NEVER underestimate football’s ability to shock.
Over the years, we have witnessed some weird transfers. Players swapping their glamour days for a runout at Barnet, for example, and more.
JASONPIXAndy Carroll signed for Reading in a short-term deal last year a surprising move[/caption]
PA:Press AssociationCarlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano shocked the world when they signed for West Ham in 2006[/caption]
APFormer Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is unveiled by FC Seoul[/caption]
Jesse Lingard struggled to find a Premier League club that matched his ambitions, and ended up at FC Seoul in this year.
Back in 2021, Dani Alves returned to Barcelona at the age of 38, and will reportedly be paid just ONE EURO a month.
And who can forget that same year, Andy Carroll coming out of the wilderness to sign for Reading on a two-month contract.
Here are some of the weirdest transfers we’ve ever come across.
In the summer of 2023, Lingard’s spell at Nottingham Forest came to an end.
He trained with West Ham, who he previously enjoyed a loan spell with, after his City Ground departure but then decided to join up with Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq.
However, he was unable to sign a contract with them because they had a limit on foreign players in the Saudi League.
Instead, he penned a two-year deal with FC Seoul reportedly worth £17,500-per-week.
It is claimed he snubbed 26 clubs to sign for the South Korean outfit.
On the final day of the transfer window in August 2012, Juventus were short of a centre forward.
But even Arsenal fans, who had grown tired of Nicklas Bendtner’s off-the-field antics, were shocked the Italian giants went for their Danish striker.
Especially since the previous season he had failed to pull up any trees at Sunderland.
That didn’t deter Juve gambling on the forward, but injury problems restricted him to just 11 appearances – and he failed to score.
Unsurprisingly, the Serie A side didn’t take up an option of buying him permanently.
AP:Associated PressArsenal fans were left stunned when Serie A giants Juventus took troubled striker Nicklas Bendtner off their hands[/caption]
Getty Images – GettyBendtner failed to score in 11 games for the club and a permanent move was quashed[/caption]
The former Barcelona man was the epitome of the question; can he do it on a rainy Tuesday night at Stoke?
The simple answer was no, despite Bojan having the benefit of playing for the home side too.
Mark Hughes concluded the surprise deal for the man labelled the next Messi in 2014 for just £1.8million.
“Anyone who knows European football will be aware of him as a player and the fact that he sees his future at Stoke City is really exciting,” Hughes beamed at the time.
16 goals in 85 games later he was sold to MLS side Montreal Impact in 2019.
Action Images – ReutersBojan Krcic swapped Barcelona for Stoke[/caption]
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Although it was only a loan move, Jurgen Klopp bringing in Caulker at Liverpool from QPR in a January transfer window in 2016 was one no-one saw coming.
A centre-back who came through the ranks at Tottenham, the one-time England cap managed to play four games for the reds.
What was even more unbelievable was he was asked to play upfront.
Sadly, his Liverpool was cut short before a deal could be thrashed out, when Caulker was admitted into rehab with addictions to alcohol and gambling threatening his career.
ReutersSteven Caulker was asked to play upfront for Liverpool[/caption]
TEVEZ AND MASCHERANO
Probably one of the most audacious double-signings in Premier League history.
No wonder then West Ham boss Alan Pardew had a smile like a Cheshire cat at their unveiling back in 2006.
The Argentinian duo were plucked from Corinthians, and only stayed with the Hammers for a season with Tevez joining Manchester United and Mascherano signing for Liverpool.
Tevez would write his name in the history books by scoring the goal that secured the club’s Premier League safety in a 1-0 win over Man Utd.
Later, Pardew revealed he had only asked his chief executive to buy James Milner and that his Christmas came early.
News Group Newspapers LtdCarlos Tevez helped save West Ham from relegation[/caption]
Cruelly called Luther ‘Miss it’ by away fans, Blissett is a Watford legend and their all-time top goalscorer.
After winning the First Division Golden Boot in 1983, AC Milan paid £1million to bring him to Italy.
But Blissett struggled to settle in Italy, scoring just five times in 30 appearances in the club.
His dietary requirements were also unfulfilled.
“No matter how much money you have here, you can’t seem to get Rice Krispies,” he said.
AP:Associated PressAC Milan gambled on Watford legend Luther Blissett, who failed to settle in Italy[/caption]
One of the finest midfielders of his generation, it was a shock to see Edgar Davids end up at Barnet.
After all, this was a former Dutch international who had won the Champions League with Ajax, and played for AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan and Barcelona in a star-studded career.
Still, in 2012 – still living in North London after a spell at Spurs and then Crystal Palace – he became player manager of League Two Barnet.
However, he struggled to keep his discipline on the pitch – getting sent off three times in his first eight games of the 2013-14 season and picking up a booking in every one of those matches.
His bizarre managerial career took a new turn when he decided to wear the No1 jersey normally worn by goalkeepers, insisting he was setting a trend for midfielders to don that number. He resigned in 2014.
Getty Images – GettyAfter starring at Ajax, Juventus, AC Milan and Tottenham, Edgar Davids opted to end his career at League Two Barnet[/caption]
FERNANDO HIERRO, YOURI DJORKAEFF AND JAY-JAY OKOCHA
There was no doubt Sam Allardyce had big plans for Bolton Wanderers.
Although they were in their twilight years, between 2002-2005 Real Madrid legend Fernando Hierro, France World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff and the remarkably gifted Jay-Jay Okocha all played for the club at the same time.
Okocha joined from PSG on a free transfer, and soon became a fans’ favourite.
Djorkaeff scored an impressive 21 goals from 87 games from midfield, initially snubbing interest from Manchester United and Liverpool for three years with the Trotters.
While Hierro finished his illustrious career playing for Wanderers aged 37, launching long balls from the back.
ReutersYouri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okocha were part of a dream team of foreign signings at Bolton[/caption]
PA:Empics SportReal Madrid legend Fernardo Hierro enjoyed his final year as a pro with the Trotters[/caption]
Mancini enjoyed a stellar career at Sampdoria, where he helped the club win Serie A, four Coppa Italia titles, as well the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Three years followed at Lazio, but no one could’ve envisaged what was going to happen next.
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Mancini joined Peter Taylor’s Leicester City on loan – making his debut against Arsenal in 2001 at the grand old age of 36.
However, he failed to complete 90 minutes in his five games for the club.
His contract was torn up in February, when Mancini decided he wanted to manage Fiorentina.
PA:Press AssociationRoberto Mancini joined Leicester City at 36 from Lazio, but failed to reach previous heights[/caption]
The Villans shocked everyone when they announced the loan signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona in 2022.
The third most-expensive player of all time uprooted his life in Spain to link up with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard in the Midlands.
And he made an instant impact on his debut as he came off the bench against Manchester United to score a late equaliser in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
However, over time he looked a shadow of himself and when Unai Emery came to the club he was frozen out of the first team.
GettyAston Villa signed Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona in 2022[/caption]