Every top-flight club’s best signing in the Premier League era

first_img Newcastle United: Alan Shearer – The Magpies smashed the world transfer record to bring the Blackburn striker home in a £15m deal. They beat competition from Man United and Shearer went on to secure legendary status at his hometown club, beating Jackie Milburn’s record to become their all-time top scorer with 206 goals in 404 appearances. Shearer, who had a statue unveiled outside the stadium in 2016, is also the Premier League’s all-time scorer with 260 goals. He lived his childhood dream by playing for Newcastle, but failed to win a trophy with the club before being forced into retirement with injury aged 35. His initial fee seemed a lot, but for 10 years of excellent service, every United fan will say he was worth it. 20 20 20 Brighton and Hove Albion: Anthony Knockaert – The 25-year-old former Leicester player returned to the Championship in January 2016 after half a season in Belgium with Standard Liege. The French midfielder arrived at the Seagulls for an undisclosed fee and he was key behind their promotion-winning campaign last term, signing a deserved five-year contract in March. He scored 15 and assisted nine goals in 45 appearances for Chris Hughton’s side, was Championship Player of the Year and is deserving of a shot in the top-flight in 2017/18. 20 Chelsea: Frank Lampard – Signed for £11m from West Ham in 2001, Lampard has proved excellent value for money having helped the club to four FA Cup successes, three Premier League titles, two League Cups, one Champions League and one Europa League. The former England international, who has 106 caps to his name, was a unique box-to-box midfielder who scored goals for fun (209 for the Blues). One of the finest players in Chelsea’s history, Lampard was deserving of every individual accolade as well as the team ones in 13 years at Stamford Bridge. He edges this as Chelsea’s best signing ahead of the likes of Petr Cech and Didier Drogba. 20 Burnley: Michael Keane – The defender is a graduate of Manchester United’s academy, but he did not make the grade at Old Trafford and was sold to the Clarets by Louis van Gaal for an undisclosed fee in 2015. Two-and-a-half years on, Keane has helped Burnley return to the top flight and was played a vital role in helping them retain their status for a second successive year. He is the subject of intense transfer speculation, with former club United, Everton, Tottenham and more said to be keen on signing the £25m-rated England international. Stoke City: Jon Walters – Now 33 years old and still at the club, the Republic of Ireland striker has been an excellent servant to the Potters. He arrived in Staffordshire from Ipswich in 2010, and has scored 62 goals in 271 appearances for the club to more than justify his £2.75m transfer fee, playing a part in helping them reach the FA Cup final in 2010/11 and a Europa League campaign the following year. 20 West Bromwich Albion: Chris Brunt – The 32-year-old left-sider arrived in the West Midlands from Sheffield Wednesday in 2007. A decade on, the Northern Irishman has helped the Baggies become an established Premier League club. With 345 West Brom appearances to his name, he has justified the £3.5m deal which took him to the club and he was rewarded with another contract extension in February. 20 20 Leicester City: N’Golo Kante – Months after securing Premier League survival in dramatic fashion, the Foxes signed the small French midfielder from Caen in 2016, in a reported £5.6m transfer. While Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez led the way in earning the plaudits, Kante was key for Claudio Ranieri’s side in the centre of the park, breaking up play and making the team tick as they won a shock Premier League title in Kante’s first and only season. He has now won back-to-back titles after securing a move to Chelsea for around £30m and his influence is being felt there. He may be quiet and reserved, but Kante is bold on the field and now the heartbeat to both Chelsea and France’s midfield. Arsenal: Dennis Bergkamp – A supremely talented forward who made the game look effortless. A £7.5m arrival from Inter Milan – then a club transfer record – 423 appearances, 11 trophy-laden seasons and 120 goals later, it is fair to say it was money well spent. So much so, the club have a statue of the Dutchman outside the Emirates Stadium. An influential professional on and off the field, Bergkamp had the touch, technique and composure to become one of the Premier League’s best ever strikers. He formed an excellent understanding with Thierry Henry and was responsible for some of the most memorable goals, from his hat-trick against Leicester to the magical turn against Newcastle. Henry goes close as their best buy, but Bergkamp, a member of the 2004 Invincibles team, edges it. Crystal Palace: Andy Johnson – Johnson scored 85 goals in 161 appearances for the Eagles between 2002 and 2006 and they struggled to replace him when he left for Everton. It was probably one of the best stints of Johnson’s career, as he struggled with injuries and he moved to Selhurst Park as part of a deal which saw Clinton Morrison go other other way to Birmingham. In 2005 he was voted in Palace’s centenary XI and his goals in 2004/05 helped Iain Dowie’s side to the Premier League via the play-offs. 20 20 20 20 Liverpool: Sami Hyypia – Luis Suarez goes close, but Finnish centre-back Hyypia was excellent business by the Merseyside club. The towering Finn arrived at the club in 1999 for £2.5m from Willem II and he went on to be a fan favourite after putting in consistent and classy performances in a Reds shirt, under both Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez. He won two FA Cups, two League Cups, a Champions League and UEFA Cup in a decade at Anfield, before leaving the club as a true legend when he joined Bayer Leverkusen. Manchester United: Eric Cantona – A number of Sir Alex Ferguson’s buys have proved to be excellent business, but Cantona’s £1.2m arrival could be seen as pivotal. Fresh after winning the 1991/92 title with rivals Leeds, Ferguson signed Cantona ahead of the first ever Premier League season and they secured their first league title in 26 years, kick-starting the first of many under the Scot. The maverick forward had the confidence