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http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=651508

There's more than one way to quantify a "bad signing." It could be a freebie who's done more harm than good, or a big-name, big-money signing who's produced little to justify his price tag. Maybe it's a prodigal son coming back home with little to show for his time away, a much-lauded foreign import who can't quite adjust to the Liga, or a young gun who's unable to make the step up. We'll run the gamut of all of these as we look at the ten worst Liga signings of 2007-08...

10) Arouna Koné

Few could have questioned the logic. Koné had dutifully made the step from the Belgian league to the Dutch league to the Dutch champions in just a few short years, and the 24-year-old seemed well-equipped for his next challenge: a €12m move to Andalucia to join up with ambitious Sevilla. But while the Ivorian forward has scaled dizzy heights both internationally and in Europe in the past, he's not quite yet found his feet at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

With Fredi Kanouté and Luis Fabiano keeping him out of the side it's hardly a surprise that he's failed to become a true regular - who would be? - but with just one Liga goal in 573 minutes of action, one may question his ability to perform as backup. Ernesto Chevantón and Alexandr Kerzhakov, two other striking misfits in Seville, both had superior records. Perhaps next season, assuming that Fabiano moves on, we'll see the real Koné, but for now the jury is well and truly out.

9) Thierry Henry


The usual disclaimer: Henry's talent is undeniable, and he has not become a bad player overnight. But it is the simple truth that a man universally recognised as one of the world's best forwards during his time at Arsenal just hasn't shone at Camp Nou. Of his seven Liga goals, precisely one has come against a fellow European challenger, and even then it was "only" Racing. Europe's been slightly better, but still not a patch on his Arsenal days.

It's true that the Frenchman has been blighted by injury and personal problems - and to his immense credit he has diligently worked to overcome both of these - but nonetheless, one cannot help but watch him in the blaugrana shirt and wonder what happened to the man who used to glow in red. Even those whose heart does not lie in Catalunya often wish for his return to form: he is capable of so much more. But it's not just about him: the Barcelona style, perhaps, just isn't built for a player like Thierry. That it cost €24m (a figure admittedly offset by his massive marketing potential) to find this out is most strange.

8) José Antonio Reyes

Yet again, we find a talented misfit. Reyes is nothing short of a fantastic footballer, but he is one who, like a rare flower, flourishes only in certain, meticulously precise conditions. The pressure-cooker atmosphere of the Vicente Calder�ón, one that he must share with squad competition like Maxi, Luís Garcia, Simão Sabrosa, Diego Forlán and more, is not the right one.

Reyes ended his unhappy spell at Arsenal with high hopes of a renaissance in Spain, even if his proposed move to champions Real Madrid didn't quite work out after a successful loan spell there. Instead he's found himself sidelined all too often. He's actually played reasonably well at times, and even brilliantly on a few occasions, but the trials of sitting on the bench every second week have dented Reyes' confidence. Rumours of minor bust-ups with coach Javier Aguirre - not a man to suffer dissent lightly - surely haven't helped. His €12m move, then, hasn't worked out for any party - except Arsenal, who no doubt threw the proceeds into the money pile which Arsene Wenger apparently guards with his life.

7) Asier Del Horno

A Valencia outcast before it was cool, Del Horno lasted precisely one year of a six-season contract before being told by erstwhile boss Quique Sanchez Flores that his presence would not be required at the Mestalla. Ignoring the ringing alarm bells, Athletic Bilbao duly snapped up their old buddy on a season-long loan. Club and player alike were delighted to be reunited.

But the honeymoon is over, and in fact his triumphant return has been somewhat muted. Whether it's injury or poor form that's the cause, the ex-Chelsea man is in and out of the team. Fellow left-back Koikili - who until August was playing in front of 1,500 for third-tier Sestao River - more often than not has proved to be a worthy replacement. Asier, meanwhile, has on occasion been the subject of taunts and jeers from a few of the more aggressive San Mamés faithful, with one delightful specimen even showing up at training to brand the defender a "subnormal." There's no defending that kind of conduct, of course, but Asier would be the first to admit that things aren't as they should be.

