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3 January signings who failed to live up to the expectations

Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
John Gathuita

The January transfer window offers European football clubs an opportunity to strengthen their squads. Top clubs use the period to identify and sign talented players available in the market to increase the probability of the team winning silverware.

In the past, football fans across the world have witnessed surprising and big money transfers been made in January. Players signed in this particular manner are usually expected to be key to the success of their respective teams on the pitch.

Such players are always under pressure to perform. While some of these new signings go on to impress at their new clubs, others fail to live up to the high expectations.

Here are three top players - some involved in record-breaking deals - signed during the January transfer window that failed to impress in their new clubs.

#3 Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina to Chelsea, £23.3m)

Chelsea signed Juan Cuadrado during the 2015 January transfer window, which at the time was extended to 2 February. The initial transfer fee of £23.3m was expected to rise to about £27m depending on the player's performance.

Juan Cuadrado
Juan Cuadrado

The versatile Colombian winger, aged 26 at the time, had just impressed in the 2014 World Cup, which made him a target for top European clubs. Cuadrado had also enjoyed a successful spell at Fiorentina; he made over 100 appearances for the Serie A team and was involved in over 40 goals for the club.

But Cuadrado failed to continue with his excellent performances after he signed for Chelsea. He found life in England difficult and was unable to break into the first team.

Cuadrado would end up with just 15 appearances for Chelsea, most of which were from the bench. The Colombian failed to score or assist during his time in London.

His career at Chelsea was short as he spent most of his time away from the club. He was loaned to Juventus who later signed him on a permanent basis.

#2 Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool, £35m)

Andy Caroll
Andy Caroll

Liverpool signed Andy Carroll from Newcastle during the 2011 January transfer window. The deal was a surprise to many, especially Newcastle fans. The amount paid for the English striker was a club record fee at the time, which showed the kind of faith the Liverpool management had in the player.

Carroll, aged 22 at the time, had scored 14 goals in 33 Premier League appearances for Newcastle. The statistics were promising for a striker of his age.

Liverpool thought Carroll would perform even better at Merseyside. They hoped that he would develop into a lethal forward, but that was not to be.

Carroll struggled at Liverpool and faced stiff competition from Luis Suarez, who had also joined the club during the same transfer period. Carroll spent two years at Liverpool where he only managed to score 6 goals in 44 Premier League appearances.

He was loaned to West Ham in 2013, a club that would later sign him on a permanent basis.

#1 Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea, £50m)

Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres

Chelsea signed Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January 2011 for a British record fee. The transfer was a surprise to the football world given that the two clubs are fierce rivals. Liverpool fans were shocked while Chelsea fans were excited by the deal.

The Spanish striker had enjoyed an incredible career at Liverpool and was one of the most feared forwards in the league at the time. Torres had scored 65 goals in 102 Premier League appearances for the Reds.

Chelsea expected Torres to continue with the same form he had shown at Liverpool. They hoped that his contribution would turn the London-based club into a dominant force in England and Europe. However, the Spanish striker would fail to live up to the expectations.

Torres struggled for form during his time at Chelsea, and only managed to score 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances. The poor performance meant that the Spanish striker had failed to justify the £50m paid for his services.

Torres was later loaned to Milan and Atletico Madrid, before the latter signed him on a permanent basis.

Edited by Musab Abid

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