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5 Transfer Bargains To Rival Liverpool’s Signing Of Takumi Minamino

Here is a list of five transfers that not only rival but surpass Takumi Minamino’s bargain £7.2m move from RB Salzburg to Liverpool

Takumi Minamino Liverpool

Takumi Minamino cost Liverpool less than a tenth of the amount they spent on Virgil van Dijk – whose eye-watering fee is still a relative steal.

Minamino is predicted to offer variety, creativity, and productivity, and all for the bargain amount of £7.25m.

Yet, though much value is expected from Minamino, he will have to go a very long way to be considered one of football’s greatest ever bargains – as you’ll see from these five transfers that not only rival but surpass Minamino (at least for now).

Recommended reading: [Photos] Minamino poses in No.18 shirt after completing £7.25m move to Liverpool

Kaká: São Paulo to AC Milan for £7.65m in 2003

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (Kaká) was a scrawny attacking midfielder when he joined AC Milan in 2003 for £7.65m – a fee described by then club owner, Silvio Berlusconi, as “peanuts.”

He’d scored 47 goals in 125 appearances for São Paulo but that was the warm-up for six years of brilliance at Milan.

2007 was when Kaká truly cemented his legend – he led Milan to victory in the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup, along with claiming the Ballon d’Or.

While Paulo Maldini may be a more obvious icon for AC Milan fans, Kaká is the symbol of the club’s half-decade reign as (arguably) the best side on the planet – and all for the bargain fee of £7.65m.

Henrik Larsson: Feyenoord to Celtic for £650,000 in 1997

Few European giants would have been aware of Henrik Larsson in 1997, with fewer still betting on his ability to become a world-class striker – fans would have been better-advised wagering their money at one of the top betting sites from than on him.

But boy did he become one.

Larsson scored a barely believable 242 goals in 313 games at Celtic – and it would have been more if his 1999–2000 campaign hadn’t been ended by a horrific leg break.

But goals weren’t the only reason Larsson was a bargain signing for Celtic. He changed the perception of Celtic from one of two whales in Scottish football’s puddle to a genuine European team – cemented by the club’s appearance in a UEFA Cup final.

Diego Godín Villarreal to Atlético Madrid for £6.6m in 2010

There was little fanfare when Diego Godín arrived at Atlético Madrid for £6.6m in 2010. But over the next decade, Godín established himself as the finest centre half on the planet and the embodiment of the best Atlético Madrid team for generations.

To put his fee into context, Lilian Thuram cost £37.35m nine years earlier – making Godín’s fee chicken feed in comparison. But it’s not just the size of his fee that makes his transfer a bargain, it’s what he did for Atlético.

Godín made his team into one that was good enough to break La Liga’s duopoly.

And the proof is the honours Atlético won after he signed – one La Liga, two Europa Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, one Copa del Rey, and two Champions League final appearances.

Eric Cantona: Leeds Utd to Man Utd for £1m in 1992

It had been over 25 years since Man Utd were last champions of England when Eric Cantona signed from Leeds Utd on 26 November 1992 – it took Cantona less than six months to change that.

Much has been said about the story of his signing – Leeds Utd chairman Bill Fotherby called his Man Utd counterpart, Martin Edwards, to enquire about Denis Irwin. Alex Ferguson told Edwards to ask about Cantona and the rest is history (and what history).

Cantona won the league in four of his five seasons at Man Utd, along with two FA Cups.

But his success is measured in more than the title wins he competed in – he altered the culture at Man Utd and, in doing so, ushered in one of longest periods of sustained success in English football history (all for £1.2m).

Andrea Pirlo: AC Milan to Juventus for £0 in 2011

I’m reluctant to call any free transfer a bargain – yes, they’re the cheapest signings, but a bargain is about finding unexpected value and you generally know you’re getting a good deal from a free signing.

The difference with Pirlo is that he gave Juventus such an extraordinarily unexpected value after AC Milan deemed him surplus to requirements that an exception must be made for him.

Juventus had (officially) gone eight seasons without winning Serie A, been relegated, and were mired in scandal and existential crisis when Pirlo signed. Not only did he change that, but he also began the club’s return to the top table of global football.

It would be false to say that Pirlo is solely responsible for Juventus winning eight straight league titles, four Coppa Italia trophies, four Supercoppa Italiana cups, and appearing in two Champions League finals.

But, like Cantona before him, Pirlo is the totemic figure who began the shift in culture (and he cost nothing).

There are far too many great transfer bargains in football to cover every single one – indeed, Liverpool have a couple of other honourable mentions in Andrew Robertson and Sami Hyypiä. 

But these five transfers each had a transformative effect on their club and all of them were signed for less than the £8m Jean-Alain Boumsong cost Newcastle Utd – think about that for a moment…

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