Manchester United Talk banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Top 10 Best Premiership Transfers Of The Season


(Getty Imgae Removed)

As Rupert Murdoch's Sky-backed stranglehold on football coverage continues to tighten and television and sponsorship deals become ever more plethoric, money is being spent by the barrel-load in the Premier League.

Whether a country's own footballing talent should be paramount in determining how much money is eventually put forward toward the sport or whether other industries are unfairly influencing competition is a debate best left for another day.

The Premier League's got it, and it's flaunting it. The Big Four alone have spent more than most major leagues, and though some purchases have been wiser than others, the talent level in the Premier League is consistently on the rise.

So, to count down this season's top 10, in reverse order...

10. Martin Petrov (Atlético Madrid to Manchester City)

Some may question the Bulgarian's inclusion ahead of fellow Manchester City summer signing Elano. But while the Brasilian playmaker somewhat tailed off when the weather got cold and team form began to lag, Petrov has dutifully played at a high level by and large all season.

On the left wing, his blistering pace, powerful shot and dangerous crosses have made him one of the Sky Blues' most dangerous outlets going forward.

Signed for £4.7 million from Atletico Madrid, Petrov can be considered a bargain despite being 29 years of age, as the Bulgarian international is still at peak fitness.

09. Carlos Tevez (West Ham to Manchester United)

Yes, it's a loan - but with a quite obvious view toward being made permanent. The Carlos Tevez transfer saga is one all too well known by football fans across countries and even continents, so to cut a long story short, West Ham - not fully owning the player in the first place - were essentially forced to offload him and Sir Alex Ferguson came calling.

Indeed with all due respect, Tevez was too great a talent for a lower-mid table such as West Ham, though Eggert Magnusson and his potato sack full of Icelandic money may have begged to differ. The Argentina international enjoyed a magnificent start to his career at Boca Juniors before being prised away by Brasilian outfit Corinthians, who paid $20 million for his services - a remarkably high fee for a South American side.

He proved his worth, smashing an astonishing 46 goals in 78 appearances - not even as a lead striker - and following a slow start in England with West Ham, he came good in time to miraculously save them from relegation before joining the Red Devils.

Not only was the business aspect of his transfer controversial, but many felt that on the pitch, Carlitos was the wrong man for United. He bore too much of a resemblance to Wayne Rooney, while the Premier League winners needed a box presence, a target-man maybe - a number 9. While such an option may still be in high demand, few can doubt the impact the 24-year-old has had this season. His rapport with Wayne Rooney and indeed Cristiano Ronaldo - in what often fashions itself as a front three - is quite incredible, and he has scored many decisive goals against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Lyon, to name just three.

Just how much he will cost in the end remain to be seen, but one would suspect that Sir Alex won't be willing to let go of such a gem without one hell of a fight.

08. Mauro Zarate (Al Sadd to Birmingham City)

From one Argentine on loan to another. Signed only in January and having only netted three times for the club, it might seem a little ludicrous that the 21-year-old is ranked higher than Carlos Tevez. However, the incredible skill exhibited by the former Velez Sarsfield man added to the fact his performances already look like having saved his side from relegation prove him to be worthy of his place in the rankings, with the potential bargain involved also proving a decisive factor.

On loan from Qatar outfit Al Sadd, the deal is as good as permanent should Birmingham retain their Premier League status - which, thanks in no small part to Zarate, looks likely. Should the deal ultimately go through it will prove to be a massive coup for Alex McLeish at St Andrews, but he may have his work cut out to hang onto the young star for much longer.

07. Bacary Sagna (Auxerre to Arsenal)

Who? Oh, another of Arsene Wenger's signings. While the Columbus-like status held by Wenger for his transfer activity may be somewhat embellished - Cesc Fabregas being of Barcelona, Patrick Vieira of Milan and Thierry Henry of Juventus and formerly Monaco when signed by the Frenchman - he no doubt has a penchant for developing seemingly limited players as part of his consummate free-flowing north London outfit.

The latest in a long, long list of Franco-African signings by Wenger, Sagna is no spring chicken compared to them - he's just turned 25 - and indeed the fee is reported to be over £6 million, which is about as much as Manchester United paid for their number 3, Patrice Evra.

Not quite as dynamic as his compatriot, Sagna makes up for it with great physical presence and a quite frankly hilarious haircut. The utility man has slotted seamlessly into Wenger's system and has proved to be a very reliable addition to the Gunners' starting eleven that is more than likely to prove value for money over several years to come.

