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Transfer Deadline Day: Africa's best & worst deals ever

23:40 SAST 2022/08/31
Sadio Mane McCarthy Gyan
GOAL's Ed Dove reviews the best and worst African deals done on the final day of transfer windows past

  • Tariq Lamptey Brighton 2020-21

    Transfer Deadline Day

    It isn’t ideal to get business done on deadline day, but nonetheless, many of Africa’s biggest players have swapped clubs on the final day of the transfer window and enjoyed success at their new clubs.

    Others, of course…as this feature explores…didn’t quite go to plan.

    Here are the best and worst of Africa’s transfer window deadline day deals.

  • Sadio Mane Southampton Crystal Palace Premier League 03032015

    Too Good: Sadio Mane

    Southampton couldn’t have known—when they signed Mane from Red Bull Salzburg on deadline day September 2014—just what a legacy the Senegal legend would leave in English football.

    The Saints made a £22.2 million profit on the attacker—who they’d signed for £11.8 million—when he eventually moved on to Liverpool, where he could go on to enjoy immense success both in England and Europe.

    When the reigning African Footballer of the Year left for Bayern Munich this summer, he’d won one Premier League and one Champions League with the Reds, reaching two further finals.

  • Benni McCarthy

    Too Bad: Benni McCarthy

    South Africa legend McCarthy swapped Blackburn Rovers for West Ham United on deadline day in 2010, as he looked to boost his chances of making Bafana Bafana’s World Cup squad on home soil.

    Obviously, that didn’t go to plan, but even though he failed to reach full fitness during that first six-month period, McCarthy couldn’t have anticipated how badly things would go.

    The current Manchester United coach was ridiculed by the Hammers’ owner Baroness Karren Brady, and failed to score a single league goal at the club.

  • Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace

    Too Good: Wilfried Zaha

    Again linked with a move this deadline day, Zaha moved on the final day of the winter transfer window in both 2014 and 2015.

    On the first occasion, he departed Manchester United on loan for Cardiff City, and then, 12 months later, exited Old Trafford for good, this time for Crystal Palace.

    That deal—worth a paltry £3 million—represents superb business by the Eagles, and they should expect to make a killing if and when they do eventually cash in on Zaha, who’s been their biggest star of the last six years.

  • Hossam Ghaly | Tottenham

    Too Bad: Hossam Ghaly

    Despite a promising start to life at Tottenham Hotspur, it all ended in tears for Ghaly at Spurs as he hurled the Lilywhite kit to the turf in disgust after being substituted against Derby County, having come into the game as a sub himself.

    It’s understandable that the Egypt international would have been disappointed with his performance being curtailed, despite not having started the match himself, but fans could not forgive him for throwing the shirt to the ground.

    Harry Redknapp tried to encourage fans to welcome Ghaly back 18 month later, but supporters reacted so poorly to him as he warmed up on the touchline, that the manager opted not to bring him off the bench.

    He never played for the club again.

  • Steven Pienaar | Everton

    Too Good: Steven Pienaar

    Another Tottenham Hotspur connection here; Pienaar spent a year at Spurs after arriving from Everton in January 2011, but things didn’t work out for him in London.

    Beset by fitness injuries, and struggling to assert himself in the starting XI, the quality he’d demonstrated at Everton was largely absent following his £3 million arrival at White Hart Lane.

    However, on deadline day in January 2012, he eventually ended his disappointing spell in the capital by returning to Goodison Park.

    Reunited once again with Leighton Baines down Everton’s left flank, the Bafana Bafana star duly rediscovered his old form.

  • Chris Samba to QPR

    Too Bad: Chris Samba

    A bit of a desperation move by Queens Park Rangers in the winter window in 2013, Samba was signed from Anzhi Makhachkala for a £12.5 million fee.

    He’d previously excelled in the top flight with Blackburn Rovers, and Harry Redknapp clearly hoped he could get the best out of Samba after bringing him back to the English game.

    It wasn’t to be; Samba was torn apart against Fulham, began squabbling with QPR fans on social media, and, predictably, the Loftus Road side were duly relegated.

  • Tariq Lamptey Brighton

    Too Good: Tariq Lamptey

    Snared by Brighton & Hove Albion from Chelsea for a bargain £3 million fee, Lamptey quickly looked like a brilliant bit of business for the Seagulls.

    Unable to muscle his way into the first team at Stamford Bridge, the diminutive right-back quickly became a fixture at the Amex Stadium, delighting supporters with his tenacity, energy and dynamism down the right flank.

    He’s been linked to the likes of Atletico Madrid—no less—after maintaining his fine form this season, and looks destined for a long career at the top.

    If and when Brighton do sell him, they'll make a massive profit on their initial outlay.

  • Asamoah Gyan Sunderland Newcastle Premier League 2010-11 GFX

    Too Good: Asamoah Gyan

    Sunderland snared Gyan for a then-club record £13 million on the back of his performances at the 2010 World Cup, with the striker appearing to be a natural fit for the Premier League.

    He ultimately didn’t stay long at the Stadium of Light, but he enjoyed some fine moments with the Black Cats—notably a 94th-minute winner in the derby against Newcastle United.

    Goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, as well as a double on his first Prem start against Stoke City were all memorable moments, and it was just a shame that his stay on Wearside was so brief.