Jan 25, 2009

Smart Business

Lost in the excitement of Manchester City's bids and Tottenham's would-be dealings, two transfers were completed on Friday that represent some very good business.

First up, Hull City signed Jimmy Bullard, a midfield dynamo who is arguably a level in quality above any of their other players. As the BBC article states, Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said how sorry he was to see the player go -- a rare show of feeling that speaks volumes. After a great start to the season, Hull have sagged recently and haven't won in six Premier League games. While they're ninth, they have the fourth-worst goal difference in the League, and are only six point out of the relegation zone. Bullard's signing could be the difference between survival and relegation.

The second under-the-radar deal could affect the other the end of the table; Martin O'Neill was reunited with Emile Heskey. Heskey rose to prominence at Leicester City under O'Neill's tutelage, eventually earning himself an GBP11 million transfer to Liverpool. Coincidentally, Liverpool themselves were rumored to be interested in Heskey, and some argue that his move to Villa is a blow to Rafa Benitez.

Regardless of that, signing Heskey is definitely a good move for Villa, especially with John Carew set to miss most of the season. Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor are great, but both are still callow and also physically lightweight. Heskey will add experience and heft to the Villa frontline and could well help them cement a place in the top four this season.

And the smartest part of these deals? Because both players' contracts were running down, they were absolute bargains: Heskey moved for GBP3.5 million while Bullard cost Hull GBP5 million. In a month when Spurs paid GBP15 million to sign Jermaine Defoe one year after they sold him for GBP9 million, it shows that not all Premier League clubs are run by nincompoops.


1 comment: