Sport

8 ridiculous last-minute January transfers that really happened

It can feel as though football’s governing body FIFA make the rules up as they go along....CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

In 2017, Leicester City were denied the chance to sign Adrien Silva from Sporting CP because they missed the deadline by 14 seconds. Yet, Andrey Arshavin officially signed for Arsenal four days after the winter window closed in 2009 due to various layers of bureaucratic wrangling.

While the deadline on deadline day is not always clear cut, the Premier League rarely fails to live up to its reputation as football’s ultimate soap opera, saving most of the drama for the final moments of the window.

Here are some of the most dramatic, bizarre and confusing moves to have taken place at the turn of the year.

Fulham won the race to sign the highly rated Collins John in the winter of 2004, outmanoeuvring pre-takeover Manchester City as manager Chris Coleman and amiable goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar led the charm offensive.

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That the cottagers snagged the 18-year-old striker was impressive enough but his presentation is even more eye-catching.

John Collins, Fulham’s recently retired Scottish midfielder, happened to be at the stadium when the club’s deadline day arrival was announced and a lightbulb went off in the head of one enterprising soul. John Collins would accompany Collins John onto the pitch.

“I met him in the tunnel and thought people were taking the Michael,” Collins recalled. Fulham’s new striker got the joke.

“I had heard the name John Collins of course because I have studied football,” John reflected. “They introduced him and then me and I thought that was very funny.”

Lionel Scaloni’s manager at Deportivo La Coruna, Joaquin Caparros, didn’t have a place in his starting XI for the right-back but espoused a word warning that was even more valuable. In the fickle world of football, Caparros reasoned: “You go from whore to nun in 24 hours.”

The late arrival on deadline day enjoyed a strong start to his Hammers career but infamously gave the ball away ahead of Steven Gerrard’s last-gasp equaliser for Liverpool in that summer’s FA Cup final.

However, the future World Cup-winning manager can look back on the sequence of events fondly.

“West Ham don’t want to sign me,” Scaloni explained, “I return to Spain. [Otherwise] I wouldn’t have met my wife or had my kids.”

Benjani Mwaruwari has disappointingly discredited Harry Redknapp’s claim that the Portsmouth striker fell asleep just as his move to Manchester City gained momentum. Benjani provided a more prosaic explanation of delays at Heathrow airport but his transfer north still came desperately close to the deadline.

“I landed at 10.30pm and was taken to the stadium,” Benjani remembered. “But all the way I was thinking: ‘Is this going to happen? Is there time?’ I needed to take the medicals and to check the contract, yet we were getting so close to the deadline.

“If that wasn’t bad enough when faxing the papers to the Premier League, the fax machine collapsed. Everything was trying to stop me joining!”

Ricardo Quaresma only spent five months at Inter before getting cast aside in a forgettable loan spell at Chelsea in 2009. Yet, he ended his debut campaign in Italy by receiving the unwanted reward of the Bidone d’Oro – the Golden Bin, which is about as complimentary as it sounds.

Despite making one Premier League start during his time in west London, Quaresma claimed that his brief stay “brought back the joy”.

Arsene Wenger had navigated his way through dozens of transfer windows but even the circumspect Frenchman felt the pressure of the clock on deadline day.

In a hopeless attempt to explain why he signed Kim Kallstrom in 2014, a 31-year-old midfielder with a fractured vertebrae, Wenger admitted: “I would not have signed him if we’d had two or three more days to do something. But it was 5pm on Friday night, so it was a case of sign him or nobody.”

Benik Afobe described the evening of winter deadline day in 2018 as the most difficult six hours of his life.

Desperate to escape his purgatory as a perennial understudy at Bournemouth with a return to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Afobe reflected: “I was on, then off, then on, then off, then on again with 20 minutes to go, so it was stressful.”

Eventually, the clubs agreed on a loan move which left Afobe “in my car crying” with happiness.

Denis Suarez arrived at Arsenal on loan from Barcelona at the end of January 2019 but February had barely begun by the time his loan spell effectively ended.

A groin injury sustained in just his second appearance in red derailed Suarez’s forgettable six months in north London.

“After 15 days of being at Arsenal, I wasn’t right,” the Spanish midfielder later admitted. “From the 16th I wasn’t even at 50%.”

In 2021, the three-time Champions League-winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas was recognised as Paris Saint-Germain’s number one between the posts with a three-year contract extension.

By the start of 2023, he was bracing himself for a relegation battle at Nottingham Forest. Navas only kept one Premier League clean sheet during his six months at the City Ground – fewer than Manchester City’s backup keeper Stefan Ortega managed in three appearances – but played his role in Forest’s survival..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

About the author

Bunady

JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE (Bunady.com). He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email: contact.bunady@gmail.com

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