Eight transfers that left people scratching their heads at the time ... and sometimes to this day

And in some cases, heads will still be scratched

BY Raf Diallo 15:34 Thursday 3 March 2016, 15:34 3 Mar 2016

Bebe (Picture by: Martin Rickett / PA Archive/Press Association Images)

At present, clubs around Europe are in that non-man's land between winter and summer transfer windows. 

But even as those in the Premier League do their utmost to hand the title to a rival, they will also be planning their summer shopping spree.

In his eponymous book, The Secret Footballer lifted the lid on how clubs go about their business. They will have a list of targets ranked for a certain position but normally, as he said, often-times they may end up signing the person who is way down list before parading them as the player they've been searching for all along. 

That might explain some - but not all - of the slightly odd transfers below.

Julien Faubert to Real Madrid

The Frenchman had an underwhelming two years with West Ham between 2007 and 2009 when Real Madrid - of all clubs - decided to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu on loan.

Quite why they wanted the right-sided player remains a mystery and even if expectations weren't high, the 32-year-old Kilmarnock player did not live up to them.

His time at Real reads two appearances, missing training after mistaking it for a day off and being pictured snoozing on the bench during a match.

Jonathan Woodgate to Real Madrid

At his best, the former England international was an excellent defender. But unfortunately the ex-Newcastle and Leeds United centre-back's career was wrecked by injuries.

Yet, Real Madrid again made a surprising transfer deal as they paid Newcastle €17 million for his services.

He remained cursed by injuries at Real, making just 14 appearances over two years at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid's Thomas Gravesen, left, trains with Robinho at Highbury stadium in London Tuesday, March 7, 2006 ahead of their match against Arsenal in a Champions League second leg match. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)

Gravesen to Real Madrid

After a steady career as a defensive midfielder at Everton between 2000 and 2005, the Dane also became an attractive option for Real Madrid in the era after the first Galactico era.

His most prominent contribution was a training ground scuffle with team-mate Robinho in his only season at Real.

Bebe to Manchester United

Probably the strangest transfer of all based on the details which emerged later. Alex Ferguson apparently bought him on his former assistant Carlos Quieroz's recommendation without seeing him play.

Once he joined United, Fergie and fans did see him play briefly and he was awful, spending much time on loan.

A lesson about thorough scouting. 

Tevez and Mascherano to West Ham

As we discussed yesterday, West Ham followed in the footsteps of rivals Tottenham by trying to go down the big-name Argentine duo route.

A transfer mired in the conversation surrounding third-party ownership, only Tevez turned out to be useful as his winner against Manchester United save West Ham from the drop in 2006-07.

Edgar Davids to Barnet

The Netherlands legend had spent a spell in English football with Tottenham and Crystal Palace, after a long career in Serie A.

Remaining in residence in London after those experiences, he surprisingly decided to make the move to League Two Barnet in a player-manager capacity.

In his two years there, 'The Pitbull' endeared himself to supporters in 2013 when he sent the team bus to pick up a group of supporters whose mode of transport had broken down.

Real Madrid's new Brazilian player Julio Baptista, left, goes for the ball with MLS All-Stars Ronnie O'Brien during their match Tuesday, Aug. 23 2005 at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain. The United States' Major League Soccer All-Stars select team and Real Madrid were playing for the Santiago Bernabeu trophy. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Ronnie O'Brien to Juventus

The Bray native had played underage for Ireland and had been on the books at Middlesbrough without making an impact.

Released by Boro, incredibly it was Italian giants Juventus who decided to pick him up on a five-year deal.

He never got into their team unsurprisingly and was loaned out to lower-division Italian clubs without seeing a huge deal of action.

Bojan to Stoke

This move has turned out to be a relative success with ex-Barcelona striker Bojan settling into the cold, wet nights at Stoke.

But given his Barcelona background, perceptions of Stoke's football and the fact that his career had appeared to be plummeting into decline, his transfer to the Britannia had taken many by surprise in 2014.


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