Who are the worst deadline day panic buys in Premier League history?

Edinson Cavani

The transfer window is done and dusted for another summer, finishing nearly two months later than it did in 2019.

Although it was a rather quiet deadline day, there were still some huge sums of money thrown at players around the globe.

Arsenal announced the completion of their £45m signing Thomas Partey just after the deadline while earlier in the day, we saw Ben Godfrey put pen to paper on a deal worth £25m at Everton.

It wasn't the entertaining deadline day we all hoped for, and thus, it appears that clubs are now wising up to the fact that they need to get their business done much sooner in the window.

In 2014, 25 deals were done to bring players to the Premier League, but on Monday, just 12 new faces walked through the door of respective teams. 

Usually, if you leave your business this late, you're panic buying and over the course of the last 10 years, we've seen some truly shocking business done by those in the top-flight. 

Why you'd leave business this late to conclude is always baffling so let's delve through the archives to recount some of the worst we've ever seen.

Thomas Partey

Let's retrace our steps and begin right at the turn of the last decade.

2010 summer window:

Paul Konchesky: The left-back will probably be remembered more for what he did against Liverpool than what he did when he took to the field for the Reds themselves. Signed late in the summer window, Konchesky made an error that was heavily criticised against Spurs and then he was jeered by his own supporters vs Wolves.

He was consequently loaned out to Nottingham Forest and left permanently for Leicester only a year after signing. 

Paul Konchesky

2011 winter window:

Fernando Torres: A fabulous player in his day, Torres just couldn't replicate his Liverpool form at Chelsea. The Spaniard moved in a deal worth £50m but produced just 45 goals in 172 outings. He may have scored a pivotal goal against Barcelona in the Champions League but his return simply didn't match someone who cost so much money. Chelsea should have invested in someone else.

Andy Carroll: With Torres on the move, Liverpool snapped up Luis Suarez and Carroll. While the former was incredible in a Reds shirt, the latter struggled and was eventually shipped onto West Ham. The towering Geordie was signed for £35m but scored only 11 goals. 

Fernando Torres in action for Chelsea

2011 summer window:

Orlando Sa: Fulham have made some particularly bad signings in recent times but Sa has to be one of the worst. Although the striker was a free transfer, they may as well not have bothered. The Portuguese left Craven Cottage after scoring just once in 12 outings. Definitely one to forget.

Andre Santos: Arsenal went out all guns blazing on deadline day in 2011, signing the likes of Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun and Per Mertesacker. Brazilian full-back Santos also arrived but was absolutely hopeless. He was shown up defensively on a regular basis but despite scoring against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, isn't remembered fondly at the Emirates.

Park Chu-Young: This is one of the strangest Premier League signings ever. The South Korean was on the verge of joining Lille but in a surprising turn of events, failed to turn up for his medical with the Ligue 1 club and consequently went and signed for Arsenal instead. He left the Gunners having played just seven matches and scoring one goal.

Andre Santos

2013 winter window:

Chris Samba: QPR's swoop for the big defender is one of the worst financial packages we've seen in recent years. Sitting rock bottom of the Premier League, Harry Redknapp paid £12.5m for his signature and handed the centre-back wages of £100k-a-week. What were the Londoners thinking here? 

Christopher Samba in action for QPR

2013 summer window:

Marouane Fellaini: He came up with some big moments at Old Trafford but Fellaini was the very definition of a panic buy. David Moyes snapped the Belgian up for a fee of £27.5m, but that was just weeks after his initial release clause of £23.5m had expired.

If United really wanted Fellaini then they'd have signed him earlier in the window. Baffling business.

Marouane Fellaini in action for Man Utd

2014 winter window:

Kim Kallstrom: Another of Arsenal's bizarre deadline day signings. The Gunners needed a midfielder and with the clock ticking down, Arsene Wenger brought in Sweden international, Kallstrom, on loan. He was signed as injury cover but actually had a fitness issue himself so couldn't play right away. Kallstrom barely played but did score a penalty during Arsenal's triumphant 2013/14 FA Cup campaign. 

Kostas Mitroglou: Fulham are another club to feature on here plenty of times, notoriously laving a host of deals right until the very end of the window. However, just like Sa, this was a pointless attacking signing. The Greek played just three times and failed to score after arriving for the second half of the 2013/14 season.

