A manager’s success is directly tied to the players he recruits, so naturally, the manager needs to make his money count. Clubs always have reservations about making money available to their manager, especially when players like David Nugent are bought for £6 million, but these ten buys were truly divine.
His shooting ability, vision, passing skill, and commitment were on show the whole season, even while the team faltered in the second half of the season. Manchester City’s form at the beginning of the year was in large part due to Elano’s contributions.
I had reservations about this buy when first announced, but Jagielka became a major part of Everton’s push for Champions League football.
Jagielka played with passion and heart all year; something I enjoy seeing in my Evertonians. He was constantly aware in the back, and had outstanding positioning.
He was a bargain at 4 million pounds and Moyes will be pleased with this buy.
Sulley Muntari is a consistent and controlling midfielder, who has done wonders for Portsmouth. Muntari was aquired from Udinese who collected a nice fee for him, but his impact has been tangible.
His striking ability and his tidy play got Portsmouth to eighth in the table, and to be the FA Cup champions. Portsmouth’s presence in Europe is in part due to Muntari’s stellar play.
Everybody remembers the Carlos Tevez saga. No one knew who owned Carlos Tevez and court dates had to be set. In the end, he signed a two-year loan deal with Manchester United.
In 48 appearances, he scored nineteen goals. His bullish play and knack for being in the right positions served Carlos and United well. Not bad for United, considering they haven’t paid a transfer fee for him yet.
Martin Petrov was an unknown quantity when he came to the premiership from Atletico Madrid, but the Bulgarian has proven he was worth the money. In 34 matches, Petrov has tallied 5 goals and nine assists. His runs up the left were key to City’s success as he was able to beat defenders on the dribble.
He was one of the few bright spots when the whole team faded at the end of the year, and at 4.7 mil, he was a bargain for the amount of influence he exerted when he played.
Owen Hargreaves made the difference for United this year. His tireless play and his ability to hit stunningly effective free kicks were a key component to Manchester United’s double. 17 mil is not cheap, but Hargreaves delivered and more importantly has the potential to deliver for the next 5 years.
His sublime free kick against Arsenal probably won United the league, and his ball winning skills are exceptional. He took a lot of flack before the World Cup because the English public hadn’t seen him play but he has certainly proved his worth since for England and this year for Manchester United.
Jermain Defoe was a fantastic buy for Harry Redknapp. Defoe was languishing on the bench at Tottenham but has rebooted his career under Harry Redknapp’s guidance.
In Defoe’s 12 matches for Portsmouth, he netted 8 goals and led Portsmouth’s rise to number eight in the table. 9 million might seem like a lot for someone who could not start at Tottenham, but Jermain Defoe looks to be fulfilling his potential at Fratton Park.
Sagna arrived in the summer from Auxerre, for a sum of £6 million. He was an unknown quantity when Arsene Wenger bought him, but Sagna has since become one of the most consistent and reliable right backs in the EPL. He was a key contributor to Arsenal’s league challenge before being injured.
Sagna was a bargain at 6 million pounds, considering the hugely positive impact he had on Arsenal’s performances this season.
Fernando Torres was the best player for Liverpool (besides Steven Gerrard) all year. He arrived from Atletico Madrid for an unbelievable £26 million (20m when you factor in Luis Garcia), but has been worth every penny.
His 24 goals in 33 league matches are the most goals scored by a foreigner in his first year in the EPL (beating Ruud van Nistelrooy’s previous record. Imagine Liverpool’s standing in the table if Torres hadn’t put them on his back and carried them upwards.
His pace and positioning combined with his shooting ability made him one of the top buys last summer.
Roque Santa Cruz, a 26 year old Paraguayan, was hands down, the best buy of the year. Cruz scored 19 goals in 37 league appearances, which makes him the fourth leading scorer in the EPL. What makes this buy so good is the price v goals equation. Take your pick, you can have Cruz’s 19 goals for £3 million, or you can have Fernando Torres’s 24 goals for £20 million. I’ll take Santa Cruz as the best buy of the 2007-2008 EPL season.
Who’s in your Top 10 for the best transfers in 07/08? Share your list in the comments below.