Earlier today, we published a piece sorting through the players Arsene Wenger didn’t buy for Arsenal. A lot of them are pretty embarrassing.
If fans were honest, most of their transfer rumor lusting is shameful in retrospect. Myself included.
Well, I have two kinds of embarrassing transfer wishes. Those that were unfulfilled and those that were fulfilled. I’m not sure which is worse.
As a Madrid fan, it’s a little different because Madrid rarely “misses out” on a player it wants. So of the guys that signed for Madrid, I was convinced that these three players were going to be the best in the world.
Guys Madrid signed:
The center back position for Real Madrid became a bit of a black hole after Fernando Hierro left. For a while, it seemed impossible to find his replacement. Also, Florentino Perez just refused to splash cash on defenders the way he did with forwards. When he signed Walter Samuel from Roma, I thought he was going to be the greatest defender ever. He was considered one of the toughest and best center backs in the world.
He was a total disaster. His lack of technique and pace made him ill suited to play on a team like Madrid, that doesn’t play a deep line with a bunch of defensive midfielders.
Baptista looked like a force of nature at Sevilla. He was just SO BIG and scored a buttload of goals. When Madrid signed him, I thought he was going to revolutionize the forward position. I thought he was going to be better than Samuel Eto’o.
In the end, he was kind of “meh.” His one good contribution was this great goal at the Camp Nou:
Royston Drenthe was on the Dutch U21 side that won the European Championship in 2007. I remember that tournament well. Drenthe looked like the second coming of Edgar Davids. He was a man among boys. Madrid signed him that summer and I was totally stoked.
Then he sucked so badly. The only thing left in the memory is this awful rap video.
Guys Madrid didn’t sign:
Juan Manuel Vargas
You’ve probably never heard of him, or don’t remember him. He was a left back for Fiorentina and Peru. I totally thought that Madrid should break the bank to sign him. I was convinced he was the left sided Dani Alves, just bombing up and down the flank.
In the end Madrid didn’t sign him, and he was forgotten by everyone.
When Lavezzi was at San Lorenzo, he was amazing. A lot of fun to watch. Then he went to Napoli and he was excellent, especially in the early days. His progression looked unstoppable. I thought Madrid should sign him because, at the time, it didn’t have a lot of speed in attack.
Madrid didn’t sign him, and Lavezzi has been an ok-but-not-great player ever since.