Is Michu the bargain of the century Sportsmail gives its verdict on the players to rival him for the title
14:57 GMT, 10 January 2013
16:51 GMT, 10 January 2013
His manager Michael Laudrup called him the ‘bargain of the season’ but Gary Lineker has hailed Swansea star Michu as the ‘bargain of the century’.
The Spaniard has been the surprise star of the Premier League since his 2.2million move from Rayo Vallecano.
Bargain buy: Michu has had a big impact for Swansea this season following his 2.2m summer move
MICHU'S GOAL CELEBRATION
Michu’s goal celebration, in which he ‘turns up the volume’ next to his ear, has been the talk of Swansea since he moved to Wales in the summer. He first did the action to Granada fans to let them know he couldn’t hear them after he scored for Celta Vigo. Cheeky.
He scored 15 goals for the Spanish strugglers from midfield last season, helping them survive on the last day of the season.
This season he has already scored 13 for Swansea in the Premier League — does it make him the bargain of the century
We asked our team of writers to pick their best bargain of this century. Who is your pick Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Finding the net: Michu scored the opening goal in Swansea's Capital One Cup victory over Chelsea
Robin van Persie (Feyenoord to Arsenal, 2.75m, 2004)
Arsenal got him for 2.75million. Once he got over his injuries and attitude problems he proved to be genuine world-class talent. Sold for nearly 10 times as much and still getting better.
Doing the business: Robin van Persie signed for Arsenal from Feyenoord
Lionel Messi (Newell's Old Boys to Barcelona, Free, 2000)
The best player in the world… for almost nothing. So impressed were Barcelona with a young Lionel Messi they offered him a contract on a paper napkin and offered to pay for the boy’s medical bills if he moved from Argentina. The 11-year-old had been diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. Luckily for Barca, he turned out all right.
Simply the best: Lionel Messi joined Barcelona for free as a teenager
Edwin van der Sar (Fulham to Manchester United, 2m, 2005)
Sir Alex Ferguson fired plenty of blanks in his attempts to replace Peter Schmeichel. Massimo Taibi and Mark Bosnich, for instance, just could not cut the mustard. Enter Van der Sar. A colossus for United in his six years at Old Trafford.
Safe hands: Edwin van der Sar joined Manchester United late in his career but had a big impact at Old Trafford
Cristiano Ronaldo (Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United, 12.2m, 2003)
It’s probably fair to describe Sir Alex Ferguson’s transfer dealings that summer as varied, until he struck gold with Ronaldo. Up to then, he had recruited David Bellion, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Tim Howard and Kleberson. Howard apart, it was hardly an array of new talent destined to take the Barclays Premier League by storm. Ronaldo, on the other hand, drew comparisons with some of the all-time greats to don a United shirt and had completed a clean sweep of club and individual honours by the time he joined Real Madrid for 80million on July 1, 2009. If we are analysing value, a profit of 68m surely takes some beating.
Making his mark: Cristiano Ronaldo would become the best player in the Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo (Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United, 12.2m, 2003)
Six seasons at the club returned three consecutive league titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, one Community Shield, a Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup. So that cost them roughly 2m per season, or 1.4m per trophy. Then they made 68m profit on him. Bargain.
Javier Hernandez (Guadalajara to Manchester United, 7m, 2010)
A relative unknown when Sir Alex Ferguson signed him before the 2010 World Cup. A handful of sparkling displays in South Africa later and 7m already looked a snip. Hernandez stormed the Premier League in his debut season, scoring 20 goals in all competitions as United won the title and made the Champions League final. His place came under threat last term but he has come again, netting 12 times this season despite the arrival of Robin van Persie meaning limited game time. A firebox character and a joy to watch. United can depend on him from the start or from the bench.
Super sub: Javier Hernandez hit the ground running following his move to Manchester United
Louis Saha (Metz to Fulham, 2.1m, 2000)
When Jean Tigana arrived at Fulham in 2000 one of the first things he did was sell Geoff Horsfield to Birmingham for 2.25m and then bought Saha for 2.1m. It proved to be a masterstroke as the Frenchman went on to score 27 goals in Division One (now the Championship) and fire Fulham into the Premier League. While his years in the top flight were blighted by injury he rediscovered his goalscoring touch again in 2003-04 when he netted 15 goals in 22 games before a 12.4m move to Manchester United. A 10m profit and Premier League football is not a bad deal.
Saha so good: Louis Saha helped gain Fulham promotion to the Premier League in 2001
Vincent Kompany (Hamburg to Man City, 6m, 2008)
In among all Manchester City's eye-watering signings, there is Vincent Kompany. An exceptional defender, a leader on and off the pitch and an all-round good guy. Oh, and he became the first City captain to lift the league trophy in 44 years. Not bad for 6million…
Flying start: Vincent Kompany takes on the FC Copenhagen defence in a 2009 UEFA Cup tie
Gareth Bale (Southampton to Tottenham, 7m, 2007)
Shrewd business by Tottenham – no not selling Berbatov to United for 30milllion – but buying Gareth Bale for an initial 5m fee from Southampton in 2007. That figure was set to rise to 10m depending on honours and appearances but Spurs struck another shrewd deal with the Saints, agreeing an early settlement so the total bill was 7m. The Welsh wizard is coveted by the world’s finest football clubs now and it’ll take 50m to prise him away from White Hart Lane. Kerrching.
Spur of the moment: A youthful Gareth Bale scoring for Tottenham against Middlesbrough
Jay Jay Okocha (PSG to Bolton, free, 2002)
So good they named him twice – and he didn’t cost a penny. Okocha’s brilliance kept Bolton in the Premier League in 2003 and he scored a stupendous free-kick to help them to the Carling Cup final in 2004. Was made club captain by Sam Allardyce and dazzled the Reebok with his tricks, the best of which was an outrageous flick over Ray Parlour’s head.
Scorcher: Darren Anderton looks on in awe as Jay Jay Okocha unleashes a shot
Joe Hart (Shrewsbury to Man City, 100,000*, 2006)
Every great team needs a huge presence between the sticks – think Banks, Schmeichel or Casillas – and it cannot be questioned that Hart was a major force behind City’s Premier League title triumph last season. Roberto Mancini’s men saw off local rivals United on goal difference alone and Hart marshalled by far the stingiest defence in the league. His mistakes this season have shocked all the more because of his consistent brilliance previously. But don’t expect the dip in form to last long, or Hart’s Premier League medal to be his last.
*according to City deputy chairman John Wardle
Young at Hart: Joe joined Man City from Shrewsbury for a bargain 100,000 in 2006
Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid to Liverpool, 21m, 2007)
To get 65 goals out of a player and then make a near 30million profit is pretty good business. In fact, it surely ranks as the bargain of the century. Aged 23, El Nino took a pay cut to move to Liverpool for 21m from Atletico Madrid. He scored more than 60 goals in a 102 games. Then Chelsea infamously paid 50m for him and he’s scored only 26 in his first 100 games at Stamford Bridge. That’s an awful lot of profit for a striker who can hardly score.
Hit the ground running: Fernando Torres scores one of his first goals in Liverpool colours