6) Gabi/Peter Luccin


Yes, that's two players, but they moved together from Atlético Madrid to Zaragoza this summer in two-abreast formation, like children on a school trip. That's not where the similarities end: as well as making the same switch, they've both been disappointing as the maños slip closer and closer towards relegation.

Luccin, a hard-hitting 28-year-old, joins Javier Portillo in having perhaps never reached his true potential. An ex-youth international, his adult career has been one of frequent movement, with three-year spells at Celta de Vigo and Atleti the rare pieces of permanence in a nomadic life. It was with the Galicians that he enjoyed his happiest times; his latter days with the rojiblancos were less than stellar, while it seems that things are slipping downhill further at the Romareda.

Unlike Gabriel Fernández, though, Luccin has the virtue of being a cheap player. Gabi cost the club an ill-advised €9m when he prepared his pre-summer deal, although Atlético Madrid have reserved a re-buy option for the midfielder. It's hard to see why they'd exercise it when they have so many options of their own, and also because Gabi has failed to truly make an impact on affairs at the Romareda, despite ample opportunity to do so.

As with others on the list, it's not entirely the players' faults that they find themselves in such a difficult position, but they could be doing more.

5) Iván Helguera


Having been deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, Helguera arrived at Valencia to fill the considerable void left by Roberto Ayala. He had a mixed season at the Bernabéu in 06-07, but is freebie switch to the Mestalla was greeted with excitement by the player, who had a real chance to prove himself on a regular basis. Win-win.

In fact, he's found the going tougher than expected with Los Che. The 33-year-old Cantabrian has plenty of experience, but all too often he's found himself one of four disjointed influences in the Valencia backline, which has shipped a mammoth 48 goals so far this season. The 33-year-old isn't solely to blame, of course, but his arrival has not had the desired effect of solidifying a team in turmoil.

The real worry is that someone of his age has little time left in which to improve. Ronald Koeman will certainly hope that this isn't the case. Of course, if it is, he could always just perma-drop him, as such an approach has reaped massive dividends for him so far.

4) Javier Portillo

Portillo's youth exploits are an endless source of wonder for pundits and onlookers everywhere. An Aranjuez boy, Javi spent his childhood and adolesence dutifully shuttling back and forth between the family home and Real Madrid's youth facilities, pausing only to net a quite frightening number of goals for the various Madrid junior sides. Like establishing a crowd for a cup final, or Javier Clemente's IQ, reliable figures are hard to come by, but one estimate places his all-time scoring tally around the 700 region, certainly breaking Raúl's record.

However, he never quite made the grade in the first team, with Champions League goals against the likes of Panathinaikos not quite enough to persuade Madrid to keep him on long-term. Undaunted, he ended up at Gimnàstic de Tarragona for the Catalan club's big Liga adventure. In what was a dreadful season for Nàstic, he was a bright spark, scoring a highly respectable 11 goals - not bad for a side that finished 20th - including shock matchwinners against Sevilla and Zaragoza.

Then came the big switch to Osasuna, wherein he was expected to follow in the footsteps of fellow Bernabéu alumnus Roberto Soldado and bang in the goals. Well, he's kind of obliged, in the sense that he's banged in a goal, singular. Javi has netted just once in the Liga all season, against Espanyol, and even then his side lost. Yet to play 90 minutes in the Primera for his new side, things look bleak, considering that he's up against the likes of Walter Pandiani, Kike Sola and Carlos Vela for a starting berth.

3) Rio Mavuba

Rio Mavuba, meanwhile, had the opposite problem. Here was a player who wanted to, and some would say could have done more, only he felt that he wasn't given the chance to do so.

One can kind of see his point. An €8m summer signing from Bordeaux, Mavuba was brought in to solidify a Villarreal midfield reeling from the loss of Alessio Tacchinardi, and with French international recognition and an impressive club career behind him, he seemed the ideal candidate to do so.

