The Best 'Pound-for-Pound' Premier League Signings Ever

Jamie Vardy - £1m from Fleetwood to Leicester

Where to start other than the fairytale story of Jamie Vardy? The Leicester City legend was bought from Fleetwood Town back in 2012 for a fee of £1m and he has since become a Premier League legend. 

The Sheffield-born striker fired the Foxes back to the Premier League in his second full season, netting 16 goals and contributing 10 assists in the Championship. However, it was in the Premier League where he made a name for himself as an all-time great.

Since making his debut in the 2014/15 season, Vardy has netted an incredible 115 goals in 231 games in the competition and of course, famously won the Premier League title with 26 goals in the 2015/16 year where he broke the record for most consecutive games scored in (11).

Vardy didn't just do it that year and has continued his brilliance by even winning the Golden Boot last campaign at the age of 33, which is also another record.

Not bad for a man that once considered packing it all in to become an Ibiza rep.

Cristiano Ronaldo - £12m Sporting Lisbon to United

Cristiano Ronaldo impressed Sir Alex Ferguson whilst playing against Manchester United for Sporting Lisbon, making the Scot fork out £12m for his services, and he is a player now thought of as one of the best players ever to grace a football pitch. 

Despite taking a bit of time to get adjusted to Premier League, the Portuguese winger soon showed the world what he was capable of, producing dazzling performances week in, week out. Ronaldo's best season in a United shirt was the 2007/08 season, where he managed an incredible 31 goals and seven assists in just 34 Premier League games.

A feat that ultimately resulted in Ronaldo winning his first Ballon d'Or, whilst he also helped United to three Premier League titles back-to-back and the club's third-ever European title in 2008.

Eric Cantona - £1m from Leeds to United

Eric Cantona is arguably the most influential Premier League signing ever. The Frenchman moved to Old Trafford for the inaugural Premier League season from the reigning champions and arch-rivals Leeds United for just £1m.

Cantona's impact at the Theatre of Dreams cannot be understated. In five seasons, he won four Premier League titles and picked up the PFA Player of the Year award for the 1993/94 season. The striker also boasted an outstanding record of 70 goals and 56 assists in just 156 appearances in the Premier League and he set the tone of foreign imports in English football.

Nicolas Anelka - £500,000 Paris Saint Germain to Arsenal

Nicolas Anelka was an unknown 17-year-old when he signed for Arsenal under newly-appointed Arsene Wenger for £500,000 from Paris Saint-Germain.

The Frenchman's first-team opportunities were limited in the 1996/97 season, but a long-term injury to Ian Wright the following year carved open an opportunity for the then 18-year-old.

Anelka's best season in an Arsenal shirt was the 1998/99 season, where he scored 17 and assisted five in 35 games, which resulted in him winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award. A season that consequently saw Real Madrid splash £22m on him.

Vincent Kompany - £6m Hamburg to City

Vincent Kompany joined Manchester City in 2008 just before the Sheik Mansour takeover was complete. He arrived from Hamburg in the Bundesliga for a fee of £6m as a holding midfielder. But it was in the heart of the City backline where Kompany made his name and became an accomplished Premier League star. He made 265 appearances in the Premier League, conceding on average less than a goal game during that time.

Arguably the great moment from his Etihad career was the goal he scored in the dying embers of the match against Leicester City to secure three crucial points in the title race.

Kompany's one of the all-time best and he is arguably City's greatest ever servant.

N'Golo Kante - £5m from Caen to Leicester

N'Golo Kante joined Leicester City as an unknown quality from Caen back in 2015 for £5m.

 The energetic holding midfielder was arguably Claudio Ranieri's most crucial player in the title-winning campaign as he struck up an outstanding partnership with Danny Drinkwater and broke a variety of records for tackling, interceptions and others.

The Frenchman won back-to-back Premier League's in his first two seasons (Leicester City and Chelsea, respectively) and went on to play an integral part in France's 2018 World Cup win. Kante has been, without question, one of the bargains of the entire Premier League.

Jimmy Floyd-Hasslebaink - £2m from Boavista to Leeds

Jimmy Floyd-Hasslebaink joined Leeds United from Portuguese team Boavista for a modest fee of £2m in 1997.

The Dutchman became one of the best strikers in the Premier League in the late 90s. Hasslebaink netted 34 goals in 69 Premier League appearances at Elland Road before the Yorkshire team sold him to Atletico Madrid for £10m in the summer of 1999.

