A player that was regularly praised by his Swedish manager, Elano ended up being shipped out to Galatasary after 24 months in the sky blue shirt.
Considered one of the best midfielders in the world when joining Chelsea in 2008, the Brazil-born midfielder had already won all that there’s to be won in club football when he arrived on the British shores.
Two stunning goals in his first two games earned Deco the Player of the Month award for August 2008 as Chelsea scored five goals without reply. Unfortunately for the Blues, their season quickly took a slump mirroring the Portugese midfielder’s form. New coach Luiz Felipe Scolari got the sack in February and Deco only scored once more till the end of the season.
Deco looked worryingly off the pace in the Premier League and it’s a shame that one of the best passers of the game couldn’t reproduce his excellent early form.
The Brazilian forward was to be the first of a long line of established world-class stars to grace the grass of the City of Manchester Stadium (later renamed Etihad Stadium) after Sheikh Mansour’s the take-over. After all, £33 million is no small price to pay for any player.
Robinho’s start in the Premier League was truly exceptional as he scored for fun all kinds of goals – free-kicks, tap-ins and drives from distance. He seemed to have it all as he netted a hat-trick against Stoke City a few weeks after his debut. However, after finding the net 12 times in his opening 19 games his form took a steep decline with only three moe goals following until the end of his first season in England.
His second campaign took another turn for the worst as the Santos hero only managed one goal (against the mighty Scunthorpe in the FA Cup) before being shipped out back to Brazil on loan.
The Egyptian striker’s rise to goalscoring fame was just as abrupt as his decline. When the then 25-year-old arrived at Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2008 on loan from El Zamalek he already had 23 goals to his name with his national side. However, not many people outside of Egypt had heard of the powerful striker.
His start to life in England was explosive. By mid-October he had scored eigh goals in just 10 games whilst playing in a very limited Wigan side under the guidance of Steve Bruce. Another three goals by the end of the 2008 calendar year followed adding fuel to transfer rumours linking Zaki to some of the top clubs in Europe.