13 transfers that were crazier than the Glen Johnson to Barcelona rumours
November 15, 2016
Do Barcelona really have Stoke City right-back and perennial figure of derision Glen Johnson in their sights?
Honestly, probably not. The international break is synonymous with outlandish transfer rumours because football writers – in the absence of the regular season – have little to keep them occupied. There’s more chance of Donald Trump becoming US president than there is of Johnson rock up at the Nou Camp… wait a minute.
OK, 2016 is clearly the year all conventional wisdom is thrown out of the window. Glen Johnson to Barcelona is perfectly possible, and if you’re still skeptical, how about these thirteen crazy transfers that actually happened? Like, in actual real life.
Steve Sidwell to Chelsea
Q: Why did Chelsea sign Steve Sidwell? A.) Because they saw him as Frank Lampard's natural successor, or B.) Because they needed to hit their homegrown quota?
Source: Who Ate All The Pies?
Ravel Morrison to Lazio
Former United youngster Morrison has bags of talent, but it was a huge shock to see him rock up at Lazio, where his only significant moment was a pre-season Panenka.
Andy Carroll to Liverpool
Liverpool's disastrous £35M move for Carroll is saved only by the fact that Chelsea signed Torres on the same day. The pony-tailed striker struggled to find the net at Anfield, and it wasn't a surprise to anyone who had previously seen him play.
Stewart Downing to Liverpool
King Kenny wasn't afraid to get the cheque book out during his second spell at Anfield. Unfortunately, he shops like Steven Gerrard handles pressure: badly.
Thomas Gravesen to Real Madrid
There's a rumour that Real scouts mistook Gravesen for fellow bald midfielder Lee Carsley when they were watching Everton play back in 2005. Either way, you had Makelele, guys.
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool
Brendan Rodgers is nothing if not confident, but he was sorely mistaken when he thought he could turn Balotelli into the fearsome frontman we all know he can be.
Bebe to Manchester United
Alex Ferguson's transfer record was largely unblemished, but here's one he would rather forget about. He signed Bebe without watching him play... and it showed.
Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona
It's not that the Belgian is a bad footballer, but Barcelona seriously over-estimated their ability to keep Vermaelen fit when they paid Arsenal £15M for his services in 2014.
Xherdan Shaqiri to Stoke City
Bayern Munich, Inter Milan... Stoke City? Swiss wizard Shaqiri was earmarked as one of Europe's brightest attackers, but now finds himself turning out at the Britannia. At least no-one can doubt his ability to do it on a cold, windy night.
Jonathan Woodgate to Real Madrid
Woodgate ended his Real Madrid bow with both an own goal and a red card, which, in all fairness, is genuinely impressive.
Dimitar Berbatov to Fulham
Berbatov won the Golden Boot in his penultimate season at Old Trafford - so why were the only takers a Fulham side teetering on the brink of relegation? Our best guess is Martin Jol has some dirt on him.
Julien Faubert to Real Madrid
Faubert struggled to get into the West Ham team, so was obviously the ideal man to shore up Real Madrid's leaky defence. Yes, the pre-Ronaldo years at the Bernebeu were dark times.
Tevez and Mascherano to West Ham
Tevez and Mascherano were always destined for the Champions League, but it's pretty nuts that their first stop in Europe was Upton Park. Saner heads prevailed when they abruptly headed off to United and Liverpool respectively.
If Johnson does get the chance to play alongside Messi and co, just remember that Julien Faubert once laid on crosses for the legendary Raul.