The EPL has been heavily doped with ridiculous amounts of money in recent years, ever since the arrival of a certain Sheikh in the North-West of the country. Transfer kitties have been ever bludgeoning, with fans expecting their manager and chairman to flex their financial muscle in the market. Insane ambition, it seems, has become synonymous to transfer dealings.
However it takes more than the numerous 100 dollar bills to succeed in the market; apparently there are still things money can’t buy; experience and an eye for a bargain still rule the roost. Here goes TheHardTackle’s Top-5 value for money transfer deals in English Premier league this season.
– Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal): Cost: Free Transfer
You wouldn’t win a thing if you placed a bet that Chamakh would be an Arsenal player by the starting of the league season, probably the worst kept secret in recent transfer dealings. However, what has amazed fans and even Chamakh himself is the ease with which he has taken to life in the British Isles. The Moroccan scored on his home debut against Italian club Milan in the 2010 edition of the Emirates Cup, and hasn’t looked back since then. A fitting testament to Chamakh’s influence could be seen by the fact that the perennially crooked RVP hasn’t been missed at all. In Van Persie’s absence, Chamakh has filled the void with ease. His contribution to Arsenal’s attack has been immense, scoring six and assisting four others. Chamakh’s nimble footwork has allowed him to get the better of defenders consistently and in the process has won penalties for Le’ Arse. However he is getting himself the notorious tag of being prone to the occasional dive, something he would do well to eliminate from his game. Chamakh’s deal is the latest transfer scoop that Arsene Wenger has managed, adding to his already glittering list. All one can say is Arsene certainly knows, and knows well.
– Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (ManUtd): Cost: £7 million
Javier Hernández Balcázar, better known as “Chicharito”, is the latest pin up boy at the Manchester club. It wouldn’t be a hyperbole if one were to say none of us had ever heard of the little pea before his ground breaking transfer to Old Trafford. At the tender age of 22, the young Mexican is carrying the weight of expectations of one of the biggest clubs in the world. With his more illustrious team mate (read Rooney) struggling both in his professional and personal life, Chicharito has considerably lifted the gloom over Old Trafford . Hernandez’s stellar showing in the recently concluded World Cup made the football world sit up and take notice of him. However Sir Alex, being the wily old man that he is, had the deal done before Chicharito’s abundant talent became common knowledge. In his embryonic career to date, the green eyed Mexican wonder kid has scored against World Champions Spain and former Champions France and Argentina. For his club Manchester United, Chicharito has already found the net on six occasions, three of them being match winners. The world is his proverbial oyster and the sky is the limit. For Man Utd, he is just the breathe of fresh air that could spark life into their dwindling league campaign.
– Rafael Van der Vaart (Tottenham): Cost: £8 million
Harry Redknapp is well known for his shrewd dealings in the transfer market, but this one could still rank among his absolute gems. On his way to Bayern Munich for what was rumored to be a deal worth £18 million, Van der Vaart was a Spurs player by the end of the last day in an high octane transfer drama. His arrival was greeted with a mix of excitement and apprehension amongst the Tottenham supporters, as people were anxious to know how well he would settle into his new surroundings. But all skepticism can be put to rest for now, as his apparent class has taken VDV to the EPL like a duck to water. In his short stint at the North London club, VDV has made a massive impression and has become an instant crowd favorite. His recent goal scoring exploits have added to the aura, having scored in all his home appearances so far. Some athletes just lift the fans and the club to another level; Van der Vaart’s brief romance with Tottenham seems to be a match made in heaven.
– Peter Odemwingie (West Brom): Cost: £3.5 million
Amongst the plethora of big name signings that crossed oceans to ply their trade in the EPL, one name surely must have missed most eyes . Odemwingie’s arrival at the Hawthorns passed with little fanfare, and West Brom manager Di Matteo was certainly taking a gamble, but one which was sincerely calculated. For a club of West Brom’s stature, his arrival has been just the right fillip which they needed, and nobody would begrudge them their current lofty standing in the league table. Odemwingie has scored match winning goals and performed beyond the expectations of the Hawthorn faithful. Already on the mature side of his twenties, Odemwingie is well and truly ready and enjoying his final hurrah. –
Moussa Dembélé (Fulham): Cost: £5 million
The AZ Alkmaar hit man was signed by Fulham boss Mark Hughes in the summer to bolster his sides attacking department. However even he wouldn’t have envisaged the talented Belgian youngster’s immediate impact. Moussa Dembele was said to be ‘edging closer’ to join Birmingham City; however, Hughes came in with the right offer to bring his man to the Cottage. Dembele made his premier league debut against the Red Devils and caught every one’s eye with a spirited display, coming on as a substitute and helping his team gain a valuable point. He capped his first start for the club with a goal, scoring the second of six goals against Port Vale in the Carling Cup on 25th August 2010. In the same week, Dembele made his first league start against Blackpool, a game in which he provided two assists. However, just as he was taking the league by storm, disaster stuck in the form of an ankle injury. Nevertheless, in his brief, albeit blazing, displays, he has captured the imagination of the Fulham crowd. His comeback is awaited with bated breathe.