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Rediff.com  » Sports » The 'value for money' deals in the European transfer market

The 'value for money' deals in the European transfer market

August 28, 2013 08:00 IST

Neymar has quickly impressed the Barca fans

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Bikash Mohapatra picks what could be value for money signings in European football this season. 

In a few days, the summer transfer window in Europe comes to a close.

While most of the major deals are either done or in the final stages, the fact that the domestic season has commenced in almost all the major countries has ensured fans a chance to see the high-profile signings in action.

In fact, quite a few of the major acquisitions have started on a positive note, paying their new clubs back for the millions doled out for their signatures.

We take a look at a few players who have already begun to prove themselves as value for money signings.

Neymar

The hype surrounding this natural talent convinced Barcelona to pay Santos for €57 million (USD 74m).

The fact that he made a significant contribution to Brazil’s triumph in the Confederations Cup further increased expectations, as also the possible partnership with the world’s best player (Lionel Messi).

Neymar was quick to impress the Barca fans.

Coming in as a substitute he headed the equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup first leg at the Vicente Calderon to give his team hope ahead of the second leg at Nou Camp.

Barcelona, on their part, are doing well by trying to avoid overburdening their new signing.  


Image: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish Super Cup first leg match against Atletico de Madrid
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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Barcelona's loss is Madrid's gain

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David Villa

Despite making an instant impression in Barcelona, after moving from Valencia in 2010, David Villa struggled for a starting berth in his final year at Nou Camp.

The fact that he broke his tibia in a Club World Cup match in 2011, and was aout of action for more than six months, severely hampered his career at Barca. With next year’s World Cup in mind it was palpable that the 31-year-old was keen on more first team action.

In early July, Barcelona announced that they had reached an agreement for his transfer to Atletico Madrid for €5.1 million, claiming the deal was done as per the player’s wishes.

Villa made an instant impact at the Vicente Calderon, scoring on debut in the Spanish Supercup first leg against his former club.

The player, who has won almost everything the game has to offer, has since played a key role in ensuring Los Colcheneros a winning start to their new campaign.


Image: David Villa of Atletico de Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's opening goal during the Spanish Super Cup first leg match against Barcelona
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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Isco made an instant impact at the Bernebeu

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Isco

His impressive performances for Spain in the under-21 World Cup (in Israel) convinced Real Madrid to pay Malaga €30 million for his services, penning him down to a five-year contract.

In fact, Isco was the first signing of newly-appointed manager Carlo Ancelotti.

It didn’t take long for the 21-year-old to justify his worth.

On his official debut at the Santiago Bernebeu, against Real Betis, Isco not only helped set up the opening goal (for Karim Benzema) but also headed in the winner.


Image: Isco celebrates a goal
Photographs: Getty Images

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Soldado has found the net four times so far

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Roberto Soldado

He was a super success in the La Liga, scoring a total of 101 goals in 207 apperances, spanning over nine years.

The above numbers convinced Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur pay a club-record fee of £26 million to Valencia to secure his services. The transfer broke the North London club's previous record of £17 million, paid for Brazilian midfielder Paulinho earlier in the summer.

The 28-year-old was an instant success at White Hart Lane. While his two penalties – one apiece against Crystal Palace and Swansea City – have ensured Spurs a perfect start to their new campaign, his efforts have also ensured them qualification in Europe.

In Soldado’s brace in a 5–0 Europa League qualifying win over Dinamo Tbilisi has ensured the outcome with the second leg left to play.


Image: Roberto Soldado of Spurs celebrates after scoring
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Cavani is combining well with Ibra at PSG

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Edinson Cavani

The fact that Edinson Cavani finished last season as leading Serie A scorer, with 29 goals, was enough for big spending Paris Saint-Germain to trigger a release clause.

The French champions didn’t hesitate to pay Napoli €64 million to acquire the Uruguayan’s services.

Having come in as a substitute in PSG’s opening match against Montpellier, the 26-year-old started the second game, against AC Ajaccio, and scored his first goal for the club, one that helped them draw.

And when Paris Saint-Germain recorded their first win of the season, a 2-1 verdict at newly-promoted Nantes, Cavani was again among the scorers, while combining well with strike partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Now this is one partnership to watch out for.


Image: Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring against Nantes
Photographs: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

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Falcao has been impressive at Monaco

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Radamel Falcao

This deal defied logic.

Radamel Falcao was a prolific goal scorer for Atletico Madrid while AS Monaco had just attained promotion.

However, when the newly-rich French club shelled out €60 million, the Colombian didn’t heisitate to sign a five-year contract – one that assured him an annual salary of around €14 million.

Falcao expectedly was worth the money, scoring on debut against Girondins Bordeaux, one that Monaco won 2-0..

The Colombian was also on target in his club’s 4-1 win against Montpellier.


Image: Radamel Falcao of AS Monaco
Photographs: Getty Images

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Tevez is the answer to Juve's striker woes

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Carlos Tevez

His time in England was both rewarding as well as frustrating, more of the latter perhaps.

For when Juventus came calling, with an offer valued at £10m with an additional £2m in add-ons subject to performance, Tevez was more than keen to sign the three-year contract.

It was a win-win situation for both the clubs, for the fee combined with wages and bonuses due to the Argentine in the final year of his contract was estimated to save Manchester City about £27m.

Tevez, who has won almost everything club football has to offer, began his Juventus career with a trophy. On his official debut for the Italian champions, the 29-year-old was on target as his new team thrashed Lazio 4-0 to win the Supercoppa Italiana.

Last week Tevez made his first appearance in Serie A, scoring the winning goal as Juventus beat Sampdoria in their opening match.

With Tevez, and Fernando Llorente, Juventus look to have found a solution to their striker woes, that haunted them for much of last season.


Image: Carlos Tevez of Juventus (right) celebrates scoring the first goal during the Serie A match against Sampdoria
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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Gomez set to lead Fiorentina's challenge

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Mario Gomez

In 121 appearances for VfB Stuttgart, Mario Gomez found the net on 63 occasions, helping them win the Bundesliga in 2006-07.

In 115 appearances for Bayern Munich, the 28-year-old scored 75 times, winning a plethora of trophies (including the Champions League).

However, with Bayern signing Mario Mandzukic last year, Gomez became the second choice, forcing him to look for other pastures.

In July the player joined Serie A outfit Fiorentina on a four-year deal, the Florence side paying around €20 million for his services.

It took the German little time to get into the groove, scoring a brace in Fiorentina’s pre-season friendly win over Cremonese.

Gomez scored his first official goal for Fiorentina in their Europa League qualifier first leg against Grasshoppers Zurich.

In the Viola first league match of the season, a 2-1 win over Catania, Gomez impressed but failed to score, hitting the post.

Coach Vincenzo Montella has already underlined his importance to the team even as Fiorentina challenge for the scudetto this season.


Image: Mario Gomez of ACF Fiorentina
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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