However, Marcos Senna quite understandably has one of the central berths sewn up, while captain Josico, Cani and Bruno have at various times filled the other spot. All in all Mavuba made just one Liga start and four substitute appearances for the Yellow Submarine - a situation that angered him considerably, not least because he'd impressed for the club in their ill-fated UEFA Cup campaign.

In the end, he was sent back to France on loan, joining up with Lille. At LOSC he's already made 11 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring once - far more than he accomplished with his parent club. In the meantime, Villarreal have signed Sebastián Eguren from Hammarby to fill the second place in the double pivot, and what happens to Mavuba when his loan deal expires is anyone's guess.

2) Javier Saviola

A star forward with proven title-winning pedigree at international level - and a UEFA Cup during his excellent season at Sevilla? With plenty of time left to develop as a player? For free? And at the expense of our greatest rivals? Yes, please, said Real Madrid.

Christmas seemed to have come early to Chamartín when Javier Saviola signed on for four years in order to strengthen the front line ahead of what was hoped to be another title-winning campaign. He'd fallen short with Barcelona the previous year, but this time everything was to be difference.

Half of the prophecy seems set to come true. Real Madrid are sauntering towards their second successive title, yes, but Saviola is just a face at the window. Whether on the bench or in the stands, he's had precious little input this season, starting just one three Liga games - finishing one - and scoring twice. His last Liga appearance was in December; his last showing overall was on January 16th against Mallorca in the Copa del Rey. In a move that spoke volumes, the starter was withdrawn at half-time for Ruud van Nistelrooy with the match still goalless. Madrid went on to lose anyway.

It's been said as recently as last month that the club have decided to cut their losses and have placed the Argentine up for sale. That could well be for the best, as Saviola is surely capable of more than warming the bench.

1) Nikola Žigić


It's not all his fault. He's not a bad player. But Valencia's decision to land the giant Serb from Santander was singularly awful, and he is thus the worst Liga signing of the season.

On paper, he had a fine introduction to Spanish football. Arriving at Racing a fresh-faced import in 2006, he immediately set about recreating the form that had made him such a hit at Crvena Zvezda, managing three goals in his first three Liga games. He added eight more to his tally by the end of the season, almost matching his total in his latter days at Red Star.

But there was a catch. First of all, he wasn't even the top striker in Serbia & Montenegro; Srdjan Radonijc had a superior record, as did erstwhile teammate Dusan Djokic, while Nenad Milijas and Bosko Jankovic enjoyed comparable seasons in the goalscoring stakes. Yet Radonjic and Djokic went on to toil with with various northern European clubs as Racing took a gamble, and the Liga club's risk paid off in style as he managed those eleven goals.

Yet despite his undoubted talents, some began to question Zigic's true worth. Undoubtedly he was aided by his impressive height - at over two metres tall, he had a standing advantage on even some of the more imposing centre-backs - and of his 11 Liga goals, only one came against a European-zone side (leaky Atlético), four coming against sides that would later be relegated. Still, he cut a mean "little and large" profile alongside the ever-inventive Pedro Munitis, and he seemed to have carved out a niche for himself.

All was looking good until Valencia appeared on the scene. Brandishing an improved paycheque, they set about landing the forward, even though the idea that someone whose raison d'etre seemed to be to get on the end of byeline crosses maybe isn't best suited for Los Che's often ground-based play. Undaunted by such trifling irrelevancies, Valencia hefted out the chequebook, writing out a fee of somewhere between €18 and €20m for the man who would, presumably, replace Fernando Morientes as foil for David Villa.

It has not worked out. Zigic has made just three Liga starts and a further 11 substitute appearances, with a single goal to show for his work. (He's actually managed more cards than goals.) The Copa has given him slightly more succour, and he could even appear in the final against Getafe, but overall it has been a rare season to forget for the Serbian international.

Again, it must be stated that Nikola Zigic is not a bad player. He has a respectable goalscoring record at international level and has made waves for virtually all of his former clubs. Yet it it those outfits who base their play around his attributes - his height, his strength, his ability to put himself about in the box - who get the most out of them, and Valencia, having a bit more to offer in the creative stakes, are left wondering what to do with the Liliputian figure in the middle.

