belfasttelegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Best transfer deals ever


Sammi Hyypia (Willem II to Liverpool, £2.6m 1999)
Went on trial to Newcastle a couple of years earlier, but they weren't interested so he ended up shoring up Liverpool's backline for a decade, picking up domestic and European glory as he went. A reliable rather than spectacular player, but not a bad buy for a player recommended to the club by a TV cameraman.

Brad Friedel (Liverpool to Blackburn Rovers, free, 2000)
Friedel never made the breakthrough at Liverpool but at Blackburn he established himself as one of the Premier League's best keepers, and is now an authoritative presence at Aston Villa, again making a decent profit as the free signing was sold on for £2.5m.

Thierry Henry (Juventus to Arsenal, £10.5m, 1999) Another of Wenger's gems, another under-achiever in Italy, reinvented at Arsenal as wide-lying forward who cut in to devastating effect. The best player Arsenal have ever had.

For some clubs, splashing the cash on established stars will guarantee success. For others, it's a matter of sniffing out the bargains, making the gambles and backing hunches.

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