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The Five Worst Summer Transfer Deadline Day Deals of All Time

The 2023 Summer Transfer Window closes tomorrow, and fans are excited for the carnage that deadline day brings to clubs around the world.

Often on the final day there are a wealth of panic buys, missed opportunities and lots of panic as clubs finalise their squads for the European nights, for relegation or to push on for titles.

What is fiercely contested is who is the worst deadline day deal ever. Across all the summer transfer windows, who is the worst player to be signed?

Here at Dub Sports, we have chosen five of the worst deals made on Deadline Day, all of which happen to come from the Premier League.

Arthur Melo to Liverpool in 2022
(Photo by Cesare Purini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

The only player to be nominated by more than one journalist from Dub Sports (and the most recent transfer), Arthur Melo’s swap from Juventus to Liverpool on loan was a disaster from start to finish.

The then 26-year-old made only one substitute appearance across the season, totalling 13 minutes of football as he struggled to stay fit and get match-ready.

Costing nearly £4 million in loan fees, the forgettable loan move is a shame for the Brazilian, who has spent time at Barcelona and is now at Fiorentina in Italy.

He made 63 appearances for Juventus over two years and 72 for Barcelona prior, yet failed at Liverpool and despite a weakened and aging midfield including the likes of Jordan Henderson and James Milner, Arthur was sidelined and returned to Italy with a whimper.

Alex Telles to Manchester United in 2020
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

In 2020, Alex Telles was sought after by many clubs after his performances for Porto at left-back, where he scored 11 goals in 31 league appearances.

He would sign for Manchester United for over £15 million and would only make sparse appearances across his two full seasons at Old Trafford.

Dub Sports’ own Sam Hughes described Telles as “the worst player” in a United shirt, failing to move ahead of Luke Shaw in the pecking order and making only 30 appearances in the Premier League over two seasons.

The former Galatasaray and Inter Milan player disappointed many fans and left for a loan spell at Sevilla, who also were disappointed with his football, and the Brazilian has since left for Al Nassr.

Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea in 2017
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

One of the biggest flops in Premier League history, Danny Drinkwater went from winning the Premier League at Leicester City in 2016 to being frozen out of Chelsea and failing at several clubs on loan.

The Englishman was a crucial component in Leicester’s historic league triumph, and in 2017 swapped to Chelsea for £35 million.

He went on to make only 23 appearances at Chelsea, all except one in his first season and it would only get worse with each passing season.

In the 2018-19 season, his sole Chelsea game was the Community Shield, and in August 2019 he signed for Burnley on loan, making just two appearances.

He was also involved in an altercation outside a nightclub and fined for drink-driving, and had further loan spells at Aston Villa, Kasimpasa in Turkey and Championship side Reading before leaving Chelsea on a free transfer in 2022.

Islam Slimani to Leicester City in 2016
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Leicester City’s miraculous Premier League win in 2016 gave the club riches beyond belief and a chance at playing in the Champions League.

However, on deadline day, £28 million was spent to recruit Islam Slimani from Sporting CP, beating West Brom to the Algerian striker’s signature.

His Premier League debut went well, as he scored two goals against Burnley, and Slimani was set to make a big difference for Leicester as they pushed on for more European football.

However, he would score just six more goals in that season, and when he left Leicester he had scored just eight goals in the Premier League.

Loans at Newcastle United, Fenerbahce and Monaco did little to save his career, and in 2021 he left for Lyon on a free transfer. Leicester City would later be relegated in 2023.

Interestingly, he played the same number of games on loan and at Leicester and was named one of Leicester’s worst signings of all time.

Radamel Falcao to Manchester United in 2015
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Finally, we end on another loan move – this time Radamel Falcao’s torrid spell at Manchester United in 2015.

The Colombian was a star name for the likes of Monaco and Atletico Madrid, scoring 83 and 70 goals respectively as the star striker.

Yet when Manchester United signed Falcao on loan with an option to buy, he would score just four goals in 29 appearances in the league and would then sign for Chelsea the next season.

For the potential £43.5 million acquisition, Falcao did little to endear himself to the fans, constantly being unfit and never looking likely to add to his goalscoring feats at his previous clubs.

He would be named as one of the worst transfers of the season, and would also fail on loan at Chelsea.

He is now playing at Rayo Vallecano where he has 8 goals in 55 appearances thus far.

So, who do you think is the worst transfer of the lot? Do you think we missed any summer deadline day disasters? Let us know!

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