10) Andre Santos (Arsenal)
Arsene Wenger panicked into buying a left-back on deadline day in 2011 for £6.2m, and it was the wrong move for all concerned.
After arriving from Fenerbahce, Andre Santos made 23 appearances in 18 months at the Emirates. The player had his excuses: “When I was there I got very bad injuries, but in my whole career I never had so many injuries.” Given he’s discussing Arsenal, perhaps it is a feasible excuse.
He was finished at the club in many supporters’ eyes when he swapped shirts with Robin van Persie as they trudged off the pitch at half-time of a defeat to Manchester United. The stick he received for that misdemeanour was nothing, though, compared to being beaten up by his own supporters after moving to Flamengo. A spell in the Indian Super League followed, before he was back in Brazil with his first club, Figueirense.
9) Jo (Manchester City)
Mark Hughes’ first signing as Manchester City boss was the 21-year-old forward Jo from CSKA Moscow. “I think everybody will enjoy watching him play,” said Hughes. Many people did, just nobody of a blue persuasion.
Arriving two months before Sheikh Mansour and his billions, Jo’s fee (understood to be around £18m) was a big one for City. One goal in 21 Premier League appearances was a dire return.
It’s hard to say what his best qualities were. For a tall man, he had no discernible talent in the air and he wasn’t particularly mobile. For a Brazilian – and I mean any Brazilian, not necessarily a footballer – he looked uncomfortable on the ball.
Less than a year after signing he was loaned out to Everton, who made the same mistake the following season. He scored five goals in 27 games for David Moyes, who took the opportunity to end their association when Jo took off to Brazil without permission at Christmas.
8) Mario Jardel (Bolton)
Around the turn of the century, Jardel was a goal machine. The striker scored 267 goals in 274 games during spells at Porto, Galatasaray and Sporting Lisbon between 1996 and 2003. Then he joined Bolton.
Actually, the decline began a year before Sam Allardyce brought him to The Reebok. Despite his ridiculous scoring rate, Jardel was omitted from the Brazil squad for the 2002 World Cup, a blow from which he never recovered. The 29-year-old striker struggled for fitness during the opening half of the following season, before he sustained a knee injury when jumping into a swimming pool during the winter break.
Allardyce, who was developing a reputation for reinvigorating ageing stars, signed Jardel in 2003 on a two-year contract, but ‘Lardel’ (as he was later nicknamed) had entered an irreversible decline. He scored three goals for Bolton – all in the League Cup – before being shipped off to Italy fewer than six months after arriving.
Jardel seemingly failed to do his research on Bolton and Allardyce. After retiring, he said: “When I went to some smaller teams, how could I score if there were no players that could put the ball at my feet?”
7) Kleberson (Manchester United)
It was Leeds United who were first keen on Kleberson following the World Cup in 2002, when he played a big role in Brazil earning their fifth World Cup. The move broke down as the midfielder wanted to wait until he could marry his girlfriend when she turned 16.
Sir Alex Ferguson ignored that particular red flag and brought Kleberson to England in 2003. The 24-year-old played only 20 games in two injury-hit seasons. Ferguson claimed the midfielder was “too timid” and “cared too much what his father-in-law and wife wanted”. Ouch.
It was only when he returned to Brazil that Kleberson began to rediscover the form that made him a Brazil international, and he was handed a return to the Brazil side as a replacement for Anderson. Speaking of whom…
6) Anderson (Manchester United)
Signed for £20m in 2007 after United’s scouts were feeding back reports that the 19-year-old was “the best young player in the world”, Anderson had more false dawns than GMTV rehearsals.
Anderson consistently struggled for fitness, and pnly in his first season did he make more than 20 Premier League appearances. A couple of fine performances against Arsenal saw United fans compose a chant in homage to the midfielder to the tune of ‘Agadoo’ which features the line “…he s**ts on Fabregas”. It went downhill from there.
Ferguson described Anderson as a “lovely boy” in his latest book but his £80,000-a-week wage after signing a new contract in 2010 was unappetising in the extreme. That’s a lot of money to be a good egg.
