The Premier League is the biggest league in the world when it comes to money, smashing every other league out of the park in terms of money spent in each window.
Among the countless transfers made in the English top-flight over the years, there have been some truly shocking ones, and 101GreatGoals have put together a list of some of the most shocking.
Victor Valdes: Manchester United to Middlesbrough
Three-time Champions League winner, six-time La Liga winner, a key figure in Pep Guardiola’s insane Barcelona team. Victor Valdes was one of the best goalkeepers of the late 2000s/early 2010s. However, after leaving Barcelona on a free and spending a year at Manchester United, Victor Valdes chose to join Middlesbrough in 2017.
Boro had secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2009. And with the Spanish connection of Aitor Karanka and Victor Ora, the Teessiders were somehow able to land Valdes. The Spaniard’s spell started off great but as Boro’s season declined, Valdes threw in the towel and left the club.
Keylor Navas: PSG to Nottingham Forest
A very recent transfer but a shocking one nonetheless. Keylor Navas has been a mainstay at two of the biggest clubs in Europe in the last several years, winning three Champions Leagues with Real Madrid and two Ligue 1 titles with PSG.
However, he has since joined newly-promoted Nottingham Forest on loan for the remainder of 2022/23. Navas’ first game saw him make numerous quality saves to help secure a 1-0 win over Leeds.
Carlos Tevez & Javier Mascherano: Corinthians to West Ham
On deadline day in August 2006, West Ham signed Argentinian duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. The pair had both represented their country at the World Cup that summer and were said to have attracted interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
So when the Hammers got the hands of them both, it was shocking to say the least. It later transpired that the Hammers had signed the pair from third-party owners; the rights to both players were owned by Media Sports Investments. As a result, West Ham were fined £5.5m. the fine was worth it though as Carlos Tevez scored the goals which retained West Ham’s Premier League status, at the expense of Sheffield United.
Bojan Krkic: FC Barcelona to Stoke
A product of the famed La Masia youth academy, Bojan was once viewed as one of Europe’s brightest young stars and even earned comparisons to Lionel Messi. But after several loan spells in Italy and the Netherlands, Barcelona opted to sell the Spaniard to Stoke in 2014. Bojan is now 32 and without a club.
Steven Caulker: QPR to Liverpool
After securing promotion to the Premier League in 2014, QPR signed Steven Caulker from Cardiff for around £9m. Caulker was unable to help keep QPR in the top-flight, though, and he was back playing Championship football. That was, however, until January of 2016 when Liverpool decided to loan the Championship centre-back from QPR. Caulker went on to make a total of 4 appearances for the Reds, garnering just 92 minutes of action.
Serge Gnabry: Arsenal to West Brom
When Serge Gnabry burst onto the scene at Arsenal, he was expected to become one of the latest in a long time of top talents to flourish under Arsene Wenger. However, he was loaned to West Brom in 2015 where he went on to make just three senior appearances. The German has since made the move to Bayern Munich and won the Champions League and several league titles.
Esteban Cambiasso: Inter Milan to Leicester
Esteban Cambiasso was part of one of the greatest Inter Milan sides in history. Inter secured a historic treble in 2009/10 under Jose Mourinho, winning the Serie A, Champions League and Copa Italia. So, when the Argentine joined a relegation-battling Leicester in 2014, it was a shock. The midfielder did not stick around for their title win a season later, but he was crucial to their famous fight for survival.
On April 4th 2015, Cambiasso gave Leicester a 12th-minute lead against West Ham in a game that the Foxes would go on to win 2–1. This was their first league victory in eight matches and started a run of seven wins and one draw from Leicester’s final nine Premier League fixtures, with the team finishing 14th in the table