Name: Ulrich Van Gobbel
In his 90s prime for: Southampton
Lowdown: Using the word “prime” above is perhaps a little loose, as we voted Dutchman Van Gobbel into our list of worst Premier League signings made by Southampton. It is fair to say, however, that the defender has one of THE greatest Premier League names.
After starting out at Willem II, the Surinam-born player moved to Dutch giants Feyenoord at the age of 19, forcing his way into the first team almost immediately. In five seasons at De Kuip Van Gobbel made 122 league appearances, and also forced his way into the national team reckoning, making eight appearances during 1993 and 1994.
He eventually moved to Galatasaray in Istanbul, where stayed for just one season, although enjoyed a fair amount of success. And then he came on our radar.
Joining Southampton for £1.3million, Van Gobbel was expected to be a decent performer at Premier League level, forming a defensive partnership with Ken Monkou, but he failed to settle and performed at best averagely. He stayed for just one season in England, and returned to Feyenoord, costing the Saints an £800,000 loss in just ten months.
Now: Retired in 2002 after over 300 league appearances. Interestingly, the only information I can find now on the Dutchman is that on the run from the Dutch Police after he was issued with a 4 month prison sentence for buying cars on credit and then selling them on without paying the original car company, and that Police believe him to be hiding in his native Suriname. Whether this is true or a spurious internet rumour, who knows?