You can’t exactly call any of this lot Galacticos.
It’s not unusual for football clubs to pull off some strange signings. It’s something we’ve all become accustomed to seeing down the years.
The availability of the player and the finances of the club are just two of a host of factors that feature when it comes to completing a deal.
Something you don’t expect to see however is arguably the biggest and one of the richest clubs in the world scrapping the bargain barrel to conduct their transfer business.
Real Madrid, for all the multi-million pounds worth of Galacticos they have signed down the years, have a history of pulling off some seriously bizarre signings, particularly on loan deals.
Here are the five times when Los Blancos made you question everything you once believed about football…
1 Jose Antonio Reyes – 2006/07
Reyes was a long-term transfer target of Madrid, a link which followed him throughout his spell with Arsenal.
The Spaniard became unsettled with the persistent rumours of a move back to La Liga and eventually got his way in 2006.
Reyes was involved in a straight swap loan deal to the Spanish capital that saw Julio Baptista move the other way to Arsenal.
The former Sevilla man had an underwhelming season with the La Liga giants, making 38 appearances in all competitions, scoring seven goals and picking up just three assists.
Reyes failed to secure a permanent move to Los Blancos and would later go onto play for Real’s city rivals Atletico Madrid.
2 Julien Faubert – 2008/09
Madrid buying a player from West Ham was never going to end well, was it?
Faubert, who had been an expensive flop in the Premier League, bizarrely joined the Spanish giants on loan in what is still one of the most unbelievable deals of all time.
The Frenchman joined for a reported loan fee of £1.5million, with the option to make the deal permanent also included (unsurprisingly this option was never taken).
Faubert famously missed one of his first training sessions with the club after he thought he had the day off. We’ve all been there, mate.
Another blooper during his spell came after he was pictured asleep on the bench during a clash against Villareal. Presumably he was up all night thinking about how he managed to join Madrid.
The Frenchman made just two appearances, failing to score or get an assist in either, before he was shipped back to West Ham at the end of the season.
Great banter was had by all with this one. Fair play.
3 Emmanuel Adebayor – 2010/11
He’s the man who everyone loves to hate.
Giving credit where credit is due, Adebayor was a relative success during his short loan spell with Madrid.
Having been told by Roberto Mancini in January 2011 that he no longer had a future with Man City, Adebayor was snapped up Jose Mourinho in what was a questionable deal at the time.
The towering striker proved everyone wrong however, as he went onto score eight goals in 22 appearances for Los Blancos, including two in a Champions League quarter final win against Spurs.
Perhaps to his surprise, the Togo striker failed to secure a permanent move to Madrid and instead joined Spurs on a season-long loan.
This man just bleeds loyalty.
4 Michael Essien – 2012/13
Following the success story of Adebayor at Madrid, Mourinho decided once again to raid the Premier League for his latest loan signing, this time heading back to his former club Chelsea.
Essien was the latest surprising addition to join the La Liga side on loan, this time for the duration of the 2012/13 season.
The Ghanaian powerhouse was heavily involved throughout Madrid’s campaign, making 35 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice and getting one assist.
Essien was still a capable player at the time and seemingly filled a void in the La Liga giant’s team.
We can’t help but think however that this deal was about nothing more than Mourinho being reunited with the man he calls his ‘son’, with Essien labelling his frequent manager as ‘daddy.’
5 Javier Hernandez – 2014/15
Hernandez, or ‘Chicharito’ if you want to be annoying and call him that, was just starting to become an important player for Man United.
The Mexican striker had a habit of popping up in the right place at the right time and was always someone you could rely on to get you a goal.
This was enough to persuade Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti to take a punt on the diminutive striker and sign him on a season-long loan deal.
Hernandez actually turned out to be useful option for Los Blancos, scoring nine goals and picking up the same number of assists in 33 appearances in all competitions.
Sadly however, Madrid decided not to sign up the Mexican and he was forced to return to United under Louis van Gaal. Poor guy.
None of these deals ever became permanent transfers, which tells you everything you need to know about the loan experiment that Madrid dabbled with.
It has been a fair few years since Los Blancos pulled off an absolute howler of a loan signing. They are long overdue one, surely?
Has anyone got Granit Xhaka’s number?
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