Who were the top 5 worst transfers in 23/24?

Who were the top 5 worst transfers in 23/24?

09/05/24 15:57

Despite Saudi clubs circling like vultures over every player in Europe last summer, this season has proven a success for many a new signing. Players like Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham have had significant impact on their new clubs season and proven their price tags.

However, ahead of the next summer transfer window, I’m having a look at the opposite end of the spectrum. Instead of signings, like Kai Havertz, who have endured a positive start to life at their new clubs; I’m throwing my hat in for the top 5 (in no particular order) transfer flops of this season.

Mason Mount

Kicking off our list with the transfer I had highest hopes for, what went wrong for Cobham’s own?

After 18 years at Chelsea, Mount’s contract stand-off with Chelsea meant the fan favourite was shooed out the exit door. Manchester United showed interest and now the rest is, slightly underwhelming, history. Mount played a vital role in Chelsea’s Champions League win, and won their player of the year award the same year. However, things just have not gone to plan for the midfielder since his arrival at Old Trafford.

Of course injuries have been a hindrance for Mount; but after a whopping €64 million fee (Tranfermarkt), 19 appearances, one goal, and one assist, it is safe to say that he has not enjoyed his life so far in Manchester.

That’s not to say I don’t think Mason Mount will ever come good in a Manchester United shirt, the Englishman does have serious talent and perhaps a new system, if Erik Ten Hag is let go, will bring the best back out of Mount.

Matheus Nunes

Pep Guardiola himself said that Nunes was one of the best players in the world, after Manchester City took on Sporting in the Champions League in 2022.

There is no denying that Matheus Nunes is an elite ball carrier. Clearly, he possesses some attributes of a World Class footballer. So after his €62 million (Transfermarkt) switch to Pep’s side last summer, what has gone wrong for the Portuguese midfielder?

For everything Nunes possesses in terms of talent, he lacks in decision making. When he has played for City he often attempts the wrong pass, he takes the wrong touch which limits his options and he often just doesn’t have the impact on the game you’d like to see from such an expensive player. Unfortunately for him, Pep Guardiola is ruthless and not being up to his standards means that he will not play a significant role until he improves.

However, I have the utmost confidence that Nunes will still reach his potential. Whether it is at Manchester City or elsewhere. He still shows his quality at times and anyone can see that he is simply a raw talent that needs honing.

Ultimately, for a price tag that high and the little effect he has had on Manchester City this season, he finds his way into my transfer flops list.

Randal Kolo Muani

Kolo Muani takes the next spot on my list, simply because the Frenchman has not lived up to expectations.

After his bright performance in the 2022 World Cup final, and racking up 29 G/A for Frankfurt, Randal Kolo Muani signed for PSG last summer in a deal worth up to €95 Million (Transfermarkt).

Obviously breaking into a side boasting the talents of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele is no easy feat. However, for such a huge fee and a clear abundance of footballing talent, I just expect more from Kolo Muani.

He has been playing, just not as well or as often as he should be. The former Nantes man has racked up 11 G/A in Ligue 1 this season, which isn’t that bad of a haul; but just like Nunes, you expect such an expensive player to hit the ground running.

That being said, Kolo Muani could prove his worth in years to come. The inevitable departure of Kylian Mbappe means PSG will need someone to come in and fill a massive void, should Kolo Muani make that jump then perhaps I’ll reconsider this move as a ‘flop’.

Neymar Jr

There was a point where it looked to me that Neymar might come close to the legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian, in his peak, was one of the greatest footballers of a generation. Mesmerising dribbling, clinical finishing and world class passing. It seems to me the only thing that let him down was his ego.

The boy from Brazil set the world alight when he left Santos for Barcelona. He also decimated the record transfer fee when he made his shock move to Paris. Now, he was the big name player making yet another shocking switch to Saudi Arabia.

A €90 million fee (Transfermarkt) and a whopping salary of over €200 million is what it cost to tempt Neymar to Saudi Arabia. For all that money, what did Al-Hilal receive? 3 games. Neymar Jr has featured in 3 league games this season.

Yes, he tore his Cruciate Ligament. It’s a huge injury and I am categorically not blaming Neymar in any way here. To me, this is a very obvious issue with Al-Hilal’s transfer policy this summer. They promised a way all that money to an injury prone, ageing player. He’s a huge name of course - but this could not be more of a flop transfer.

Ben Brereton-Diaz

That Chilean lad from Stoke-on-Trent is one that really disappointed me. To be clear, I mean specifically his transfer from Blackburn Rovers to Villarreal. He’s actually done quite well since joining Sheffield United on loan.

That being said, I was really excited to see what Brereton-Diaz could do in La Liga after a great few seasons in the Championship at Rovers. Victor Gyokeres is a prime example of a player leaving England’s second division and really kicking on in mainland Europe, honestly I thought BBD could do the same.

Unfortunately once he arrived in Spain, he found minutes hard to come by. Reduced to a bit-part player, he failed to find the net in his brief spell in Spain. Yes he was a free arrival, so putting him on this list was a tricky decision, but I just feel he could’ve done so much better given his talent and the unique build he possesses.

Able to play across the front three, and given the rotation that often occurs in teams competing in European competitions, the attacker should’ve found a way to break into the Yellow Submarine.

To me it feels like his time in Spain is already over, and with Sheffield United relegated, his move to Villarreal was a serious flop and it’s time for the ‘Chilean’ to find a new club to show his talents at.


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