At the start (or in the middle) of every season, managers make signings to bolster their squad to improve their chances of silverware or survival. The transfer market over the last few seasons has become an inflated joke with transfer fees flying through the roof. While the big teams have always had money to spend, the transfer market has become a difficult place to get value for your money.
It really started with Man Utd's sale of Ronaldo to Madrid for 80 million Pounds. 80 Million Pounds!! Just think about that number. Its crazy to be spending that amount of money on a person to play football for your team. Let alone another 55 million on another player in that same time frame. Now you might say that Ronaldo has proved that it was money well spent with his goal return and influence on the team since his arrival. This is true, but still, that kind of money comes with huge pressure on both the player and the club and there are many times the player does not fit the price paid. He is one of the exceptions that have liven up to that tag, but other players like Kaka, Ibrahimovic, Torres (still early) and the classic Veron have all struggled or continue to struggle to prove their worth.
With those huge amounts in mind and the market the way it is, I would like to point out 2 incredible signings this season who have changed the fortunes of their respective teams on countless occasions and who will grow from strength to strength.
1. Rafael Van Der Vaart
A late (late!) deadline day signing for Spurs. What a signing. For the 8 odd million they spent on him, his return has been amazing. He fits perfectly into their team and Harry Redknapp gives him the freedom to express himself by playing in that centre forwad role. He pushes forward, creates chances, scores goals and has been their match winner many times so far. After an average World Cup, not many people thought he would prove to be the assest he has become for this Spurs team. It should also be mentioned that it was Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, who was responsible for the signing, and not Harry. Not many chairmen have or can do that. For 8 Million! Nice little surprise ey ;)
2. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez
I am going to start off by saying that I could write countless articles about this kid. What a superstar he is going to be! Not that he isnt already. A good, honest, hard working, passionate person and a speedy, clever & lethal (deadly!) football player. A natural goalscorer. In the Michael Owen/ Ruud Van Nistelrooy mould. This kid will be scoring goals for years to come.
What is so special about him? For starters he comes from a football playing family, with both his father and grandfather representing their country. He also has respect and appreciation for where he is, what he has achieved and the people who provided him with the opportunity. He is grounded and level headed, all very rare characteristics of the modern day footballer. Listen to his words after he scores winning goals for his teams, he hardly ever praises his own ability or performance, but rather chooses to be happy that the TEAM won and that it was a TEAM performance (even when it isnt entirely true). This bodes so well for him to be successful and for him to be loyal to Utd for the long term.
I dubbed him the "Saviour" for Utd at the beginning of the season and so far he has proved to be just that. What even more impressive is that his 16 goals this season havnt come from starting week in week out, whether its from the bench or from the start, he manages to get in the right positions and he puts his chances away 9 out of 10 times. Backwards headers, outside the box finishes or tap-ins, this kid has got it.
For the undisclosed figure estimated to also be around the 8 million mark, you cant argue with the amazing value that Fergie and his scouts have managed to unearth here. Amazing signing and future world class footballer.
As a passionate, bias, red-spec wearing Red, im going with Chicha. Van Der Vaarts injuries have also played their part in my decision but I honestly cannot get over how much of an impact and goals he has provided with the time spend on the pitch.
Call it bias, but its not an outrageous decision and im so happy be plays for Utd.