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Goal.com Special: 10 Worst La Liga Transfers Of 2008-09

The summer transfer market in Spain last year was a relatively quiet one, but nonetheless it brought about some success stories - and some failures.

Here we look at ten of the worst transfers, ranging from freebies that have conspicuously failed to impress to big-money flops.

The clubs that spent the most - Barcelona and Real Madrid - obviously find themselves well-placed on the list, but there are a few other surprises as well.

So, join us for a look at the ten players whom Liga presidents may wish they hadn't signed at all...

10) Edmilson (Villarreal) - The ultra-professional Brazilian had spent four years in the Liga with Barcelona, so it seemed that a move down the coast to Vila-Real was ideal for all parties. He'd add experience and solidity to a midfield that, Robert Pires aside, often looked on the young side. In fact what he added was a bit of warmth to the bench as he made just a half-dozen fleeting, unimpressive appearances before heading back to Brazil to join Palmeiras. Villarreal fans won't miss him.

9) Santiago Ezquerro (Osasuna) - Again, it's hard to rate a free transfer too badly, but Santi's return to his youth club has been incredibly undistinguished. Just one goal so far this season for the Hair Bear Bunch aficionado is a major reason why Osasuna are struggling so badly. (Mind you, with Walter Pandiani and Javier Portillo also misfiring he's in very good company.)

8) Alhassane Keita (Mallorca) - The outgoing Dani Guiza was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Alhassane Keita has not so much taken centre stage to try it as been hooked off with a lengthy cane. The Guinean forward has a wealth of pedigree in Belgium and Saudi Arabia, but this has completely failed to translate into Liga success. At least he has plenty of time to settle in: four years remain on his contract. If he continues with current form, he'll have a Liga total of five goals by the time that ends.

7) Gregory Coupet (Atletico Madrid) - He may have come cheap in terms of transfer fee, but the French international, even in his dotage, commands a hefty wage packet. That leads one to wonder why exactly he's sitting on the bench behind Leo Franco, of all people. Then one takes a look at Coupet's early-season performances, and all becomes clear. Definitely past his best, and a very expensive second-string 'keeper for a club that sorely needed real competition between the posts. Atleti fans won't like to hear it, but he's very much a Rojiblanco signing in every way.

6) Joffre Guerron (Getafe) - The top star of last year's Copa Libertadores, Guerron is a fiery Ecuadorian with a great future ahead of him in Europe. At least that's what the Getafe hierarchy said as they unveiled him last summer. In fact, amidst a mere handful of first team appearances, Guerron's main contribution has been to insult his team-mates in press conferences and sit angrily on the bench. Curiously, Guerron put in an incredible performance against Brazil for Ecuador last month: Geta fans have yet to really see him do the same against, oh, say, Numancia.

5) Omar Bravo (Deportivo) - May 22: all smiles, Omar Bravo agrees to join Deportivo from Chivas Guadalajara, penning a three-year deal. August 31: his debut as Depor managed yet another historic win at the Riazor over Real Madrid. December 8: his first goal, this time against Malaga. 27 February: the unsettled forward throws up his hands and heads back to Mexico, joining Tigres on loan. Oh: and there's a buy-out clause in place. So, it seems likely that Omar ain't coming back. Seven months, one goal, one massive waste of time for all concerned.

4) Javi Garcia (Real Madrid) - At €4m on a buy-back from Osasuna, he's certainly not expensive, but Javi Garcia was in every way the wrong signing for Real Madrid. A man of two hats - centre back and defensive midfielder - he has in fact worn neither this season as he largely sits on the bench. His most recent appearance, against Getafe, saw him play neither one nor the other, showing once and for all that he was signed pretty much solely due to the fact that he was a cantera product who had one decent season at Osasuna. In Madrid's haste to prove that their youth system can still produce the goods, they made a completely incorrect signing.

3) Abdoulay Konko (Sevilla) - It is very, very unusual for Sevilla to get a transfer wrong, but fans are wondering in hushed tones if Monchi's halo has slipped after the Rojiblancos landed Abdoulay Konko for fully €9m. Deemed to be the successor to Daniel Alves, in fact Konko has spent most of the season out of commission on the bench, with Aquivaldo Mosquera or even out-of-position Adriano being deemed a preferable option at times. Still, only four more years until his contract ends!

2) Jozy Altidore (Villarreal) - He's got time on his side. That's the good part. The bad part is, uh, everything else. Altidore has looked completely out of his depth at Liga level (yes, yes, he scored once, but that's all), and in the Segunda on loan at Xerez he's yet to even kick a ball in anger. Of course at the age of 19, and as a seasoned international with six USA goals to his name, he's shown that he has pedigree in the Western hemisphere. And also important is the fact that we can't expect miracles of one so young. But we certianly can expect a first touch that doesn't smash the ball off the corner flag. He'll come good one day, perhaps - at €7.3m we certainly hope so - but for this current season he has been an unmitigated failure.

1) Aliaksandr Hleb (Barcelona) - I'm sure everyone saw this one coming on the list. At €15m - €33,040 per minute of Liga football played so far - Hleb has proved to be tremendously poor value for money in the league this season. True, following Ronaldinho was never going to be an easy task, but even during those rare occasions in which he's managed to heft himself off the treatment table Hleb has looked nowhere near capable of establishing himself as a useful substitute, let alone a first team regular. His former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry has confounded his doubters and gone from strength to strength; if Hleb can't manage the same next season it will be of surprise to no-one if he leaves Camp Nou as one of the biggest transfer flops of the decade.

Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com