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Which newly-promoted side has signed the biggest star in Premier League history?

We go back through the years to uncover the biggest-name signing by a newly promoted team

Fulham are playing with the big boys now, aren’t they?

They pulled off possibly the biggest shock of the transfer window by getting 26-year-old Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri to commit to Craven Cottage, despite interest from Barcelona, Arsenal and the rest.

The best part? Tony Khan wrapped up the signing of Seri and fellow teammate Maxime Le Marchand for around £30million – an absolute steal for Ligue 1’s best midfielder over the last three years in today’s market.


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The only problem is that he might not be able to actually play football in the English winter because of a weird condition with his feet.

We knew there was something fishy about this signing.

However, for a newly-promoted side to be able to attract this level of talent when there was serious interest from Europe’s biggest clubs is a real statement.

To stay up in the dog-eat-dog world of Premier League football you need big players – so which promoted club has pulled of the biggest transfer coup before?


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Edwin van der Sar, Juventus-Fulham 2001

TFW you realise you’ve left Juventus for a club sponsored by Pizza Hut

Times Newspapers Ltd
5
TFW you realise you’ve left Juventus for a club sponsored by Pizza Hut

Fulham have got previous for these kind of flair moves in the transfer market.

Before Edwin van der Sar became a serial winner under Alex Ferguson at Man United, you’ll remember him clawing shots away under the lights at Craven Cottage.

Having established himself as the first non-Italian keeper in Juventus history after winning the Champions League with Ajax, van der Sar eventually lost his place to this young buck called Gigi Buffon.

But Juventus’ loss was Fulham’s gain and they snapped him up for £7million in the shock of the summer.

He went on to make 127 appearances and even saved two penalties from Juan Pablo Angel in his final game for Fulham, before it was time to move to Old Trafford.

Rui Patricio, Sporting Lisbon-Wolves 2018

Wolves can play him up front if it doesn’t work out between the sticks

AP:Associated Press
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Wolves can play him up front if it doesn’t work out between the sticks

Now it’s time to enter the dark world of Jorge Mendes.

Two huge signings by two promoted clubs in one window?

Sporting Lisbon went into meltdown at the end of the season as the executives were accused of hiring thugs to attack the players, causing several Portugal national team stars to tear up their contracts and look for moves elsewhere.

Luckily, Wolves had Mendes on hand to smooth the transfer of Patricio, who has won over 70 caps for the Selecao and starred at the 2018 World Cup, for absolutely nothing.

Championship Wolves signing a European champion goalkeeper playing at a Champions League club… It pays to be friends with Mendes.

Nicolas Anelka, PSG-Man City 2002

Weird that no Man City fans will remember this

PA:Press Association
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Weird that no Man City fans will remember this

Remember Man City long before Sheikh Mansour poured his petro-dollars in? They were climbing out of the Championship in the summer of 2002.

City made Anelka a club-record transfer when they splashed £13million on the lightning quick 23-year-old after he impressed on loan at Liverpool.

The season before he had been playing with the likes of Ronaldinho, Mikel Arteta and Jay-Jay Okocha in Paris and would slot in with players such as Glenn Whelan, Joey Barton and Sun Jihai in Manchester.

Anelka already boasted Arsenal, Real Madrid, PSG and Liverpool on his CV and decided to join newly-promoted City – unsurprisingly he finished his first season as City’s top scorer with 14 goals.

Money well spent.

Esteban Cambiasso, Inter-Leicester 2014

So very, very bald

PA:Press Association
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So very, very bald

Leicester boldly pulled off the signing of Cambiasso in the summer of 2014 after he had been guarding Inter’s midfield for the last decade.

Yes he was 34 at the time but you cannot beat the experience of playing DM at the San Siro for 10 years – especially if you are going to be in a relegation battle.

The high profile Argentine settled in at the King Power making 31 league appearances and scoring five goals as the Foxes avoided relegation.

If only he’d stayed one more year…

Juninho, Sao Paolo-Middlesbrough 1995

Who let this child onto the pitch?

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Who let this child onto the pitch?

He became known as ‘The Little Fella’ and that picture says it all.

But Middlesbrough signing Juninho shocked everyone.

The diminutive Brazilian had been followed by Europe’s top clubs and everyone expected him to be moving to a Spanish or Italian giant, but Boro got there first.

He was just 22 and only 5ft5in but he adapted to the Premier League rough and tumble straightaway.

Obviously he became a cult hero on Teeside and those beautiful curling free-kicks will go down in folk lore.

Ended up leaving for Atletico Madrid to enhance his chance’s of making Brazil’s 1998 World Cup squad.