Lingard, Eriksen, Coutinho, Morgan: The 20 ‘weirdest’ transfers in football history

20 weirdest transfers ever

Jesse Lingard has shocked the football world by completing a move to newly promoted Premier League side, Nottingham Forest. 

The 29-year-old, who played more than 200 games for Man United across 11 years, has signed with Forest on a one-year contract for a reported £200,000 per week

Lingard had been linked with a move back to West Ham, where he enjoyed a fruitful loan spell during the 2020/21 season, but the lure of a contract that makes him the highest paid player outside the Prem’s ‘top 6’ was ultimately too much to turn down. 

Lingard’s peculiar move

This is a transfer which has stunned the majority of football fans. Some have wondered how on earth Forest can afford to pay Lingard such a lucrative wage, while others were confused as to why he would turn down moving back to the Hammers –– the club that helped revive his career. 

While Lingard’s decision to move to Nottingham is somewhat head-scratching, it’s far from the strangest transfer of all time. 

Some deals range from the obscure to the obscene, and there are many you may well have forgotten. 

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at 25 of the ‘weirdest’ signings of all time. Check out the bonkers list below: 

Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham 

To this day, nobody knows how West Ham managed to lure two of Argentina’s biggest talents to Upton Park in 2007. 

Turns out, they didn’t really sign them, or did they? You be the judge of that. Either way, the deals were totally bizarre. 

Both had short-lived careers with the Hammers but went on to enjoy world-class careers elsewhere.

Mascherano, Tevez at West Ham

Gennaro Gattuso to Rangers

Though Gattuso is best remembered as an AC Milan legend, he once swapped sunny Italy for Glasgow as a 19-year-old, when he moved from Perugia to Rangers. 

Gattuso spent just one season with the club but played with other world-class names, including Paul Gascoigne. 

Gattuso

Juninho to Middlesborough

Attracting a skilful Brazilian midfielder to North Yorkshire is no easy task but Middlesborough somehow managed it three times with Juninho. 

Voted by fans as Boro’s best-ever player, he helped the club win the League Cup in 2004 – the team’s first and only major honour. 

Juninho

Alex Morgan to Tottenham 

Spurs only secured a spot in the Women’s Super League in 2019, but just a year later, they managed to secure the signature of one of the greatest women’s players ever. 

Morgan had won the World Cup with the USA the year before, but joined Spurs on a peculiar three-month loan deal. In total, she played just five games –– managing two goals. 

Jay Jay Okocha to Bolton

Search Okocha’s highlight reel on YouTube and you won’t be disappointed. 

The skilful Nigerian left PSG for Bolton in 2002 and helped guide the club away from relegation. 

Julien Faubert to Real Madrid

Faubert made only eight appearances for West Ham in his first season with the club but somehow managed to secure a loan deal to Real Madrid the following year. 

As Paul Merson proclaimed at the time: “His agent should be knighted by the Queen.” 

Carli Lloyd to Man City

Another US legend –– another random move to an English club. 

Man City secured the services of two-time World Cup winner Lloyd back in 2017 for the WSL Spring Series. 

She played just six times and was sent off in her final game for elbowing Yeovil’s Annie Heatherson in the face.

Carli Lloyd

Joey Barton to Marseille

In 2013, Marseille decided that Barton’s fiery temper would be a perfect fit for their side. 

The English midfielder spent a year on loan at the club in 2013 and unsuccessfully tried to grasp the accent –– as seen in this hilarious clip. 

Bojan Krcic to Stoke

Having been dubbed the next Lionel Messi at one point, Bojan’s decision to swap Tiki Taka for long-ball at Stoke City certainly came as a surprise. 

Believe it or not, the Spaniard stayed at the club for five seasons and even played for them in the Championship. 

Esteban Cambiasso to Leicester City

Real Madrid – Inter Milan – Leicester City. An unconventional career path to say the least, but Cambiasso’s move to the Kingpower proved to be a massive hit. 

If he’d only stayed an extra year, he’d have a Premier League winners medal. 

Cambiasso

Nicklas Bendtner to Juventus

While Bendtner fully believed himself to be one of the best strikers on the planet, few teams seemed to agree over the course of his career. 

One exception, however, is Juventus, who signed the Dane on loan from Arsenal in 2012, after his spell at Sunderland came to an end. 

Sadly, it did not prove to be a stroke of genius as Bendtner scored no goals in Turin. 

Phillipe Coutinho to Aston Villa

Coutinho signed for Barcelona for €160 million (£136million) in 2018. Less than four years later, he was loaned to Aston Villa on loan. 

The Brazilian enjoyed his time in Birmingham and signed permanently for Steven Gerrard’s side this summer. Just the £100 million loss for Barcelona in the end. 

Coutinho

Tobin Heath to Arsenal

This transfer was a secret to all until former England star Anita Asante slipped the news live on Sky Sports. 

Heath had played for United the following season and was expected to be a star at Arsenal. 

However, the American spent the majority of her time in North London on the bench and was released before the end of the season. 

Luther Blissett to AC Milan 

Watford’s all-time top scorer joined AC Milian for £1 million back in 1983, but he scored just five goals for the club.

Italy also failed to satisfy his dietary requirements, with Blissett once proclaiming: “No matter how much money you have here, you can’t seem to get Rice Krispies.” 

Ali Dia to Southampton 

Ok, you should all know this one by now. Ali Dia convincing Graeme Sounness he was George Weah’s cousin is still hilarious to this day. 

“He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice; it was very embarrassing to watch,” admitted Matt Le Tissier. 

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to PSG 

Choupo-Mouting scored just five goals in his first season with Stoke, but this was still enough to attract the interest of PSG. 

Playing alongside the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the Cameroon international spent two years in France. 

Then, after his contract expired, he somehow secured a move to Bayern Munich. We’re not sure how, either. 

Moting

Christian Eriksen to Brentford

It seemed Eriksen might never play football again after his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020. 

Yet, six months later, Brentford took a chance on the Dane and he proved to be an instant star for the Premier League newbies. 

So much so that Manchester United have now secured his services for next season. 

Eni Aluko to Juventus 

Aluko decided to leave WSL champions Chelsea for Juventus in 2018 but soon regretted her decision. 

The former English forward called the city “decades behind” and said she was made to feel like Pablo Escobar on some occasions. A bit harsh, perhaps? 

Aluko

Jack Wilshere to Aarhus Gymnastikforening

Wilshere was an incredibly gifted player in his prime but injuries ruined a career that had once promised special things. 

After leaving Bournemouth in 2021, Wilshere failed to find another English club and joined Danish side Aarhus Gymnastikforening. 

After five months at the club he was released and soon announced his retirement from football. 

Martin Braithwaite to Barcelona 

In 2020, Barcelona decided the perfect player to partner Messi was none other than Braithwaite, who had scored just six goals for Leganes the season before. 

Even more remarkably, Barca triggered his $18 million (£15.3m) release clause to sign him.

Martin Braithwaite in action for Barcelona
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