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World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499935 Striking rich Striking+rich World

With the winter transfer window opening up in the next few days, we take a look back at the best transfer signings of 2012. Who really struck it rich with their club’s signings? Several huge and costly acquisitions, such as $50 million men Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich) and Luka Modric (Real Madrid) failed to make this list, so you know it’s got to be a good one! -
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499932 Michu, F, Swansea City Michu%2C+F%2C+Swansea+City World

Old club: Rayo Vallecano

Transfer fee: $3.2 million


Undoubtedly the biggest steal of the 2012 offseason is Miguel Perez Cuesta, or simply, Michu. Swansea literally hit the jackpot when they acquired the little-known striker from struggling La Liga side Rayo Vallecano for just north of $3 million in the summer. Michu has since scored a Premier League-leading 13 goals for Swansea, single-handedly helping the Welsh minnows to a comfortable mid-table spot. Europe's elite must all collectively be kicking themselves for missing out on Michu, 2012's best signing.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499928 Zlatan Ibrahimovic, F, Paris Saint-Germain Zlatan+Ibrahimovic%2C+F%2C+Paris+Saint-Germain World

Old club: AC Milan

Transfer fee: $24.7 million


Paris Saint-Germain made Ibrahimovic the most expensive player of all time - for combined transfer fees of course – by shelling out €23 million for the Inter hitman. For PSG, the early returns have been remarkable: not only does Ibrahimovic lead Ligue 1 with 18 goals this season, he also has put PSG in great position to make a run at the Champions League.

Photo by John Berry/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499933 Robin Van Persie, F, Manchester United Robin+Van+Persie%2C+F%2C+Manchester+United World

Old club: Arsenal

Transfer fee: $37.6 million

Look away, Arsenal fans. The man who scores when he wants has been brilliant for Premier League leaders Manchester United this season, topping the league with 13 goals. And it’s when RvP scores them that has made an even bigger difference. His last-gasp free kick winner over Manchester City is just one example of his tendency to come through in the clutch.

Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499934 Jackson Martinez, F, Porto Jackson+Martinez%2C+F%2C+Porto World

Old club: Jaguares (Mexico)

Transfer fee: $11 million


A relatively unknown player coming out of Mexico, the Colombian striker has taken Europe by storm and attracted the attention of all of the continent’s biggest clubs. Martinez scored 11 goals in his first 12 competitive matches for Porto, a club record streak that eclipsed those of previous countryman Radamel Falcao and Hulk. He’s been by far the best player of Portugal’s Primeira Liga thus far, earning player of the month nods in October and November. For a cool $11 million, Martinez is one of the best signings of the year.

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499929 Marco Reus, F, Borussia Dortmund Marco+Reus%2C+F%2C+Borussia+Dortmund World

Old club: Borussia Moenchengladbach

Transfer fee: $21.6 million


One of the brightest up-and-coming stars of soccer, Reus was brought in by Dortmund in the summer to fill the attacking void left by Shinji Kagawa. He’s passed with flying colors. Teaming up with fellow German talent Mario Gotze, Reus has burst onto the international stage with his performances in the Champions League and Bundesliga alike, tallying 10 goals and 4 assists in all competitions.

Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499926 Thiago Silva, D, Paris Saint-Germain Thiago+Silva%2C+D%2C+Paris+Saint-Germain World

Old club: AC Milan

Transfer fee: $51.8 million


Considered by many as the top central defender in the game, Silva is now also the most expensive defender of all time. Joining Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a high-profile move to the newly wealthy Parisian club has been paying big dividends so far. Anchored by Silva, PSG boasts Ligue 1’s best defense, allowing just 12 goals. They’ve also conceded the least amount of goals (3) in the Champions League group stage.

Photo by John Berry/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499930 Santi Cazorla, M, Arsenal Santi+Cazorla%2C+M%2C+Arsenal World

Old club: Malaga

Transfer fee: $23.5 million


In an otherwise stumbling start to the season, Cazorla has been the main bright spot of Arsenal’s play this year. The Spanish playmaker has contributed seven goals and four assists thus far, without which Arsene Wenger may well be out of a job right now.


Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499925 Jordi Alba, D, Barcelona Jordi+Alba%2C+D%2C+Barcelona World

Old club: Valencia

Transfer fee: $17.3 million


After a signature tournament with Spain in the 2012 European Championships, which Alba culminated with an assist and a fine counter-attacking goal in the final, Alba was rewarded with a high-profile move to Barcelona. He has since been a mainstay in the blaugrana starting 11 and shines with his counter-attacking play down the left flank.

Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499927 Mario Mandzukic, F, Bayern Munich Mario+Mandzukic%2C+F%2C+Bayern+Munich World

Old club: VFL Wolfsburg

Transfer fee: $15.75 million


Bayern Munich had to settle for three second place finishes last season, and their failures were blamed mostly on a lack of depth. So Bayern went out and got the unheralded Mandzukic, who has been key in Munich’s storming start in 2012. When Mario Gomez unexpectedly had to miss the first few months of the season, it was up to Mandzukic to fill the void, and he did. The “other Mario” netted 9 goals in his first 11 Bundesliga games.

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images - Getty Images
World 2018 2160 Best signings of 2012 31499931 Michael Bradley, M, AS Roma Michael+Bradley%2C+M%2C+AS+Roma World

Old club: Chievo Verona

Transfer fee: $4.6 million


Bradley finally got the high-profile move that he and (probably even more so) the US National team have been yearning for when Roma shelled out less than $5 million this summer for the midfielder. Originally acquired as a viable back-up to club icon Daniele De Rossi, Bradley has actually out-performed the veteran, earning 11 starts to De Rossi’s eight.

Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images - Getty Images
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