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5 of the worst transfer campaigns in the Premier League era

Omene Osuya
Top 5 / Top 10
12.63K   //    29 Jul 2018, 21:45 IST

AC Milan v Manchester United - International Champions Cup 2018
Mourinho's anger on transfer issues is a familiar sight

Transfers - both outbound and incoming - usually play a huge role in determining how well a football club fares in a particular season. Weaknesses from the previous season are identified and a player/players suitable to iron out these weak links are purchased.

The importance of the summer transfer window (June to August) is impossible to overstate; do it right and a club can have an amazing season (a la Manchester City last season).

The winter transfer window is not as crucial for the big clubs. However, it tends to be the last-chance saloon for the smaller clubs, especially those battling relegation.

Jose Mourinho's recent comments already suggest that Manchester United fans can expect a difficult season ahead. Clubs that do poor business in the transfer market tend to pay the price as ambitions are derailed and the men in charge - managers and sporting directors - are often sacked.

Here is a look at 5 of the worst transfer campaigns (summer and winter) in the Premier League era:

#5 Leicester City (2016-17)

Club Brugge KV v Leicester City FC - UEFA Champions League
Slimani's signing was one of many failures

After the modern day miracle that was the title-winning 2015/2016 campaign, expectations surrounding Claudio Ranieri's team were raised.

With the TV money and the backing of the Thai owners, it was expected that the Foxes would spend a bit of money to strengthen the side for both the Premier League and UEFA Champions League campaigns.

Money was spent, but it just wasn't spent well. A total of £82.44m was spent on players. Nampalys Mendy (£10m) came in from OGC Nice to replace the Chelsea-bound N'Golo Kante. Strikers Ahmed Musa (£17m from CSKA) & Islam Slimani (£20m from Sporting CP) were purchased to add variation to the team's attack.


On paper, it looked sound enough but the team never got going. Manager Ranieri understood the need for the team to evolve.

However, a lot of the players who made up the title-winning side were unable to adapt to this new style. Given the team’s newfound status as champions, they became the target that everyone aimed for. The new players also flopped badly with none of them making any sort of positive impact.

An implosion in the league followed; the team finished in 13th place. Before then, Ranieri had been sacked. The run to the UCL quarterfinal was the only silver lining in what turned out to be one of the most unfortunate season for the Foxes. 

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