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Shock switches: 10 of the most stunning transfer moves

| 12.08.2015

Following Stoke City’s stunning £12m swoop for Inter Milan and Switzerland international attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, Coral look at other former sensational switches.

In the wake of Shaqiri’s shocking move to the Potters, who are 12/1 for top six finish this season, here are 10 unexpected transfers that shocked the world.

Luis Figo
Probably the most controversial transfer in Spanish history occurred just after the turn of the millennium when Barcelona’s Luis Figo moved to El Clasico rivals Real Madrid for a then-world record fee of £37m.

The first time the Portuguese winger returned to the Nou Camp he was met with an intimidating and hostile reception, having many objects thrown at him, including a pig’s head.

Robbie Keane
After rising to prominence under the guidance of Gordon Strachan at Coventry City, a 20-year-old Dubliner by the name of Keane made an incredible £13m move to Inter Milan.

However, the Republic of Ireland’s eventual record goalscorer endured a torrid spell at the San Siro, rather predictably, and soon made a permanent switch to Leeds United.

Edgar Davids
A global superstar, even towards the end of playing days, Davids put the glamour of playing for the likes of Juventus, Barcelona and Inter behind him when he signed on with former League Two outfit Barnet.

The Dutchman become a cult hero instantly, saving 36 stranded Bees fans on the motorway before a fixture, but his time ended in turmoil after seeing the side relegated out of the Football League, while picking up three red cards in his first eight games and eventually resigned.

Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano
Regarded as two of the most promising players in South America at the time, both Tevez and Mascherano amazingly arrived at Upton Park, with even the former West Ham United boss Alan Pardew unable to believe such a double swoop had materialised.

Tevez went on to keep the club in the top flight single handedly, while his Argentina international teammate endured a more troublesome spell in east London. However, both eventually departed, leaving ongoing legal problems over third-party ownership behind them.

Sol Campbell
Former England international Campbell had spent his whole career at Tottenham and was huge hit with the White Hart Lane faithful. However, that swiftly turned sour in the 2000/01 campaign when he stunningly joined bitter north London rivals Arsenal, after 255 Premier League outings for Spurs.

Radamel Falcao
In the summer of 2014, Manchester United had just finished in the season in seventh position and Radamel Falcao was still regarded as one of the world’s most deadly finishers.

Although, the tables quickly tuned as the Colombian shockingly arrived at Old Trafford on loan, but failed miserably in his pursuit to be a success in England, while United went on to return to the top four places.

Eric Cantona
Possibly one of the worst decisions ever made in football management came when former Leeds United boss Howard Wilkinson agreed to let Eric Cantona join the Red Devils in 1992.

At that point Leeds were the reigning English champions and the Frenchman was their talisman, but a £1.2m move directly across the Pennines kicked off a decade of dominance at Old Trafford.

Mo Johnstone
The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers transcends just matters on the pitch. This was brutally highlighted when Johnston became Graeme Souness’ first signing as Gers boss in 1989, having formerly been a Celtic hero, and a proud Catholic, causing fury among both sets of fans.

Such was the depth of disgust, the former Rangers kitman reportedly refused to work for him, making Johnston arrange his own playing attire.

Andy Carroll
During the January transfer window in 2011, football lost its marbles completely, with Chelsea playing a whopping £50m for Fernando Torres, while former Newcastle United frontman Carroll arrived at Anfield for £35m.

Having sold Torres to the Blues, the Reds were in desperate need of a striker, any striker, anyone. Carroll was the man bizarrely chosen after just half a season of Premier League football with the Toon, but he ultimately scored six goals in 26 outings before leaving for West ham United.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.