13 best value-for-money deals nine years after Azpilicueta’s £6.5m Chelsea move

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It is nine years since Cesar Azpilicueta joined Chelsea – and in that time he has won almost every major trophy available.

Roman Abramovich has continued to flex his financial muscle in recent windows, funding big-money moves for the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.

But Azpilicueta has proved a bargain buy since signing from Marseille for just £6.5million in 2012.

The versatile defender has been crucial in helping Chelsea to two league titles, two Europe Leagues, one FA Cup and one League Cup – and of course last season's Champions League triumph and the subsequent Super Cup win.

Azpilicueta's silverware record surely ranks him as one of the best buys of the Premier League era – and here, Daily Star Sport looks at 11 others who repaid their relatively inexpensive transfer fees many times over.

Eric Cantona

Manchester United signed Cantona from fierce rivals Leeds for just £1.2m in November 1992 – and what a bargain that proved to be.

The Frenchman helped fire Sir Alex Ferguson's side to the inaugural Premier League title, repeating the feat the following season and winning two more league crowns before retiring as a champion in 1997.

He also won two FA Cups and three Charity Shields, going down in history as one of United's legendary No7s.

Patrick Vieira

Arsenal signed Vieira from AC Milan for £3.5m in 1996, as Arsene Wenger was about to start his 22-year-reign as manager.

The rest is history, with Vieira proving crucial to Wenger's golden years and cementing a legacy as one of the best midfielders in Premier League history.

The France ace won three Premier League titles – including of course the legendary Invincibles triumph of 2003/04 – as well as four FA Cups and three Community Shields.

Sami Hyypia

Hyypia was a relative unknown when he joined Liverpool from Willem II in 1999 – but he went on to become a club legend.

The no-nonsense centre-half cost just £2.6m – and proved well worth the money as he spent a decade at Anfield, helping the Reds to silverware haul which including the famous Champions League triumph of 2005.

He was of course part of the generation of Liverpool players who missed out on the Premier League crown during their long title drought – but the Finnish defender did win two FA Cups, two League Cups, the UEFA Cup, two Super Cups and two Charity Shields.

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Ashley Cole

Arenal fans were furious when Cole was allowed to join London rivals Chelsea for just £5m in 2006.

Cole had already won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners, and continued his trophy chase at Stamford Bridge where he established himself as arguably the world's best left-back.

The England defender had to wait until 2010 to become a league champion again, but in the meantime he won four FA Cups, before Champions League glory in 2012 was followed by a Europa league triumph a year later.

Peter Schmeichel

Schmeichel was described by Ferguson as "the bargain of the century", having joined United from Brondby for just £500,000 back in 1991.

And few would argue, with 'the Great Dane' going on to prove himself one of the greatest goalkeepers in history.

Schmeichel was an immense presence in goal for Ferguson's dominant side winning five Premier League titles, three FA Cups, four Charity Shields, the League Cup and of course the 1999 Champions League triumph which capped a historic treble.

Jamie Vardy

Vardy has to be one of the greatest bargains of all, having joined Leicester from Fleetwood Town for a cool million in 2012.

That was a record for a non-league player – but the striker has repaid his fee many times over.

Vardy was instrumental in Leicester's incredible Premier League title triumph of 2015/16 – catapulting them into the Champions League just two years after he helped them top the Championship.

The 34-year-old has scored 61 goals in 148 games for the Foxes, also winning the FA Cup last season.

Vincent Kompany

Kompany arrived at Manchester City as a defensive midfielder, but become one of the greatest centre-halves in the club's history.

After joining from Hamburg for £6m in 2008, the Belgian had to wait until the 2010/11 FA Cup win for his first taste of silverware with City.

But he was instrumental in their title triumph the following season, and would win three more Premier League crowns, another FA Cup, four League Cups and two Community Shields.

Kompany suffered injury issues during his later years with City, but recaptured his best form in his final season and fired a thunderous strike against Leicester that went a huge way towards securing an unprecedented domestic treble.

https://sportstons.com/soccer/13-best-value-for-money-deals-nine-years-after-azpilicuetas-6-5m-chelsea-move/

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The current United manager secured his status as a cult hero at Old Trafford with that last-gasp strike to win the 1999 Champions League final and cap a famous treble.

But he had arrived at the club to little fanfare in a £1.5million switch from Molde three years earlier.

Often having to settle for a super sub role amid fierce competitions for places, Solskjaer's clinical finishing made him a huge favourite with fans and Ferguson, and he won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, the Intercontinental Cup and two Charity Shields along with that iconic European Cup triumph.

Andy Robertson

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp proved his eye for a bargain when he snapped up Andy Robertson for £8m from Hull City in 2017.

Robertson soon earned a reputation as one of the world's best attacking left-backs – and was crucial to the Reds' success as they won the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup before ending their 30-year wait for the Premier League title.

Having just signed a new contract until 2026, the Scotland international will be hopeful of adding plenty more to his silverware haul before his time at Anfield is up.

Nicolas Anelka

Anelka may have earned the nickname 'Le Sulk' for his antics at Arsenal, but he made a big impact after joining the Gunners for just £500,000 in 1997.

Then just 17, Anelka found his opportunities limited in his first season, but after breaking into the team following an injury to Ian Wright, he was a key player as the Gunners won the 1997/98 league and FA Cup double.

The French forward left Arsenal in 1999, going on to win trophies with Real Madrid, PSG, Chelsea and Juventus, but later expressed his regret at not staying longer with the Gunners.

Patrice Evra

Evra joined United for £5.5m from Monaco in 2006, having also attracted interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

And he was to prove another canny purchase for Ferguson, nailing down the left-back spot and helping shore up United for another period of dominance.

The French defender won five Premier League titles, the Champions League and Club World Cup as well as three League Cups and four Community Shields.

Pablo Zabaleta

Like Kompany, Zabaleta was a relatively inexpensive arrival at the start of an era when City would spend big on transfers.

After joining City from Espanyol for around £6.45m in 2008, the Argentine eventually ousted promising academy product Micah Richards as City's first-choice right-back.

And he became a key player for City, making 333 appearances and winning two Premier League titles, two League Cups, the FA Cup and Community Shield before joining West Ham in 2017.

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  • Chelsea FC
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