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Friday Poll: Who was the worst January signing?

Walk with us through the golden hallways of memory and cringe.

ACF Fiorentina v SSC Napoli - Serie A
Number 10, for heavens’ sake.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

The transfer market is always risky (particularly if you’re Fiorentina of late) and never more so than in January. Injuries or poor form can get teams to flail around, and a mid-season move can be a tough adjustment for a player. For any number of reasons, sometimes moves just don’t work, and the winter window seems to increase the failure rate substantially. It’s never the players’ faults entirely, but they usually bear the brunt, sadly. Let’s keep that in mind as we stroll through the halcyon days of yore to remember:

Amauri: He scored one goal. It was a very good one, capping off a late 1-2 win over AC Milan. That was the only goal he scored in 13 appearances, and he was offloaded to Parma for a loss at season’s end. The Delio Rossi-era Fiorentina couldn’t score goals, and Amauri was still worth losing half a mil on. Think about that.

Yohan Benalouane: The Tunisian international centerback was supposed to shore up the defense when he arrived from Leicester City on loan in 2016. Rather than bringing grit to a Paulo Sousa-coached team that badly lacked the latter, he brought an undisclosed injury that kept him from suiting up at all, and Fiorentina eventually recovered half of the €500,000 loan fee while using Marcos Alonso in central defense. It was not good.

Mario Bolatti: Actually not a bad player, all things considered. But he broke Stevan Jovetić and we will not forgive him. Ever.

Manuel da Costa: €4.5 million for a 21-year-old centerback with 24 appearances in France and the Netherlands seemed a bit steep in 2008. When da Costa left town for good just 5 months later, it seemed even steeper: he’d made 2 appearances, failed to convince in training, and sexually assaulted a woman in a nightclub. He went onto a solid career in England, but he was both a bad player and a creep during his stint here.

Diego Falcinelli: Thrown in on a half-season loan as part of Khouma Babacar’s sale to Sassuolo, the Falcon made 12 appearances in the spring 2018, but didn’t score. He never looked like scoring. Not even when he had the ball in the six-yard box without a defender near him. He’s currently with Perugia in Serie B, trying to recapture that magic from the 2014-2015 season there (he scored 15 in 41, which is his best-ever return). He’s the kind of guy whose profile you find on Transfermarkt while you’re looking up someone else, giving you a mild shock when you recall that he spent part of a season with Fiorentina.

Felipe: The Brazilian defender was long the poster-child for never doing business with Udinese in the first part of the millennium. For a price of €9 million, he was simply awful in Florence, and the club spent the next 2 years loaning him away before offloading him to Parma for a song. After a brief and bizarre stint at Inter Milan, he’s settled in as a key contributor for Leonardo Semplici’s SPAL. But goodness, he was bad at Fiorentina.

Rubén Olivera: Look, nothing against the shiny-pated Uruguayan, who’s still a professional at the age of 36 with Ostiamare in Serie D. He was an okay player and earned 18 caps for Uruguay. But man, he was one of the least-inspiring 10s I can recall wearing that hallowed number for this team.

Andrés Schetino: Brought in from little-known Argentine club CA Fénix, Schetino cost a hefty €3.5 million. We didn’t think that he’d make an immediate impact as a 21-year-old, but we expected, well, something. Instead, he failed in a succession of loan moves away: no appearances at Livorno, a slow fall from favor for Sevilla B, a decent spell at Esbjerg in the Danish second tier, and a listless season at Cosenza that saw him get off the bench 4 times before his contract ever ran out. He never made an appearance with the senior time, and never seemed to impress anywhere. The punchline, of course, is that he’s back with Fénix and looks fine.


These are some uninspiring moves, but only one can be the uninspiringest. Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (4 votes)
  • 18%
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    da Costa
    (2 votes)
  • 24%
    (18 votes)
  • 20%
    (15 votes)
  • 6%
    (5 votes)
  • 14%
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    Someone else I’ll name in the comments
    (3 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now

This is your weekend thread to kick around whatever’s on your mind. Stay loose.