The January transfer window is one of the most hectic and frenzied times of the footballing season. Clubs fight to keep hold of their in form players, get rid of the deadwood and frantically spend a heap of cash to inject that special something their season was lacking.
The hyperactive nature of the mid-season period derives from the limited time that clubs have to assess the potential impact of a signing versus the financial outlay. This results in a furnace-like market place, though some teams carry out some really savvy business in January.
That being said, mistakes are easy to make and these seven signings all attest to that. Take a look at this list ranking seven of the worst signings made by Premier League clubs in the January transfer window if you want to see how sometimes they can get it so wrong.
7. Alan Hutton
Kick-starting the list is Scottish international Alan Hutton. The right back moved from Glasgow Rangers to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 for a fee of £9million.
That is a hefty sum of money for someone who made a paltry 30 Premier League appearances over the three seasons that he was a player at White Hart Lane.
His stint in London was blighted by inconsistent performances, injury spells and loans away from Spurs.
6. Duncan Ferguson
Next we have Duncan Ferguson, who spent 11 seasons at Everton. In 1999, however, the striker spent a season and a half in the north east with Newcastle.
Newcastle thought that a player who had been convicted of assault and had question marks over his physical ability was worth splashing out £7million on.
In the time he spent at Newcastle, he made just 30 league appearances and was soon sent back to the blue side of Liverpool for £3.75million.
5. Georgios Samaras
Georgios Samaras was brought to Manchester City by Stewart Pearce in 2006 for £6 million. They were rewarded with just eight goals in the three seasons he spent in Manchester.
The Daily Mirror described Samaras as a "fish out of water" and "very bad business", and it is hard to disagree with this assessment. Shocking technical ability, poor finishing and an absence of any real work rate.
4. Fernando Morientes
This former Real Madrid striker had a host of top clubs pursuing him when Real Madrid signed Brazilian Ronaldo. He was close to signing for Barcelona at the time, but the deal fell through. Instead, he stayed in the Spanish capital for a few more years until Real signed Liverpool striker Michael Owen.
This prompted the Spanish forward to move, the destination being Owen's former employers. Liverpool signed Morientes for £6.3million in 2005. Before the move, he hadn't scored in 13 games and had only scored three in the previous 21. What Rafa Benitez got for his money was a limp striker who only mustered up 12 goals in 61 appearances for the Merseyside team.
3. Afonso Alves
Afonso Alves, a Brazilian striker who lacked Brazilian quality. This didn't discourage Middlesbrough from paying a hefty £12.7million to Heerenveen in 2008.
The money was spent in the hope that he could score the goals needed to keep Middlesbrough in the top division. This failed dramatically and Afonso Alves only netted 13 times in 47 games. Whoops.
2. Andy Carroll
Everyone saw this one coming. Andy Carroll moved from Newcastle United to Liverpool for a staggering £35million and what a waste money that was.
What were Liverpool really thinking? It's true that Carroll is an English striker who was great in the air and didn't mind a battle or two, but to spend £35million on the lad is unquestionably one of the worst football and business decisions you can think of.
1. Fernando Torres
You can't put Andy Carroll on this list without including the source of Liverpool's ridiculous funds in the first place - Fernando Torres being bought for a staggering and record-breaking £50million by Chelsea.
Fernando Torres from the season or two previous to his move would have easily been worth £50million, but Torres had been on a downward spiral and looked a shadow of his former self. Roman Abramovich, however, saw something he liked enough to splash the cash and get his man.
His weak goal scoring return has been well documented over the last few seasons and it isn't really up for debate that Chelsea most certainly didn't get their money's worth from El Nino.
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