot of mixed feelings. It was clear that the Catalan midfielder was looking for European competition, and that is exactly what he got. For Real Betis though, it was already one of the biggest moves of the summer.

    Verdu was expected to significantly raise the level of Real Betis. He walked into the club as arguably the best player in the squad, but his talent didn't transfer well. He featured 26 times in all competitions, scoring only two goals in the process.

    The midfielder was handed everything he needed to succeed at Real Betis, but he wasn't able to find his form. Verdu was an absolute flop as Betis were eventually relegated.

Roberto Chen

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    Previous Club: San Francisco F.C. (Panama)

    Club Transferred To: Malaga

    Transfer Fee: €500,000

    Roberto Chen was already making a name for himself with the Panama youth team before moving to Malaga last summer. The Spanish side paid €500,000 to secure his services and their rebuilding project was underway.

    In preseason matches, Chen looked great. He was mature, solid and didn't make a lot of mistakes. The transfer looked like a huge success already. But when the real season began, it was clear that he was not ready for the Primera.

    Malaga sent him off on loan to Zulte Waregem in January where he still failed to show that he was ready for the top flight. Chen's future is in question, but at 19 years old, he still has plenty of time to turn things around.


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    Previous Club: Benfica (On loan at Deportivo La Coruna)

    Club Transferred To: Espanyol

    Transfer Type: Season-long loan deal

    Pizzi was another player coming off of a big year in La Liga. Espanyol signed him last summer on loan for the rest of the season in a deal that seemed like a perfect fit. Pizzi would give Espanyol another quality player going forward, and the club would offer the player a better chance to prove himself.

    Neither side got what they hoped for. Pizzi scored three goals in 28 appearances and was often struggling to keep up in games. He had enough quality to remain visible, but the form he showed last season did not carry over whatsoever.

Miguel Angel de las Cuevas

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    Previous Club: Sporting Gijon

    Club Transferred To: Osasuna

    Transfer Fee: €1.2 million

    Osasuna never has a lot of money to spend, so when they do purchase a player, they are very careful about it. The Navarre club forked over €1.2 million for Sporting Gijon's Miguel Angel de las Cuevas in the summer, and they are wishing they had done something else with that money.

    The step up to the first division was too much for the forward. He struggled to keep up and was often a liability on the pitch. He did show a few flashes of brilliance in his 24 appearances, but it was never enough.

Helder Postiga

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    Previous Club: Real Zaragoza

    Club Transferred To: Valencia

    Transfer Fee: €3 million

    After seeing Roberto Soldado leave to join English side Tottenham, Valencia knew they had to act quick to replace their striker. They opted for Real Zaragoza forward Helder Postiga which made a lot of sense.

    Postiga had years of experience in the Primera and many caps for the Portugal national team. He was a proven veteran who could help Valencia upfront, and he came relatively cheap at €3 million.

    However, the deal would blow up in their faces. He would feature 15 times, scoring three goals. He was not the finisher or proven star that Valencia had hoped for, and it was time to cut their loses.

    In January, Postiga was sent to Lazio on loan for the rest of the season with the Italians also given the option to the buy the striker.

Sergio Canales

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    Previous Club: Valencia

    Club Transferred To: Real Sociedad

    Transfer Fee: €3.5 million

    With a midfield depleted due to injuries, Real Sociedad moved to sign Valencia's Sergio Canales in January. At first, the young midfielder was a good fit, but expectations were never met.

    Canales brought with him a history of injuries. Real Sociedad were expected to only use him as a rotational player, but the manager gave him a starting role immediately. Though Canales never played awfully, his presence in the starting lineup did affect the squad as a whole.

    Players like Ruben Pardo rarely saw the field, and fans became unhappy. Canales may have a future at the Basque club, but the manager will have to find a different way to use him in the squad.


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    Previous Club: Real Betis

    Club Transferred To: Athletic Club Bilbao

    Transfer Fee: €8 million

    When Athletic Club Bilbao signed former midfielder Benat last summer, it was seen as one of the biggest moves of the transfer window. The club was going in a new direction, and Benat was going to lead the project.

    Early on, Benat was a hit. He scored his first, and only, goal in the first game at the new San Mames. But things quickly went south. He struggled for fitness all season, and his lack of defensive talent was a liability in Ernesto Valverde's system.

    Simply put, Benat didn't live up to the billing. His ability did not fit the way the club played. Athletic eventually did finish fourth in the league, but Benat had little to do with that.

    This summer will be huge for the Basque midfielder. It is his chance to prove that he belongs at Athletic, but for now, there are a lot of questions hovering over his head.

Leo Baptistao

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    Previous Club: Rayo Vallecano

    Club Transferred To: Atletico Madrid

    Transfer Fee: €5 million

    Leo Baptistao will go down as the worst signing by far of the La Liga season. After a breakout season at Rayo Vallecano, the striker joined Atletico Madrid for €5 million as one of the replacements for Radamel Falcao.

    He managed to only see the pitch five times and was severely disappointing in every game. Atletico Madrid had no other choice than to give the Brazilian chances elsewhere.

    Baptistao moved to Real Betis on loan in January, and all seemed well. He would have the chance to star for the club, and Betis would have a strong striker who could possibly save them from relegation.

    Yet, he was still unable to find his best form, scoring just once for Betis. Baptistao was the very worst signing of the season, because he was failed experiment twice. At 21 years old, there is a lot of career left for Baptistao, but this will be a year to forget.

    Oddly enough, Baptistao also became the very first La Liga player to both win the league (with Atletico Madrid) and be relegated (with Real Betis) in the same season. That will likely never happen again.