English Premier League: Top 5 Bargain Deals of the Transfer Window so Far
The transfer window is in full swing and English Premier League clubs are making deals everywhere you turn.
Each day, a flurry of new players arrive at different clubs. With more than 40 new arrivals so far, we run the rule over some of the best bargain deals.
Loans were not considered, and an interesting theme emerged: Nearly all of the best value deals happen to be defensive additions, with offensive ones costing considerably more.
Read and enjoy!
Fernando Amorebieta, Fulham
His tendency to pick up red cards and poor 2012-13 season with Athletic Bilbao drop him out of our collection.
Marc Muniesa, Stoke City
An inspired change of philosophy from Stoke City and Mark Hughes, but his first-team exposure will be limited for now.
Leandro Bacuna, Aston Villa
A dynamic, versatile threat who will excite the crowd, but how quickly will he hone the technical side of his game?
Javier Garrido, Norwich City
Made a permanent fixture by Chris Hughton and rightly so—Garrido enjoyed a wonderful 2012-13 season. Unlucky to miss out.
Erik Pieters, Stoke City
At £3.1 million, Pieters is a steal, but what state is he in right now? Hopefully a bleak injury history will clear up.
Jores Okore, Aston Villa
Fee: ~£4 million (confirmed by The Daily Mail)
Paul Lambert swooped early in June to secure the services of Jores Okore.
He's widely regarded as one of the hottest prospects—if not the hottest prospect—coming out of Denmark, and is well on his way to a long and successful career with his national team.
Speaking to TV2 (via Goal.com) upon signing for Aston Villa, Okore admitted that he rejected overtures from Chelsea in the January transfer window.
At £3.5 million, this powerful, pacey, dominant centre-back is an absolutely immense coup for the Birmingham club.
Jordi Amat, Swansea City
Fee: ~£2.5 million (confirmed by the BBC)
Central defence was an important position for Michael Laudrup to reinforce coming into the summer transfer window.
Doubts over Ashley Williams' future continue to swirl, and even if he stays, there is no depth beyond he and Chico Flores.
That makes the recruitment of stellar centre-half Jordi Amat, formerly of Rayo Vallecano, a superb deal at just £2.5 million. Laudrup has used his expansive knowledge of La Liga's market to find another rough gem.
Amat had a wonderful season. He should continue to grow at an exponential rate at just 21 years of age.
Sascha Riether, Fulham
Fee: ~£2 million (confirmed by The Daily Mail)
Sascha Riether, coming off a hugely successful season-long loan at Fulham, has been snapped up on a permanent basis by the club.
The future fee written into the loan contract was a paltry amount, and Martin Jol wasted no time in sending that exact amount of money over to previous owners FC Koln.
Riether was one of the best right-backs in the English Premier League last year, remaining defensively sound yet still offering a decent attacking threat.
The Cottagers had been searching for a right-back for quite some time, so to see Riether come in and own the role was nothing short of a relief.
Kolo Toure, Manchester City
Fee: Free Transfer (confirmed by the BBC)
Many Manchester City fans were livid to see Kolo Toure depart on a free transfer, with the club making almost no effort to retain his services.
Due to Vincent Kompany's injury-plagued 2012-13 season and Roberto Mancini's apparent dislike of Joleon Lescott, the Ivorian played a vital role in keeping the club afloat and acquitted himself extremely well.
He'd have served as able backup for another season and brought extra cover at right-back—City's loss becomes Liverpool's clever gain.
Brendan Rodgers moved quickly to secure his signature, adding experience and much-needed depth to a questionable defensive line.
Razvan Rat, West Ham United
Fee: Free Transfer (confirmed by the club)
West Ham United have been carrying a slight issue at left-back since before Sam Allardyce even took charge.
Despite countless incumbents, no one has managed to bring the required quality on a consistent basis. Left-back was a priority coming into the transfer window, and Big Sam moved quickly to secure seasoned defender Razvan Rat.
Having played for Shakhtar Donetsk for the last decade, it's fair to say he's accustomed to winning. Rat joins a team on an upward spiral and, despite being only a short-term fix at 32 years of age, immediately upgrades the starting XI.