Monday, April 25, 2011

La Liga's 10 WORST transfers of the 2010-11 season

Countdown of the ten worst pieces of business from the 2010-11 Primera Division season.


10) CICINHO



Appearances: 5
Goals Scored: 0

Assists: 0
Villarreal from Roma - Loan

After stalwart Angel was downed by a cruciate injury against Real Madrid, Villarreal acted quickly to bolster their squad in the form of Brazilian Cicinho, swooping to bring in the full-back on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The former Madrid player has barely featured, however, after a transfer that seemed to be a snap reaction to Angel's problem rather than a considered signing. Five appearances, four of which have came from the bench, suggests that the 30-year-old will be heading back to Rome before too long.


9) Piet VELTHUIZEN



Appearances: 1
Goals Conceded: 1

Clean Sheets: 0
Hercules from Vitesse - Undisclosed

One of the more curious transfers of the summer, ambitious Hercules secured the signature of a goalkeeper who was at one time linked with a move to Arsenal.

The 24-year-old Dutch international was regarded as the future of the national side, but has only managed a single appearance for a team that has toiled desperately for form since the turn of the year, and who face relegation. Inconsistent Juan Calatayud has managed to keep the glovesman on the sidelines, and his stay in Spain may be prove to be a short one.


8) Sergio CANALES



Appearances: 13Goals Scored: 0

Assists: 1
Real Madrid from Racing Santander - £5.25m

One of Spanish football's rising stars, Canales officially moved to the Bernabeu in July 2010, and despite being expected to enjoy a loan spell to gain first-team experience, Jose Mourinho demanded the then-19-year-old was retained.

His decision has not been beneficial for club or player. Canales has not sufficiently impressed to be rewarded with regular minutes, and his progress has stagnated after showcasing unbridled promise in Santander. Efforts must be made from both parties if this transfer is to eventually become a success.


7) Dejan LEKIC



Appearances: 27Goals Scored: 2

Assists: 0
Osasuna from Red Star Belgrade - £2.6m

Landing Lekic was a major coup for a club like Osasuna, for what was a considerable fee, but 27 appearances and two goals later, it seems unlikely he will remain in Spain for another season.

The Serbian international has spent much of the campaign warming the bench, despite the Pamplona club struggling to find the net, and the relegation-threatened Rojillos will almost certainly attempt to offload the 25-year-old at the first available opportunity.


6) Fran MERIDA



Appearance: 24Goals Scored: 1

Assists: 1
Atletico Madrid from Arsenal  Free

The young Spaniard may not have cost the club a transfer fee, but then again his displays when he has been used have been atypical of a season to forget for the capital outfit.

Brought in to bolster a squad that had secured Europa League and European Supercup victories, but he has never looked capable of ousting either Jose Reyes or Simao from the side, and even when the latter joined Besiktas his influence on the team has been minimal. Signed on a five-year deal but must vastly improve to remain a part of this side.


5) Diego GODIN



Appearances: 26Goals Scored: 1

Assists: 0
Atletico Madrid from Villarreal - £7.4m

Enjoyed a decent World Cup with a Uruguay side that reached the semi-finals of the tournament, and Atleti swooped to strengthen their defence that has been notoriously porous in recent years.

Despite a solid start, his confidence has waned as the season has developed, and the stopper has been unable to form a consistent partnership with any of his colleagues. £7.4m makes Godin one of the most expensive signings outside of Barcelona and Real Madrid - and he is not the first defender to fail to resolve Atleti's problems at the back.


4) Tiberio GUARENTE



Appearances: 10Goals Scored: 0

Assists: 1
Sevilla from Atlanta - £5.26m

Sevilla enjoyed a far from successful summer window, but the deal to bring Guarente to Andalucia has been disastrous in more ways than one.

The Italian arrived on a big contract for a decent fee, and after a slow start failed to impress the arriving Gregorio Manzano. His knee injury that wrecked his already dismal season was linked to a previous condition that Sevilla were not made aware of prior to his transfer. Gary Medel and Ivan Rakitic now employ the central positions - it is difficult to envisage a way back into the fold for the 25-year-old.


3) Sergio GARCIA



Appearances: 23Goals Scored: 3

Assists: 1
Espanyol from Betis - £1.75m

It is easy to forget that Garcia was once on the books of Barcelona, and was part of the Spain squad that triumphed at Euro 2008, because he has endured a desperately poor season for Espanyol after being rescued from the Segunda Division.

His performances have lacked in confidence, or indeed any cutting edge in the final third. His paltry three goals have came at the end of 3-0, 3-1, and 4-1 wins respectively, and when his team have needed him, particularly in the absence of Osvaldo, he has frequently failed to deliver.


2) Luca CIGARINI



Appearances: 16Goals Scored: 2

Assists: 1
Sevilla from Napoli - £263,000 (loan fee)

After turning in an inspired performance to defeat Barcelona in the first-leg of the Spanish Supercopa at the start of the season, many believed Cigarini to be the answer to Sevilla's lack of a genuine playmaker.

But the Italian had peaked. Fleeting substitute appearances followed the arrival of Gregorio Manzano in October, and the 24-year-old has been absent altogether since the beginning of January. Sevilla are required to pay £7m to retain him in the summer - a less likely deal in European football is hard to find.


1) Pedro LEON



Appearances: 12Goals Scored: 2

Assists: 0
Real Madrid from Getafe - £8.8m

From the sublime at Getafe, to stifled at Madrid; the 23-year-old has made next to no impact at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite the belief that he could an extremely useful squad acquisition for the capital club after a stunning 2009-10 campaign.

Managed to enrage Mourinho earlier in the season by refusing to follow his tactical instructions, and has subsequently failed to feature since January. Given the huge fee involved, it is difficult to see how Leon can rescue his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, certainly while the 'Special One' remains in the dugout.

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