With the end of the season approaching rapidly, fans and pundits are now able to honestly review how each individual team and player has performed having seen them over the course of the entire campaign.
Each season, the best and worst transfer from the previous summer and January transfer windows are heavily scrutinised, but which players this season have turned out to be the best bargain buys?
Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac was picked up by Arsenal on a free transfer last summer after his contract expired with German Bundesliga club Schalke. During his six-year stint with Schalke, the 24-year-old played in a variety of different positions including left-back, centre-back and defensive midfield.
His versatility has been well utilised by Arsene Wenger this season and signing such a complete player on a free was excellent business by the Gunners. Despite a disappointing season for the club all round, Kolasinac has done himself justice through his performances and picked up the Arsenal Player of the Month award in October.
Brazil under-20 international Richarlison joined Watford from Fluminense last summer in a deal worth £11million (Globo Esporte
). Although this may appear a hefty fee for a 20-year-old, the winger has more than proved his worth in a Hornets shirt, netting five goals so far, all of which came in his first 12 appearances.
His quality has definitely shone through, and rumours have emerged at various points in the season of interest from the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton; testament to how highly rated he is as a young prospect.
Jack Cork made the switch from Swansea to Burnley for £10million (BBC
) after two and a half successful seasons in Wales. The former Chelsea youngster had previously played for Burnley on two occasions, having spent loans there between 2009 and 2011.
Cork seamlessly slotted back into life at Turf Moor and has enjoyed an excellent season under Sean Dyche, playing in every Premier League game so far. Helping Burnley to a probable sixth-placed finish, the midfielder also gained his first call up to the England senior team, earning his debut in November 2017 at the age of 28. For £10million, and given Burnley’s season, Cork’s form definitely includes him in the bargain category.
Everton’s season as a whole has been mightily disappointing, especially considering the money spent last summer and expectations at the beginning of the campaign. However, one piece of great business was the re-signing of England’s record goal-scorer, Wayne Rooney.
Rooney left the club at the young age of 18, and spent the last 13 seasons at Old Trafford, writing his name into Premier League folklore. The ex-England captain spent the first stages of the season playing as a centre-forward, however, has since retreated further back and is now usually partnered with Toffees starlet Tom Davies in the centre of midfield.
Rooney has bagged 11 goals for Everton at his first season in Goodison Park since 2004, and adding his experience and quality to the dressing room for nothing in return is most surely a bargain.
After enduring a tough start to his Manchester United career, Alexis Sanchez has appeared to come into his own in recent matches, inspiring his new side to the FA Cup final and the chance to add more silverware to the club’s rich history. Sanchez cost United nothing in terms of monetary value, however, instead they were able to offload a frustrated star who was simply not fitting into Jose Mourinho’s plans.
The Chilean may be a controversial figure in England after his extended transfer saga when leaving Arsenal, turning down Manchester City to join United, and shocking the nation in the process. One fact remains a constant, however, and that is that Sanchez is by far one of the league’s best players when on form, and Mourinho will be looking to make full use of that next season.