10 of the Weirdest Transfers of All-Time
This season has already seen some weird transfers. But that has mainly come down to their price tag. Kyle Walker’s £50million switch seems bizarre on the front that Manchester City have valued Kyle Walker at £50million, while the switches of John Terry and Jordan Pickford have seemed interesting to say the least.
But while they have made a few people question the moves, none are as bizarre as some of the crazy goings on of seasons gone by.
Over the years there have been some damn right insane moves in football. We’ve seen Edgar Davids in the red and blue of Crystal Palace, Steven Caulker at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, and Fernando Hierro swapping the bright lights of Madrid for Bolton.
But not even they make the cut as Freebets.com countdown the weirdest moves in football…
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool
It was never going to be easy for Mario Balotelli at Liverpool. On the training field he’d already proved he always has to be on the non-bibs side and at home his lifestyle was as loud as a firework going off in a bathroom.
Brendan Rodgers captured the Italian’s signature for £16million and while he thought it was a risk that could pay off, the rest of the nation laughed. And laughed. And laughed.
He scored four goals in 28 appearances for the Reds and was shipped out on loan the following season. As the season of 2016 approached, Jurgen Klopp cleaned up Rodgers’ mess and the club gave him away to OGC Nice on a free transfer.
Bebe to Manchester United
Bebe was a man who once was considered for selection for the national homeless squad. Just a few years later he’d signed for Manchester United for a fee thought to be around £7.4 million.
Not one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s better buys, the infamous Scot only actually met the player on the day of his transfer and was acting on a recommendation by his assistant Carlos Queiroz.
He won’t have thanked him for that, with Bebe only making seven appearances for the club across four seasons. He was shipped out on loan multiple times during his United career and eventually joined Benfica, where he would make six appearances before joining Eibar last season.
Jamie Stevenson to Real Mallorca
Today, Jamie Stevenson plays for Peterhead. In fact, he’s spent his entire career plying his trade in the footballing abyss which is the Scottish leagues. Apart from a few seasons where he was trying to carve out a career at Real Mallorca.
After being released by Alloa Athletic for being too small, he was given a trial by Mallorca after a chance encounter playing football with his uncle on the island.
He impressed during the trial and was offered a three year deal with the club. He lasted just 18 months, only appearing for the B team and eventually returning home to Alloa due to homesickness. He’s been a Scottish football journeyman ever since.
Bojan Krcic to Stoke City
Bojan Krkic has certainly taken in some glamorous places throughout his career. He’s spent time in Barcelona, Rome, Milan and Amsterdam. And Stoke.
We can’t imagine Stoke was at the top of his list when it came to finding his next home, but the Welsh Wizard Mark Hughes must have avoided showing him the sights and he signed for the club in 2014.
An exciting prospect, people were surprised he’d joined the Potters, but just 15 goals in 60 games followed, struggling to get into the team last season.
He was sent off to Mainz 05 halfway through last season and his home in the bright lights of Stoke look very much in jeopardy.
Luther Blissett to AC Milan
Rumour has it that AC Milan thought they were signing John Barnes when they signed Luther Blissett from Watford back in 1983 for a fee of £1million.
While this has been denied (of course) it wasn’t exactly Blissett’s favourite place either, with him complaining about the lack of Rice Krispies in Italy. Blissett scored just five goals in 30 appearances for Milan, moving back to Watford after just one season for half the price.
Thomas Gravesen to Real Madrid
It’s not often Real Madrid raid Everton, but in 2005 he made the giant leap to the Bernabeu after five years on Merseyside.
The tough Danish midfielder was hardy hailed a Galactico and his lack of style and grace found him on the bench fairly quickly. He was in and out of the team throughout his career and a tough tackle on Robinho in training soon saw him out the door.
After just 34 appearances he joined Celtic, where he’d spend two years at a more suited level before retiring.
Ali Dia to Southampton
Quite possibly the weirdest transfer in football history, Ali Dia signed for Southampton and made his debut for the club against Leeds United in 1996. Under Graeme Souness’ stewardship he spent 53 minutes on the pitch before being hauled off.
His journey to Southampton began after Souness took a call from a man posing as George Weah, tipping him off about a young Senegalese player called Ali Dia. It was enough to convince Souness, who took him on.
Le Tissier described him as “Bambi on ice”. We think that’s being generous.
Jay Jay Okocha to Bolton
Now, there’s no denying Jay Jay Okocha is a Bolton legend and carved out a fantastic career playing for the Trotters. But when you’ve been playing in Paris for the past four years, the industrial Lancashire town of Bolton isn’t normally your next port of call.
Despite that, he settled in wonderfully and became a club legend, captaining the side to their first cup final in nine years and steering the side away from relegation a number of times.
A fall out saw him stripped of the captaincy and a move to Qatar soon followed, but nobody can deny that for four years he lit up the Reebok Stadium with his sensational skills and wonder goals.
Sol Campbell to Notts County
While Okocha lasted four years, Sol Campbell lasted just lasted just three days of his five-year deal at Notts County, with his only contribution to the club being involved in a 2-1 defeat to Morecambe.
He had his £10million contract torn up after claiming the board weren’t meeting the ambitions they had laid out to him when he signed the contract. It was a bizarre move that ended exactly how everyone thought it would, disastrously.
Steve Sidwell to Chelsea
At the time of joining Chelsea, Steve Sidwell was building a nice career for himself. He’d been a regular in the Reading side and in 2004/05 was named the best player outside the Premier League by FourFourTwo.
Knowing full well he’d attract attention from Premier League clubs, he rejected a contract extension in the summer of 2006 and after a good first season in the top flight sparked the interest of a number of clubs.
He joined Chelsea and was given the squad number 9. Yes, 9! In his first interview with the club he claimed he wasn’t there to make up the numbers despite being up against Michael Essien and Frank Lampard in the fight for a starting eleven place.
He made just 15 Premier League appearances for the club, most as a substitute before Mourinho gladly moved him on. It was a stalling point in Sidwell’s career and a weird move for a player who could perhaps have made more of himself at a smaller club.
Moves to Aston Villa, Fulham and Stoke followed, with him now getting another Premier League chance with Brighton.