Stupid money in silly season, this summer’s transfer window has been among the most absurd with the Premier League’s sprawling fees passing the £1billion mark.
In a window which has seen Kyle Walker sold to Manchester City for £50million it’s difficult to imagine this inflated market producing any bargain buys.
But a few clubs have managed to put together some good business this summer.
Here, in no particular order, we take a look at the five best bargain buys so far.
DOMINIC SOLANKE – CHELSEA TO LIVERPOOL
Aside from a mixed loan spell at Dutch side Vitesse, Solanke has the potential to be one of Liverpool’s most underrated signings.
The 19-year-old was poached from Chelsea and a tribunal will set the composition figure with a fee between £3million and £10million suggested.
But whatever the cost, Solanke has already shown he is ready to take the next step in his development. He was the player of the tournament as England won the U-20 World Cup and needed just 10 minutes to score on his debut for the Reds against Crystal Palace.
He has the right attitude to succeed and he’s working under a manager with a reputation for nurturing young talent. A ruthless finisher, the striker has the tools to round out his game as he steps up to the senior ranks.
SANDRO RAMIREZ – MALAGA TO EVERTON
Everton have been one of the league’s most active spenders this summer but of all the arrivals, Sandro is the one to receive the biggest wave of optimism – a rare sentiment from Blues fans.
Indeed, the 21-year-old could be the smartest piece of business done in this window as Everton capitilised on a £5million release clause to snap up the striker from Malaga.
The youngster was released by Barcelona last year and ended up at the Costa del Sol club where he kicked his career on by scoring 14 La Liga goals.
His versatility across the front three will see Ronald Koeman utilise him consistently next season and his work rate, aggression and intelligence could see the La Masia graduate fulfill his undoubted potential.
NATHANIEL CHALOBAH – CHELSEA TO WATFORD
Chelsea’s erratic youth policy has been of benefit for two Premier League clubs with Liverpool signing Solanke and Watford capturing Chalobah.
The Premier League champions spent 12 years nurturing his talents only to see him depart for a paltry £5million as he pursued first-team opportunities.
At 22 years old, Chalobah is a brilliant young defensive midfielder and Chelsea will rue having let him run down his deal to a final year.
Dictating play from deep the creative side of his game is unquestionable but there is work to be done from a defensive perspective.
Still, Chalobah is a graceful operator and Chelsea’s insistence on a release clause is evidence of one slipping through the net.
JAVIER HERNANDEZ – BAYER LEVERKUSEN TO WEST HAM
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho said he would never have sold Hernandez if he were in charge when he left for Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 – and for good reason.
The Mexico icon returns to the Premier League after a £16million switch to West Ham and in this market, for guaranteed goals, that’s what we consider a bargain.
At 29 age isn’t exactly on his side but the Hammers have been dreadfully short of firepower and with 34 goals during two seasons with an average Bundesliga side, Hernandez is the perfect poacher they need.
According to the Guardian, West Ham have brought in 32 strikers for four different managers but between them have plundered just 128 goals in 643 games.
That startling trend should come to an end with Hernandez, though, with the £16million outlay a sound investment.
AARON MOOY – MANCHESTER CITY TO HUDDESFIELD
Yes, he was Huddersfield’s record signing at £10million until Tom Ince was captured for £11million but it’s little wonder Town boss David Wagner was desperate to sign the Australian on a permanent deal.
Mooy was the Championship’s most outstanding midfielder during his loan spell from Man City to Huddersfield last season as he became central to their surprise ascension to the Premier League.
His importance to the Terriers is undeniable as the 26-year-old made 48 league appearances in a deep role alongside Jonathan Hogg.
His dictation of tempo was masterfull, so much so, Pep Guardiola considered implementing keeping onto him at City so he’s certainly one to watch next season.