5 best midfield bargains of the 21st Century
Today’s transfer market is so crazy that it is difficult to choose an adjective to describe it in the best possible manner. Swansea are demanding £50m for Gylfi Sigurdsson, Leipzig want £70m for Naby Keita and Manchester City just made Kyle Walker the most expensive defender and English player by signing him for £50m!
The catalyst to this scenario was definitely the record breaking move of Paul Pogba for £89m! Imagine the things you can buy with that money, but only after you finish reading this, because that’s a lot of money and it would take you a while to figure out what to do with £89m.
Clubs with talented players in their ranks know that the Big Shots of Europe will not hesitate to meet the blown up transfer value evaluations simply because they can. These days, it is hard to get a bargain transfer but that wasn’t the case not so long ago.
In today’s market Philippe Coutinho could be worth over £80m but in 2013, Liverpool signed him for just £8.5m and look at how incredible that deal turned out to be. This was certainly a bargain price for a midfielder, but the following five midfield signings are even better.
Note: The ranking has been done based on the player’s quality, impact at the club and transfer fee. This list doesn’t include free transfers.
#5 N’Golo Kante - From Caen to Leicester for £5.6m in 2015
Kante played a major role in one of the greatest stories in sports history and without him, it would have never happened.
The Frenchman helped Caen earn promotion to Ligue 1 in his debut season for the club and then followed it up with an impressive first season in the French top flight. He caught the eye of several clubs, with Leicester being one of them.
Kante rejected Leicester’s initial approach as he was holding out for a move to Marseille and frankly I’m glad Marseille didn’t approach him. He eventually signed for the Foxes for just £5.6m!
Although Kante’s teammate, Riyad Mahrez won the Player of the Year award for Leicester’s fairytale season, Kante’s contribution was well recognised with him being named in the Team of the Year.
However, it was only when he moved to Chelsea the following season that people took full notice of Kante. At Leicester, there were several stories to focus on, but at Chelsea, all eyes were on the Frenchman.
It’s also hard to believe that Leicester sold Kante for just £32m last season! I’d go as far as saying Chelsea got an equally good bargain as Kante went on to win the PFA Players' Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year for 2016/17