Occasionally some players with a big reputation will arrive at a certain club, and somebody – be it the club or the player himself – will have a swift change of heart. Here’s five players from recent years that didn’t last too long.
Sol Campbell (Notts County)
League Two side Notts County in signed the former Arsenal man August 2009 on an astonishing five-year deal. “I bought into a dream and I wanted to make that dream a reality,” Campbell later said. “It took me less than a month to realise that it was all heading to a different conclusion”. He played once for the club.
Dietmar Hamann (Bolton Wanderers)
Following seven successful years at Liverpool, German player Didi Hamann joined Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer. He has a change of heart and within 24 hours, bizarrely he became a Manchester City player. “I am the only manager to get £400,000 for a player who never kicked a ball for the club,” Bolton’s then-boss Sam Allardyce said back in 2006. “Didi Hamann is a history breaker. This is the best transfer deal I have ever done in my life.”
David Unsworth (Aston Villa)
One-cap-wonder David Unsworth left Everton for Aston Villa in the summer of 1998 for £3 million. He moved back to Merseyside just a few weeks later before the season began for exactly the same fee. The reason? The defender didn’t like the commute from the Midlands back to Liverpool as his wife flat out refused to move. “It’s quite clear that it’s David’s missus who wears the trousers in their house,” said Aston Villa manager John Gregory. “In my time as a player it used to be a case of ‘pack the china, love, I’m going to a new club somewhere else in the country’. But all that seems to have gone out of the window.”
Martin Demichelis (Atlético Madrid)
One that went under the radar was recently-retired Argentine defender Martin Demichelis’ tenure at Atléti. He moved to the Spanish capital in July 2013, but simply didn’t fancy it and opted to join former Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City for a reported £4.2 million salary. He was on the Spanish side’s books for a mere two months and didn’t turn out for them even once.
Dani Osvaldo (Boca Juniors)
The Argentine-born Italian international has been something of a journeyman throughout his career, despite his obvious talent. He has previously been on loan with South American giants Boca Juniors in 2015 where he quickly became a fan favourite. He has short stints for a number of clubs, but when he returned to Buenos Aires in 2016, his enthusiasm for the game soured upon arrival and he was sacked by coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto for smoking in Boca’s dressing room. He’d only been at club mere weeks. He retired at the age of 30 to focus on playing in a blues-rock band.
Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)