RECORD BREAKERS Club-by-club guide to Premier League's top signings

15 January 2009 09:20
Jose Antonio Reyes never really adapted to life in England ARSENAL £17m - Jose Antonio Reyes (Sevilla) Reyes joined Wenger's 'Invincibles' team in January 2004 and made an immediate impact, soring an own goal in the Gunners' League Cup semi-final defeat against Middlesbrough. The Spain international made a good start under Wenger, but was sent off in Arsenal's 2005 FA Cup triumph over Manchester United (a game the Gunners won 5-4 on penalties after extra-time) and never really adapted to life in England. Verdict - Never fulfilled his undoubted potential.ASTON VILLA £9.65m - Ashley Young (Watford) In January 2007 Villa bought Young as a striker, but the former England Under 21 player has blossomed in a wide role at Villa Park. His consistent performances for Martin O'Neill's side earned him a full England call up in November 2007 and Young's manager hailed him as 'world class' this season. Verdict - Not quite 'world class', but a major reason behind Villa's success this season. Ashley Young has been in fine form for high-flying Aston Villa this season BLACKBURN £8m - Andrew Cole (Man United) Cole left Manchester United in December 2001 and has since referred to his last big money move as 'probably the biggest mistake I've ever made'. His goal tally was impressive and he won the League Cup with Blackburn in 2002 but, at 30 years of age, the striker was past his best. Andy Cole joined Blackburn from Manchester United Verdict - Failed to recreate his Old Trafford form and never lived up to his record-breaking billing. BOLTON £12m - Johann Elmander (Toulouse) Bolton splurged£12m to bring the Sweden striker to the Reebok last summer. Elmander is Bolton's joint top scorer with five goals this season but failed to hit the back of the net between the first day of the season and the end of November.   Bolton's Johan Elmander: Is he worth£12 million? Verdict - Has improved lately, but still has much to do to convince sceptics he's a£12m striker. Andriy Shevchenko was a flop at Chelsea CHELSEA £30m - Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan) It all went wrong for the Ukraine striker when he joined the Blues in May 2006. Thwarted by injury and frozen out by Jose Mourinho, Shevchenko tootled back to AC Milan for an 'undisclosed fee' last summer. You can bet it wasn't a patch on the£30m Chelsea paid out two years earlier. Verdict - A flop. He isn't even on the Chelsea website's historical player database.EVERTON £15m - Marouane Fellaini (Standard Liege) The 21-year-old signed for Everton on transfer deadline day and boss David Moyes admitted the Belgium international struggled with the pace of English football. Everton's Marouane Fellaini seems to be adapting to life in the Premier League But a goal against Man City in October set Fellaini on his way and he'll be sorely missed in Everton's derbies against Liverpool after 10 yellow cards this season. Verdict - Too many bookings, but appears to be adapting to the Premier League game. Great hair too. FULHAM £11.5m - Steve Marlet (Lyon) Fulham smashed their previous transfer record when they signed Marlet in August 2001, but he was an unmitigated disaster at Craven Cottage. Steve Marlet was a major disappointment at Fulham Marlet failed to score in first seven games, then suffered a knee injury that ruled him out for two months, saw boss Jean Tigana sacked, was loaned to Olympique de Marseille and then released. Verdict - Averaged one goal every five games. Enough said. HULL £2.5m - Anthony Gardner (Tottenham) Hull City made Gardner's loan move from Spurs a permanent deal as the Tigers embarked on their first season in the top flight. Former Tottenham defender Anthony Gardner has been frustrated with injuries since joining Hull Manager Phil Brown called the signing 'a win-win situation' and Gardner started well for City before suffering a thigh injury that has limited him to just three league appearances this season. Verdict - Injuries have restricted Gardner to a handful of starts. Brown should've have done his homework. Fernando Torres has been magnificent since joining Liverpool LIVERPOOL £22m - Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid) The Spain striker joined Liverpool in July 2007 and had a terrific first season, becoming the first Anfield player to score 30 goals in a season since Robbie Fowler in 1996-97. Torres's appearances this season have been limited through injury, but the Euro 2008 winner, is already a Kop favourite. Verdict - The best striker in the Premier League, Europe and probably the world. Brilliant signing. MANCHESTER CITY £34m - Robinho (Real Madrid) Moneybags Man City poached Robinho from Chelsea on deadline day last August, splashing out a record fee for a British club on the Brazil striker. Robinho has scored some delightful goals for Manchester City this season The 24-year-old has supplied goals this season and even taken the captain's armband on occasion, but City still find themselves hovering dangerously above the relegation zone. Verdict -  His talent is obvious, but he's too good for City, surely? MANCHESTER UNITED £30.75m - Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham) The 