Bargains So Far

You never know if a transfer will come off. There have been so many flops and so many bargains every single season. So, here is my attempt at picking out some of the best buys so far.

Goalkeeper

Shay Given is the best goalkeeper to move clubs this window. No competition, not even from De Gea. Shay Given, for around £4 million is a steal. He may be 35 but it if he matches Friedel and Van der Sar he could have another 5 years at the top of his game. With 550 total career appearances, he is a seasoned professional who should claim the number one jersey at Villa with ease, joining up with former teammate Dunne should also help.

Defenders

John O’Shea might have been a fringe player in Manchester but he has proven that he is a very versatile and very reliable defender. Being able to play across the back four will be a huge plus for Sunderland who have over the past couple of seasons been victim to injuries in that department. Wes Brown could also prove a real coup.

Roger Johnson has not missed a premier league game for two seasons. If he is able to form a good partnership at Wolves (with Craddock, Stearman, Zubar or Berra) then the West Midlands side could have a formula that sees them a lot more comfortable in the table around May than usual. 

Jonathan Woodgate comes with an obvious problem that I won’t bother to repeat. If he stays fit then he is up there with the best centre backs in the premiership. With no transfer fee, he really is worth a punt.

John Arne Riise with Liverpool made 371 appearances scoring 34 goals before his 2008 move to Roma. At 30 he should easily slip into the Fulham first XI and still be as effective as he was in Liverpool colours. Good in defence and excellent going forward I am looking hoping to see a few screamers from him over the next couple of years.

Midfield

Sebastian Larsson on a free transfer means Sunderland have really made one of the signings of the season. I would have thought there were a lot of clubs scrambling for his signature. Failing to make the grade at Arsenal he has gone on to have a very successful premier league career, which at 26 should only get better.

Craig Gardner, Larsson’s teammate, will be the player responsible for filling the hole left by Jordan Henderson. Which he should do easily. Last season he was the top scorer for the relegated Birmingham and with better quality around him, he should go from strength to strength.

Charlie Adam was a revelation for Blackpool who surprised everyone before eventually going back to the Championship. His technical ability, range of passing and set pieces will improve Liverpool and everyone is looking forward to seeing how he copes playing for a bigger club.

Ashley Young, although not cheap at a reported £17 million, in today’s climate for a player of his quality; that is a real bargain. With Henderson and Downing going for £20 million each, Young is a real coup and he will really add to United quality in midfield.

Strikers

Connor Wickham again is not a cheap deal (£8 million that could rise to about £12 million) but as he is very young and Sunderland do not have many striking options at present, he could taste a fair bit of first team football. This could mean that he improves a lot over his debut season for the Black Cats, he should have a lot of good service with Sunderland improving their midfield quite considerably already. In a few years we could be looking back on this moment as a very clever shrewd move. Or we could be thinking the complete opposite.

Demba Ba proved last season that he can score goals, a very impressive 7 from 12 games. Made even more impressive by the fact that it was for the woeful West Ham. On a free transfer, he truly is a snip and if Newcastle can find a partner for him then they could be a team that will challenge for a Europa League spot. 



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