Popular website Sports Mole clearly have some time on their hands during the summer, considering they’re filling the blanks left by the diminished football schedule with non-stories such as ‘On this day: Newcastle United sign Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert’.
Well, the heat seems to have got to us here at news.bwin.com too, so here are our five favourite July 22nd transfers over the past decade and a bit in the Premier League.
2002, Rio Ferdinand – Leeds to Manchester United (£30m)
After David O’Leary and Peter Ridsdale parted with a then-British record £18m two summers earlier for the south Londoner, United had to dig very deep to buy Ferdinand following the centre-half’s stellar performance at the Japan and South Korea World Cup.
By the time he left for QPR 12 years later, the Red Devils had secured six more Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three League Cups and the 2008 Champions League, so clearly Ferdinand was a useful purchase.
2008, Amr Zaki – Zamalek to Wigan (Loan)
This Egyptian’s DW Stadium stay proved one of the stranger transfer sagas of recent times.
Zaki bagged 11 all-competition strikes before New Year’s Day, which saw him linked to much bigger clubs than the Latics, then promptly stopped scoring and eventually caused then-boss Steve Bruce to label him the most unprofessional player he had ever worked with.
Wigan didn’t bother signing him permanently at the end of the season, but Zaki did make six appearances for Hull during the second half of the next campaign, without managing a goal.
2009, Kyle Walker – Sheffield United to Tottenham (£5m)
Walker and his fellow Yorkshire right-back Kyle (Naughton) headed down south in a £10m double deal six years ago, and while the latter has since switched to Swansea, the former will compete with Kieran Trippier and DeAndre Yedlin for a spot in Mauricio Pochettino’s first team next term.
After taking in loan spells with his old club, QPR and Aston Villa between 2009-11, Walker nailed down right-back berths with Spurs and England over the next three seasons, although he faces a real fight to win both of those back.
2010, Antolin Alcaraz – Club Brugge to Wigan (Undisclosed)
After a fine showing with Paraguay en route to the quarter finals of the 2010 World Cup, great things were expected from this centre-half at Wigan.
He didn’t deliver straight away, with Roberto Martinez’s men going down 4-0 at home to Blackpool in Alcaraz’s debut, followed by a 6-0 thumping from Chelsea, but ‘The Rock’ clearly made enough of an impression on his boss during three relegation fights with Wigan to follow him to Everton on a free in July 2013.
2014, Bojan Krkic – Barcelona to Stoke (€1.8m)
Many were unconvinced by this one-cap Spaniard’s Premier League credentials ahead of his Potters switch, as Bojan had bagged just 14 league goals in his previous four campaigns with Barca, Roma, Milan and Ajax.
Those fears were proved wrong by the veritable bargain’s excellent displays under Mark Hughes in the first half of last term, when Bojan struck four times in 16 top-flight appearances prior to having his campaign cut short through injury in January.