Kostas Mitroglou

2014 summer window:

Radamel Falcao: There has been a theme at Manchester United over the last few years, one that's seen them sign ageing strikers. The first was Falcao, before the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Odion Ighalo arrived several years later. Of course, they then added Edinson Cavani to their ranks - more on him later. 

Falcao has been one of the most deadly finishers in the game over the last decade, but he failed to set the world alight at United after signing on loan in a £6m deal. The Colombian's goal tally stood at four strikes from 29 outings. Not great.

Radamel Falcao

2015 summer window:

Papy Djilobodji: Chelsea needed defenders in 2015 and drew up a considerable shortlist. They were knocked back four times in pursuit of John Stones while they also sounded out moves for the likes of Ezequiel Garay, Kostas Manolas, Aymen Abdennour and Marquinhos. 

Ultimately, though, they were left with Senegalese centre-back Djilobodji who signed for just £2.7m. It was a bargain, but an undoubted sign of panic from Jose Mourinho. The defender ended up playing less than a minute for the Blues before signing for Sunderland for £8m. At least they made a profit. 

Papy Djilobodji

2016 winter window:

Oumar Niasse: The striker's time at Everton was full of frustration and also harsh nature. When Ronald Koeman walked through the door, he explained that Niasse would have to leave if he wanted to play any football.

At the same time, he was stripped of his locker and squad number, while being told to train with the U23s. For someone who cost £13.5m, this was a torrid deal for everyone involved. 

Oumar Niasse

2016 summer window:

Islam Slimani: From one of Everton's worst signings to Leicester's. He cost the Foxes a record £29m when he arrived in 2016 on deadline day but has struggled to ever cut the mustard in English football. This was their time to finally spend big money after winning the Premier League, but this was a huge waste.

Slimani has played 46 times for the Midlands outfit and scored just 13 goals. For your record signing that isn't good at all. He spent last term on loan at Monaco but failed to get his move this summer. 

Islam Slimani

2017 summer window:

Danny Drinkwater: Chelsea's spending this summer defied belief at times, but if we retrace our steps to 2017, you'll see a period where they quite frankly threw money down the train.

£35m was the fee Chelsea paid Leicester for Drinkwater, an absurd amount of money considering he's played only 23 times in three years. He spent last term on loan at Aston Villa and Burnley but again rarely played. This is one to forget.

Danny Drinkwater with Michy Batshuayi

2018 winter window:

Jordan Hugill: "Can't wait to walk out here with all the bubbles," was the famous phrase that Hugill said to the camera after signing for West Ham in 2018. Unfortunately for the forward, he was rarely given the chance to actually play at the London Stadium.

Signed for a fee of £10m, he played only three times for the Hammers before joining Norwich this year. A waste of money if you ever saw one. 

Hugill and Arnautovic

2018 summer window:

Lucas Perez: What were West Ham playing at in 2018? Their attacking options were hardly improved when they signed Arsenal forward, Perez, on deadline day two years ago. He was rarely given an opportunity to play and in the grand scheme of things, shouldn't have been acquired. 

Unlike Hugill, he did at least score for the Hammers, but he only featured on 19 occasions before packing his bags.

Luciano Vietto: Fulham left a lot of their business incredibly late after sealing promotion for the 2018/19 Premier League season. In spending over £100m on new players only to then get relegated, one of their loan arrivals was Luciano Vietto on deadline day. Clearly worried that they didn't have enough firepower, they needn't have bothered. Vietto scored just once in 22 games.

Luciano Vietto and Aleksandar Mitrovic

2019 summer window:

Alex Iwobi: Everton did some outstanding business this summer in terms of welcoming the likes of James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure through the door. However, last year, they forked out a ridiculous fee of £35m to welcome former Arsenal winger, Iwobi, to Goodison Park. 

How the Gunners got that amount of money for a particularly average forward is anyone's guess. Since arriving in Merseyside, Iwobi has scored only three times in 34 outings.

Alex Iwobi

2020 summer window:

Edinson Cavani: Man United fans started the season dreaming of Jadon Sancho, but ultimately had to settle for Cavani. From one of the most exciting young talents in Europe to an ageing striker, it's fair to say Ed Woodward hasn't covered himself in a huge amount of glory this summer.

Edinson Cavani celebrates for PSG

Cavani may be PSG's all-time top goalscorer but this is the epitome of panic buy. It remains to be seen how the Uruguayan does in English football, but if he flops, it would have been a waste of time bringing him in. 

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