CIES Football Observatory recently published a report about Premier League clubs overspending in light of the television deals.
With defenders costing the same amount of money world-class strikers cost not so long ago, bargain buys have become a rarity, especially with clubs from other league hiking up their asking price should an English club ever come knocking.
It is a truism that market value of footballers have assumed a new definition with the surge of television monies.
However, despite the circumstances, many clubs have been able to carry out shrewd deals, and unsurprisingly, all three entries are intra-national transfers.
Here are the top three bargain buys in the Premier League.
Notable mentions: Steven Mandanda (£1.5 million), Maarten Stekelenburg (0.85 million)
Idrissa Gueye – £7.1 million
Idrissa Gueye was a rare bright spot in an otherwise dull Aston Villa side last season, and he even ranked amongst the best defensive midfielders in the division last season, courtesy of his knack for interceptions and tackling ability.
According to WhoScored, he was the best Lions player with more than 10 appearances last season.
At £7.1million, he comes across as a bargain buy, given his Premier League experience.
He also addresses one of the major concerns the Toffees had last season to boot; Roberto Martinez’s team conceded 55 goals mainly because of the non-availability of a hard-tackling midfielder on the roster.
He has already managed 17 tackles in his first 270 league minutes for his new club; his arrival has already produced fruitful results, with Everton managing to be one of the four undefeated teams in the league.
Robert Holding – £2 million
Robert Holding had not even played one full season for Bolton Wanderers when Arsenal tempted the Championship side to sell him with a £2 million bid.
At that time – a period that saw Arsenal supporters crave for world-class additions – it seemed as though Arsenal were overpaying for an academy player.
However, Arsenal’s injury crisis served as an opportunity for the England youth international to justify his transfer fee, and he rightfully did so with eye-opening displays against Liverpool, Leicester City and Watford.
The Emirates Stadium faithful displayed their appreciation, voting him as the second best player in the Vitality Player of the Month awards.
Although he will likely drop to the bench with the arrival of Shkodran Mustafi, he has already proved that he is certain to remain a mainstay in the Arsenal first team for years to come.
Andros Townsend – £13 million
Andros Townsend’s Tottenham Hotspur career was a disaster, but he managed to revamp his career at Newcastle United despite the club’s relegation.
In the wake of his successful Newcastle loan, he attracted interests from Crystal Palace, who decided to part ways with £13 million to bring him down to Selhurst Park.
Although he has not made the score sheet for the Eagles yet, he has proved a shrewd signing as he has proven to be the perfect replacement for Yannick Bolasie.
Alan Pardew’s men are only hovering over the relegation places currently, but they definitely boast the ammunition required to gun for a top-half finish in the nascent season.
Written by Praveen Paramasivam
Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen
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