With the transfer window closed as of yesterday, I take a look at some transfers that I found to be a bit odd (for various reasons).
David Luiz (PSG to Chelsea)
With nine winner medals from his two seasons with French club Paris Saint-Germain, Brazilian defender David Luiz is back with Chelsea. Sure, we have seen similar situations on many occasions in the past, after-all, there is nothing wrong with a footballer going back to a club he had played for previously. But was this a smart decision on Chelsea’s part? As the news of Luiz coming back to Stamford Bridge made the rounds many fans were happy with Sideshow Bob’s doppelganger's return, while many felt it was a bit of bad business and a desperation last minute signing from Antonio Conte.
Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle to Tottenham)
After a Harry Houdini like disappearing act in the past couple years while wearing the Newcastle United uniform, Moussa Sissoko got his wish to leave the relegated club for "greener pastures". The entire saga leading up to the French midfielder’s departure was more of a circus show than magic however. After Everton seemed to have reached an agreement with Sissoko, the unhappy footballer decided to leave the club hanging at the last minute when Spurs matched the offer, despite claiming to be an Arsenal fan earlier in the year when rumors about interest from the Gunners were circulating. But the real reason this transfer made our list is the whopping £30 million both the Toffees and Spurs were willing to pay for Sissoko who was one of the star players Newcastle needed to perform in order to stay in the Premier League; a player who disappointed in the majority of match-days with the Magpies in the last couple of years.
Joe Hart (Manchester City to Torino - Loan)
Once (and quite recently) hailed as one of the world’s best goalkeepers, Joe Hart fell out of favor with new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola pretty quickly. With his first spot in the England squad hanging in the balance Hart decided to go where playing minutes would be plenty. Why Torino though? The club has not enjoyed any kind of real success in the Italy’s Serie A for quite some time and although Hart is very likely to get the playing minutes desired, a lack of defensive skill at the club may very well expose the weaknesses that prove to new England manager Sam Allardyce that Hart may afteral not be the greatest first choice for the Three Lions.
Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa to AEK Athens)
Once a big part of England’s back-line, Joleon Lescott is pretty far from his best days at Everton and Manchester City. After a disastrous campaign with Aston Villa in which Lescott’s say it like it is approach got him in hot waters with the club’s fans, the former England international has earned a transfer at last. AEK Athens however, is quite an odd destination for the defender. The club had recently been playing in Greece’s lower leagues after a voluntary relegation due to financial instability and although a 3rd place finish in last season’s table handed the Greek club a Europa League spot, the club was eliminated in the third round of play which makes the signing of the Englishman seem weird.
Mario Balotelli (Liverpool to Nice)
I genuinely once thought that young Mario Balotelli will once become one of the greatest footballers of my generation. Some years later and the ever controversial striker is no longer a part of the Italian national squad and is now changing the shirts of the likes of Milan, Liverpool and Inter Milan for the kit of small club OGC Nice in the south of France. Perhaps less attention could be good for the now 26 year old striker, although it seems that the spotlight has not been on Balotelli for quite a while now, as even his biggest fans have given up on the player to reach his full potential.