06. Sulley Muntari (Udinese Calcio to Portsmouth)

The Ghanaian international was not exactly an unknown when signed to join happy Harry Redknapp's gang of Africans on the south coast of England. He had played a pivotal role in the Black Stars' successful World Cup run a year ago in Germany, and playing for Udinese - a side with whom he enjoyed a season of Champions League football - meant he had a comparitively high profile prior to the move.

A modest Portsmouth side were able to afford a club record fee of over £7 million to land the industrious midfielder due to a takeover from Franco-Russian-Israeli businessman Alexandre Gaydamak, but Redknapp must nevertheless be credited for spending wisely, as Muntari has proven to be a driving force for the club in midfield as they are now strong favourites to lift the FA Cup at the end of this season.

05. Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Middlesbrough to Everton)

A Nigerian international, the Yak had been a household name in England for almost four years by the time David Moyes shelled out a club record fee of £11.25 million to land the imposing striker.

While we at are fully in support of shrewd business rather than lauding every extortionate transfer fee banded about, it must be said that the Toffees got value for money with the 25-year-old. First loaned then signed by Portsmouth in 2003, he enjoyed a prolific spell with seaside outfit before being picked up by the ever-ambitious Steve Gibson-led Middlesbrough, before Moyes ended up getting his hands on the perfect man to lead his side's attack.

He was already well-established and he cost his fair share, but as he is set to reach and surpass 20 goals this season for the first time on English soil, his pace, power and prolific record in front of goal makes him well worthy of his place on this list, and he may well drive Everton toward yet unearthed levels of success in the coming years.

04. Javier Mascherano (West Ham United to Liverpool)

Close friend, compatriot and former team-mate of Carlos Tevez, el Jefecito has proven absolutely indispensable to Liverpool, rivals of course to Tevez's Manchester United.

The transfer saga was similarly drawn-out and shrowded in controversy, but the 23-year-old's deal - unlike that of Tevez - has already been made permanent, with the fee reported to be in excess of £18 million. Though he was loaned last season, the deal being made permanent, in's twisted world of logic, has made him eligible for this season's list.

Though the fee may seem somewhat excessive at first, Mascherano has several years ahead of him and is already touted as one of the leading defensive midfielders in the world. His ability to man-mark and neutralise even the best of opposition has proved priceless to a Liverpool side who, as a team, have by and large struggled this season.

Just how they might have coped without his services if a thought best left unexplored by the Anfield faithful, but if they are to become as dominant a force domestically and in Europe as they would like, there is no doubt Mascherano will be at the centre of their success, even if the headlines would have you believe otherwise.

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
03. Anderson (FC Porto to Manchester United)

Arguably the most intriguing signing of the top 10, Anderson commanded a huge fee - reportedly in excess of £18 million - despite being incredibly young, relatively unknown and largely unproven. Having risen through the ranks in his native Brasil playing for Gremio, the wonder-kid was often touted the next Ronaldinho and, having just started his professional career at the club, was immediately plucked from such obscurity by Portuguese giants Porto.

He had only made five first team appearances with Gremio, but settled in well at Porto, helping the team on its way to the Liga title. The following season saw him begin to attract attention from other clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea, this despite him missing five months of the campaign with a broken leg.

So impressive and promising was the youngster that, almost certainly under the advisement of Carlos Queiroz, Sir Alex Ferguson snapped him up from Porto at the end of last season for such a reportedly high fee, despite the inherent risk in picking up a player who was recovering from a major injury, not to mention his apparent lack of experience - all so no one else could get their hands on him first.

After a couple of shaky games early on in the season, the Brasilian settled brilliantly in his new surroundings; most impressive was his ability to play a more withdrawn, workmanlike role in midfield as opposed to the expansive, free-roaming game he had been accustomed to. He looks an ominously complete player at just 19 years of age and stepped in for the indispensable Paul Scholes who missed much of the early season due to injury. Just what the Brasilian will be capable of in years to come in any number of positions remains to be seen.

02. Roque Santa Cruz (Bayern Munich to Blackburn Rovers)

The Paraguayan prospect was plucked from obscurity by German giants Bayern Munich at just 18 years of age following the Bavarian club's Champions League final heartbreak against Manchester United. He rose through the ranks at the Allianz Arena and picked up much silverware along the way, including a Champions League medal in 2001, but he found himself peripheral for much of his time in Germany.

This was partly due to injuries and also in no small part due to the high-profile stars who remained ahead of him in the pecking order. He nevertheless proved a goal-scoring asset for his side and a definite talent, despite making many of his appearances as a substitute.

Blackburn Rovers picked him up this summer for a paltry sum of £3.5 million - this for a player that had not yet turned 26 at the time - and it has proven to be the bargain of the season. While Mark Hughes' side don't look like making it into Europe next season, Santa Cruz has, on countless occasions, sealed invaluable points for the club with his goals in a season that, without him, could have been a lot worse.

