May 27, 2019

West Ham’s ultimate flop: Whatever happened to Savio Nsereko?

West Ham fans have seen some truly abysmal players don claret and blue over the last couple of decades.

Ask any fan and they will have nothing but despair when they reel off tales galore of Pablo Barrera failing to show any quality, attacking midfielder Luis Jiminez’s inability to attack, plus Marco Boogers’ capability to produce absolutely nothing.

However, in amongst this sea of abject misery one name stands out as the flop of all flops.

That would be Savio Nsereko.

When West Ham sold Craig Bellamy to Manchester City in January 2009 there was an attacking vacancy up for grabs.

For the shambolic Icelandic owners of the club (the less said about them the better) it was time to splash out a record amount of money for a forward.

How exciting…

The chosen man was exciting young prospect Savio who was signed from Italian club Brescia for £9million and promptly handed the number 10 shirt.

This was a man who had numerous caps for Germany at youth level and was an integral member of the German side that won the 2008 Under-19 European Championship.

However, it soon dawned on a number of fans, coaches and numerous others that this promising £9million forward was nowhere near as good as he seemed.

After making just 10 league appearances for the Hammers – only one was a start – and failing to score he was shipped off in the summer 2009 transfer window to Fiorentina in return for €2.7m and defender Manuel da Costa (another stunning acquisition).

Unsurprisingly Savio didn’t exactly hit the high notes back in Italy and his career has descended into an irrelevant entity.

Now 28 years of age, the forward should be in his prime but he is currently doing anything but.

During his three-year spell with Fiorentina he went on six different loan spells – Bologna (2010), 1860 Munich (2010), Chernomorets Burgas (2011), Juve Stabia (2011), Vaslui (2012), SpVgg Unterhaching (2012).

After racking up that impressive collection of clubs, moves to Viktoria Koln, Atyrau, Beroe Stara Zagora and Lietava Jonava followed.

So where is Savio currently plying his trade now? The forward is registered with Pipinsried – a Bavarian amateur side playing in the fifth-tier of the German football system.

However, while the list of obscure clubs West Ham’s former record signing has played for is a story in itself, what will forever engrain Savio into the memory bank is the utterly ridiculous situation he found himself in back in October 2012.

The Ugandan-born footballer was arrested in the Thai resort of Pattaya after reportedly faking his own kidnap in order to extort €25,000 of ransom money from his own family.

Nothing quite illustrates Savio’s downfall better than this…

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