The striker would return to the Premier League, though just a year later, joining Chelsea. Hasslebaink sits 14th in the all-time list of Premier League goalscorers with 127 goals in 288 games.

Andy Robertson - £8m Hull to Liverpool

Despite being relegated with Hull City in the 16/17 season, Jurgen Klopp decided to spend £8m on left-back Andy Robertson.

Arguably one of the best signings of recent seasons as the Scotsman has become one of the best left-backs in Europe. The 26-year-old has won the two biggest prizes on offer to him at Anfield with the Champions League and Premier League.

Robertson's constant threat going forward has seen him contribute an impressive 33 assists in 118 Premier League games at Anfield.

Demba Ba - Free transfer from West Ham to Newcastle

Demba Ba left West Ham United to join Premier League rivals Newcastle United in the summer of 2011 on a free transfer.

The Senegalese striker managed 27 goals in just 54 Premier League games on Tyneside, striking up an iconic partnership with compatriot Papiss Cisse which almost catapulted the Toon into the Champions League in the 2011/12 season. Ba left Newcastle in 2012 to join Chelsea for a fee in the region of £7m.

Sami Hyppia - £2.6m from Willem II to Liverpool

Sami Hyppia joined Gerard Houllier's Liverpool team as a 26yearold centre-half from relatively unknown Dutch team Willem II for a fee of £2.6m.

The Finnish central defender established himself alongside Jamie Carragher in the heart of Liverpool's defence for a 10-year stint. A period that saw Liverpool win a treble in the 2000/01 season (UEFA Cup/League Cup/FA Cup) and, most famously, the 2005 Champions League, which saw Liverpool come back from 3-0 down against A.C Milan.

Seamus Coleman £60,000 from Sligo Rovers to Everton

In terms of price, we don't think Seamus Coleman's transfer from Sligo Rovers will ever be beaten given the fact most Premier League players at the top end of the table earn £60,000 in a matter of days.

Based on the recommendation from Willie McStay, a former teammate of the then Everton boss David Moyes, the Toffees signed Coleman for just £60,000 and the Irishman has gone on to play 339 times for the club, become the club captain and establish himself as a Premier League legend.

When you're rattling off the greatest right-backs of all-time, the likes of Gary Neville and Pablo Zabaleta will come up first, but as you go down the list, Coleman will no doubt pop up soon after, and it is completely justified not just for his ability the past decade, but for the price of it all.

Peter Schmeichel - £500,000 from Brondy to United

Peter Schmeichel is arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history, and during the early days of the league, he was head and shoulders above the rest.

The Dane would play 398 times for United in his eight-year spell which would start in the old First Division and win 16 major trophies at the club, including five Premier League titles and a Champions League. Schmeichel would also score one goal for United in this time, which was just one of the 10 in his career.

The famous keeper is arguably the best we've ever seen, and at that transfer fee, he's perhaps the best signing United have ever made.

Patrick Vieira - £3.5m from Milan to Arsenal

Patrick Vieira is one of the Premier League's greatest, Arsenal's best ever, and one of the greatest defensive midfielders of all-time, period.

The Frenchman captained Arsenal throughout the Invincibles year of 2003/04, which has put him in the argument of one of the competition's greatest captains, whilst Vieira also won two more league titles and four FA Cups.

£3.5m in 1996 wasn't a pricey fee, but it was a bit of cash back then, as opposed to a months worth of wage for a hotshot player. And, this relatively small fee would turn out to be one of the signings of all-time, not just for the price.

A phenomenal player, and one of the Premier League's best ever.

Kolo Toure - £150,000 from ASEC Mimosas to Arsenal

Sticking with the greatest Arsenal era in Premier League history, and Kolo Toure gets a shout on this list as well for his turn up in that year and beyond.

Toure is one of the players who doesn't really get much of a shout in the Invincibles talk, with the likes of Thierry Henry, Viera and the more starstudded players getting all the attention.

However, Henry cost just short of £15m back in 1999, which was a big fee. On the other hand, Toure was brought in for less than £200,000 and he would go on and win two FA Cups and a Premier League in that unbeaten campaign.

Within that year, Toure played 37 out of the 38 league games and proved to be a rock at the back alongside Sol Campbell and at £150,000, what a bargain it was.

By Harry Charlwood

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