and swagger to wear the number seven shirt, as well as the brilliance on the ball. Not many players will secure legendary status in four-and-a-half seasons, but the Frenchman did just that at Old Trafford, scoring 82 goals in 185 appearances for the Red Devils. AFC Bournemouth: Harry Arter – The Sidcup-born Republic of Ireland international has racked up 238 appearances for the Cherries since arriving in 2010. He joined the club, then in League One, from non-League Woking for an undisclosed fee, which was settled by a tribunal, and his ascent to the top is in line with Bournemouth’s. Arter is a key part of Eddie Howe’s midfield and the 27-year-old is a firm fans’ favourite. Manchester City: Vincent Kompany – The Citizens paid in the region of £6m to sign the Belgian from Hamburg in 2008 and he will undoubtedly go down as a club legend. In an era of huge sums being spent City, Kompany is easily their best bit of business. He was one of the first to arrive in the new era under owner Sheikh Mansour and, although he has had a tough couple of seasons due to injury, he has played a key role in securing two Premier League trophies, two League Cups and an FA Cup win. Kompany has made over 300 appearances in a sky blue shirt, put in some world-class performances and been a key part of the City revolution. They look much more assured when he is in the side. While Sergio Aguero comes close having become the club’s best ever striker, Kompany edges it. Southampton: Adam Lallana – It is easy to forget Lallana did not necessarily start out at Southampton. He was at Bournemouth before the Saints purchased then-12-year-old Lallana in a deal settled by tribunal, believed to be nominal four-figure performance-related sums. The Cherries had a 25% sell-on fee for Lallana, so they will have been glad to see him secure a £25m switch to Liverpool in 2014. The midfielder represents an excellent profit for the club and, with his leadership and talented displays, he helped with the club rise from League One to the Premier League before going on to play for Liverpool and England. Tottenham Hotspur: Gareth Bale – By the time Bale left White Hart Lane in 2013 after six years, he was one of the best footballers in the world – a global superstar. There were injury problems in the beginning, but then his career began its ascendancy and he won games on his own for Tottenham. In his final season he top scored with 26 goals in all competitions and was eventually sold for £85m, which was a nice profit on a £10m buy. Everton: Tim Cahill – Months after helping Millwall to a shock FA Cup final in 2004, the Australian striker secured a £1.5m move to Goodison, where he went on to spend eight successful years. He netted 66 goals and assisted 29 in 271 appearances for the Toffees, often as captain, and his physical nature and tireless work-rate up front made him a hit with the fans. 20 20 Watford: Troy Deeney – You will struggle to find a Watford fan who is not dreading the day Deeney finally ends his Watford playing career. The club signed him from Walsall in 2010 and he has since become a goal scoring hero. He hit the winner in the 2013 Championship play-off semi-final, a season in which he scored 20 times in all competitions. He reached the 20-goal mark in his next two seasons and was captain when Watford did eventually win promotion to the Premier League in 2015. 20 20 20 20 20 Huddersfield Town: Aaron Mooy – A more recent pick on this list, Aaron Mooy was fairly unknown when he joined Manchester City from Melbourne City last year. The Australian midfielder joined Huddersfield on loan for the season and he was one of the Championship’s standout players. His performances in the centre of the park, including a stunning goal against local rivals Leeds, helped David Wagner’s side to a shock play-off win to book their place in the Premier League. No wonder Town are so keen to keep him – they are reportedly set to break their transfer record with a possible £10m deal in the offing. Andy Booth and Jordan Rhodes were contenders for Huddersfield’s best signing, but Mooy’s impact and influence helped them reach the big time. 20 The Premier League turns 25 years old this summer and it has been a long journey for the clubs entering the 2017/18 campaign.The likes of Swansea, AFC Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Brighton would have to wait a long time for their chance in the top flight, while Manchester United entered the first campaign looking to end their long wait for the league title. Huge amounts have been spent by each clubs since 1992, but which players have been the best signing in that era?*talkSPORT has looked at each club and taken into consideration value for money, contribution and more in determining each club’s player.Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT’s pick of each club’s best signing in the Premier League era…Do you agree? Comment with your thoughts below*Including times when these teams were not in the top flight. The era from 1992-present. Swansea City: Leon Britton (left) – An excellent servant to the club since arriving from Sheffield United – during Swansea’s Championship days – in 2011 for an undisclosed, but nominal, fee. He was key in Brendan Rodgers’ midfield which often earned the plaudits for their style of football and he has won the League Cup, Championship play-offs and League One title with the Welsh side. Now 34 years old and featuring less, 432 appearances is not a bad return. West Ham United: Scott Parker – “Other than Scott Parker, there is not a player we wouldn’t sell if it was the right bid,” West Ham manager David Sullivan once said after the midfielder helped the club steer clear of relegation in 2010. He was clearly well loved by his boss and his decision to remain at Upton Park despite interest from Spurs and the lure of Champions League football further endeared him to his already devoted fans. He eventually did join Spurs in 2011 following the Hammers’ relegation, but before he did he led a players’ revolt when Avram Grant was sacked by Karren Brady in the tunnel and told to find his way home after a 3-2 defeat at Wigan condemned them to the Championship. His professionalism was second to none and Parker even picked up the FWA Player of the Year award in his final season as a West Ham player.last_img read more