English Premier League's 10 Most Sensational Transfers in League History

Ed Wyman@@edwymanCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2012

English Premier League's 10 Most Sensational Transfers in League History

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    English Premier League clubs are involved in a lot of transfers. Most of them are expected—a good player moving to a bigger club or a player everyone knows is unhappy moving to another team is hardly unexpected.

    However, sometimes moves come out of the blue, seem to have been dead in the water or are spectacularly expensive. That is when transfers become more memorable, more sensational.

    In order to get onto this list, which is in no particular order, the club buying the player has to be a Premier League one, so Cristiano Ronaldo moving to Real Madrid is ineligible.

Andy Carroll: Newcastle United to Liverpool

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    What made this move so sensational was not that it occurred, but the amount of money that it took to make it happen.

    Newcastle United must have been quietly pleased when they got a truly stupendous £35 million for a guy with less than a full season of Premier League games under his belt and just half a season of top-quality performances.

    Luis Suarez cost under £23 million and was signed just a day before. This makes the case of Andy Carroll the ideal example to use when looking at the value that being British adds to professional footballers.

    Suarez was a proven goal scorer, in Europe and for Uruguay, while Carroll wasn't. If you look at other players of his calibre, it doesn't seem likely that they overpaid. Carroll, on the other hand, was probably worth around £10 million.

    As it was, Liverpool made Carroll one of the 10 most expensive players of all time and the most expensive English player ever.

    Hopefully things will pick up for the big man; Liverpool will certainly be hoping they do. 

Fernando Torres: Liverpool to Chelsea

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    Fernando Torres was worshipped at Liverpool. He was seen as a Scouser who just happened to have been born in Spain. His move to Chelsea was seen as something of a betrayal, to say the least, especially with Liverpool about to face Chelsea.

    What made it an even more sensational move was the transfer fee; £50 million is quite a tidy sum of money and certainly seems to have put Torres under enough pressure to send him into a year-long slump in form.

    The £50 million was, and still is, a British record fee.

Ashley Cole: Arsenal to Chelsea

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    Ashley Cole's move across London from Arsenal to Chelsea was certainly a controversial one. It all started with Cole having an illegal meeting with Chelsea officials, including then-manager Jose Mourinho.

    Chelsea were fined, as was Cole, and the rumours died down for a while. However, they soon resurfaced when Chelsea took up an interest in the left-back once more.

    Here's a passage from Cole's autobiography after being told Arsenal were offering him a mere £55,000 a week: "I was trembling with anger. I couldn't believe what I'd heard."

    Happily for England's most-capped left-back, he was soon on his way to Chelsea where he was given a much more suitable £90,000 a week.

Carlos Tevez: Manchester United to Manchester City

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    Carlos Tevez has never lasted longer than three years at a club. He's currently on his way out of Manchester City after something of a love-hate relationship that has, at various points, seen him swear never to return to Manchester, refuse to play and score goals with ease.

    However, Tevez's most controversial move (so far) was across Manchester as he left Manchester United and joined up-and-coming rivals City.

    Tevez was hugely popular with Manchester United fans and United tried to sign him on a permanent deal, but Tevez suddenly lost interested in playing for the Red Devils and moved across town.

    That cannot have been a popular move. Happily, fans of both Manchester clubs seem to have found common ground over the Argentinian.

Ali Dia: Blyth Spartans to Southampton

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    Ali Dia may only have played one Premier League match (and he didn't start or finish it), but he has still obtained a level of infamy few could hope to match.

    A friend of Dia's rang up Graeme Souness and, pretending to be George Weah, convinced the former Liverpool manager to give Dia a contract.

    Unfortunately for Southampton, and to every Portsmouth fan's delight, Souness' transfer policy seemed to be based on dodgy phone calls.

    It is now regarded as one of the worst signings of all time, despite no transfer fee being paid. He had spent his career at clubs like Saint-Quentin, PK-35 and Blyth Spartans and had never been anywhere near top-flight football. 

    After his 43 minutes of fame, he wasn't allowed near the top flight again, ever.

Juan Sebastian Veron: Manchester United to Chelsea

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    Losing almost half your transfer value in two years is never a good sign, especially when you cost £28 million to start with.

    There was little reason to think that Veron was going to be a flop when he signed for Manchester United; he was widely regarded as one of the best players in Europe.

    When Chelsea signed him after his disastrous spell at Manchester United, however, there was widespread shock. His two years at Old Trafford had made it apparent that he just couldn't cope with the Premier League's faster playing style and tougher defending.

    Manchester United must have been delighted to get £15 million for a guy who just wasn't fit for purpose.

    Veron's time at Chelsea worked out at a little over £2 million per Premier League appearance. Just to clarify, that's far from good.

    They then sent him on loan to Inter Milan for two years before he moved back to Argentina.

Eric Cantona: Leeds United to Manchester United

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    Eric Cantona's move to Manchester United was pretty surprising. He had just led Leeds to the final First Division title and had only recently signed for the Yorkshire club.

    However, a short meeting over the future of Dennis Irwin resulted in one of France's finest-ever players moving to Manchester United.

    He cost £1.2 million, a fair sum of money for a football player in 1992, and became a Manchester United legend with a host of incredible performances, baffling interviews and a kung fu kick.

Andy Cole: Newcastle United to Manchester United

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    Andy Cole had been Newcastle United's main threat in the 1993-94 season, netting 34 league goals, and was one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

    So, when he was suddenly signed by Manchester United for £7 million, there was a great deal of anger on Tyneside. It seemed to the fans that no effort had been made to keep hold of Cole, which was especially unacceptable at a time when Newcastle were real contenders at the top of the table.

Francis Jeffers: Everton to Arsenal

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    Francis Jeffers was a prodigy at Everton back in the late '90s, performing admirably as a striker before falling out with Walter Smith and losing his way somewhat.

    This didn't deter the usually cautious (maybe this transfer is why) Arsene Wenger, who signed Jeffers up for £8 million back in 2001.

    Things did not go according to plan. Jeffers racked up 22 appearances for Arsenal in three years as both he and Wenger were ridiculed for the "fox in the box" title that Wenger had given the Englishman.

    A total of four goals (£2 million per goal) saw him loaned back to Everton, but he fell out with David Moyes as well. After a series of moves, none of which were particularly successful, he now plays for Newcastle United Jets, in the Australian A-League.

Sol Campbell: Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal

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    There are few rivalries in Premier League history as passionate and divisive as Arsenal and Tottenham's. 

    Given this rivalry, you would have thought that it must have taken a lot of cash to prise Sol Campbell away from the club he'd started his career at.

    But it didn't. Instead, Campbell left on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling. Let's just say that Campbell is now highly unpopular among Tottenham fans. That's pretty exciting stuff, unless you're a Tottenham fan.

    If you want to learn more about this highly controversial transfer saga, check out this fantastic timeline of the events.