A list of the worst ever Premier League January transfers, has a former Newcastle United ‘star’ at number one.

Still stunned by Graeme Souness arriving as Newcastle manager to replace Sir Bobby Robson, worse was to come for fans in his first transfer window of January 2005.

Three players were bought: Celestine Babayaro, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Amdy Faye.

Newcastle supporters were left less than impressed, especially with Craig Bellamy forced out by Souness on loan to Celtic.

With an £8m price tag and the fact he was coming from Graeme Souness’ old club Rangers, surely though Jean-Alain Boumsong had to be decent, didn’t he. Souness must know something…

Well whatever he did know, it wasn’t to Newcastle United’s advantage.

Jean-Alain Boumsong was a disaster and a sobering thought for Newcastle fans was that exactly two years earlier, Sir Bobby Robson bought the best ever defender many/most Newcastle fans had ever seen (when fit…), also for £8m, in the shape of Jonathan Woodgate. He left for Real Madrid and eventually we got Boumsong, the story of our lives…

FourFourTwo magazine have compiled a top 10 of the worst ever January transfers (read the whole article here) and Jean-Alain Boumsong ranks at number one.

What made it especially galling was that only a few months before he arrived at St James Park for £8m, Rangers had picked him up for nothing on a free transfer…

Also in the FourFourTwo list is a certain Andy Carroll at number six.

However, it is Liverpool who get the ‘credit’ for paying out £35m for the ponytailed one.

(Number 1 in list)

Jean-Alain Boumsong (Rangers to Newcastle £8m, 2005)

This was a strange signing on many levels, with Newcastle paying Rangers £8m for Boumsong’s services just a few months after he’d been available on a free.

The 27-time France international actually started his career at St James’ Park well, before basic defensive errors began to creep into his game and adversely affect Newcastle’s results. Juventus, having been relegated to Serie B just a few months previously, took Boumsong off the Magpies’ hands in August 2006 – though he never featured in Serie A once the Old Lady made it back.

(Number 6 in list)

Fernando Torres (Chelsea to Liverpool £50m, 2011) and Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool £35m, 2011)

There were already signs that Torres was on the wane when he swapped Anfield for Stamford Bridge at the start of 2011, but Chelsea learned the hard way; £50m bought just 20 Premier League goals across three-and-half seasons, and gave Liverpool fans the chance to gloat.

Or at least it would have done had the Reds not spent most of the proceeds on Andy Carroll, who managed 11 goals in 58 appearances and looked entirely unsuited to the Reds’ style of play throughout his miserable 18 months on Merseyside. Not that it stopped Brendan Rodgers from signing Mario Balotelli three-and-a-half years later.



  • MYOFB

    I bumped into some Rangers fans around that time and asked them if Boumsong was any good. They rated him highly, and 27 caps for a good France side suggests he must have had something. Whatever it was, we soon got rid of it!

    • mentalman

      it was actually SBR who first tried to sign Boumsong when he went to rangers for free, i don’t know why the deal didn’t materialise

  • Leazes

    Was it Graeme Souness who forced Craig Bellamy out? I thought it was Shepherd and Shearer….?

    • Little Pedro

      Think I remember Bellemy telling the world via sky TV , that Souness was a waste of time !, (Post match interview) , within a week Bellers was a Celtic player .lol

  • Kneebotherm8

    When I seen the article title, there were a helluva lot of contenders flashed through my mind that we’ve signed in January.
    Most of them during Ashley’s ownership,generally last minute panic buys…………….
    I do agree,though,that Boumsong was a corker and I always thought Sourness must’ve gotten a backhander from his former employees to sign him at that price.

    • mentalman

      was there not a documentary which highlighted the boumsong deal as one which was subject to a back hander

      • Kneebotherm8

        Not sure,but it wouldn’t surprise me.
        Sourness was great friends with David Murray the Rangers owner at the time.

    • Rowla

      Every player signed by Souness had Willie Mackay as agent – dodgy as owt

  • mentalman

    the first time i saw him play he looked really good against Thierry Henry, it went down hill from there but any defender would struggle playing alongside bramble

  • Peaky Magpie

    Always been something really dodgy about this signing.

  • Mitros gotta start

    Joselu has to be on that list

    • Damon Horner

      Not a chance. For a start it’s January signings.

  • stigma

    I thought it would be Shefki Kuki.