In a summer transfer window, that the saw the world record fee smashed not once, but twice by Real Madrid, with the £56million purchase of Kaka swiftly followed by the massive £80million deal, which took Cristiano Ronaldo from Premier League champions Manchester United. The Transfer Tavern, wondered, who would prove pound for pound, quite literally to be the biggest bargain this summer.
The first and most obvious to spring to mind is Michael Owen moving to Old Trafford as a free agent, with it believed Sir Alex has shrewdly got the forgotten man of England on a performance related pay-structure. Something Owen should have benefited quite well from following his last-gasp winner in the derby against City on Sunday. Play bonus, win bonus, goal bonus….kerching, kerching eh Michael!
That goal aside and any fiscal reward that came with it, it was no suprise to hear Birmingham boss Alex McLeish reveal how Ferguson told him ‘Where else will I get 15 goals for nothing’. After gleefully informing his former charge, that the former Liverpool star was due to wear the shirt of United in this campaign. Even if it may be as an impact player from the bench, Owen for nothing at the Red Devils has every chance of proving to be the bargain of the summer.
Another contender could be Niko Kranjcar, who was seemingly stolen off his former club Portsmouth by Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. The renowned wheeler-dealer managing to get the 50 cap Croatian International, who has only just turned 25 for what looks like a really modest fee in around £2million. Yes Kranjcar had only a year on his deal at Fratton Park, but at £2million Paul Hart must surely have reported the mugging to the old bill.
Just two brief substitute appearances to his name since his arrival at White Hart Lane, makes it hard to pass any judgement yet on the Croatian, but there is no doubting the quality of the player, who was one of the pivotal architects of England’s undoing under Steve McClaren. Once given his chance by Redknapp, Kranjcar could also prove, that he will top the charts of the bargain basement come what May.
A dark horse could be Albanian enforcer Lorik Cana, who joined Sunderland for around £5million after being linked with Arsenal and Spurs amongst others before Steve Bruce made his move for the Marseille captain. An uncompromising midfielder it is hardly a shock that Cana already finds himself top of the bad-boys league in terms of fouls committed and is becoming more familiar to the refs of the Premiership week by week due to his no-nonsense robust approach to his duties at the Black Cats.
However, you don’t skipper Marseille and your country if your only attribute is the ability to kick people into the air and the Albanian once settled at the Stadium of Light and familiar with the rigours of the toughest league in the world, could make both Redknapp and Arsene Wenger rueful of not coughing up a modest £5million for a player both sides could use.
Last, but by no means least and costing Arsenal a little more at around £10million, than most would consider a bargain is Thomas Vermaelen. 23-years-old, a Belgium International, who looks like he has been at the Emirates Stadium for years following Wenger beating Aston Villa to the signature of the central defender from Ajax this summer.
Already scoring three times in his five Premier League games for Arsenal, Vermaelen seems to have added to the Gunners defence, despite the departure of Kolo Toure. The left-sided Belgian allowing William Gallas, to play on the right, which in turn gives Arsenal a lot more balance at the back. So even at £10million, Vermaelen could prove to be the bargain of the business done this summer.
Of course there have been many more deals done, that could have figured here. So have your say! Come what May, who will prove to be the bargain of the season in the Premier League?
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience