5 most bizarre January loan signings in Premier League history
- There are hits and misses, and then there are the downright bizarre. We look at 5 dubious January loan deals sealed by Premier League clubs.
The January transfer window acts as a midway point in the current European football calendar. The season can be divided into two parts, one before the window and one after it. As a result, the window itself allows teams to introspect, strengthen their squads for the remainder of the season or sell any unwanted players.
Despite its somewhat limited scope, several clubs have been able to find value in the January window in the past. The signings of Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra by Manchester United stand out in that regard, while the recent acquisition of Bruno Fernandes by the club has also proven to be an excellent one so far.
However, the Red Devils, just like all the other top division clubs, have had their fair share of misses in the winter window. While some January signings - whether permanent or temporary - have struggled to live up to the expectations in the past, some have failed to make any impact whatsoever.
Bizarre, dubious, unusual, questionable - whatever you may want to call them, these are the five Premier League January loan deals that left the fans scratching their heads.
#5 Henrik Larsson (Manchester United)
Manchester United fans were delighted when the club signed Swedish striker Henrik Larsson in the January transfer window of 2007. Larsson had earned glowing reviews from the football fraternity during his time with Celtic, for whom he had scored a whopping two hundred and forty-two goals in just over three hundred appearances. A short spell at Barcelona later helped him add a UEFA Champions League title to his trophy haul.
Looking to add an experienced forward to his roster, Sir Alex Ferguson turned to Larsson in January 2007. The striker agreed to join the Red Devils on loan in the Swedish off-season and the deal was officially completed on January 1.
However, Larsson had made prior commitments to his family and his club, Helsingborg, to return to his native land by mid-March. Despite, United's attempts to extend the Swede's loan, he kept his word and departed the club on March 12 thus putting an end to one of the most curious loan sagas in Premier League history.
Larsson later admitted that he should've stayed longer at Old Trafford to receive a winner's medal following their successful 2006/07 league campaign. Regardless, the Swede left a great impression in Manchester during his short spell and earned high praise from Sir Alex Ferguson in the process.