11 rubbish free transfers that didn't live up to their billing

Joe Cole, Liverpool

Something for nothing? Pah! Greg Lea picks out some stars whose value proved too good to be true at their new clubs

1. Ian Rush (Liverpool to Leeds, 1996)

Rush scored just three goals in 43 appearances before moving to Newcastle at the end of the campaign

After his second spell at Liverpool came to an end in the summer of 1996, Rush was snapped up by a Leeds side who’d just finished 13th in the Premier League.

The Welshman, then 34, was nowhere near as prolific as he’d been in his heyday, but Whites fans were still confident that his poaching instincts remained intact. Rush was a disappointment, however, scoring just three goals in 43 appearances before moving to Newcastle at the end of the campaign.  

2. Winston Bogarde (Barcelona to Chelsea, 2000)

Despite rarely representing the Blues, Bogarde – who was reportedly earning £40,000 per week – stayed put for four years

Having previously represented Ajax, Milan and Barcelona, as well as pulling on a Netherlands shirt 20 times, Bogarde's free transfer to Chelsea initially had Blues excited. 

A change in management at Stamford Bridge altered everything, though: the defender was brought in by Gianluca Vialli but utterly unfancied by his compatriot and successor Claudio Ranieri, who found no room in his plans for the Dutchman. Bogarde played only nine top-flight games – despite earning £40,000 per week – but stayed put for four years as Chelsea refused to budge on his wages with other clubs interested in taking him on loan.

Winston Bogarde

Bogarde tussles with Leicester's Ade Akinbiyi during a rare outing for Chelsea

3. Mark Bosnich (Man United to Chelsea, 2001)

After only 11 appearances in all competitions, the then-30-year-old was sacked by the west Londoners for failing a drugs test

Despite later being labelled a “terrible professional” by Sir Alex Ferguson, Bosnich was re-signed by Manchester United in 1999, eight seasons after he’d left the Red Devils for Aston Villa. The arrival of Fabien Barthez led to the Australian's departure in 2001, though; Chelsea offered him an 18-month deal with a view to him challenging Carlo Cudicini for the No.1 jersey at Stamford Bridge.

But after only 11 appearances in all competitions, the then-30-year-old was sacked by the west Londoners for failing a drugs test in 2002.

Mark Bosnich

Bosnich was dogged by injury problems during his time at Chelsea