Zigic, meanwhile, will be wondering exactly what he's let himself in for - and if he can get out. Big-spending Real Sociedad are interested, and it is thought that if the txuri-urdin manage to return to the top flight, he'll join up with them. Perhaps they can give him the service that he needs, and he can in turn recover what is fast becoming a dented reputation.
 

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Wow, It's not like Zigic is a starter really...
He has probably played 3-4 games from start and never have got that much service.
He's not a good finisher for sure but I would say that Kone is alot worse than him and Kone wasn't cheap either.
He hasn't been impressive and especially not for his price but what should he do when he doesn't get a chance? Even Joaquin played as a striker before Zigic, it's like the Tavano case, nobody knows if he's a flop or not because he doesn't play.

Helguera should be first too :groan:
 

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This list is much better, but I disagree about Zigic. No minutes, no goals, even if it's the great Pele. And where's Robben? Madrid could've given that money to charity and come off no worse.

Helguera should be number one as well, agreed on that. All in all, it was a pretty bad transfer season for Spanish sides. Some truly awful signings. I wonder what Ayala will think if he's relegated with his 'new' new club. :pp
 

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so Saviola is second for playing 3 matches? i agree hes beyond shit, but how can he be the 2nd worst signing if hes played 3 matches.
 

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Oh no, not this again...
Ayala left because of his retarded agent mixed his mind and Valencia didn't want to page a fortune for him (it would be like 3m euros just to the agent and so on)
 

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Goal is shit.

Anyways, I think the worst signing of them all is Ayala, by a big margin considering how he's played this season.

Why isn't Koeman in there? Who said it was only for players, gay Goal..

:howler:

I'm happy Luccin and Gabi got offloaded, they've been beyond crap at Zaragoza this season. The first one had a good first part of last years season with Atlético and then screwed up everything by playing the worst football I've seen in a very long time.

I knew they should've offloaded him and I'm so happy he broke the rules and discussed a contract with Zaragoza, Thank you Peter.

Gabi was considered a talent, what a joke..
 

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Gabi was considered a talent, what a joke..
Gabi was actually really good for Getafe when he was loaned out there but ever since... well, he's been really bad instead
 

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i will not count saviola......atleast he is free :D


PS: so sad for reyes , he could be much better
 

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Gabi was actually really good for Getafe when he was loaned out there but ever since... well, he's been really bad instead
I know, mate, but he's not big club material, he's obviously way too hotheaded, he plays destructive, misses a lot of easy passes and the fact that he plays without confidence makes him look even worse.
 

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http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=651508


6) Gabi/Peter Luccin

Yes, that's two players, but they moved together from Atlético Madrid to Zaragoza this summer in two-abreast formation, like children on a school trip. That's not where the similarities end: as well as making the same switch, they've both been disappointing as the maños slip closer and closer towards relegation.

Luccin, a hard-hitting 28-year-old, joins Javier Portillo in having perhaps never reached his true potential. An ex-youth international, his adult career has been one of frequent movement, with three-year spells at Celta de Vigo and Atleti the rare pieces of permanence in a nomadic life. It was with the Galicians that he enjoyed his happiest times; his latter days with the rojiblancos were less than stellar, while it seems that things are slipping downhill further at the Romareda.

Unlike Gabriel Fernández, though, Luccin has the virtue of being a cheap player. Gabi cost the club an ill-advised €9m when he prepared his pre-summer deal, although Atlético Madrid have reserved a re-buy option for the midfielder. It's hard to see why they'd exercise it when they have so many options of their own, and also because Gabi has failed to truly make an impact on affairs at the Romareda, despite ample opportunity to do so.

As with others on the list, it's not entirely the players' faults that they find themselves in such a difficult position, but they could be doing more.
WTF? Gabi was transfered on Bosman rule. His contract at Atletico de Madrid expired last summer, and was contracted as free agent by Real Zaragoza. We paid exactly his value, 0 €

Anyway, Luccin has been playing even worse than Gabi during last games. :nono:
 
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