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The Premier League’s worst-ever January signing XI

The Premier League for the 2020/21 season has finished with Manchester City coming out as champions. As we lead into the summer transfer season, we would like to present to you the worst-ever January window XI for the PL.

Last updated: 22.05.2021
Premier League worst-ever January signing XI

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The Premier League for the 2020/21 season has finished with Manchester City coming out as champions. Matches are being played to contest the finishing position of the club from 3rd place onwards with most clubs looking to get a spot in the next year’s European Championships. 

As we lead into the summer transfer season, we would like to present to you the worst-ever January window XI for the PL:

Goalkeeper: Mark Bosnich


Bosnich was part of a botched long-term plan for Peter Schmeichel at Old Trafford, with the shot-stopper failing to impress, though his circumstances deteriorated further after a move to London. Sir Alex Ferguson characterized Bosnich as a "terrible professional" who made only five team appearances for Chelsea before being dismissed after testing positive for cocaine, the Australian's additional habits ending his Premier League ambitions abruptly.

Centre-back: Jean-Alain Boumsong

Jean-Alain Boumsong had only been at Ibrox for six months but had flourished after joining on a free transfer from Auxerre, prompting Newcastle to pay an eye-catching £8 million for the Frenchman. The 27-year-old started okay, continued to make mistakes, and he quickly became a much-maligned character on Tyneside, serving just 18 months with the Magpies before departing for a Juventus side toiling in Italian football's second tier.

Centre-back: Vegard Forren

Vegard Forren’s performances for Molde had attracted suitors across Europe, with Liverpool being one of the suitors on the list as well. Ultimately, he settled for Southampton. Before heading back to Molde, the Norwegian struggled to make a single appearance for the club. He later returned to English football with Brighton, but once again struggled to establish himself by getting an appearance. Forren has again returned to Molde, this being his third spell with the Tippeligaen club, where he has made nearly 400 appearances in all tournaments.

Centre-back: Chris Samba

Chris Samba had amassed a large following during a successful Premier League career with Blackburn Rovers, the massive defender having played for the club when they were a well-established top-flight side. After a stint with high paying Anzhi Makhachkala, he returned to the PL under Harry Redknapp to QPR. Signing him proved to be a massive mistake– described by Redknapp as a ‘monster’ upon his signing’ – struggling for form and fitness. QPR finished the season at the bottom.

Midfield: Jean Makoun

The late Gerard Houllier spent just one frustrating season at Villa Park and also was liable for the arrival of former Cameroon international Jean Makoun, an accomplished and adversarial midfielder brought in from former club Lyon to help the club's relegation battle. Makoun got sent off for a bad tackle in his third match for the club. Makoun was suspended for three games and failed to regain favour after his comeback, though Houllier's exit for health purposes harmed his chances even more under new manager Alex McLeish. Following an unmemorable career in English football, the midfielder enjoyed loan spells at Olympiacos and Rennes before joining the latter permanently.

Midfield: Hossam Ghaly

Hossam Ghaly arrived in the Premier League in 2006 after 3 years with Feyenoord, bringing a lively persona with him. Tottenham signed only for Ghaly’s career to end within 18 months that too in disgrace. Ghaly threw his shirt towards Martin Jol due to a substitution, heading straight down the tunnel in a very public ending of his Spurs career.

Midfield: Kim Kallstrom

This was certainly amongst one of the strangest winter window deals. Even though he had a back injury the move was forced through/ The midfielder went on to make merely four outings in all competitions before moving to Spartak Moscow, but he did take back an FA Cup winner's medal with him.

Right-wing: Savio Nsereko

One of the worst winner signings of all time was West Ham splashing out £9m to sign Savio Nsereko. The youth had previously played for Germany also at the youth level and came with a profound influence. Nsereko managed just 10 goalless outings – including one start – before even being sold to Fiorentina at a colossal loss, his subsequent career involving several disappointing loan spells and scandals, including twice going ‘missing' and being charged after reportedly faking his abduction.

Left-wing: Alexis Sanchez

A signing that announced so much but achieved so little in the end. Jose Mourinho brought him in as part of a player swap that included Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Sanchez had defined himself as being one of the Premier League's better forwards after scoring 80 goals in 166 games for the north London club, but his transfer to Manchester resulted in one of the division's most dramatic fall from power. Over 18 months, he dealt with shape and ability, scoring three times in the league. He eventually transferred to Inter Milan.

Forwards: Kostas Mitroglou

The forward arrived from Olympiakos to help the struggling side with a proven goalscoring pedigree. He had already scored 17 times in 19 games for the Greek side in the first half of the season. Fitness problems troubled the Greek international, and also the west London club changed managers before he had even played his first game, as the club's board pressed the alarm button. Until re-joining Olympiakos, he just played three games without getting a goal.

Forwards: Andy Carroll

As Fernando Torres left for Chelsea, Andy Caroll was identified as the successor, a 22-year-old with 14 goals up his sleeve. The deal had been an eye-watering £35 million for the forward, who scored just six league goals for the Reds before heading on to West Ham, where he had been again troubled by injury problems.

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