TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY: Top of the flops!

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FOR every Rafael Van Der Vaart, Christophe Dugarry and Andrey Arshavin there are those last minute deals which just don’t work out. Here are our pick of the best of the worst:

Alfonso Alves, January 2008

Middlesborogh fans were ecstatic when the club secured a record transfer for the striker just as the window slammed shut. The Brazilian had a prolific scoring record for Dutch side Heerenveen which convinced Gareth Southgate to fork out £12.7 million for his services. But after just 13 goals in 18 months, Alves left for Al-Saad in the Qatari league as Boro were relegated from the Premier League. A disaster all round.

Xisco, August 2008

Signed from Deportivo La Coruna for a reported £5.7million against the wishes of then Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan - prompting the Toon favourite’s resignation - Xisco made his debut in a home defeat to Hull City as fans protested against Mike Ashley and the Newcastle board. Despite scoring against the Tigers, he has rarely featured for the Magpies despite seeing Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins leave the Club during his time at St James Park.

Jimmy Bullard, January 2009

Hull City surprised everybody in their debut season in the Premier League and flying high in the top half, they pulled off the seemingly remarkable coup by signing Bullard from Fulham for £5m. Only months earlier Bullard was in the England squad but he was stretchered off on his debut with a knee ligament injury and his career has been blighted by injury ever since. He made less than 20 appearances for the Tigers as the club lost their top-flight status and his weekly wages have reportedly contributed to Hull’s precarious finances.

Massimo Taibi, August 1999

Even Sir Alex Ferguson has bought the odd dud. On the back of United’s historic treble and Peter Schmeichel’s departure, United needed a strong, confident keeper to fill the gap left by the Great Dane. However, Taibi was a disaster, and was shipped out on loan after conceding 11 goals in four games including a Matthew Le Tissier ‘daisycutter’ from 25 yards which squirmed under his body and five in a horror show against Chelsea.

Jean-Alain Boumsong, August 2005

The French International was signed by Graeme Souness for £8 million following a hugely successful period in the SPL with Rangers. But a series of gaffes and blunders at the heart of the Toon defence shattered Boumsong’s reputation and he was sold for less than £4m just 18 months later.

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