Over the past three decades, football has not only risen tremendously in popularity but it’s turned into big business. Gone are the days when teams like Red Star Belgrade and Steaua București won the Champions league with squads of players mainly from their own country. Today, teams are international, and lots of moves are pulled to compile one that will be competitive on the biggest stage of them all.
Thus, a good transfer policy is a major component of this puzzle. Which player should a team sign for which position? Should they spend big and get someone who’s proven or gamble on a prospect? In any case, despite whatever decision a team makes, there’s always risk involved. No one has a crystal ball and can tell the future.
Maybe it’s not as big of a gamble as placing a bet on the roulette table is, but as evident throughout football history, sure-things sometimes don’t pan out, and managers end up feeling like they’re on the casino floor. Except, nowadays, most gambling is done online. Online casinos have taken over, and with their impressive catalogs of super-advanced games and other features, their land-based equivalents can’t compete. People crave ease of use, and there’s nothing more convenient than playing on your phone.
To make things even more interesting, some sites have come up with a hybrid approach, where they offer registered palyers the cahance to play the latest casino games, but also bet on football and any other sport that they can think of. Such is the case with NoviBet. At novibet.co.uk, you will gain access to all sportsbook features, but the platform has a casino category, as well.
So, what are the times when a team took a major risk and overpaid for a transfer that was destined for greatness, yet it flopped? Or one that everyone thought was a mistake but paid off big.
Denilson to Real Betis
New fans might be amazed to know that at one point in time Denilson held the transfer record. If they even remember him. In 1998, Real Betis decided to pay £21.5 million to acquire his services from São Paulo.
But while everyone thought that he was going to set La Liga on fire, he didn’t and only scored 2 goals his first season. He left in 2005 when he was merely a fringe player that was never found in the starting eleven.
Drogba to Chelsea
He may have turned out to be the greatest African footballer in the league, however, in 2004, many were left scratching their heads regarding the sum paid for the Ivory Coast player. £24 million for someone who just had one season at a top French club seemed like too much at the time.
But despite not being a goal-scoring machine, Drogba proved to be essential to Chelsea’s success for many years, with his tenacity and work ethic.
Ali Dia to Southampton
It’s not often that you hear that a Premier League club signed a player based on a phone call. Have you ever? Well, it happened in 1996, when Southampton manager Graeme Souness got a call from George Weah, or at least who he thought was Weah. He was advised that he should sign his cousin, Ali Dia, a former representative of the Senegalese national team and ex-PSG player.
Dia received a one-month contract, which was not extended after it was revealed that he was a fraud. Talk about strange.