Spurs fans were up in arms when Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov decided they could better themselves elsewhere this summer. Indeed they were chosen by two of the most famous clubs in the world, Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.
So for a combined outlay of over £50m, let’s see what the major players have gotten for their money almost four months in to the Premier League season.
Leaving aside the fact that Nicolas Anelka has three times as many goals by himself, the unknown Amr Zaki has double the tally and Marlon King, Roman Bednar (???) and left-back Matthew Taylor have equalled the Keanatov total, who else is outscoring the Premier League hotshots.
Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool)
2008/9 Goals: FIVE
He entertained us at the 2006 World Cup with an incredibly rubbish performance against Portugal that must have been foremost in Liverpool fan’s minds when he signed for their club a few months later. Indeed, Kuyt found himself huffing and puffing for two seasons on the right-wing, often completely ineffectually and lacking confidence when in front of goal.
This season has been far better with Kuyt finally finding his feet in the Premier League, making up for the absence of injury-ridden Fernando Torres and profligacy of Robbie “I’ll just flick this one in with the outside of my little toe” Keane. It’s worth noting he has scored two and a half-times Keane’s total.
Ricardo Fuller (Stoke)
2008/9 Goals: SIX
Ricardo Fuller epitomises rags-to-riches. He started out at Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica before joining Crystal Palace, moving on to Hearts and then playing Follow ‘Arry from Portsmouth to Southampton. Now at Stoke, after joining for £500k (not £50m), he has scored three times as many goals as both Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.
It matters little that he is not a particularly talented player once you make the old onion bag rustle…score goals, like.
Geovanni (Hull City)
2008/9 Goals: SIX
I’m sure Manchester City, now they are the richest club ever, are not all that upset that they let Geovanni go after twelve months for nothing. But the Brazilian has a half-dozen Premier League goals, plays for a team in the top six and has scored outstanding goals against Arsenal and Tottenham (Hull winning both games).
Five months ago he had no club. Now he has three times as many league goals as Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.
Darren Bent (Tottenham)
2008/9 Goals: SEVEN
Darren Bent’s splinter scrapbook is full having spent all of last season picking them on the Tottenham bench. One might be suspicious of a BO problem given that his three companion strikers of 2007/8 (Keane, Berbatov and the six-goal Jermaine Defoe) have all left the club.
But all it took was a run in the side and a few Cockney jokes. Now the £16m misfit has made a couple of England appearances and, crucially, netted almost twice as many goals this season as Keanatov have.
For his next trick he’s going to make Richard Keys disappear.