Hales was such a strange one. We paid a hefty fee for him for those times. His goal scoring record at Charlton Athletic was 1 in 2 games or just slightly above. Certainly the prolific scorer a club needing a goal scorer would take a chance on. He was awful for us. Only played about 20 games. His confidence was shot to bits by game 10 and anyone who saw him play for us knew he wasn't going to be the new Kevin Hector for sure..
He went back down south ( West Ham?? Can't remember, but think it was them) and a couple of seasons later he is back at Charlton scoring for fun again.
Ive a theory on some players ( Joe Cole springs to mind). It's not a particularly well developed theory, but I just reckon some are suited to a city, county or even manager. The minute Liverpool signed Cole my instinct was " hmm, him out of London...doubt that"!
Hales looks to have been one of those one club types.