The 2012/13 Premier League season is drawing to a close and the campaign has seen the surprisingly meteoric rise of several players, most of which have come from minor leagues at cut-price deals.


These overachievers have punched above their weight and taken the Premier League by storm since arriving, with strings of impressive displays week after week. They epitomize the saying 'Money isn't everything'. They prove that talent is affordable, as long as you know where to look.

Here we rate the top five cut-price deals of the season.

All prices and estimated values have been taken from transfermarkt.com

5. Victor Moses | Wigan Athletic to Chelsea | £6.5 million 

Victor Moses has long been tipped to become a star in English football. The 22-year-old Nigerian was brilliant in the 2011/12 campaign with Wigan Athletic, scoring six goals in his time there while playing every Premier League match that season. It wasn't long before he caught the eye of several big clubs, and Chelsea, showing the most interest in him, bought him in the summer transfer window.

Since then, Victor Moses has justified every pound spent on him, scoring vital goals against Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Basel and Rubin Kazan in European competition along with vibrant displays in domestic competition. 

He has scored nine goals and assisted three times in 42 matches for the Blues this season and hasn't stopped improving. His impressive form in the African Cup of Nations has continued since his return to club football.

Current Market Value: £12.7 million  (195% increase)

4. Jose Manuel 'Chico' Flores | Genoa to Swansea City | £2 million 

Swansea City have made quite a few good deals this season, but this signing will be one of their best for seasons to come. Despite making just 21 appearances this season, the Spaniard has already become an integral part of the Swansea defence which has earned major plaudits this year for their efforts.

Although injuries and suspensions have stalled his rapid progress, the lofty defender lovingly called 'Chico' by the fans has been impressive at the back for Swansea, forming a solid partnership with captain Ashley Williams.

To establish his impact, consider this: Swansea have conceded just 25 goals in 23 appearances this season when Chico has played, compared to 18 goals in 11 appearances when he hasn't.

In fact, he is such a successful acquisition that rumours arose earlier in the season that Pep Guardiola wanted to recruit him to strengthen the Bayern back line in the coming season.

Current Market Value: £4.2 million (210% increase)

3. Phillippe Coutinho | Internazionale to Liverpool | £8.8 million

The 20-year-old Brazilian joined Internazionale with a reputation as a renowned dribbler. Unfortunately, he failed to live up to the hype after a promising few months.

Fortunately, however, for Liverpool, his chances were limited, and he opted to join them in the January transfer window.

Since then, the attacking midfield hasn't looked back, scoring two and setting up five goals, a fantastic return for just 10 appearances in the Premier League. He has received much acclaim since his move and has improved every match, linking the Liverpool midfield and defence superbly together.

If Suarez is on his way out next season, Coutinho will surely be his ideal replacement, possessing the same vision, skill and that typical Brazilian flair.

Current Market Value: £8.5 million (3.5% decrease)

2. Christian Benteke | KRC Genk to Aston Villa | £7.8 million

Very little was known about the Belgian before he came to the Midlands club, and he was considered to be a bit of a surprise signing under new manager Paul Lambert. However, there is no telling where Aston Villa would be without the 22-year-old striker. 

Benteke has already become the talisman and focal point of the Aston Villa team, scoring 18 and setting up four in 32 appearances this season, a staggering 43% of the total goals scored by Aston Villa this season, and 28% of all contributions to goals (goals and assists). These are figures any striker would envy.

His quick feet, strength and deadly finishing have proven to be a handful for Premier League squads this season, and in an effort to keep him at Aston Villa, the club has slapped a £15 million price tag on him, an indicator of just how valuable he's been to the club.

Current Market Value: £15 million (192% increase)

1. Miguel Michu | Rayo Vallecano to Swansea City | £2.2 million

Of course, no one has been a better value-for-money buy than the 27-year-old striker.

Arguably one of the greatest bargain buys of all time, the swashbuckling Spaniard has been the breakout star of this Premier League season, scoring 17 goals and creating three in just 32 appearances this season, a remarkable record for an unknown player in his first season in England.

Michael Laudrup had identified the need for a striker when he arrived in 2012; indeed the club had just scored 43 goals the previous season, and the consistent Scott Sinclair had been sold to Manchester City. With limited funds, he turned to Spanish football and found his ideal striker in Miguel Michu.

Do note that Michu's form in the league was already impressive. The fact that he had scored 15 goals for a relegation threatened side in the Spanish league was not to be scoffed at. Needless to say, that form has continued and improved since he arrived in England, and he has already secured European football for his team next season, picking up a Capital One Cup win too.

He has wanted to stay on at Swansea, but surely they can charge whatever price they like if suitors come knocking. After all, Michu has not just disproved the theory that 'good players don't come cheap', but has mocked it all season long.

Current Market Value: £11.4 million (456% increase)


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