La Liga's Worst Summer Signings
Like KakÃÂ¡, the spanish summer is on its last, knackered legs.
Grey, rumbly clouds hang above Madrid and all those who still have jobs have returned to them and are not happy at all about the notion judging by the long faces of doom and excessive horn beeping.
But as LLL feeds off misery and despair like Maniche feeds off pie, the blog couldnÃ¢ÂÂt be happier.
The other big reason for the blog to be a happy-clapper, on Wednesday, is that there will be no more Ã¢ÂÂMaicon to MadridÃ¢ÂÂ, Ã¢ÂÂCesc to BarcelonaÃ¢ÂÂ stories in the Spanish press till at least Thursday, meaning that the likes of Marca can get back to serious reporting as seen in their latest edition which argues that opponents tackling the currently crocked Cristiano Ronaldo simply isnÃ¢ÂÂt cricket and should be banned forthwith. Ã¢ÂÂHe should be an endangered speciesÃ¢ÂÂ argues the paperÃ¢ÂÂs grumpy editorial.
The September 1 also signifies the closing of the transfer window and as to be expected, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been the biggest summer splurgers, with their wheeling and dealing pushing their combined net spent over the past two years (according to the lovely transfermarkt.co.uk) to a poking-a-finger-in-eye-of-the-crisis total of Ã¢ÂÂ¬349m.
This summer, there have been decent buys scattered around la Primera. Sergio Canales and Pedro LeÃÂ³n are a couple of very shrewd and reasonably-priced signings for Madrid - two expressions rarely used together. BarÃÂ§a should feel very pleased with themselves indeed for scooping up David Villa and Javier Mascherano.
Elsewhere, LLL already likes the look of MallorcaÃ¢ÂÂs freebie midfield signing of Jonathan De GuzmÃÂ¡n and AtlÃÂ©ticoÃ¢ÂÂs cheap as chips purchases of Diego Costa, Fran MÃÂ©rida (free) and Mario SuÃÂ¡rez. Flogging the lightweight but handy-on-his-day JosÃÂ© Jurado to Schalke04 for Ã¢ÂÂ¬11m was an inspired bit of business, too.
Villarreal also deserve a good pat on the back for snatching Borja Valero from under the dithering noses of Sevilla after his loan spell at Mallorca from West Brom ended.
But enough of such cooing and gurgling. ItÃ¢ÂÂs time to look at the stinky signings. Some cost a lot, some cost nothing. But they all sucked.
These are a trio of monstrous moves that made the LLL raise all three of its eyebrows over the summer.
Name - Angel di MarÃÂa
Position - Winger
Cost - Ã¢ÂÂ¬25m
Buying Club - Real Madrid
A footballer whose Concorde shaped head that looks like a rejected character design from a Pixar film - Ã¢ÂÂtoo frackinÃ¢ÂÂ freakyÃ¢ÂÂ yelled the cigar-chomping executive - and a player who surely owes a large chunk of his undoubtedly massive signing-on fee with Madrid to Youtube.
The Argentinean winger joined up at the Santiago Bernabeu in June for six years after winning the double with Benfica and being voted player of the year in Portugal in the process. And thanks to his hugely ineffective performances for Argentina during the World Cup, part-time footballers headed to the Portuguese league in their millions with the Ã¢ÂÂif I can make it there, I can make it anywhereÃ¢ÂÂ philosophy.
Now La Liga Loca is sure that Di MarÃÂa is a perfectly decent player on his day, but the blogÃ¢ÂÂs Aunt Fanny is he worth Ã¢ÂÂ¬25m.
The winger largely vanished in pre-season - aside from a couple of goals against HÃÂ©rcules and PeÃÂ±arol (whoopy frackinÃ¢ÂÂ do!) - and was as effective as Guti on Countdown against Mallorca.
Immediate Future - Returned to Benfica in two years for a hundred fishing nets.
Name - Javier Arizmendi
Position - Striker (so the Marca guide claims)
Cost - Free
Buying Club - Getafe
Technically, the former Zaragoza waste-of-space cost Getafe nothing at all as the move from Zaragoza was a free transfer. But even if the Coliseum club did nothing more than buy Arizmendi a 50p cup of coffee from the stadium vending machine when he signed his contract, the transfer can be considered an obscenely decadent splurge on the Ã¢ÂÂplatinum-plating the home terrace and hiring the Pussycat Dolls as match-day cheerleadersÃ¢ÂÂ scale.
To be fair to Arizmendi, the footballer is able to play in two positions - winger and striker - and is equally inept in both of them. He scored 15 goals in 69 league games for Zaragoza (nine of those in the second division) - extravagant figures indeed in comparison with the 1 goal in 30 games with Valencia. Or the 7 from 50 at Deportivo.
Immediate Future - Ridicule for the next nine months and a Ã¢ÂÂ¬10m move to Liverpool, next summer.
Name - Roberto Soldado
Position - Striker
Cost - Ã¢ÂÂ¬10m
Buying Club - Valencia
The assertion from a former LLL Real Madrid insider that Soldado was one of the thickest footballers heÃ¢ÂÂd ever come across - Ã¢ÂÂMy Name is EarlÃ¢ÂÂ redneck brain density, apparently - was confirmed when the former Getafe man booted the Coliseum advertising hoardings in frustration last season after another miss and got his foot stuck.
The immediate thought was that it was amazing that Soldado had not done the same dunderheaded move before as the forward spent most of his two years with Getafe with his head in his hands or staring in the heavens in a Ã¢ÂÂso thatÃ¢ÂÂs why Real Madrid didnÃ¢ÂÂt place a buy-back clause in my deal like they do with everyone else who moves from the BernabeuÃ¢ÂÂ look after each and every miss.
Granted, Soldado is an ok striker, but the Ã¢ÂÂ¬10m move to Valencia is a deal that even Harry Redknapp would admit is a fine bit of wheeler-dealing for the selling club without being all with the potty-mouth.
Immediate Future - Soldado to show LLL up for the know-nothing buffoon that it is by scoring 20 goals for the Mestalla men to lead them into third.
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