'will-he, won't he' saga finally ended in September 2008 as Berbatov's move to Manchester United from Spurs was completed. Dimitar Berbatov joined Manchester United from Tottenham last summer The Bulgarian's form in Europe has been admirable, but four goals in 16 league appearances is hardly record-breaking material. Verdict - Unspectacular so far, but with such quality around him surely only a matter of time before he delivers. Afonso Alves was on target earlier this month but has been a disappointment at Middlesbrough so far MIDDLESBROUGH £12m - Afonso Alves (Heerenveen) Arrived with a big reputation and an even bigger waistline. After a remarkable goalscoring record in Eredivisie, Boro fans had every reason to get excited about the latest Brazilian to grace the Riverside. Two goals against Man United in the pouring rain last April suggested Alves had finally adapted to the English game. Subsequent form suggests otherwise. Verdict - Prolific in Holland, but disappointing so far at the Riverside.NEWCASTLE £17m - Michael Owen (Real Madrid) Newcastle stepped in to rescue Owen from his Real Madrid nightmare when no one else was willing to sign the prolific England striker. Talk of the Toon: Newcastle's Michael Owen celebrates at St James' Park A succession of serious injuries have limited Owen to just 50 Premier League starts in three and a half years, but when fit, the former Liverpool man is still one of the best in the business, averaging just under a goal every other game at St James'. Verdict - Prolific when fit, just a shame he's spent mroe time on the treatment table than on the pitch. Peter Crouch has been impressive so far at Portsmouth PORTSMOUTH £11m - Peter Crouch (Liverpool) Formed prolific partnership with Jermain Defoe before Tottenham came calling and now the spearhead for Tony Adams' team. Natural goalscoring instinct and ability to bring others into play has made the gangly striker a real asset to the south coast club. As long as Crouch stays Portsmouth should be alright. Verdict - Impressive so far. His goals should ensure another season of Premier League football for Portsmouth. STOKE £5.5m - Dave Kitson (Reading) Kitson's form for Reading constantly brought about talk of an England call-up but the flame-haired forward has drawn a blank since his arriving at the Britannia Stadium. Dave Kitson has yet to score for Stoke Fans have taken to him for his work-rate, but if Stoke are relegated due to failings in front of goal, fingers will be pointed firmly in Kitson's direction. Verdict - Yet to score. Maybe he should go back to stacking shelves at Sainsbury's? Craig Gordon joined Sunderland from Hearts SUNDERLAND £9m - Craig Gordon (Hearts) Sunderland smashed the British transfer record for a goalkeeper to land the Scotland No1. After being 'rested' for three games for conceding seven against Everton, Gordon enjoyed a promising first season with the Black Cats. Has been sidelined since November with an ankle injury. Verdict - Decent shot-stopper and solid 'keeper, but probably not worth the transfer fee. TOTTENHAM £16.6m - Luka Modric (Dinamo Zagreb) Tottenham stole a march on their rivals by snapping up Modric before Euro 2008 with Croatia coach Slaven Bilic lauding the pint-sized playmaker as the 'best player in Europe'. Luka Modric has impressed in a difficult season to date for Tottenham Took some time to adapt, but is starting to show the kind of technique and vision that prompted Spurs to break their transfer record for his services. Verdict - A class act, but surrounded by no-hopers. Will not be at the Lane for long. WEST BROMWICH ALBION £4.7m - Borja Valero (Real Mallorca) The former Real Madrid trainee has struggled to make an impact at Premier League level, despite Tony Mowbray's insistance he's worth every penny of his transfer fee. Borja Valero in action for West Brom in their FA Cup clash with Peterborough earlier this month The attacking midfielder has made 17 appearances this season, but is yet to convince Hawthorns' regulars. Verdict - Easy on the eye, but is he what the Baggies need in their fight for survival? WEST HAM £7.5m - Craig Bellamy (Liverpool) Injuries have plagued the Wales striker since his move to Upton Park, but when fit, Bellamy is a threat to any Premier League defence. Craig Bellamy is reportedly set to leave West Ham Recent form has attracted interest from Man City and Tottenham and although West Ham are determined to hold on to their best players, their current financial predicament ensures a healthy bid will be accepted. Verdict - Decent signing who'll be sold for a profit.WIGAN £5.5m - Emile Heskey (Birmingham) Signed for Wigan two-and-a-half years ago after Birmingham were relegated from the Barclays Premier League. The transfer took his career fees to almost£23m. Emile Heskey has seen his career revitalised at Wigan Although he has scored just 16 goals in 86 appearances for the Lancashire club, he is highly thought of by Steve Bruce and the JJB Stadium faithful, and his ability to be a foil to other strikers has helped revive his England career. Verdict - Revitalised since his move to the JJB, Heskey has regained his England place and looks set for a return to Liverpool.  

Source: Daily_Mail