Peter Odemwingie: Lokomotiv Moscow to West Bromwich Albion (£1m)
Shortly after his move to West Brom, Lokomotiv Moscow fans were photographed with a banner which included a picture of a banana alongside the message: “Thanks West Brom.” Baggies fans welcomed the Nigerian striker with a banner of him celebrating his winner on his debut against Sunderland with the message: “Thanks Lokomotiv.” It’s been a hugely successful debut season for Odemwingie, who has bagged 15 goals in 31 games to help West Brom secure their place in the Premier League next season. Not a bad return for £1 million. We all know that Chelsea is a circus, but Odemwingie has made Fernando Torres’ £50 million fee seem even more ludicrous than it is.
Rafael Van der Vaart: Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur (£8m)
£8 million for a player of Van der Vaart’s class was an absolute bargain. When you consider that Spurs have kept just 7 clean sheets in the league, with strikers Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko scoring a combined 16 goals, you have to say Van der Vaart has carried his team over the line time and time again this season. Gareth Bale winning the PFA Player of the Year award over Spurs’ top scorer Van der Vaart was frankly astonishing.
Yaya Toure: Barcelona to Manchester City (£24m)
When you spend in excess of £20 million on one player, you have the right to expect that player to hit the ground running and Yaya Toure has shown Man City fans that he has it all in his locker. Preferred as a defensive midfielder at Barca, but with Nigel De Jong and Gareth Barry playing the holding role for Roberto Mancini’s men, Toure has pushed further forward, supporting the strikers and helping himself to six goals in the process. Toure has shown he is a class midfield player, running the show either offensively or defensively and he will certainly have earned place in the hearts of City fans after scoring the winner in the FA Cup semi final against Manchester United.
David Silva: Valencia to Manchester City (£29m)
They’ve spent vast amounts of money at Eastlands during the past couple of years and David Silva is one of the success stories. With the squad Mancini is assembling at City, many top players have found it difficult to secure a regular place in the first team. Silva has coped better than most with the pressure attached to his price tag, appearing regularly for City and coming up with 4 goals and 9 assists (but also often the assister to the assister!). The Spanish international has shown flashes of creative genius this season and has become one of the best playmakers in the world.
Javier Hernandez: CD Guadalajara to Manchester United (£8m)
A fantastic piece of business by Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, who would have been especially pleased to complete the transfer before the Mexican’s impressive performances in the World Cup. The ‘Little Pea’ has become a fan favourite at Old Trafford, helping the Red Devils to a record 19th title with 13 league goals; many coming from the bench. He won’t score many 25-yard screamers but his positional sense will always make him a threat in the box. Good in the air, able to score important goals from the bench and now showing signs of striking up a winning partnership with Wayne Rooney, it’s an exciting time for United fans. Some have compared him to super sub legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after some impressive performances off the bench this season. Now he is beginning to start more games, the 22-year-old could become for United what Michael Owen was for Liverpool.
Luis Suarez: Ajax to Liverpool (£22.8m)
His performances have allowed Liverpool fans to forget Fernando Torres fairly quickly. Wearing Kenny Dalglish’s number 7 shirt, the Uruguayan has been Liverpool’s sharpest player, helping himself to four goals and five assists since arriving at Anfield in January. Suarez has terrific pace, balance and vision, while his work rate is something the fans will always appreciate. After a shocking start to the season, Liverpool are back in the top five and have given their fans a lot to look forward to next season. Suarez alongside a fit Andy Carroll could prove a formidable strike partnership. With Steven Gerrard pulling the strings from midfield and King Kenny in charge at Anfield, the Reds might hope to challenge for a Champions League place.