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Value for Money?


villafan306
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There has been some debate regarding the quality of our first two summer signings and after MON’s comments today about not spending outlandish amounts of money on players I thought I’d have a go at putting my views across.

Reo-Coker:

Nigel Reo-Coker joined us for an initial £7.5million which could rise to £8.5million eventually. Now that price for a 23 year old seems quite steep at a first glance, but putting things into perspective and bearing in mind we have signed a player with bags of potential, that price begins to looks like a bit of a bargain.

I mean, let’s look at the other central midfielders who have moved to a Premiership team this summer. Firstly Daniel de Ridder (free) and Fabrice Muamba (£3million ish) have joined Small Heath. De Ridder may turn out to be a great bit of business but he is unproven at this level of football and as for Muamba, well he may be another Pennant but I doubt Arsenal would have let him go if they thought he could perform to well in the Premiership. Bolton have snapped up Gavin McCann (£1million) and Xabi Alonso’s brother Mikel on loan. McCann…well I’m not going to get into that debate here but the majority of Villa fans thought him surplus to requirements and it seems MON did too, as for Alonso well I’m sure if he was that great he would have been snapped up sooner. Chelsea have done a fantastic bit of business getting Steve Sidwell in on a free transfer, I think he could walk into any starting line up outside of the top 4 personally. Steven Davis has joined Fulham for £4m and most think that is a sound bit of business, but I have never rated Davis as much as a lot of other people and think he disappears far too often but I guess time will tell on this one. Owen Hargreaves has joined Manchester United for around £18million. In my opinion Hargreaves is probably the best English defensive midfielder and for a player in his prime for a Premier League winning outfit that price seems about right. Newcastle have signed the only real alternative to Reo-Coker available in this window and that is Joey Barton. For £5.8million he could very easily turn out to be a complete bargain. However, he could be a liability. Barton has a lot of baggage and a terrible off the field record, on the field though it is hard to deny his ability and at under £6million he is a bargain. Pompey picked up Sulley Muntari for around £8million which is a similar deal to Reo-Coker really, a young talented individual with bucket loads of potential. The difference being that NRC has two seasons of Premiership football under his belt which could turn out to be invaluable experience. West Ham picked up Scott Parker for around £7.5million. Parker struggled at Newcastle last season but does have some quality about him which Curbishley brought through at Charlton so this could be a good move for both the team and the player. Finally we have Wigan’s signing of Jason Koumas for £5.5million. That’s a lot of money for a player who hasn’t yet played in the top flight but he will be instrumental in any Wigan attempt to avoid the drop so they had better hope the Welshman can perform.

So at this point in time my list of the top three central midfield signings is as follows:

Sidwell to Chelsea (Free)

Barton to Newcastle (£5.8million)

Reo-Coker to Villa (£7.5million)

I do however think that Sidwell will struggle to break into Chelsea’s first team but I think Barton will calm down a bit at a new club. So Reo-Coker in my view is not a bad signing at all, one of the top three midfield transfers so far this window in fact. Therefore whilst I don’t think we have an absolute bargain, I do think we have a good deal.

Harewood:

Marlon Harewood joins us for around £3.5million. He is a 27 year old who struggled last season after an outstanding first season in the top flight. His signing has come under close scrutiny from the Villa faithful due to the fact that he was deemed surplus to requirements at Upton Park. Harewood knows he will not be guaranteed a place in the first 16 yet alone the starting 11 and he is prepared to graft his way into MON’s plans.

