With the January transfer window nearly shut, there are bound to be a few head-scratching moves.
Clubs will be desperate to rectify their squads for the business end of the season, with a few fighting for survival as well.
That state of mind can however lead to lapses of judgement.
Here, we take a look at the most bizarre deals that went down on the January transfer window’s deadline day.
JULIEN FAUBERT – WEST HAM TO REAL MADRID – 2009 (LOAN)
How did THAT happen? Well, then Real Madrid manager Juande Ramos was scrabbling around for a right winger before the deadline and his former Sporting Director Damien Comolli suggested the Frenchman.
When Madrid refused to pay the asking price for Antonio Valencia, Faubert was taken on a loan deal despite the fact that, while impressive, wasn’t really a world-beater at West Ham either.
He ended up playing just 54 minutes for the La Liga giants and made his biggest impression on the bench when he fell asleep on it during a match against Villareal.
ROBERTO MANCINI – LAZIO TO LEICESTER CITY – 2001 (LOAN)
The Italian was 36 at the time and had already shown an interest to move into management so his move to Leicester City made little sense in 2001.
He made just five appearances for the club before being granted a leave of absence days after his arrival. He phoned Leicester shortly after and informed them that wouldn’t be returning as he was offered the head coaching job at Fiorentina.
KIM KALLSTROM – SPARTAK MOSCOW TO ARSENAL – 2014 (LOAN)
Arsenal were desperate for reinforcements in midfield after Jack Wilshere succumbed to yet another injury. So who does Arsene Wenger bring in? An injury prone 32-year-old Swede.
Apparently, the deadline was fast approaching and Wenger decided to gamble on Kallstrom. He made his first appearance in the FA Cup semi-finals as a late substitute and scored during the penalty shootout that took Arsenal to Wembley.
He made just three appearances for the Gunners but has called that FA Cup cameo the greatest 15 minutes of his life.
CHRISTOPHER SAMBA – ANZHI MAKHACHKALA TO QPR – 2013 (£12.5M)
Christopher Samba’s emphatic displays in Blackburn’s defence earned him a sweet deal at the Russian outfit where he was enjoyed a hefty wage. However, when Harry Redknapp summoned him to Queens Park Rangers as they fought for survival, he was hardly the same player.
The club record signing was nowhere near his best and QPR were relegated with Samba swiftly returning to Russia, this time with Dinamo Moscow.
BENNI MCCARTHY – BLACKBURN TO WEST HAM – 2010 (UNDISCLOSED)
The South African’s spell at Blackburn was a relatively prolific one after winning the Champions League with FC Porto but his decision to join West Ham was a poor one.
The striker was already past his best and never fit in at the club. He also seemed to put on weight and saw his contract terminated having failed to score in 11 appearances.
ERIC DJEMBA-DJEMBA – MANCHESTER UNITED TO ASTON VILLA – 2005 (£1.5M)
The Cameroonian was an unknown entity when he joined Manchester United but has since gone down as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s worst signings.
Nevertheless, Aston Villa believed they could get the best out of him and bought him in 2005. They were wrong.
RAUL BRAVO – REAL MADRID TO LEEDS UNITED – 2003 (LOAN)
A promising Real Madrid academy graduate struck down by the Galactico era. Bravo made a surprising move to Leeds United on loan while his star at Madrid was on the rise.
After an unsuccessful six-month spell in England, he returned to Madrid but with Roberto Carlos still going strong, he was deemed surplus to requirements.
An injury-hit stint with Olympiacos followed before he fell off the radar.
KONSTANTINOS MITROGLOU – OLYMPIACOS TO FULHAM – 2014 (£12M)
In a desperate bid to avoid relegation, Fulham went ahead and spent a ridiculous amount of money on Mitroglou on the basis of a purple patch that saw him score 12 goals in 10 games in the Greek league that season.
Unsurprisingly, he found English football to be a little different and couldn’t replicate his goal-scoring form in Greece for the Cottagers. In fact, he barely made it on the pitch, registering just three appearances for the club.
He did however find his feet again in Benfica.
DANNY GRAHAM – SWANSEA CITY TO SUNDERLAND – 2013 (£5M)
Danny Graham did reasonably well for himself at Swansea but he was never going to be the striker that consistently scored for them in the Premier League.
He fell down the pecking order when Michu enjoyed that remarkable first season in English football. Surprisingly, Sunderland snapped him up in January for a tidy fee.
The move proved as unspectacular as it seemed. Graham scored just one goal in 37 appearances for the club, and even that was a deflection off his back.
PHILIPPE SENDEROS – FULHAM TO VALENCIA – 2014 (LOAN)
What possessed Valencia to rescue Senderos from relegation favourites Fulham? We’ll never know. What’s even more bizarre is the fact that they announced the move on Twitter accompanied by a picture of Brede Hangeland instead.
Despite scoring on his debut for the La Liga outfit, Senderos would not stay with them permanently, making 11 appearances before moving to Aston Villa.