While it’s more fun to list the top flops at the end of every season, 30 million for Shevchenko, Michael Ballacks over inflated wages and Julio Baptista’s over inflated reputation, the more pertinent question would be who was the best purchase of the 2006/2007 season?
Michael Carrick, who cost around about 18 million pounds, including pay on clauses and the like, was seen as a bit over priced at the beginning of the season, but as Sir Alex Furgeson will tell you, he wasn’t paying 18 million for the individual, but rather for the improvement to the team. United needed a midfielder like Carrick to complement Scholes, Ronaldo, and Giggs. Just as they now need a hard working, industrious midfielder like Hargreaves, and will pay what is needed to have another piece to their puzzle fit in.
Chelsea it seems pay for the individual, and so you get money wasted on a player that there is no doubt is talented, and we all would have paid 30million for Shevchenko a year ago, but who does not fit in with the team. As they also found out with Ballack. Solomon Kalou was by far the best buy that Chelsea made, and perhaps the lowest profile.
Dirk Kuyt and Obefemi Martins arrived at at Liverpool and Newcastle respectively, with great reputations and promise. Kuyt has fit in the better, and although he has not set the league alight, there is hope for a better second season for him. Going from the Dutch league to England is a step up. Martins has shone in glimpses, much as he did in Italy with Inter. He can be very good, with devastating pace, and he can be anonymous. Whether he is still here next season, or whether Newcastle will be able to get the best out of him, is open for debate.
One of the best buys of the season was Berbatov at Spurs. He cost about 10 million pounds, but all at White Harte Lane will agree that it was money well spent. He scores and creates goals, and with a deft touch, great control and vision, was undoubtedly the reason many at Spurs will hope to be challenging for a Champions League spot next season. They will have to if they are to keep their prize asset, as both Man Utd and Chelsea are said to be hovering. Berbatov it seems for the moment is happy at Spurs, and with his great understanding and partnership with Robbie Keane, there is sufficient hope that he could stay and help them challenge for honours next season. All at Spurs will be praying this is the case.
However the best buy of the season, in terms of money spent and over all contribution, has got to be the South African, Benni McCarthy at Blackburn. Having failed to get moves across to England over the last few years, Benni finally arrived for just 2,5million. And he has repaid that sum ten fold with a superb debut season. He finished the season behind Drogba as the second highest goal scorer, with 18 goals. He led the line admirably for Rovers, and wasn’t short of the spectacular or important goal, as was seen by his strike to knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup. His overall tally of 24 goals for the season put him fourth on the list of most goals in a debut season by a foreigner, only Van Nistelrooy, Ravanelli, and Klinsman, have done better.
Shevchenko for 30 million, Benni for 2,5 million. Benni McCarthy, by far the best buy of the 2006/2007 season.