5) Cacapa (Newcastle United)
Claudio Roberto da Silva was brought to Newcastle by Sam Allardyce on the back of winning six straight Ligue 1 titles between 2002-2007, captaining Lyon for five of them. Allardyce said upon the 31-year-old’s capture: “Our fans should not be put off by the fact they may not have heard of Cacapa.”
The Toon Army were right to be wary. The defender carried a wide load and turned like an articulated lorry. There was the odd glimmer of hope in his 29 games under Allardyce and Kevin Keegan, but he’s best remembered on Tyneside for his 18-minute nightmare against Portsmouth. Pompey were 3-0 up, Cacapa arguably to blame for all of them, when the defender was hooked by Big Sam to put him out of his misery.
Cacapa sloped off at the end of his contract after Newcastle were relegated in 2009. He was last seen in charge of Brazil Under-15s before he was sacked from that role earlier this year.
4) Gilberto (Tottenham)
Not the former Arsenal midfielder, of course. Gilberto da Silva Melo made seven starts in an 18-month spell at White Hart Lane. He was substituted at half-time in three of them.
Signed by Juande Ramos from Hertha Berlin as a 31-year-old, the left-back somehow played for Brazil on 35 occasions, including appearances at two World Cups. He was also named Bundesliga Defender of the Year during one of his three full seasons in Germany, but the £1.9m purchase never came close to replicating that form for Spurs.
The calamitous full-back was never going to be Harry Redknapp’s cup of tea. Following another costly mistake and another half-time removal in his penultimate appearance in a white shirt, Redknapp said of Gilberto: “I don’t think there is a way back for him here. He’s a nice guy but I don’t think he feels confident playing here.”
His contract was terminated by mutual consent the following summer.
3) Fumaca (Newcastle United)
Jose Rodriguez Alves Antunes had unsuccessful trials at West Ham, Birmingham and Grimsby before Colchester took a punt on the 23-year-old. He played one game, which lasted 14 minutes after he ran into Manchester City’s immovable object, Andy Morrison.
Fumaca then moved to Barnsley, where he failed to play a single game, before Crystal Palace took him on. He featured in two League cup matches prior to being shipped up to Newcastle, only 20 days after arriving at Selhurst Park. Newcastle, bizarrely, gave him a chance. Even more bizarrely, he played four Premier League games for Sir Bobby Robson.
He was allowed to stay around until the end of the 1999-2000 season before returning to Brazil. Fumaca was back for another tour of central Europe a few years later before he eventually took the hint and retired, having made 13 moves in nine years, playing no more than 15 games for any one club.
2) Afonso Alves (Middlesbrough)
Boro dusted off the carnival outfits from the Juninho era to welcome Alves from Heerenveen in January 2008. The striker had been prolific for the Dutch side and Malmo prior to that before the Teesiders stumped up around £12m. Perhaps it was the hefty price-tag that made the record-signing appear so sluggish.
Six goals in 11 games during his first half-season at Boro appears a decent return, though five of those came in two games against the Manchester clubs. The second of which was an 8-1 final-day thrashing of City, who had long-since switched off under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
His only full season at Boro returned four goals as the club were relegated from the Premier League. Luckily for them, Al-Sadd gave them £7million to take Alves off their hands, and a daylight robbery was reported to the police.
1) Roque Junior (Leeds United)
With financial implosion well underway, Leeds fans saw a glimmer of hope when they signed a Brazil regular and winner of a World Cup and the Champions League. That bubble was spectacularly burst upon seeing Roque Junior play.
He made his debut almost immediately after arriving in the country, and a 4-0 defeat at Leicester probably had him wishing he hadn’t bothered. Partnering Zoumana Camara, The Guardian match report said the duo “had as much understanding of each other as a couple on a blind date.” Sexy.
Roque Hunior was then sent off on his home debut, before Everton let Duncan Ferguson loose on the 27-year-old. Big Dunc tore him a new one.
All told, the centre-half made seven appearances for Leeds; all but one were defeats during which they conceded 24 goals. His only positive contribution was two goals in a League Cup tie against Manchester United. Leeds lost to an Eric Djemba-Djemba volley.