You can guess what’s coming now; here are the other striker moves this summer to date. Arsenal have signed Eduardo Da Silva for around £8million, a gamble after letting Henry go this summer but Da Silva is highly rated. SHA have picked up Garry O’Connor for £2.5million and Mido for £6million. Neither are particularly impressive but O’Connor could do quite well I guess. Blackburn have signed promising Dutch under 21 international Maceo Rigters for around £500k, a very astute signing for a promising talent. Claudio Pizarro joined Chelsea on a free transfer and is almost undoubtedly the bargain of the close season so far. Robert Earnshaw (£3.5million) made the move to Derby County and will probably be their only chance of survival. Diomansy Kamara (£6million) and David Healy (£2million) will attempt to make Fulham a mid-table outfit and dare I say with those two up front that will be all they can be. Fernando Torres becomes Liverpool’s main attack threat after a £27million move with Andriy Voronin moving as back up on a free transfer. Both are world class in my view and I wouldn’t be surprised if Voronin became Liverpool’s number one stirker before too long. Man City made Rolando Bianchi (£8.8million) their first signing….can’t say I have any idea who this chap is to be honest. Middlesbrough have brought in Jeremie Aliadiere (£2million) from Arsenal which is less than impressive. Mark Viduka joins Newcastle on a free transfer which is a very astute signing by big Sam as the Aussie still has a lot of quality. David Nugent (£6million) and John Utaka (undisc.) join Pompey but their lack of Premiership experience may prove to be their downfall. Sunderland brought in Michael Chopra for £5million in the most baffling move of the summer, no disrespect but Chopra is not worth anywhere near that fee. Spurs have of course got Darren Bent in for a whopping £16.5million. Too much? For a young guy who scores around 12 goals per season it could be worth it and probably will. Craig Bellamy signed for West Ham for £7.5million, way too much money for a man who hasn’t been able to hold a club down in recent years. Antoine Sibierski signed for Wigan for free, they are going down.

So again my top three so far are:

Claudio Pizarro to Chelsea (free)

Andriy Voronin to Liverpool (free)

Darren Bent to Spurs (£16.5million)

Let’s face it. Harewood to Villa won’t be high on anyone’s list of top summer signings, but there are a number of worse ones out there and as a back up we could have done much worse. Looking at those prices (other than the two free transfers in my top 3) I would go so far as to say that we might have ourselves a bargain here, time will tell.

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Good article, agree with mosst of it.

Koumas has played in the prem though, I remember him scoring against us when we beat them 2-1 (I think) with Hitz getting the last minute winner.

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Some good comments, cant say I agree with Darren Bent being good value at his price. Think Viduka and Bellamy even are far better value.

Koumas scored a good free kick against us when Hitz scored his cracking goal, as paddy stated. Good comments though, very interesting and good points made. I actually think Harewood could be compared quite soon to Viduka and Bellamy, though would not go quite as far to say he was a bargain :)

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Nice article you got in there. Not too soure about Bent, I feel he's overrated myself, as are most english or british players overpriced. I hope that Harewood makes some waves, as I am one of those sceptics who didn't ratehim in the first place. But I don't mind being proven wrong.

MON will have seen some potential in the man, I'm sure. Would be good if it worked, and would prove how overpriced some of these english players are along the way.

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Considering Harewood and Reo-Coker are both English and young is a clear indication that they are good value based on the over-inflated prices being paid for good young British players. Is Darren Bent worth 16.5 million? Never, in my opinion. I agree that Sidwell is a great piece of business, but also feel that he may move on in a couple of years to get playing time. He has the potential to be a successor to Lampard, but he may have to wait three or four years.

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Nice, well thought out article but you massively overrate Voronin. He's nowhere near world class. The strikers department is one area that Benitez has consistently struggled with for Liverpool.

If Bent can score around 15 goals a season and helps Spurs to a European spot then it won't matter how much he cost. Time will tell I guess.

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I have to agree with the article i think our signings from a perspective over the whole transfer window seem to be good value.

considering we have NRC a proven premiership player and was great for West Ham their first season after promotion similar scenario for Harewood(without his finishing they wouldn't of done so well, also he did well against us at upton park making our defence look silly).

As for people saying that Harewood isnt a good signing should remember the season in which Angel and Baros really didnt have to play well to get into the first team- and baros especially rarely performed to the standard villa fans have expected from a man who played in a champions league final... So i do think there is a reason behind Harewood's signing- even if he doesnt manage to break into a first team spot he will be a good signing if his presence positively influences the performances of those trying to maintain a first team position - and im all for that.

I enjoyed the article put things into perspective their have been some good free transfers this season but to top 4 teams so those players will really have to perform to make it there. Torres is unproven in premiership but has poacher's instinct (will have to see if he does a morientes) so i think we have done good business this far and hope to see some more before end of season.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Martin O'Neil was seen paying for a Mars bar with a pound coin yesterday. Rumours are that he might get a couple extra quid out and think about buying some players, but its understood that Martin doesn't want to be pay "over and above" for players, but some wonder what Martin was trying to achive when he bid £12.30 for Deco, claiming he would "throw in a new pressure washer" for the deal.

Narf Narf :P

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