How many football clubs dream of signing a Michu?
Last summer, following an impressive 15-goal season for La Liga minnows Rayo Vallecano, Swansea City acquired the then-26-year-old for £2 million.
It ended up being one of the bargain buys of the transfer window as the forward went on to tally 18 times in the Premier League and 22 times overall as the Welsh side won the League Cup.
By comparison, Aston Villa’s £18 million striker Darren Bent scored only three times in the Premier League while Liverpool’s Andy Carroll—acquired for £35 million and on loan at West Ham—managed only seven. Fernando Torres, who joined Chelsea for a whopping £50 million in 2011, found the back of the net on just eight occasions.
Such colossal over-valuation makes what Swansea accomplished with Michu all the more impressive.
Over the next few months the transfers that garner the most attention will no doubt be those that involve the most money, but tip-toeing into clubs around the continent will be players for whom little was paid but who go on to outshine their more expensive contemporaries.
Following is a glance at five of them.