Almost every season a player arrives at a new club almost unnoticed before going on to make a surprising impact on the Premier League.

GMS takes a look at five bargain signings of the Premier League era.

5. Michu, Swansea, £2m, 2012

When the attacking midfielder followed new Swansea boss
Michael Laudrup over from La Liga, no one in the south of Wales quite
anticipated the impact their new arrival would have.

A stunning debut season saw the Spaniard net 22 goals in all competitions, helping the club lift their first major trophy, the 2013 League Cup.

His impact also saw Michu rewarded with a first call-up to the national side, making his debut for the world and European champions in a World Cup qualifier with Belarus.

Clubs such as Arsenal have been credited with an interest in Michu, although it would take a fee far in excess of the £2m Swansea paid to lure him away from the Liberty Stadium.


4. Samii Hyypia, Liverpool, £2.6m, 1999

An unknown when he arrived at Anfield in spring 1999, the
big Finn would go on to become one of the greatest defenders in the clubs

A towering presence in the backline, Hyypia spent a decade with the
club, winning 10 trophies in the process; including co-captaining the side to a
famous cup treble in the 2000-2001 season.

A nine-time winner of the Finnish player of the year, Hyypia left Liverpool in a teary farewell in 2009 after 460 appearances and 35 goals for the club.

Unquestionably one of the greatest central defenders of the Premier League era.


3. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United, £1.5m, 1996

A name cemented into the folklore of the Old Trafford faithful forever after his last-gasp winner in the 1999 Champions League final, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's shrewdest signings.

The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ would go on to score over 100 goals for the club, earning himself the title as 'super-sub' after developing a knack for scoring late goals as a substitute - none more important than that fateful night in Barcelona.

He departed the club in 2007 after 11 years at Old Trafford where he remains a firm fans favourite with the Manchester United supporters.


2. Patrick Vieira, Arsenal, £3.5m, 1996

3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and captain of the famous ‘Invincibles’, it is fair to say that Patrick Vieira made some impact in his 9 years at Arsenal.

Plucked from obscurity at AC Milan, Vieira became Arsene Wenger’s first signing as Gunners boss in August 1996.

His power and presence saw him become one of the Premier League's greatest ever midfielders - a vital cog in Wenger’s all conquering Arsenal side.

Captain for that famous, unbeaten season in 2004, the Frenchman left for a new challenge
with Italian giants Juventus in 2005 - his name etched into Arsenals famous history

1. Eric Cantona, Manchester United, £1m, 1992

Affectionately known as ‘The King’ around Old Trafford, Eric Cantona’s impact on the club was a key factor in the unprecedented dominance of Manchester United for the next two decades.

After inspiring Leeds United to the title in 1992, Sir Alex Ferguson made the cheekiest of enquiries to ask about the Frenchman’s availability, and to his surprise a deal was made and the rest as they say is history.

King Eric inspired United to their first league title in 26 years that very season, followed by a further 3 titles and 2 FA Cups in his five-year spell with the club.

He departed Old Trafford a legend, his legacy returning United back to the summit of English football, where they have remained ever since.

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