Connect with us

Champion League

The club record signing who ended up leaving for £0



Southampton splashed the cash on deadline day as they snapped up Ross Stewart from Sunderland for an initial fee of £8m, which could rise to £12m including add-ons.

Who are Southampton’s most expensive striker signings?

The Saints have not been afraid to lavish out big fees in order to find a consistent number nine to bolster their attacking options over the years.

They will now be hoping that the former Black Cats star does not follow in the footsteps of a certain Guido Carrillo, who turned out to be a huge flop at St. Mary’s after his move to the club under Mauricio Pellegrino.

Top five signings (excluding Carrillo)

Fee paid (via Transfermark)

Danny Ings


Paul Onuachu


Adam Armstrong


Manolo Gabbiadini


Che Adams


The club have had mixed success with their recruitment at the top end of the pitch over the years but the signing of Carrillo was a particularly poor piece of business, all things considered.

How much did Southampton pay for Guido Carrillo?

Southampton signed the centre-forward from French side AS Monaco for a club-record £19m fee in January of 2018 in an attempt to find a reliable scorer.

The striker had worked with Pellegrino, who was the manager at the time, at Argentine club Estudiantes and the club decided to back their head coach by securing a record deal for Carrillo, with vice-chairman Les Reed stating that he was confident that the player would benefit the Saints for “years” to come.

It was reported that the Argentine boss made a number nine signing a priority after £75m was raked in from Liverpool for central defender Virgil van Dijk, which provided him with the funds to splash out on a big addition.

See also  Tom Heaton could be leaving Manchester United

However, it was a strange move for Southampton to make as Carrillo was 26 and had yet to prove himself to be a consistent or reliable goalscorer.


Football Transfers rated his Expected Transfer Value (xTV) at €13.1m (£11.2m) at the time of the move, which suggests that they paid far above the going rate to secure his services.

The £19m signing arrived off the back of just 15 goals and four assists in 65 Ligue 1 matches for Monaco. He had joined the French side after scoring 40 goals in 140 appearances for Estudiantes in his home country.

During the first half of the 2017/18 campaign, the 6 foot 2 forward scored only four goals and created zero ‘big chances’ for his teammates in 15 league outings for Monaco.

That came after the towering striker plundered seven goals and one assist in 19 Ligue 1 matches for his former club throughout the 2016/17 season.

These statistics show that Southampton signed a relatively experienced player who had yet to find his scoring boots on a regular basis at senior level.

They were gambling on him finally developing into a consistent scorer whilst being able to adapt to English and Premier League football. That turned out to be an expensive gamble that did not work out.

How many goals did Carrillo score for Southampton?

The Argentine ended up playing just ten matches in all competitions for the Saints and did not find the back of the net on a single occasion.

Pellegrino handed him seven Premier League appearances during the second half of the 2017/18 campaign, which included five starts, but he was unable to hit the ground running at St. Mary’s with zero goals and zero ‘big chances’ created.

Carrillo only completed 66% of his attempted passes and lost 63% of his duels throughout those top-flight matches for the club, as per Sofascore, an indication that he struggled with the quality and physicality of the division.


The former Monaco marksman did not provide a goal threat, did not create for his teammates, was not a reliable passing option through the middle of the pitch, and was dominated by opposition players from a physical perspective.

Pellegrino was sacked in March 2018 and his replacement, Mark Hughes, opted to send Carrillo out on loan to LaLiga outfit Leganes for the 2018/19 campaign.

The Argentine finisher spent two seasons on loan with the Spanish outfit and contributed with ten goals and two assists in 60 appearances for the club.

How did Carrillo leave Southampton?

Southampton eventually decided to cut ties with the £19m flop as they released him on a free transfer in the summer of 2020, two-and-a-half-years after his club-record move to the club from Monaco.

Journalist Josh Bunting described it as a “disappointing” situation for the Saints as they received £0 back off their initial £19m investment on the striker.

It was a howler of a move by Reed and Pellegrino in 2018 as they gambled on a player who had shown few signs of being ready to take the Premier League by storm after his struggles in France.


The warning signs were there and it turned out that they should have been heeded as Carrillo went on to flop in England and left for nothing after failing to score a single goal for the club.

Where is Carrillo now?

He is currently back playing for Estudiantes in Argentina at the age of 32 and has scored five goals in 27 games since making the move earlier this year.

Football Transfers currently rates his xTV at just €1.5m (£1.3m), a whopping £17.7m less than the fee that Southampton paid to secure his signature at the start of 2018.

He has not proven his worth since departing the Saints on a free transfer which only goes to emphasise the disaster that played out regarding Carrillo during his time in England.

Reed seemingly trusted Pellegrino’s opinion on the centre-forward, as he had already worked with the ex-Monaco man in Argentina, and was willing to spend a huge sum of money off the back of his thoughts, despite the statistics not backing it up.

It ended up being a costly howler and Russell Martin will be hoping that Stewart does not go down the same route over the years to come.

WP Radio
WP Radio