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Newcastle United Premier League Years Fantasy XI

Top 5: Premier League Volleys from outside the Box

Top 3 signings for each current Premier League club – Part Two: Liverpool to Norwich

There are many things to take in to account when appraising the success of a club’s signings. I’ve had to look at both their on and off field record and balance the two in choosing a top three for each club during the Premier League years. On the field I took in to account number of appearances and achievements and off the field it was things like purchase price, profit and dressing room impact. So, here we go;

Liverpool

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Liverpool have tended to get spectacular success or failure from their signings, but these definitely fall in the first category.

Xabi Alonso Alonso arrived for £10.5m as one of Rafa Benitez’s first signings. He immediately took command of the midfield alongside Hamann and Gerrard as the team charged to their famous Champions League triumph. His full range of passing and incredible goals made him one of the best midfielders in the league whilst he was here. His importance has become clear since Benitez sold him as they’ve dived out of the top 3.

Sami Hyypia One of the top 5 signings of the Premier League era, Hyypia cost just £2.8m from Willem II. He was an absolutely rock solid presence in the middle of the Liverpool defence for the best part of a decade. This is how to do business.

Fernando Torres At Liverpool Torres was one of the best players in the world. His impact was sensational. Costing £22m he then went on to score near enough a goal a game. He was the key man in the team that nearly won the league in 2009. Despite a bit of a down turn Liverpool still managed to get the famous £50m when selling him.


Manchester City

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City have signed a lot of players, most of them dodgy. Since the Middle East takeover though they’ve done much better.

Yaya Toure When Yaya was signed it was written off as a mercenary move. But it’s been anything but. He was the dynamo in City’s title winning season last year. Towards the end of the season he went on a run of winning games on his own.

Vincent Kompany Kompany arrived for a measly £6m from Hamburg and was immediately outstanding. The captain of the team which won the league, he is the undisputed leader. His signing marked a change in the philosophy of the club. No longer were they the roguish losers, they were serious about winning and he infused his determination to win throughout the club.

Joe Hart Hart was signed for less than £1m from Shrewsbury and is the last player that City developed for the first team. After loan spells elsewhere he surged in to the team under Mancini and his athleticism and shot stopping have marked him out as one of the top keepers in the league. True value.


Manchester United

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United have a full list of top quality signings with only the odd miss. So picking this wasn’t easy.

Roy Keane Keane cost a British record £3.75m from Nottm Forest in 1993 and he helped to build the United dynasty. His ferocious and aggressive determination to win and lift trophies spread throughout the team and he helped to create the imposing image that at time made United unstoppable.

Rio Ferdinand Ferdinand cost £30m in 2002 and has been one of the best defenders in the world ever since. A multiple league winner and Champions League winner, Ferdinand has been a stylish and elegant presence in the United back four.

Wayne Rooney Rooney is still the most expensive teenager of all time since costing £30m from Everton in 2005. He is now the 4th highest scorer of all time for United and despite some recent travails has still provided excellent value for money. He’s only 27 too.


Newcastle United

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Newcastle have been by a long way the worst users of the transfer market in the Premier League. They’ve spent a boat load of money and got nothing to show for it. However, there have been a few excellent buys hidden in the junk.

Alan Shearer Shearer cost a world record £15m from Blackburn in 1996 and returned on the investment. Over the next 10 years he played 303 games and scored 148 goals. Such consistency over such along time period unfortunately did not deliver a trophy. Shearer was unlucky not to be supported by a better cast in his prime but they couldn’t have asked for more from him.

Shay Given One of the best signings in league history. Given cost only £1.5m from Blackburn in 1997 and stayed for 12 years. He played nearly 500 games and was the model of consistent excellence. A truly brilliant signing.

Gary Speed Speed came to the club in 1998 for £5.5m and gave Newcastle a level of professionalism and desire that had been missing in the teams which finished as back to back runners up in the 90s. Speed was an all action midfielder who played over 200 times for the club as they found their feet in the Champions League again after years of failure.


Norwich City

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Norwich have had 3 spells in the Premier League and over the years have picked up some steals in the market.

Darren Huckerby Huckerby cost only £750k in 2003 and was a menace in attack for 5 years. He wasn’t a prolific goalscorer but he was a whirlwind of activity. He scored the goals which won Norwich promotion back to the top flight in 2004 and was a near enough ever present when they got back up.

Grant Holt Holt joined the club in League One and has thrived in every league thereafter including getting to double figures in his first season in the Premier League last season. Although not the most technically gifted, he has given the club leadership and goals from their lowest ebb to the highs they now enjoy.

Dean Asthon Norwich fans lament that Ashton didn’t come to the club until January 2005. If he had arrived in the summer of 2004 perhaps they would have survived. Jumping up from Crewe to the Premier League, he immediately thrived and nearly hauled Norwich out of trouble. One of the most talented players the club have had in recent years he was then sold on at a big profit for £7m.


You may also like:

Top 3 signings for each current Premier League club – Part One: Arsenal to Fulham

Top 3 signings for each current Premier League club – Part Three: QPR to Sunderland

Top 3 signings for each current Premier League club – Part Four: Swansea to Wigan

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