JANUARY transfers are a risky old game.
Many managers feel pressured into a panic buy or two to ease their relegation battle, make one last push for a European spot or simply cover an injury crisis.
History tells us splashing the big bucks in the winter month is a gamble.
For every incredible buy like Luis Suarez, there's a mega-money flop like Fernando Torres.
For every world-beating Virgil van Dijk there's a blunder buy like Alexis Sanchez.
Whether they admit it or not, every boss is tempted to splash the cash and bring in a new face or two.
But our worst XI of Premier League January buys will be more than enough to convince them to hide their cheque-book until July 1…
GK – Mark Bosnich – Chelsea
THE Australian stopper's 2001 move to Stamford Bridge turned into an absolute nightmare for the Blues.
Chelsea signed Bosnich on the back of Sir Alex Ferguson calling him a 'terrible professional' following his tough stint at Manchester United.
He played just five times in the Prem before being sacked after failing a drugs test – testing positive for cocaine.
RB – Jan Kromkamp – Liverpool
THE Dutch defender is forgotten by almost every football fan on these shores – even Reds supporters.
Kromkamp joined Liverpool from Villarreal in a swap deal that saw flop Josemi move the other way in 2006.
The fact the right-back only spent six months at the LaLiga club after five years at AZ Alkmaar might have been the first red flag.
But 14 underwhelming Prem appearances in just seven months – with his lack of pace and poor defending exposed – saw him flogged back to Holland, joining PSV Eindhoven that August.
CB – Chris Samba – QPR
IN 2013, QPR were happy to splash the cash to keep their Premier League status.
And in January they signed Chris Samba from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in a £12.5m deal.
Worse yet, they paid the ex-Blackburn centre-back a staggering £100,000 per week.
Then-boss Harry Redknapp described him as a 'monster' upon signing him.
But after helping QPR get relegated – while telling fans to 'get over' his sky-high wages – he returned to Russia just six months later.
CB – Jean-Alain Boumsong – Newcastle
AFTER excelling at Auxerre in France, Boumsong was expected to join Liverpool in 2004 under Gerard Houllier.
But, as a free agent, his representative urged him to accept the best sign-on fee available – from Rangers.
Just months into his time in Scotland, Newcastle came knocking with an £8m bid – curiously not showing an interest when he was available for nothing.
Boumsong signed a massive five-and-a-half-year contract at St James' Park.
But a series of high-profile blunders saw him shipped off to then-Serie B side Juventus after just 18 months.
LB – Wayne Bridge – Man City
THE ex-England left-back joined City following an injury-plagued six-year stint at Chelsea in 2009 – where he managed just 87 Prem appearances and famously rowed with captain John Terry.
In the four years at the Etihad following his £10m move, Bridge managed just 42 Premier League matches and was loaned out to West Ham, Sunderland and Brighton.
Bridge was eventually sold to Reading in 2013, where he would retire after a single season and just 12 appearances.
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CDM – David Luiz – Chelsea
NOT necessarily a flop, but the circumstances surrounding Luiz's move will forever be controversial.
For starters, Chelsea splashed £21.3m on the Brazilian, whose positional unawareness and error-prone nature left fans fuming all too often.
But the Blues also sent Nemanja Matic to Benfica as part of the 2011 transfer.
Matic, while not quite in the Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah category, goes down in history as a poor sale from the West Londoners.
So much so, Chelsea forked out £21m to bring him back in 2014.
In the same year as Matic's comeback, Luiz was sold to PSG… before re-signing the Brazil defender two years later for a further £32m.
Confused? It certainly seems Chelsea chiefs were.
RW – Juan Cuadrado – Chelsea
SIGNED for £23.3m in January 2015, Cuadrado appeared to be an exciting buy following his superb form at Fiorentina.
However, as part of the deal, Salah – now arguably the best player on the planet – was shipped on loan to the Italian club.
In the summer, after just a handful of uninspiring performances, Cuadrado was sent on loan to Juventus – where he would eventually stay for good in 2017.
Worse yet, Salah performed so well during his six-month loan at Fiorentina, he would spend a season on loan at Roma, before making his move permanent the following year.
Salah is now at Chelsea's Prem rivals Liverpool, where he is competing with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the honour of best in the world.
CAM – Savio Nsereko – West Ham
THE move so bad an investigation was actually opened…
Now turning out in German non-league football, Nsereko joined the Hammers in a £9m deal from Italian side Brescia in 2009 and was immediately handed the No10 shirt.
He made ten appearances – including just one start – in six months, looking well off the pace.
Nsereko was shipped off to Fiorentina – for whom he never featured in Serie A and was loaned out SIX times.
The club would go on to open an investigation into how the move was ever allowed to happen.
LW – Alexis Sanchez – Man Utd
UNITED fans could barely believe their luck after swapping outcast Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Arsenal's world-beater Sanchez in January 2018.
Unfortunately, they didn't get the 'world-beating' version of the Chilean ace.
Despite paying Sanchez a staggering £505,000 per week, the ex-Barcelona winger scored a woeful three Prem goals in 32 games – with his Old Trafford highlight his piano-themed unveiling.
He scored five times in 45 matches in all competitions before he was loaned to Inter Milan and eventually sold in 2020.
To sign a player on what was technically a free and still make heavy losses is pretty spectacular.
Sanchez would go on to win Serie A with Inter – helping them break their 11-year title drought – while United continue to scrap for a top-four spot.
ST – Fernando Torres – Chelsea
IN his pomp, Torres was easily the best centre-forward on the planet. Pacey and skilful with an incredible eye for goal.
But Chelsea didn't sign Torres in his pomp, they signed him in the midst of a worrying lack of form following a series of frustrating injuries.
More bizarre yet, the Blues splashed a staggering £50m on the Spaniard on the January deadline day of 2011.
He found the net just ONCE in the remainder of the season in West London.
Torres scored just 20 goals in 110 Prem games, a dreadful return made even worse when compared to his Liverpool record (65 goals in 102 games).
The ultimate panic-buy, his most-iconic moment at the Blues was giving Gary Neville his infamous 'goalgasm'.
ST – Andy Carroll – Liverpool
OF course, you can't mention Torres' move to Chelsea without mentioning Carroll's disastrous Liverpool move.
On an action-packed deadline day in January 2011, Liverpool used their Torres money on Newcastle youngster Carroll in a staggering £35m deal.
Carroll had impressed after breaking into the Toon first-team.
But he scored just twice in seven Prem games in the second-half of the 2010-11 season, before managing just four goals in 35 games the following year.
Carroll was loaned to West Ham in 2012-13, before joining the Londoners permanently 12 months later.
Fortunately for Liverpool, they spent the rest of their Carroll money on Luis Suarez during the same window to somewhat ease the pressure.
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