Assessing the best transfers in Premier League history

football

Another Premier League season is done and dusted, with the 2023-24 campaign going down to the wire. Manchester City managed to capture their fourth successive title, despite efforts from Arsenal and Liverpool, who at one point looked as if they could disrupt football in play betting odds and snatch the trophy from Pep Guardiola.

In a bid to finally conquer England’s top flight, both Mikel Arteta and new Liverpool boss Arne Slot will head for the transfer market to strengthen for the next campaign. Over the last few years, there have been some hugely influential signings that have transformed entire teams at both ends of the table.

Here we assess some of the best transfers in Premier League history, in terms of the player’s value for the club, the impact they had, and the bargains that some players turned out to be. Read on to find out more.

Eden Hazard – Lille to Chelsea

Let’s start with one of the best players in Chelsea history, and the transfer that established the Blues as a dominant force in Europe, with their signing of Eden Hazard from Ligue 1 outfit Lille.

After winning the Champions League against Bayern Munich in 2012, Chelsea finally had the pulling power to sign the sought-after Belgian, bringing him to Stamford Bridge as a youngster for £32 million. Hazard won two league titles in west London before leaving for Real Madrid in 2019 for a world-record fee.

Virgil van Dijk – Southampton to Liverpool

When Liverpool forked out £75 million for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, many neutrals must have thought Jürgen Klopp had overspent massively on the Dutch international. With an unsuccessful attempt to sign him in the summer of 2017, Klopp would have to wait until Phillipe Coutinho joined Barcelona before he could splash the big bucks on Van Dijk, but what a signing it proved to be.

Van Dijk hit the ground running in Red, which was all the more impressive after just coming back from a long-term injury, and quickly became the best defender in the world, reaching the Champions League final in his debut season before winning the European Cup the following year and then adding a league title amongst several other trophies to his collection. The number four became Liverpool captain last season and scored the winning goal as the Reds won the League Cup at Wembley.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United

The first of two stints in Manchester for Cristiano Ronaldo, his initial move in the summer of 2004 showed the shrewd recruitment of Sir Alex Ferguson, who demonstrated patience in sculpting the finished article that was the Portuguese superstar we know today.

Ronaldo arrived for just £12 million, and while he cut a frustrated figure in his first few seasons, which wasn’t helped by Arsenal and Chelsea winning the league in those years, he returned from the 2006 World Cup a man possessed, and guided United to three consecutive Premier League titles as well as a Champions League and a Ballon d’Or, before moving to Real Madrid in 2009 for £80 million.

Thierry Henry – Juventus to Arsenal

Thierry Henry is perhaps the greatest foreign export in the history of the Premier League. His move from an inconsistent winger at Monaco and then Juventus, to a deadly marksman upfront for Arsenal, showed the managerial brilliance of Arsène Wenger, who won the league three times with Henry leading the line.

The Frenchman became the top scorer for the Gunners, finding the net 228 times until leaving the Emirates Stadium to pursue a dream move to Barcelona in 2007.  He remains one of the most beloved forwards to have graced the league, alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer, and Sergio Agüero.

Joshua White is a passionate and experienced website article writer with a keen eye for detail and a knack for crafting engaging content. With a background in journalism and digital marketing, Joshua brings a unique perspective to his writing, ensuring that each piece resonates with readers. His dedication to delivering high-quality, informative, and captivating articles has earned him a reputation for excellence in the industry. When he’s not writing, Joshua enjoys exploring new topics and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in content creation.

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