Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur both had interesting summers on the transfer front.
Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako is already building up a cult reputation at Selhurst Park, thanks to his wonderful early-season performances as the Eagles challenge at the top end of the Premier League table.
The Mali international possesses speed, physicality, an eye for goal and ability to carry the ball in wide areas – attributes which Tottenham Hotspur badly lacked last season.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and the team’s recruitment crew seemingly saw this evident weakness in the side judging by their summer transfer targets.
The North London outfit did manage to get a deal done before the deadline, bringing in Son Heung-min from Bayer Leverkusen and immediately deploying him in the team’s starting XI.
However, the South Korean international wasn’t cheap and neither were Spurs’ other targets.
Sako, on the other hand, arrived in South London on a free, and his performances so far this season have made a mockery of those sides who overlooked him due to his lack of Premier League experience.
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man has so far outperformed both of Spurs’ summer targets and their summer signing Son.
Palace’s new man comes out on top in terms of goals – joint with Berahino – shots and key passes per Premier League match while also performing favourably in the other key areas.
While things can suddenly change – after all Son has only played three times – it’s still worth drumming up the fact that Spurs needed a new wide player and Sako cost Palace nothing in terms of a transfer fee.
When considering value for money, the Eagles have outdone not just Tottenham but also the majority of the Premier League with their summer business, and huge credit must go to boss Alan Pardew.