This summer has been all about the transfer saga; the maybes and who might’s of the wheeling dealing in the Premier League. Whilst big deals for Hazard, Kagawa and Cazorla catch the eye it has been a reasonably quiet summer, but a few clubs have really grabbed themselves bargains, but who are they?
Here are my three cut-price transfers that will surprise you this season.
Steven Naismith – Free Transfer to Everton
One man’s fortune is another man’s gain and in football that applies justly to any of the Rangers players being snapped up on free transfers this summer. Steven Davis at Southampton, Steven Whittaker at Norwich but the one that really strikes me as an absolute steal is Everton’s new Steven, Steven Naismith.
Everton have not been blessed with spending money in recent years, big deals are in short supply with the occasional outlay on big names like Fellaini or Bilyaletdinov (with varying degrees of success) and the acquisition of bargain buys from the Championship such as Lescott, Jagielka and Cahill.
However, after profiting on Rangers debt issues once before with the crafty signing of Nikica Jelavic last season now they have brought him in support in the form of the Scotland international.
He suits Everton’s gameplan, with a hard work ethic, ability on the ball and a turn of pace; as well as that customary Toffee’s versatility. At a buying price of nothing, this one’s a steal.
Claudio Yacob – Free Transfer to West Bromwich Albion
I'm going out on a whim here on this one but I think this lad looks a little bit special. Argentine players can struggle in the Premier League at first, Mascherano and Coloccini didn’t exactly set the league alight immediately, whilst others just fail such as Veron or the infamous Sunderland player Nicolas Medina.
Then again Aguero and Zarate made immediate impacts and one of their former Argentina youth level team-mates was this man, Claudio Yacob.
Made captain of Racing Club as a teenager, this lad can put a pass on a china plate from 50 yards away (maybe?). If he will get the same amount of time in the Premier League is doubtful but if he adapts as quickly as Mauro and Sergio did, the sky is the limit for the holding midfield player.
Michu - £2 million to Swansea
Laudrup has Spanish connections; which I'm sure helped him in luring the Asturian to the South of Wales but out of all the transfers so far this summer, this one surprised me the most.
The attacking midfield player signed for Swansea in July for a pitiful £2million on a three year deal. Why is £2million such a snippy coup; well last season the 26 year old scored 17 goals from midfield in Spanish football, the highest tally for a midfield player; including doubles against Real Madrid, Osasuna and Real Sociedad.
There was even talk in some quarters of him making the Spanish national team for Euro 2012 toward the end of last season; he is that good. If Miguel Perez Cuesta, aka Michu, can adapt to the English game then £2million won’t be a bargain, it will be a robbery.
Others to keep an eye on are Yassine El Ghanassy, Brett Holman, Mladen Petric, Jacob Butterfield and Jonathan De Guzman; but the 3 featured players could make real impacts with the right opportunity; and if not who cares, it’s not like they cost anything?
Do you expect big things from Michu, Naismith, Yacob; or any other bargain buys this season?
image: © Ben Sutherland