Ranked! The 10 worst signings of the 2017 summer transfer window
10. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea to Everton, £45m)
Good player, horrible deal.
Sigurdsson will make Everton better and, at worst, provide them with a level of creativity that they didn’t have before. But that fee? £45m doesn’t buy superstars anymore, but Ronald Koeman could likely have split that money over several areas of his side and come out stronger as a result.
Added to which is the player’s age. Sigurdsson is 28 in September and likely has just a few years left at the top of his game, so it’s hard to envisage a situation in which this is ever thought of as anything other than an enormous overspend.
9. Anthony Modeste (Cologne to Tianjin Quanjian, £30m)
For context, Modeste had the season of his career at Cologne in 2016/17, scoring 24 times in 35 Bundesliga appearances.
At 29, he was perfectly entitled to explore the riches of the Chinese Super League and, the chances are, he’ll likely do very well. However, it’s difficult to reconcile the player’s age, the £30m Tianjin Quanjian paid for him, and China’s intent to ‘grow the game’ in their country.
Modeste is not a highly marketable figure, he doesn’t boast that kind of profile, so this really constitutes the kind of transfer that the CSL were trying to distance themselves from.
8. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal to Liverpool, £35m)
Not a bad transfer in the sense that Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t worth the fee Liverpool have paid for him (although his confidence in being allowed to play as a central midfielder does seem misplaced). Instead, it’s the circumstances of what it means for the club he’s left: his willingness to turn his back on Arsenal’s richer contract offer and the club’s subsequent inability to find a replacement.
Just over a week ago, Arsene Wenger was describing Oxlade-Chamberlain as the future of the club and, of course, he named him in his starting XI at Anfield on August 26. Now, the player has just unwittingly become another symbol of the dysfunction at the Emirates.
7. Neymar (Barcelona to PSG, £198m)
A brilliant player who is sufficiently gifted not to have a definitive ‘value’ – but how did this deal make you feel?
We know already that it was driven by factors beyond football. But given the events which have followed - the shenanigans over Nice’s Jean Michael Seri (whose mooted move to Barcelona was allegedly scuppered maliciously by PSG) for instance - it reaffirmed the suspicion that football is becoming little more than billionaire one-upmanship.
The Brazilian is superb, incontestably one of the best players in the world, but his transfer constituted a low point for the game – and its knock-on effects have been significant. The only manageable response is to shrug sadly, then mutter something inaudible about shirt sales and social media presence.