9 hugely disappointing club record signings

1. Denilson, Real Betis, £21.5m

On paper, Denilson was a show-stopper. A twinkle-toed maverick that bamboozled defenders and hypnotised a slew of salivating European scouts, first in Le Tournoi – the 1997 test event to France 98 – and later in that Nike advert (you know, the airport one). Sadly his fancy footwork was more Bruno Tonioli than Mars. When he made the unlikely transition from Sao Paolo to mid-ranking Real Betis in 1998, he failed to score in his first 20 games; the club finished 11th and were relegated from La Liga in 2000. By then, Denilson was on loan at Flamengo.

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