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Will Tidey - The Five Greatest Premier League Transfers

Published: 21 Jul 2011 - 06:30:07

At this time of the year it's easy to forget that transfers actually do happen. Most of what we get is gossip, rumours and conjecture - and a large proportion of it ends up amounting to nothing.

Cesc Fabregas, Carlos Tevez, Wesley Sneijder. Just three of the big names who've dominated the transfer headlines this summer, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if all three ended up walking out before the same fans they supposedly said goodbye too in May.

With that in mind, I thought it might be a good time to look back at five of the greatest Premier League transfer deals since the competition as we know it began in 1992. Sky's money changed everything, and these deals saw some of it put to spectacular use.

5. Alan Shearer, Southampton to Blackburn Rovers (1992)

At £3.6 million, Shearer was a seriously big outlay for Blackburn, but he ultimately proved the difference as they went on to win the title in 1995, bankrolled by Jack Walker. His prolific goalscoring, and his partnership with Chris Sutton, were the driving force. When he left for Newcastle in 1996, Blackburn completed their good business by making an £11 million profit.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo, Sporting to Manchester United (2003)

When Manchester United paid around £12 million for a relatively unknown Portuguese teenager in 2003, we wondered what they doing. Six years later Cristiano Ronaldo walked out of Old Trafford having won three league titles, a Champions League winners' medal and the Ballon d'Or. Oh, and Real Madrid paid £80 million for the privilege. Has any single player ever dominated the Premier League like Ronaldo did in the 2007-08 season?

3. Thierry Henry, Juventus to Arsenal (1999)

Arsenal paid around £11 million for French striker Henry, but it proved a seriously shrewd investment by Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman helped them to the Double in 2002 and left the club an Arsenal legend. Henry's intelligence and craft made him a universally popular player, and who could forget the volley he scored against Manchester United.

2. Roy Keane, Nottingham Forest to Manchester United (1993)

United were looking to replace the aging Bryan Robson and Keane looked to have all the attributes necessary. For £3.75 million United ultimately secured the player who would prove the driving force in over a decade of success at Old Trafford.

1. Eric Cantona, Leeds to Manchester United (1992)

The story is part of United folklore. Leeds phoned to enquire about Denis Irwin, only for Sir Ferguson to ask on a whim about their French maverick Cantona. It turned out Howard Wilkinson wasn't happy with his temperamental striker, and prepared to offload him for just £1.2 million. Cantona would prove the catalyst as United finally won a league title in 1993, 26 years after their last.

Special mentions to the likes of Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba, Javier Hernandez, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez (West Ham move), Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer et al - but these are the five who I feel have made the most impact.

Be good to hear your thoughts as always.

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Will Tidey
Will Tidey writes on sport for CNN, Eurosport-Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, amongst others. His first book, 'Life with Sir Alex', an account of Sir Alex Ferguson's 25-year reign at Manchester United, is set for release in October this year. Pre-order it now at http://tinyurl.com/6xzl62b. And follow Will on Twitter here - www.twitter.com/willtidey

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