Owen and Obertan: Are they just surprise buys?
Only a few weeks before the English Premier League kicks off for the 2009/10 season, fans are waiting with bated wondering whether the summer signings will pay off and become celebrated stars in their clubs.
Of focus will be Manchester United who sold their priced asset in Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a record US$131million. Out Ronaldo, in comes three new signings two of which have come as a total surprise to the Old Trafford faithful.
With US$131 million, many United fans were hoping for some big signing who would replace Ronaldo’s goal scoring spree at the club. However, it came as a surprise as Sir Alex Ferguson went for out of contract at Newcastle United Michael Owen, Wigan’s Antonio Valencia and less known 20 year old Frenchman Gabriel Obertan. Let it not be forgotten though that Ferguson brought an 18 year old winger from Sporting Lisbon and in six seasons made him the world’s best player.
While the Scot has purchased his fair share of big-money superstars, he has also raised plenty of eyebrows with some buys that have had United fans scratching their heads.
Some have been massive successes, Peter Schmeichel and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being prime examples. But for every Solskjaer, there’s a Bellion.
Gabriel Obertan is the most recent head-scratcher, with the player himself admitting he was stunned to find himself the subject of Ferguson’s admiration. Whether the Frenchman will go on to be a hit at Old Trafford remains to be seen. Here are some of Ferguson’s top five maverick misses in the transfer market.