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Top 10 English Premier League bargains of the last 10 years

Gareth Bale
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Premier League Clubs are responsible for the majority of the transfer amounts splurged during the transfer window. The word ‘bargain’ is a word you don’t generally associate with the top English clubs who end up over paying a very high premium.

Lack of proactivity in dealings, poor scouting structures, higher transfer kitty for spending, lack of patience to trust homegrown talent are a few reasons why the Premier League clubs pay sometimes exorbitantly high amounts during the summer.

However, over the past decade there have been a few instances wherein the PL clubs have been absolutely spot on and have managed to pull off a ‘bargain’. Given below are 10 such transfers (in no particular order) :

#1 Gareth Bale – Southampton to Tottenham Hotspur (£7 million), 2007

Gareth Bale operated at the Left back position for Southampton and in his debut season was awarded the ‘Football League Young Player of the Year’ award. Spurs won the battle for his signature for 7 million pounds as he signed a 4-year contract at the age of 17. He slowly developed his game over the first 2 seasons and shifted more to a winger’s role under Harry Redknapp.

He announced himself to the world when he tormented European Champions Inter Milan at the San Siro scoring a hat-trick in the process. His best season, undoubtedly was the 2012-13 season, in which he scored a whopping 31 goals and won both the PFA Players' Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. Spurs also managed to make a huge profit on him when they sold him to Real Madrid the following season for a world record fee of 85 million pounds.

#2 Nemanja Vidic – Spartak Moscow to Manchester United (£7 million), 2006

Nemanja Vidic

Signed during the January transfer window for a fee of 7 million pounds by Sir Alex Ferguson, Vidic found going difficult in his initial Premier League days. However, the Serb established himself as the rock of Manchester United’s defence and along with Rio Ferdinand formed one of the best centre-back pairings of the decade.

Known for his no-nonsense attitude, consistency, strength in the air and leadership skills, he became a fan favourite at Old Trafford. He went on to win 5 premier league titles and the UEFA Champions League with Manchester United.

#3 Joe Hart – Shrewsbury Town to Manchester City (£0.1 million), 2006

Joe Hart

It is kind of funny that after spending millions on pounds in getting world-class players from around the globe, Manchester City’s one of the best players was obtained for a mere 0.1 million pounds.

Hart has established himself as a top-class goalkeeper at City and to his credit has won 4 golden glove awards since his transfer. However, with the imminent arrival of Pep Guardiola, it remains to be seen what role, if any, the shot-stopper plays for the Citizens.

#4 Jamie Vardy – Fleetwood Town to Leicester City (£1 million), 2012

Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy’s rise to stardom has been nothing short of a modern fairy tale. The transfer to Leicester City amounting to 1 million pound was actually a non-League transfer record. With the help of his 16 goals, Leicester City got promoted into the Premier League.

In his second season in the Premier League with the club, Vardy has been absolutely magnificent for Leicester City with his pace, work rate and finishing and has been at the crux of the team that has been having a dream season in the Premier League. Vardy himself has notched up until now 22 goals for the season and is one of the leading contenders for this season’s Player of the Year.

#5 Seamus Coleman – Sligo Rovers to Everton (£0.06 million), 2009

Seamus Coleman

Brought in by David Moyes for a throwaway sum of 60000 pounds, Seamus Coleman has turned out to be a real ‘steal’ for Everton. Termed ‘not good enough’ by Sligo Rovers, he has shown immense character to become one of EPL’s highly rated full backs.

He has firmly established himself as Ireland’s number one right back after showing a lot of maturity and consistency for Everton and has attracted interest from top clubs like Manchester United. With Roberto Martinez’s focus on free flowing football, Coleman has been at his best with him being named in the PFA team of the year 2013-14.

#6 Philippe Coutinho – Inter Milan to Liverpool (£8.5 million), 2013

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho’s transfer to Liverpool for 8.5 million pounds under Brendan Rodgers was once considered a gamble. He was not reaching his potential at Inter Milan though his immense talent was visible. Liverpool’s transfer strategies had been severely criticized for their dealings for 2 years prior to this one under Dalglish.

Obtaining an immensely talented and creative player like Coutinho along with Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea for a combined value of 20 million pounds in this inflated transfer market was a major coup by Rodgers. Coutinho has established himself as the mainstay of the new generation Liverpool team and has been touted to do big things for the club. He has been named in the PFA team of the year twice in a row.

#7 Michu – Rayo Vallecano to Swansea City (£2 million), 2012

Michu

Michu was termed as a bargain immediately after his 2 million pound transfer from Rayo Vallecano to Swansea City by Michael Laudrup.

Scoring 15 goals for Rayo Vallecano in the previous season, he massively enhanced his reputation at Swansea City scoring an astonishing 22 goals in the 2012-13 season with Swansea City winning the League Cup in the process. He was named the Club player of the year for 2012-13 and subsequently earned a Spanish national team call up.

The Spaniard currently plays for Spanish side UP Langreo, who participate in the autonomous community of Asturias.

#8 Riyad Mahrez – Le Havre to Leicester City (£0.35 million), 2014

Riyad Mahrez

His signing from the French League 2 side Le Havre for 0.35 million pounds has been touted by many as the ‘Premier League bargain of the decade’. He joined the club when they were fighting a relegation battle and helped them stay up in the Premier league.

However, in his second season he has been nothing short of breathtaking. Terrorizing defenders with his spectacular dribbling skills, he has been the supplier for the majority of the goals scored by Vardy during the season. Having a dream season with 16 goals and 11 assists from 33 games, he has attracted interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona.

#9 Vincent Kompany – Hamburg to Manchester City (£6 million), 2008

Vincent Kompany

Manchester City bough Vincent Kompany from Hamburg for a fee of 6 million pounds. Apart from developing himself as a world class defender, he is a massive leader on the pitch. He was one of the biggest reasons for City winning the league after 44 long years and was also crowned the Premier League player of the year in 2012.

The Belgian international has had an injury-plagued season and will be hoping to recover in time to play a pivotal role under Pep Guardiola next season.

#10 John Stones – Barnsley to Everton (£3 million), 2013

John Stones

John Stones has recently been a subject of a lot of interest from a host of top clubs across Europe with Everton rejecting bids worth 30 million pounds from Chelsea. 3 years before, in the January of 2013, he cost Everton ain the region of 3 million pounds.

With his pace, strength, ball playing abilities and versatility, he is one of the most sought after center backs in the world currently and Everton stand a chance of reaping a huge return on their investment.

Edited by Staff Editor

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