The most inspired transfer activity of the season
As The Spoiler’s end of season festivities get into full swing, today we look at the best signings of the 2008/09 Premier League campaign. Sorry Wisey, Xisco and Coloccini didn’t make the cut…
Jose Bosingwa (Porto to Chelsea, £16.3m)
Whether Jose Bosingwa (or ‘Boswinga’ if you’re Jamie Redknapp) was officially a Big Phil Scolari signing is a point of contention, but considering the four other members of his inspirational clutch of signings have only racked up 22 starts and three goals between them, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. However, what can’t be argued against is how seamlessly the full back has slotted into Chelsea’s defence this season, in a role the Blues have previously struggled to fill.
James Beattie (Sheffield Utd to Stoke, £2.5m)
It was fair to assume Beattie’s Premier League days were numbered after a pretty woeful spell at Everton earned him a move down to the Championship with Sheffield United last season. Yet after answering Stoke’s SOS call in the January transfer window, Beatts has signaled his return to the top flight by averaging nearly a goal every other game and contributing to 13 of the 24 points Stoke have picked up since his arrival. Such season-saving form might just be the best £2.5m Tony Pulis has ever spent.
Marouane Fellaini (Standard Liege to Everton, £15m)
Fellaini’s Premier League success isn’t too surprising considering the fact that 32 foreign scouts were in the crowd to watch him play in Liege’s title-winning league match last season. Still, the lanky afro cultivator was pretty much unknown to fans over here until making his mark as the driving force behind a Liege team that by all rights should’ve beaten Liverpool to Champions League qualification at the start of the season. Clocking in with an impressive nine goals and firmly establishing himself as a midfield battler, that £15m price tag everyone laughed at now looks a bit less ridiculous.
Wilson Palacios (Wigan to Tottenham, £12m)
Harry Redknapp’s transfer market dial has two settings: ‘Domestic’ and ‘African’. His uncultured eye for new blood could eventually end up being his downfall at Tottenham, but for this season at least, it’s served him well. Spurs have been crying out for competent midfield steel for well over a decade – brief respite came with an ageing Edgar Davids, but it’s since been left to the much-maligned Didier Zokora. Since signing, Palacios has provided Spurs with a reliable midfield option who offers protection for a back four that has previously regularly been left exposed.
Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough to Fulham, free)
Part of the Jussi Jaskelaainen school of dependable but unfashionable keepers, Schwarzer has been an integral part of Fulham’s stingy back line. Only Manchester Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs have seen more goals scored against them at home and the record is equally good away. Boro were given a reminder of what they were missing last month when his heroics repeatedly denied them three much needed points at the Riverside last month. A superb bargain.
Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St. Petersburg to Arsenal, undisclosed)
By far and away the most tedious transfer saga this season, Arshavin’s move to Arsenal didn’t even reach ‘exciting’ before it got completely monotonous. Ask Gunners fans now though, and they’ll claim the wait was worth it. Leapfrogging fellow newbie Samir Nasri (who has been impressive in his own right) to make it onto the list, Andrei Arshavin has been the shining light in Arsenal’s woeful last leg of the season. Smashing four past Liverpool has already given him something to look back on this season, and everyone else reason to watch out for him next year.
Amr Zaki (El Zamalek to Wigan, on loan)
Although things between Zaki and Wigan have turned a little sour since Christmas – they’re not even bothering to take him on full time – let’s wind back the clocks to the start of the season, when he knocked in eight goals in his first ten games for the club. An excellent find for Steve Bruce, especially as, apart from his form with Egypt in the African Cup of Nations, the rest of Amr’s CV is actually quite rubbish: three months and no appearances at Lokomotiv Moscow, and two years at the Egyptian equivalent of Total Network Solutions FC.
Geovanni (Manchester City to Hull, free)
Since spending Boxing Day being mugged off by Phil Brown in front of thousands of fans, Geo has turned into a bit of a half season wonder. What a half season it was though – every other week there was news of another goal of the season contender being rocketed past a hapless Premiership keeper. Love them or hate them (and a lot of people seem to really, really, hate them now), Hull were a big part of the entertainment offered up in the first half of the season, thanks largely to Geovanni.
Luka Modric (Dinamo Zagreb to Tottenham, £16.6m)
He may not have had as much of an impact on his squad as some of the other members of the list, but Modric just about makes the cut, based on potential and the fact things probably would’ve gone better if Tottenham weren’t so desperately crap for half the season. Since Harry Redknapp’s appearance at White Hart Lane, Modric’s new Messi-esque role off the left wing has shown signs of brilliance – nowhere more importantly than when he pulled the strings for Spurs in a rare win against Chelsea.
Robinho (Real Madrid to Manchester City, £32.5m)
The Brazilian scrapes in at number ten. With the amount of money City have spunked away this season, we’d almost feel bad not including them in a roundup of top transfers. Robinho clearly hasn’t yet fulfilled his price tag, but has provided a goal return equal to his best season at Real Madrid, despite spending half the season looking like he can’t be arsed.
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Tagged With : Amr Zaki • Andrei Arshavin • Arsenal • Chelsea • Dinamo Zagreb • El Zamalek • Everton • Fulham • Geovanni • Hull • James Beattie • Jose Bosingwa • luka modric • Manchester City • Mark Schwarzer • Marouane Fellaini • Middlesbrough • Porto • Premier League 2008/09 • Real Madrid • Robinho • Sheffield Utd • Standard Liege • Stoke • Tottenham • transfers • Wigan • Wilson Palacios • Zenit St Petersburg