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Money Down the Drain: The Worst Transfers of the 2023/2024 Season

The past season was full of exciting moments, numerous goals, surprises, and unexpected events. However, it wasn't a good season for everyone. This applies to both clubs and individual players. Not all of them lived up to expectations. Here are the worst transfers of the past season.

Ansu Fati (Brighton, loan)

Ansu Fati was once considered Lionel Messi's heir. Big hopes were placed on him in Barcelona, but the expectations were far higher than reality. Sometimes, the young Spaniard struggled, and sometimes, injuries got in the way. As a result, he went to Brighton to develop and reboot his career under Roberto De Zerbi. However, this also didn't work out. In the last Premier League season, the 21-year-old winger participated in 19 matches and scored 2 goals, averaging only 26 minutes per game. This clearly differs from what is expected of a player who was given Messi's number. After an unsuccessful loan, the footballer's future is again in question.

Renato Sanches (Roma, loan)

After a failed period at Bayern, Sanches had a few good seasons at Lille. Then, it seemed he was on the rise again. But it only seemed so. His move to PSG didn't benefit him, as he got little playing time in Paris. Sanches decided to go to Roma, hoping for a better situation, but it only worsened. Last season in Serie A, the 26-year-old midfielder played only 7 matches. Injuries played a part, but Sanches spent much time on the bench even when healthy. Over the entire season, the Portuguese player was sidelined five times due to injuries and only started in three matches. There is no question of a permanent transfer.

Oriol Romeu (Barcelona, €3.4 million)

In the summer, Barcelona was looking for a successor to Sergio Busquets. Xavi wanted Martin Zubimendi from Real Sociedad but got Oriol Romeu from Girona. Given the transfer fee, expecting something great from him was hard. In the first half of the season, the 32-year-old midfielder got decent playing time. Still, in the second half, it significantly decreased. Xavi started to lose faith in a player he possibly didn't want in his squad. Now, there are rumors of Romeu's possible return to Girona. This transfer cannot be considered successful for the Catalans. The player did not strengthen the team, and the issue of a defensive midfielder remains open.

Mason Mount (Manchester United, €64 million)

Mount's transfer to Manchester United was loud and somewhat unexpected. Firstly, it needed to be clarified why United signed a player in Bruno Fernandes' position for such a high fee. Secondly, Mason's form raised questions. In his last season at Chelsea, he scored only 5 points in the Premier League (3 goals and 2 assists). These concerns were confirmed in the previous season. In the last Premier League campaign, the 25-year-old midfielder played only 14 matches and scored 1 goal. Mount was hindered by injuries, missing 20 games in the Premier League alone. However, he wasn't on the squad list for the last three matches. His prospects at the new club could be more precise.

Sandro Tonali (Newcastle, €64 million)

Initially, Tonali's transfer from Milan seemed very unexpected, as he was believed to stay with the Rossoneri for many years. Soon, everyone benefited from the transfer. Newcastle got a quality player, and the Rossoneri could spend the money to strengthen their squad. But soon, only Milan emerged victorious from this deal. The Italian was caught betting and was suspended until August 27. Thus, the 24-year-old midfielder managed to play only 8 matches in the Premier League. Maybe Tonali will be more helpful next season, but this transfer could have been a success for the past campaigns.

Matheus Nunes (Manchester City, €62 million)

Last summer, Manchester City decided to strengthen their midfield after Ilkay Gundogan's departure. The Citizens signed two players: Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes. It cannot be said that the newcomers played much, but the Portuguese fared worse than the Croatian. At Wolverhampton, Nunes attracted attention from top clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool. But after moving to the top level, the Portuguese player showed little. In the last Premier League season, the 25-year-old midfielder averaged only 38 minutes per match. Sometimes, he didn't play for several rounds in a row while remaining healthy. The Citizens made a mistake with this transfer. Even champions can be wrong.

Bryan Zaragoza (Bayern Munich, €13 million)

In recent years, Bayern Munich's management has made many strange decisions. Signing Zaragoza was one of them. The transfer of the Granada player initially seemed risky, especially mid-season. The Munich club probably wanted to strengthen their attack due to Serge Gnabry's frequent injuries. But was a player from a team fighting for survival really a reinforcement for the record champions? Over half a season, the 22-year-old winger played only 7 matches in the Bundesliga without any goal contributions. Adapting is difficult for the Spaniard, as he needs to speak German or English. Zaragoza's future prospects look very uncertain.

Romeo Lavia (Chelsea, €62 million)

Lavia's transfer is definitely among the worst of last season, if not the worst. It's enough to say that the player for whom Chelsea paid €62 million spent 32 minutes on the field, participating in only one Premier League match. The Blues signed the player while he was injured, and things only got worse. No one still knows what to expect from the 20-year-old midfielder, as he barely played after leaving Southampton. Maybe something will change next season, but this transfer is a complete failure for now.

Published by Patrick Jane