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Cardiff City’s drop from the Premier League in 2014 was supposed to be a temporary setback for the Welsh club. However, since then, a host of bad signings has seen them decline even further.
Despite a recent rise under Neil Warnock up to 13th in the league, the fans’ relationship with owner Vincent Tan continues to be a fractious one and the recruitment under the controversial Malaysian has been particularly poor. Here are players who we believe are the worst of Cardiff’s recruits in recent times.
The Uruguayan centre-back arrived at the Cardiff City Stadium in summer 2013 as a young player with high expectations. Malky Mackay signed the youngster initially for the academy team with a view to a promotion to first-team duties. However, he barely featured for either side and after two years at the club, Cardiff were forced to allow the player to leave for free.
As if to enforce the point that Amondarain was never destined for big things in European football, he went on to play for Spanish club Elche Ilicitano and currently features for Segunda B outfit CF Barakaldo.
Another player who was brought in at Cardiff’s peak time of bad recruitment in 2014. Le Fondre arrived with a big reputation following successful spells up front with Rotherham and Reading, with some even predicting a future England call-up. Things did not go as planned for the man from Stockport. 3 goals in 21 games initially meant that he was loaned out to Bolton Wanderers. Further, loan spells with Wolves, Wigan and again with Bolton have seen the player become the archetypal journeyman.
Cardiff have been desperate to get some mileage out of the £2.6m transfer fee they paid and Le Fondre is due back from his latest loan with Bolton this summer. But the chances of him having a resurgence in South Wales look slim.
Another regressing football player is former Manchester United and England man Kieran Richardson. Having arrived on the Premier League scene at Old Trafford, Richardson’s first step down the footballing ladder came when he signed for Sunderland in 2007. Spells followed at Fulham and Aston Villa with varying degrees of success before being released by Villa last summer.
Cardiff picked up the left-back in October and despite not having to fork out a fee, they regretted the decision almost immediately. Just 2 starts were afforded Richardson in the Championship and by January he was released once again. His downfall in English football has been alarming and he remains without a contract now.