In recent transfer windows we've seen many teams purchasing players for big fees, only for them to be very disappointing signings. Last year for example, Andy Carroll bought for a record English fee of £35 million. It was safe to say he didn't have the best season and his reputation has gone from being a top up and coming striker to a forward that can't perform when the pressure is on him. We've also seen some unbelievable cheap signings, the likes of Eric Cantona to Manchester United for £1.2 million, and in more recent years, Joe Hart, arguably the world's best goal keeper, signing for Manchester City for just £500,000 from Shrewsbury Town.
I would love to see all the new signings this season excel in the Premier League, sadly this will not happen, there will be fantastic signings and there will be horrific signings.
I will now countdown from 5 to 1 my predictions for this season's best bargains:
5. Steven Davis - £900k
To: Southampton From: Rangers
After rejecting the chance to join the New Co Rangers, the former R's skipper joined Premier League new boys Southampton. The central midfielder brings a wealth of experience with him, playing in the SPL and the UEFA Cup. He’s previously played for Aston Villa and Fulham in the English top flight. Davis was named Villa's "Young Player of the Year", "The Fans Player of the Year" and "Player of the Year" for the 2005–06 season. He was also named Scottish Player of the Year for the 2009/2010 season with Rangers. As well as captaining at club level, Davis has been captain of Northern Ireland since 2006. Despite being around for what seems forever, Davis is still only 28 Years Old.
Southampton have brought in a very good team player who can be relied upon in order to help The Saints’ fight to steer clear of relegation. Having got off to a great start scoring on his debut against champions Manchester City, he will be hoping to emulate his previous successful years at Rangers with his new club.
4. Pavel Pogrebnyak – Free
To Reading From: Free Agent
Pavel Pogrebnyak spent the end of last season on loan at Fulham, scoring 6 times in just 12 games for the Cottagers. The Russian became the quickest player to reach 5 goals in Premier League history. The 28 Year old arrives at the Madjeski Stadium with a number of impressive clubs on his CV, the likes of Spartak Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg and VfB Stuttgart the stand out teams. Pogrebnyak was joint top-scorer in the 2007–08 UEFA Cup season, scoring 10 goals for Zenit.
There’s no doubt that the reason McDermott has signed Pogrebnyak is to add goals to the team. Reading will be hoping he can link up with Jason Roberts up top and boost reading’s chances of staying in the Premier League.
3. Park Ji-Sung - £3million
To: QPR From: Man Utd
I was very surprised to see that QPR had signed Park Ji-Sung, especially for fee of around £3million. The South Korean has tons of experience, playing in the top league in Holland with PSV before moving to Manchester where he spent 7 years playing for Manchester United, winning the Premier League title 4 times, the League Cup 3 times, Champions League and Fifa Club World cup during this time at Old Trafford. Before retiring from international football he was captain for his national side and was named Korean footballer of the year in 2010.
Mark Hughes will be hoping he can be the real leader that can get his players playing as a team this year. A lot of players will look to Park for guidance this year and I have no doubt that he can be a star at Loftus Road.
4. Shinji Kagawa - £12million (with add ons)
To: Man Utd From: Borussia Dortmund
After very impressive back to back seasons in the Bundesliga, helping Borussia Dortmund to 2 successive titles, the Japanese international sealed his dream move to Manchester this summer. Kagawa is a top player, great vision and great passing ability, as well as having a real eye for goal. His 17 goals and 10 assists in 38 starts helped Dortmund to the Double in 2011-12, with his final strike of the season opening the scoring in the German Cup final victory over Bayern Munich.
United will need to utilise his ability as much as possible this year, feeding the ball into the front men. The 2012 Bundesliga player of the season is only 23 and will have every chance of establishing himself as one of footballing greats with Sir Alex Ferguson there to keep him on track.
5. Emmanuel Adebayor - £5million
To: Tottenham Hotspur From: Man City
Adebayor was a revelation for Spurs after signing on loan from Man City last season, scoring 18 times in 37 appearances, also contributing with 12 assists. The striker has all attributes that Tottenham require, he knows what it takes to shine up front, after crucial experiences making his name with Arsenal, Man City and Real Madrid. The Togo international had won his country’s player of the year, 4 times in a row from 2005 to 2008.
Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping he will be the main man scoring the goals this year, trying to help his team reach that illusive Champions League spot. £5million for a player of Adebayor’s calibre is a bargain. I expect him to re-establish himself as one of the World’s deadliest strikers.