“They got HIM for HOW MUCH?!”
It doesn’t always have to be a negative, even accusatory question. It can be asked with genuine, pleasant surprise as well, as it was surely asked throughout last season regarding Michu.
Just under a year ago, Swansea City acquired the then-26-year-old attacker from La Liga minnows Rayo Vallecano. He was coming off a campaign in which he had scored 15 La Liga goals, and the £2 million the Welsh side spent on him was barely noted at the time.
But Michu ended up being one of the bargain buys of the summer—his 18 Premier League tallies nearly doubling the 10 scored by Aston Villa’s £18 million striker Darren Bent (3) and West Ham’s Andy Carroll (7), who had been signed for £35 million by Liverpool before going on loan at Upton Park.
Even Fernando Torres, who joined Chelsea for an astronomical £50 million in 2011, found the back of the net on just eight occasions.
Over the next few weeks and months the transfers that will garner the most attention will no doubt be those that involve the most money, such as the deals already agreed involving Jesus Navas, Neymar and Radamel Falcao. But arriving quietly at various clubs throughout the continent will also be players for whom little was paid but who will go on to out-perform their more expensive counterparts.
Following is a look at 20 of them.