Ranked! The 10 worst signings of the 2017 summer transfer window
3. Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to PSG, loan)
Ah, well done PSG - good for you. Ligue 1 is over for the season and any Financial Fair Play concerns have been miraculously assuaged by the initial absence of a permanent fee.
Mbappe is a fabulous prospect who should have interested every major club in Europe, but moving to a divisional rival makes this a particular type of deal - the sort pursued for the sake of weakening a rival. This is 2017’s version of Gonzalo Higuain moving from Napoli to Juventus, or Mario Gotze leaving Dortmund for Bayern Munich.
He’s very gifted and will presumably do extremely well at Parc des Princes, but anything which helps erodes the culture of a competition to such a degree belongs on this list.
2. Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande to Barcelona, £36,4m)
Forget the preconceptions about Paulinho based on his disappointing time in England and just consider the raw details: he’s 29 years old, has been playing in the Chinese Super League, and cost Barcelona over £35m.
It’s perfectly plausible that the Brazilian was just never suited to the Premier League, although whispers about a less-than-committed attitude suggests he made it hard for himself. Still, the chances of him showing his worth in Barcelona seem equally slender. The size of the Camp Nou and the club’s stratospheric standards make the task hard enough, but consider the calibre of his predecessors and also the type of player that the natives typically warm to in Catalonia.
The missing ingredient is finesse. He’ll be a tough sell.
1. John Terry (unattached to Aston Villa)
When a player achieves certains things in his career, he’s afforded privileges - one of which is the opportunity to carry on well beyond his expiration date.
What did Steve Bruce see in Terry? It’s obvious: a serial winner with the full collection of club medals who, at a lower level, could infect an impressionable group of players with his winning DNA.
Five games into the season, Villa find themselves towards the foot of the Championship and have conceded the third-most goals in the division.
That’s the problem: this kind of move always sounds smart, but rarely do all of those intangibles stack up as they should. Terry is no Dave Mackay and Bruce is certainly no Brian Clough.