January has never been a happy hunting ground for Premier League managers with most teams unwilling to part with their best talent midway through the season. Players are skeptical of adjusting to a new environment and would rather wait till the end of the season than undergo a dip in their form. However, there have been instances when managers went all the way to make a statement, in spite of the risks, and fell foul because of it. IBTimes UK has collated of five such transfers which were big on the buck but flat on the bang.

1) Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres
Fernando TorresReuters

Chelsea's £50m move for Fernando Torres has to go down as one of the worst transfer dealings in the history of the January market. The striker has scored only 41 goals in 157 appearances for the Blues and has looked a shadow of the player who gained plaudits across the globe for his performances with Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. Deemed as a transfer forced by owner Roman Abramovich, Jose Mourinho is ruing the absence of a prolific goalscorer like Didier Drogba in his ranks, someone whose goals would surely have taken Chelsea to the top of the pile by now.

2) Andy Carroll

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Chelsea's coup of Torres had implications on Liverpool who were in dire need of a striker and put in a £35m bid for Newcastle frontman Andy Carroll, who was in great form that season. Much adored in the England camp, Carroll came to Anfield on deadline day with huge expectations burdened on him as the man to replace Torres in the Liverpool attack. However, the move never worked out for the burly striker as he struggled with injuries during his Liverpool career and fell completely out of favour following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers. He made 58 appearances for the Reds, scoring 11 goals in the process and was eventually sold to West Ham last summer, while taking a huge hit in terms of transfer fees.

3) Christopher Samba

Christopher Samba
Samba's floundering displays have defined the second half of QPR's season.

Queens Park Rangers could have beaten the drop last season if they had commissioned the reported £12m spent on Christopher Samba on bringing in someone better. The defender who made his way from Anzhi Makhachkala was well off the pace in the Premier League and gifted some innocuous goals to the opposition which left them bottom of the pile with 25 points and into the Championship. The player made his way back to Anzhi last summer before being picked up by Dynamo Moscow after Anzhi owner Suleyman Kerimov pulled the plug on high profile transfers.

4) Scott Parker

Scott Parker
Fulham have confirmed the transfer of Scott Parker from Tottenham. (Reuters)

Scott Parker's transfer to Chelsea in January 2004 under Jose Mourinho was not among the best signings that the Portuguese manager had made during his illustrious career at Stamford Bridge. Signed as backup for Claude Makelele, the midfielder managed only 15 appearances for the club after transferring for a reported fee of £10m and was sold the following summer to Newcastle.

5) Andrey Arshavin


Arsenal's record signing before Mesut Ozil has had a torrid time at Emirates since his arrival in 2009 from Zenit St. Petursburg. The little Russian, brought in for a fee of £15m, will be remembered by Arsenal fans for his four goal wonder against Liverpool at Anfield in his debut season. However, the midfielder has flattered to deceive since and was left on the bench in his last few seasons before moving back to his former club on a free last summer. His tenure at Arsenal was surmised when Arsene Wenger was booed off the pitch after he decided to substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the midfielder in their 2-1 loss to Manchester United at the Emirates in 2012.