Home > Birmingham, Football, Fulham, Man Utd, Portsmouth, Premiership, Soccer, Sport, Transfers, Wigan > Top 5 Summer Signings (0-3 million!)

Top 5 Summer Signings (0-3 million!)

(5): Gary O’Connor, Birmingham, £2.65 million.

Little bit controversial? The Scotland forward makes it into the top five to kick off the list. Newly promoted teams often have trouble securing a potent goalscorer and their lack of goals generally see them go straight back down to life in the Championship. However, Steve Bruce has been vocal in his desire to play attacking football to try and score more goals this time around. O’Connor may just be the man to get him the goals. Having brought in some excellent midfield options such as Kapo, de Ridder and Muamba, Bruce has offered a target man like O’Connor the opportunity to excel with the right service, and the Scot scored against Sunderland on his debut on Wednesday to get the season off to the right start having come on as a substitute. Clearly relieved to be back in Britain after a bizarre stay in Russia, O’Connor could prove to be the man to keep Birmingham afloat this season.

(4): Antoine Sibierski, Wigan, free.

Another unusual choice perhaps, but Antoine Sibierski has been an underrated player for quite some time now. A canny midfielder with the knack of scoring important goals, the former Newcastle and Man City man, like O’Connor, could be influential in Wigan’s season, depending on whether he can weigh in with a good goals-to-game ratio. Having scored some vital goals last season for Newcastle it was a surprise to see the player leave after just one season, but Wigan pipped Premiership rivals Everton and Fulham to the signing of the versatile French forward, and he has repaid their faith already with two goals in two games, the second being the winner in the 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Wednesday. Wigan, many peoples favourites for the drop, will probably struggle this season, but we believe they have made some excellent signings, giving the likes of Bramble, Brown and importantly, Jason Koumas, a chance to show they can hack it in the Premiership. Manager Chris Hutchings has gone about his business quietly since taking over from Paul Jewell this summer, but in Antoine Sibierski has a potential star for the season. With plenty of experience and a couple of years left in those legs, Sibierski is a true free-transfer bargain.

(3): Sylvain Distin, Portsmouth, free.

What a capture from Harry Redknapp. Distin, another Frenchman, angered the Man City faithful last season by refusing to sign a new deal and choosing instead to cash in on a lucrative free-transfer move to Premiership rivals Portsmouth. Perhaps Man City fans have had the last laugh, as huge money, a renowned manager and renewed optimism have been brought into the club this summer, just weeks after Distin chose to end his stay in Manchester. Still, Portsmouth fans aren’t complaining. Distin is a hugely impressive centre back, and was subject to late, late interest from Liverpool before completing his move to Pompey. Harry Redknapp pulled off one of the coups of pre-season by tying the defender to a three-year deal at Fratton Park and offering him the chance to become a top class centre-back pairing with Sol Campbell. This season, aged 29, Distin should be in his prime and raring to go given the new challenge that awaits him. It is slightly ironic that the player left Man City due to a ‘lack of ambition within the club’ only to find now that Man City, under Eriksson, are riding high with a talented and expensively assembled squad having won both games so far this season. Man City’s loss here though, is Portsmouth’s gain, and Man City may realise their major flaw this season is in not replacing their best defender in Distin.

(2): David Healy, Fulham, £1.5 million

Lawrie Sanchez took over the reigns from Chris Coleman last season on the back of an entirely successful campaign with Northern Ireland in the Euro 2008 qualifiers. Northern Ireland’s 3-2 win over Spain saw a stunning hat-trick from David Healy, and pundits were stunned to see the prolific forward return from International goalscoring exploits to find himself on the bench at Leeds at the weekend. Leeds ended up relegated, Sanchez became Fulham’s permanent manager and promptly earmarked Healy as his main man for Fulham. Of Healy’s 29 International goals, 18 came under Lawrie Sanchez, and this trend shows no sign of stopping this season as Healy has scored in both of Fulham’s Premiership games so far this season, including a goal within a minute of his debut against Arsenal. The former Manchester United youngster will be relishing the chance to finally prove himself at Premiership level, and in Sanchez has the perfect working relationship with his manager to fulfill his ambitions. The fact that most of Northern Ireland’s squad has joined Fulham alongside Healy will also not do any harm. At £1.5 million, Healy could well prove to be the star of the show for Fulham this season in place of the far more expensive Diomansy Kamara who cost Fulham the equivalent of four David Healys but has yet to make a Premiership start for the club.

(1): Carlos Tevez, Manchester United, loan.

Hey, signings include loans you know? Plus the fee involved is reportedly less than the 3million bracket we’ve imposed on this top 5 so we’re well within our rights to name the man who has been in the papers every day for the past year, mostly for the wrong reasons, but is now ready to kick off with the Premiership Champions and show us all why he’s such a great player. Tevez took a while to get going at West Ham, true, but when he did he ended up keeping them in the Premiership, crucially with the winner over Manchester United on the last day of the season. This signing is the equivalent of a Torres for Liverpool, an Edouardo for Arsenal or a Bent for Spurs. Except Ferguson has spent a huge amount less. Very little in fact. It must be pointed out that the player is not yet a Man Utd player as he is on loan, however a two year loan is the same length of time as many players spend at a club anyway. Throw in Rooney, Saha and Solskjaer’s injury problems, and Tevez is beginning to look like Ferguson’s most important bit of business this summer so far. Pundits have suggested that Tevez is too similar in style to Rooney, many argued he couldn’t cut it up front on his own against Portsmouth. However, Rooney’s injury allows Tevez to flourish in his own capacity as an attacking midfielder, come forward. He also won’t play on his own up front very often, and even if he does, he set up Scholes’ goal and came close on a couple of occasions himself,not bad for a debut on his own up front at a tricky venue. The fact that Tevez has proven himself at a Premiership level at West Ham is another factor in his advantage. While everyone awaits Fernando Torres’ first goal at Liverpool to show he can adapt to the Premiership, Tevez has the Premiership goals to prove he can, and he will score more this season in the red and white of Utd, make no mistake about it. You just can’t ignore this guy, Carlos Tevez at number one.

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