Buying a big name player for big money is guaranteed to excite fans, but sometimes the best signings don’t cost mega money.
Robin Van Persie has been outstanding for Arsenal, with 33 goals in his last 38 appearances, yet it’s easy to forget he cost the measly sum of £2.75 million when Arsene Wenger secured his services in 2004. The flying Dutchman is not the only bargain buy to light up the Premier League.
Have a look below at the top ten Premier League bargian buys. (No free Transfers)
10. Tim Cahill — > £1.5m (Everton)
Evertonians were hardly whooping for joy when David Moyes signed Cahill from Championship side Millwall. Fast forward a season and the Aussie was voted the fans player of the year and was the Toffees top scorer. Since then the 32-year-old has established himself as a club legend.
9. Kolo Toure –> £150,000 (Arsenal)
Part of Arsenal’s famous ‘Invincibles’, Toure formed a rugged partnership at the back with England’s Sol Campbell. While Arsenal’s undefeated run stunned everyone, the rise of Toure was even more impressive. Picked up from Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas for hardly anything, Toure was a rock at the back for Arsenal before being flogged for a significant profit of £16 million to Manchester City.
8. David Ginola –> £2.5m (Newcastle)
At the same time that Liverpool shelled out a British record £8million for Stan Collymore, silky Frenchman Ginola headed for Tyneside from Paris Saint-Germain in a shrewd piece of business by Kevin Keegan. The winger quickly became a cult hero and a key part of the ‘Entertainers’ side built by Keegan. Another low money move to Tottenham followed, where Ginola would be crowned Footballer of the Year.
7. Sami Hyypia –> £2.5m (Liverpool)
Ten years, ten trophies and all this for a Finn who prompted Reds fans to go ‘Sami who?’ when he was signed from Dutch side Willem II. The rock hard centre-back went on to captain the club he supported as a boy, before making a tearful exit in 2009. A club legend and all for a knockdown price.
6. Nicolas Anelka –> £500,000 (Arsenal)
Anelka’s price rocketed from the £500,000 Arsene Wenger paid to a £22.3 million paid by Real Madrid just two years later, giving an indication of just how much of a steal the Frenchman was. ‘Steal’ being the operative word, as far as his former club Paris Saint-Germain were concerned. In his first full season Anelka inspired Arsenal to a Premier League and FA Cup double and won the PFA Young Player of the Year.
5. Joe Hart –> £600,000 (Man City)
To think that England and Manchester City’s number one cost a mere £600,000 is astounding. Voted League Two goalkeeper of the season in 2006 when at Shrewsbury, City did not need to flash the millions they do now and four years later he was the club’s established number one.
4. Edwin Van Der Sar –> £2m (Man Utd)
Sir Alex Ferguson has few regrets but not signing Van der Sar after Peter Schmeichel left rankles with the Scot. Still, at least he got the big Dutchman eventually and at what a price too. Replacing the great Dane had been one of Fergie’s biggest difficulties but snapped up from Fulham, the Dutch number one banished the memories of flops like Mark Bosnich and Roy Carroll to win four Premier Leagues, two Carling Cups and a Champions League at Old Trafford.
3. Patrick Vieira –> £3.5m (Arsenal)
Arsenal fans did not exactly lay out the red carpet for the arrival of unknown manager Arsene Wenger and his first signing Patrick Vieira. Wenger even demanded the club sign up the languid Frenchman a month before his official arrival. Vieira and his boss had an almost instant impact, however, winning the double less than two years after arriving. The powerful Frenchman went on to become club captain and a Gunners legend.
2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer –> £1.5m (Man Utd)
The ‘baby-faced assassin’ cemented his place in Manchester United history when he scored the winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999. For that alone the Old Trafford faithful would have parted with ten times the paltry £1.5 million United paid Molde. However, the Norwegian scored plenty more important goals during his hugely successful time at United, including six Premier League titles.
1. Eric Cantona –> £1.2m (Man Utd)
Perhaps the most cheeky bid ever made by Sir Alex Ferguson, but what a handsome return it provided. Cantona had spent a short spell at Leeds United, where he inspired the Whites to the 1992 title at Man United’s expense. Howard Wilkinson made a monumental error selling the Frenchman to Fergie, who’s Red Devils were struggling by November of the inaugural Premier League campaign. Once King Eric arrived, they never looked back, going on to win their first title in 26 years, as well as two doubles.