For the very first time this summer, Premier League clubs broke the £1 billion barrier in a single transfer window. Amongst this, Manchester United shattered the world record for a single player via their £89 million purchase of Paul Pogba.
However, amid all the lucrative spending and hearty fees, this summer also saw its fair share of bargains. Jose Mourinho’s capture of Zlatan Ibrahimovic undoubtedly fits into this category with United not spending a single penny on the Swede.
Despite this, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes this isn’t the biggest Premier League bargain of the summer. Moreover, his alternative suggestion is rather surprising.
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After spells in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France, this year finally saw Ibrahimovic join the Premier League. It was one of the most highly anticipated moves of the entire window.
Given the expiration of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain, the Red Devils could bring the 35-year-old to Old Trafford on a free transfer.
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The Swede has already repaid United for their show of faith. After all, he already possesses an impressive goal scoring record of six strikes in 11 appearances.
Furthermore, one of those finishes proved the winner in the Community Shield and another came against title favourites Manchester City. Just two months in and Ibrahimovic has acclimatised to the physical nature of the Premier League.
Therefore, given such electrifying skill and goal scoring for all of £0 in transfer fees, you’d think Zlatan couldn’t be rivaled in terms of bargain buys. In Merson’s eyes though, this isn’t the case.
The ex-Arsenal player believes Southampton’s £10 million purchase of Nathan Redmond from Norwich City proves an even better bargain. Yes, you read that right.
Despite wielding just one goal for the Saints and having suffered relegation last term, Redmond receives prominent props from Merson. This is all despite the fact the 22-year-old isn’t even being considered in the England frame.
Nevertheless, as per Sky Sports, Merson argues: “He played up front at the start of the season and it didn't really work, but he gave it everything and now he's in a supporting role and a key to Southampton's impressive form.
“For what they paid for him - around £10m - and the prices in football these days, he's a bargain. “People will say Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he was on a free but he's not when you're paying him £300,000 a week.
“He's costing Manchester United a year what Southampton are paying Redmond for five seasons.”
While, at first, his nomination may appear rather ludicrous, the Sky Sports pundit does fight his corner rather admirably. After all, Ibrahimovic’s status as a bargain is fatally undermined by his sky-high wages.
Even so, such high praise for Redmond proves rather unexpected. Unless he can prove himself to a greater degree this season, comparisons with Zlatan, no matter their nature, will always be misguided. Sorry Nathan.
Who do you think was this summer's best Premier League bargain? Have YOUR say in the comment box below
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