Five of the best: Premier League transfer bargains
Premier League transfer bargains - can anyone rival Swansea's £2million midfielder Michu for the crown?
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup appears to have pulled off the bargain signing of this season, when he plucked Spanish attacking midfielder Michu from La Liga outfit Rayo Vallecano for a paltry £2.2million fee in the summer.
Not content with the 13 Premier League goals he already has to his name in 2012/13, the 26-year-old put his new side from South Wales within touching distance of a Wembley final on Wednesday night, with a goal against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.
So impressive have Michu's performances been in his maiden campaign in England, that he's earned plaudits from all over the country, with many suggesting that the Swans star is already worth ten times the price that they paid for him.
Now that the January transfer window rumours are already in full swing, it's no surprise to see Michu linked with moves to numerous Premier League rivals, looking to cash-in on one of the best buys of the century.
With that in mind, GiveMeFootball decided to delve into the archives in an attempt to identify the greatest transfer bargain in Premier League history.
Nicolas Anelka | Arsenal | £500,000
An awful lot of money has been spent on Anelka down the years, but Arsene Wenger, who signed the Frenchman from Paris St Germain in 1997, shelled out the least.
During two seasons with the Gunners Anelka helped the club to a Premier League and FA Cup double before joining Real Madrid for just under £23million.
Peter Schmeichel | Manchester United | £505,000
Sir Alex Ferguson has described the signing of the great Dane as 'the bargain of the century' and it's difficult to argue. Five Premier League titles, three FA Cup wins, a League Cup and Champions League victory during eight years at Old Trafford only tells half the story.
Schmeichel's presence in the goal was worth as many points a season as a striker's goals, and he is still widely considered by many fans - not just of Manchester United - to be the finest goalkeeper ever to play in the Premier League.
Demba Ba | Newcastle United | free
A risk by Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew given the state of the striker's knees that saw him fail a medical at Stoke City, but it paid off enormously.
Ba scored 16 goals in his first season at St James' Park, as well as half of the Magpies' goals the following half season, before being sold to Chelsea for a tidy £7million this month.
Joe Hart | Manchester City | £600,000
Manchester City and England's number one goalkeeper was plucked from obscurity, and cost next to nothing from Shrewsbury Town in 2006. He is now one of the club's top earners, and played a pivotal part in last year's Premier League title winning campaign.
Aside from a slight dip in form this season, Hart has established himself as one of the world's best stoppers, and will be the national team's likely first choice for many more years to come.
Gareth Bale | Tottenham Hotspur | £7million
Tottenham beat a host of Premier League rivals to the Welsh wing wizard's signature, signing Bale from Southampton in 2007 for an initial £5million fee.
That figure was supposed to rise to £10million depending on honours and appearances, but Spurs struck another shrewd deal with Saints when they were struggling financially, agreeing an early settlement that totalled £7million.
It's the biggest bargain fee of the five listed, but Bale's has developed into one of the finest wingers in the Premier League, and has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs. And, with a reported valuation in excess of £50million, it has proved to be an exceptional piece of business.
Do you agree with GMF's selections? Leave a comment with your suggestions of the Premier League's best bargain buy below...