While mega-money transfers in the soccer world receive a lot of buzz, for obvious reasons, good players can be had for reasonable prices as well. In fact, there are even some quality players available each summer for a free transfer. Let’s take a look at the top five 2015/16 Premier League signings that cost clubs under £10 million (roughly $14.5 million).
1. N’Golo Kante – Leicester City – £5.6 million
Not only has Kante been a steal of a deal for surprise champions Leicester City, but the Parisian was also included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year. One of the top performers in midfield, Kante averaged more tackles per game (4.5) and interceptions (4.2) than any other player in England’s top flight. There will certainly be plenty of interest from other top clubs around Europe for the 25-year-old’s services when the summer transfer period opens next month.
2. Christian Fuchs – Leicester City – Free
The Austrian international wisely rejected a chance at an MLS move before securing a free transfer to Leicester from Schalke ahead of the 2015/16 campaign. Fuchs was not selected to the PFA Team of the Year; however, he made a strong case for himself. His four assists were second most among Premier League defenders and the 30-year-old racked up more interceptions and clearances than Danny Rose, Ryan Bertrand and Cesar Azpilicueta.
3. Andre Ayew – Swansea City – Free
Another free summer transfer, Ayew quickly made a positive impact with the Swans. The 26-year-old netted three goals in his first four Premier League matches and was named Premier League Player of the Month for August. The Ghana international continued to have a solid freshman season in Wales throughout the campaign. Ayew scored more Premier League goals this season (10) than Christian Benteke, Wayne Rooney, and the £58 million man Anthony Martial.
4. Mohamed Elneny – Arsenal – £7.4 million
Elneny’s deal to Arsenal proves that big clubs don’t need to spend a fortune to get a decent player. Although the Egypt international has only featured in just 14 total matches for the Gunners since his January arrival from Basel, Elneny has made an immediate impact with the club. Since manager Arsene Wenger implemented him into the starting XI about two months ago, the Gunners have not lost a Premier League match (while keeping five clean sheets). Also, according to Squawka, Elneny leads the league in passes completed (532) since his full league debut.
5. Gerard Deulofeu – Everton – £4.2 million
Somehow Everton managed to persuade Barcelona to sell Deulofeu for just over £4 million. Although the electric winger has fallen out of favor by manager Roberto Martinez as of late, Deulofeu has managed to rack up 13 total assists to go along with four goals on the season. His eight Premier League assists top Cesc Fabregas, Roberto Firmino, and Adam Lallana, all of whom cost at least six times more than Deulofeu. At just 22, Everton have yet another young budding star on their hands.
Honorable mentions: Robbie Brady, Jordy Clasie, Ramiro Funes Mori, Robert Huth, and Chancel Mbemba.
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