The big Premier League kick-off is almost upon us and it’s shaping up to be one of the closest run things in years.
Manchester City (7/4 for the title), Chelsea (15/8), Manchester United (11/2), Arsenal (13/2) and Liverpool (9/1) are all expected to go well but their transfer dealings between now and deadline day will go a long way to shaping their seasons.
With that in mind Ladbrokes News lists the top 5 bits of business pulled off throughout the Premier League’s existence.
5 – Sami Hyppia – Willem II to Liverpool – £2.6m
Hyppia was a rock at Anfield for a decade and despite not helping the Reds end their long wait for a Premier League title was a snip at £2.6m
Two FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League, Uefa Cup and two Uefa Super Cups came during his Liverpool career at a cost of £325,000 per trophy. An absolute bargain!
4 – John Obi-Mikel – Lyn Oslo to Chelsea – via Man United – £12m
In 2006 United thought they had landed promising youngster Mikel from Lyn Oslo only for the then teenager to be bamboozled by Chelski’s roubles and worm his way out of the contract.
In any event, Chelsea were forced to hand United £12 in compensation for a player who was never really theirs and eight seasons and just two Premier League goals later the Stamford Bridge outfit are still lumbered with the mediocre Nigerian.
3 – Nicolas Anelka – PSG to Arsenal – £500,000
He may have only been in north London for a brief spell but a return of 27 goals and the 1998 FA Cup and Premier League double for a fee of just half a million ensure Anelka left his mark.
More memorable though, is the astute business sense of the move which saw Arsene Wenger turn that outlay into a profit of £21.8m when the Frenchman was moved on to Real Madrid – money that was then used to sign Thierry Henry.
2 – Eric Cantona – Leeds to Man United – £1.2m
Having won the 1992 league title with Leeds United Cantona was anything but an unknown quantity but few would have predicted the impact the Frenchman would have at Old Trafford.
Four Premier League crowns and two FA Cup triumphs kick-started an era of dominance for the Red Devils and more honours would surely have followed but for a premature retirement.
Ferguson’s ability to buy Cantona from bitter rivals Leeds for just £1.2m could just be the best bit of business from his glittering United career.
1 -Sol Campbell – Spurs to Arsenal – Free
As the assembled media gathered at Highbury for the unveiling of goalkeeper Richard Wright the shock was immeasurable when Wenger walked out with former Spurs captain Campbell.
The ability to pull off such a high-profile signing from his bitter rivals without the news leaking was remarkable and simply couldn’t happen in today’s game.
This alone warrants a place on the list but Campbell going on to become one of the best defenders in world football certainly helps.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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