Ranked! Real Madrid’s 23 Premier League signings, from worst to best

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18. Emmanuel Adebayor

The Manchester City striker joined on a six-month loan deal in January 2011 to stop Jose Mourinho moaning about a lack of options up front. Usually a sub, he struck eight goals – two of those against Tottenham – but generally had little impact. 

Verdict: A forgettable spell    

17. Michael Owen

With a year to go on his Liverpool contract, Owen jumped at the chance to play with Ronaldo, Zidane, Raul and David Beckham by sealing an £8m move in 2004. A slow start segued into a hot streak that eventually put him on 13 league goals in his first campaign, but he never dislodged Raul and Ronaldo, and it hardly helped that he spent most of the year holed up in a business hotel.

Verdict: Never really took off 

16. Jerzy Dudek

The Polish goalkeeper arrived in 2007 after being released from Liverpool, despite knowing he’d be second choice to Iker Casillas. He played two league games in four years, yet became a popular figure and left through a guard of honour in his final game.

Verdict: Made up the numbers

15. Michael Essien

A Jose Mourinho favourite, Essien joined on a season-long loan in 2012, having struggled with injuries at Chelsea. The Ghana midfielder became a useful utility player, often filling in at right-back, and certainly deserved better than seeing just two team-mates turn up to his 30th birthday party. 

Verdict: Did a job

14. Gabriel Heinze

Alex Ferguson, with whom Heinze fell out, claimed Madrid only signed him to lure his friend Cristiano Ronaldo away from Manchester United – but the £6.8m signing played his part in their 2008 title win.

Verdict: Decent enough 

13. Javier Hernandez

A deadline-day loan arrival in 2014, Chicharito played second fiddle to Karim Benzema in Carlo Ancelotti’s ill-fated second year. The Mexican striker scored just nine goals, but one of them settled the Champions League quarter-final clash against Atletico Madrid.  

Verdict: Worth it for that goal alone