10 botched transfers you might not know about

Michael Essien to Burnley
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8. Michael Essien to Burnley, 1999

Club policy resulted in the Ghanaian powerhouse not signing for Burnley as a 17-year-old. Essien had been on trial at Turf Moor after impressing in the Under-17 World Cup, but the Lancashire club decided not to sign him after refusing to budge on their policy of paying more than 60 quid a week for an apprentice. At least they had Micky Mellon. 

9. Eric Cantona to Sheffield Wednesday, 1992

If only, eh? Manager Trevor Francis brought the maverick Frenchman over from Nimes for a trial, where he impressed in an indoor friendly match. Francis wanted Cantona striker to stay for another week so he could judge him on grass, but the moody star refused and moved to Leeds instead. One league title and legendary move to Manchester United later, and a King was born. 

10. Charlie Adam to Spurs, 2011

The inspirational Blackpool captain came within two minutes of joining Spurs during the final day of the January 2011 transfer window. The Scot was foiled by the fact that one member of the Blackpool board forgot to turn on his newfangled mobile phone, leaving him out of touch on the most important deal-making day of the year. The necessary signatures therefore weren’t ready until 11.02pm. “It was impossible to get done,” fumed Redknapp.

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