European clubs spent a whopping total of over $2.3 billion during the summer transfer window, with Premier League clubs accounting for over a third of that sum. However, as history often proves, it can be completely free signings that make a world of difference. David Beckham, Michael Ballack, and most recently Andrea Pirlo in 2011, are just a few of the big names who have changed clubs on a Bosman transfer in the past. Who will be 2013's best bargains? Click through the biggest names that yielded the least cash this summer:
Roque Santa Cruz, F, Malaga
Santa Cruz knows something about moving from club to club and it's no strange coincidence that he appears on this list. The 32-year-old maverick secured a premanent three-year contract with Malaga at the start of the season after enjoying a successful loan spell with the Spanish club in 2012-13. After failing to make a claim with Manchester City and three loan deals away from Etihad later, the Paraguayan seems to have found a club (albeit a desperate club at that) that can utilize his services full-time on the cheap.
Yaya Sanogo, F, Arsenal
Arsenal fans -- up until deadline day -- became increasingly frustrated by the fact little-known Sanogo was Arsene Wenger's only addition to his squad. Their mood changed dramatically with the signing of Mesut Ozil, but they should keep an eye on Sanogo. With Olivier Giroud as the only other out-and-out striker on the roster, the 20-year-old Frenchman will get his chances to shine, and could ultimately prove to be a surprise hit.
Mathieu Flamini, M, Arsenal
Flamini is back with Arsenal for a second spell after, yes, having come to North London on a free transfer previously in 2004. The Gunners then moved Flamini to Milan "on a free" in 2008. In theory, then, Flamini might be the greatest player nobody has ever paid a dime for.
Eric Abidal, D, Monaco
After spending $79 million on Radamel Falcao, $59 million on James Rodriguez, $33 million on Joao Moutinho, and on and on, Monaco made free signing Eric Abidal one of the most important men on the team by giving him the captain's armband. A big responsibility for the ex-Barcelona defender, who was joined at Monaco by...
Ricardo Carvalho, D, Monaco
...fellow defender and La Liga rival Ricardo Carvalho. The former Real Madrid man makes up the other hald of Monaco's new, "free" defensive pairing. Not bad business by the otherwise free-spending Ligue 1 newcomers.
Nicolas Anelka, F, West Brom
Anelka almost caused panic at the Hawthorns after the new signing briefly considered retirement after the death of his long-time agent. Although perhaps they could've done without Anelka. The striker, who once upon a time cost Real Madrid $35 million, has only mustered one shot in 2 matches so far.
Kolo Toure, D, Liverpool
Toure moved to Anfield from Premier League rival Manchester City this summer, and he's been a hit so far for the Reds. The entire Liverpool team deserves credit for three shutouts in three matches, but Toure -- who has started in two of them -- has been a key to the club's flying start.
Fernando Llorente, F, Juventus
Seemingly the steal of the transfer window was that of Llorente by Juventus. The Athletic Bilbao forward and Spain international had a market value of around $20 million when the Italian giants got him for free after his contract expired. Llorente hasn't started a match for Juve yet, but expect the tall target man to feature soon.
Samuel Eto'o, F, Chelsea
How is it possible that the world's highest-paid player leaves on a free transfer? We may never truly understand that one, but that's what Anzhi resorted to when it unloaded Eto'o, Willian and the rest of the club's stars for five cents on the dollar -- compared to the sums they bought these same players for -- and in the case of Eto'o, not even five cents. Blues boss Jose Mourinho, unhappy with his selection of strikers, will glady accept the gift.
Kaka, M, AC Milan
Kaka spoke of a "return home" when he joined AC Milan on deadline day. Kaka was a Ballon d'Or winner during his first spell in Milan, but this time around the Rossoneri simply need him to replace Schalke-bound Kevin Prince Boateng. Few people would have expected to see Kaka leave on a free transfer just four summers ago, when Real Madrid bought him from Milan for $85.5 million, then the second-highest fee of all time.