Which Deals represented the best Premier League Bargains?
September 08, 2015
Who is your favourite Premier League bargain? Is it Eric Cantona, who moved from Leeds to Manchester United for just £1.2 million in 1992 and helped transform the Reds into the dominant English force? Perhaps it is Patrick Viera, who cost just £3 million when Arsenal signed him from AC Milan to underpin their own renaissance in 1996?
There are so many options to choose from, although some deals stand out from others in terms of their success and the level of value for money that they offered.
To help settle this debate once and for all, we have created out shortlist of what we believe to be the best bargain transfers in Premier League history…
Joe Hart (Shrewsbury to Manchester City, £600,000)
In recent times, cash-rich Manchester City has developed a reputation for completing multi-million pound deals and signing established superstars. Such spending was a distant dream back in 2006, when the club moved to sign 19-year old goal keeper Joe Hart from Shrewsbury for just £600,000. This has turned out to be one the great EPL bargains, however, as Hart established himself as City’s first choice keeper by the age of 23 and has since emerged as one of the best custodians in the world. He already has 52 caps for England, and may well end up as the countries most capped player.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Molde to Manchester United, £1.5 million)
United were the champions of England and FA Cup holders in the summer of 1996, having just completed their second double in three years. As a result, the fans were expecting the club to spend big in a bid to improve the squad, and were somewhat surprised when Sir Alex Ferguson spent just £1.5 million to sign an unknown striker from Norway.
The Norwegian was a huge hit for United during his 12 years at the club however, scoring 91 goals in 235 appearances (most of which were as a substitute). He was known to study the game intensely from the bench, identifying weaknesses that he could exploit when he came on. Above all else, he will always be remembered for his dramatic, last-gasp goal that won the European Champions League in 1999.
Nemanja Vidic (Spartak Moscow to Manchester United, £7 million)
While £7 million may be a relatively large sum of money, it is small change when compared to the current transfer fees in the EPL. Vidic was worth all of this and more, however, as it is no coincidence that his arrival coincided with a hat-trick of Premier League titles for Manchester United and a Champions League victory.
After a difficult start, his strength, intelligence and physical dominance enabled him to establish a crucial central defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand (which has since been described by experts as the best in the history of the Premier League). A strong leader too, Vidic was a snip at £7 million and is still fondly remembered by United fans.