Falcao (Monaco to Manchester United & Chelsea, 2014 & 2015)
Ok, so there are two completely different transfers, but then again, both completely the same. Falcao has been one of the world’s most prolific strikers ever but like many before and after him, he has made some mistakes. Such were the two separate loan moves to the Premier League in two consecutive seasons.
Falcao made his name in the Portuguese league while at Porto, where he impressed with his magical goalscoring skills. Then after many successful seasons spent in Portugal and Spain, a call by a French financial powerhouse arrived which he could not refuse. At Monaco, he became the star they have been missing for so long. However, not everything was ideal, as he suffered an ACL injury which ruled him out for several months. Since his form dipped, Monaco decided to send him out on loan to Manchester United.
Falcao’s summer loan was one of the most high-profile transfers in world football, but the Colombian failed to match that billing with his performances. United already had Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck but still decided to strengthen their attack rather than focusing on their defence. His future at the club was put under doubt when his agent, Jorge Mendes, stated at the start of the year that his client “may not be at Old Trafford at the start of next season but will play in one of the very best clubs in the world”. And that is exactly what happened.
After returning in France briefly, he was again shipped back off to the Premier League – this time at Chelsea. The move briefly reunited him with his Colombia teammate Juan Cuadrado and former Atletico Madrid teammates Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois. Another injury turned out to be a setback as he ended his stint featuring just 10 times and scoring one goal for the Blues.
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid to Porto, 2015)
Back in 2014/15, Real Madrid’s goalkeeping situation was of high interest, as Jose Mourinho dropped Iker Casillas from the first team. The legendary Los Blancos goalkeeper was restored by Carlo Ancelotti for cup matches, in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League but Diego Lopez was the man between the sticks for league games. At the time, it did not seem likely that the legendary goalkeeper would depart the club he loves, but it was clear he had not been happy to continue that way.
Then, after much speculation about his future, in summer 2015 Casillas shockingly quit Real Madrid to join Portuguese side Porto on a two-year deal with the option of a one-year extension. Real Madrid’s conduct in his exit was criticized, with Casillas’ parents claiming that he was being forced out of the club by president Florentino Perez, who received calls to quit from fans. It may be the 500 matches Casillas has played for Los Blancos, but it is the end of 2019, and it still hurts to see him wear any other badge but Real Madrid’s.
Victor Valdes (Barcelona to Manchester United, 2015)
Not much went right for Victor Valdes after deciding to walk away from Barcelona. The three-time Champions League winner suffered ligament damage at the tail end of his final season at Camp Nou, in 2013-14, prompting Monaco to pull out of an agreement to sign the goalkeeper. Manchester United eventually came to his rescue but Valdes quickly fell out with then manager Louis van Gaal and, in his desperate search for game time, he joined Standard Liege on loan in January 2016.
It was quite the fall from grace for a man who had been playing in front of 90,000 people at Camp Nou just two years before and, although he got his hands on the Belgian Cup, further ignominy followed when Valdes’ spell with Standard was cut short following the club’s decision to release him in order to create more space for younger players.