Having been around at the top level with Munich for so long, many forget how young he is and how many years he has ahead of him, and Blackburn will no doubt seek to have the best of them all to themselves as they continue to grow under the guidance of Mark Hughes.

01. Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid to Liverpool)

Not even Manchester United or Everton fans could logically argue this decision, and that's as good a reason as any that Fernando Torres tops the pile of this season's top transfers. When considering immediate impact, prospective contribution and overall quality, el Nino has finally delivered to the Reds what they have been lacking for all too long.

He is the most expensive signing on the list - and indeed the most expensive of the summer - at over £20 million. Few could now argue his worth, as in his debut season he has smashed innumerous records, netting 29 goals in all competitions so far in a league where foreigners have found it notoriously hard to settle.

He has been good enough for the world's most stubborn manager Rafa Benitez to by and large abandon his rotation policy and afford him the same untouchable status as club icons Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. Rafa has even changed his formation to Torres' benefit. Mascherano and Torres have proven to be two tremendous signings and ensure Liverpool now have a world class spine in place, and may finally be able to compete at the highest level over the course of a season.

It is true that Torres has not yet scored in many big games, but the sheer number of goals - and the quality of them - has been exceptional and unforeseeable by even the most devout optimists. He was the prodigal son during a torrid time in Atletico Madrid's history that saw them relegated then promoted again, and could never consistently showcase his skills the way he has at Anfield.

There have been critics picking at minor parts of his game just as they have done and still do to Cristiano Ronaldo, but it is by and large irrelevant in determining the player's class, as he already has the makings of being the Premier League's next big thing.

What are your views on this topic? Has anyone been left out you feel deserves a place on the list - if so, who should make way? Is Fernando Torres deserving of first place? Is it fair for loan signings to be included? How do you think the impact of certain signings will vary in the coming years? I personally feels that Bacary Sagna should be even higher on the list; he's the best right-back in Premiership this season. And some names I feel that should have been up there are the likes of Jermain Defoe & Kenwyne Jones. They deserves a shout too. ;)

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alan Hutton has played too little games IMHO. Along with Jonathan Woodgate, both of them are good signings, but besides one game (Carling Cup final) neither of them have been able to make much of a significant impact with Spurs languishing in mid-table still. And while the same can be said for Mauro Zarate, his impact looks like saving his side from the drop, whereas Woodgate/Hutton's new sides are more or less in the same state as they were before; plus, Zarate looks like being a huge bargain for a club as small as Birmingham City, the other guys went to clubs of their 'same level'. ;)

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Carlos Tevez could have been even higher on that list, but the rationale is that had Manchester United bought someone more varied from Wayne Rooney, they could have had an even bigger impact. Plus, though Tevez has scored in big games, Ronaldo, Rooney and Rio would all rank as more important to the club's overall form - even Anderson was priceless while Scholes was out - so you will find that most of the people above Tevez in the list have been one of the top three most valuable players at their club.

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jazz 16 said:
:eek: :eek:

Jones has been a very good player but has only scored about 5/6 goals this hardly one of the buys of the season, and its been their team
effort that will keep them up, certainly not one player.

Muntari was on fire before he went to the ACON and got burnt out.
He scored 2 goals in one game (vs Toon I think) and they were goals
of the season. Muntari has huge qualities and was being looked out by ALL
the best teams in Europe. Deserves to be on that list imo.

Zarate could save Brum 60 odd million quid.......What he has done in the last few
games is reminiscent of what Tevez did for West ham last season.....
ie keeping them up single handedly.
Zarate is a super young talent, with bags of ability and confidence...
watch this space.
Yeap, precisely. Eoininho probably didn't saw what I said about Mauro Zarate in the previous page. With 4 goals in 4 starts to his name, the young striker from Argentina has made a huge impact in the Midlands but Alex McLeish will be lucky to hang on to his new boy wonder. His two goals were massive in Birmingham City's fight against the relegation drop and both were stylish finishes. The first was a little dink over Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and the second was a fine, drilled strike into the far post. He was superb entertainment with his outstanding dribbling ability.

As for Sulley Muntari, he's got a fantastic left foot and has great stamina, bounds of energy with the superb ability to run all day and he's a sweet passer of the ball too. Ghana have one of the best midfields in the world and he's a regular fixture in their side. He's a player with a big future and if you notice, he's the best player on the pitch when Brazil knocked out Ghana 3-0 in the Fifa WC 06.

Expect Zarate & Muntari to make a big-money move to Europe this season, and perhaps even make the former stay in the Premier League permanently. He may not be at St Andrews in August but you can be sure Zarate will be making headlines again somewhere. ;)
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.