Premier League: Bargain XI
The Premier League is, without a doubt, the most cash-rich league in the world. Total expenditure in the English top-flight exceeding figures of £1 billion in the space of one transfer window is not uncommon these days.
With an even distribution of revenue, smaller clubs in England are now able to dish out larger sums of money, with clubs like West Ham paying £24 million for Marko Arnautovic. Bournemouth paid Chelsea £19.5 million for Nathan Ake.
Average players these days cost well in excess of £20 million. In fact, the market has become so inflated that you can only get teenagers anywhere close to a reasonable fee (even so, Kylian Mbappe is set to cost PSG an eye-popping £166 million).
But there are a few players plying their trade in the Premier League who cost their respective clubs next to nothing.
So, how would the best Premier League XI with only players with transfer fees of less than £10 million look like? Let's take a look:
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
Chelsea signed a teenage Courtois for €9 million in July 2011 from Genk.
€9 million is a reasonable fee for a promising young goalkeeper, but its still got to be one of the best deals Chelsea have pulled off in recent times.
He spent that season on loan at Atletico Madrid, who signed him as a temporary replacement for the departing David De Gea. He had a pretty successful campaign, helping his team finish 5th in La Liga and win the UEFA Europa League.
His form persuaded Atleti to extend his loan for another season (and then subsequently for the 2013/14 season, as well), when they ended up winning the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Super Cup.
When he eventually returned to London, he wasted no time in establishing himself as Chelsea's number 1, ousting Petr Cech in the process.