Aston Villa’s £3m swoop for Martin Laursen only gets better with time.
Now retired, the central defender arrived in the Midlands as something of a coup. He was signed from Italian giants AC Milan, having won the Champions League, Serie A and the Coppa Italia. Injuries and the signing of Alessandro Nesta saw him lose his place, however.
He had gone to the World Cup with Denmark, too, in 2002, and was a vastly experienced defender before he rocked up to Villa Park.
The Guardian reported at the time that he had rejected offers from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, and Charlton Athletic to join David O’Leary’s men.
In today’s money, per The Bank of England’s Inflation Calculator, he would have cost £4.6m.
Sticking with that logic, he cost Villa a princely £50,549-per-game, as he made 91 appearances throughout his time in England.
In 06-07, though, he was a man unleashed; Laursen played 38 times in the Premier League, as Villa finished sixth. Their tally of 51 goals conceded was only bettered by the top five – Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Everton – Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers.
It is no surprise, then, that he was voted the club’s Supporters’ Player of the Season that term, having forged a superb Scandinavian partnership with Sweden international Olof Mellberg at centre-back.
The following season saw him make 19 appearances in the top-flight and he also played three times in the UEFA Cup, scoring in a memorable 2-1 victory over Ajax at Villa Park.
The more you look at it, the clearer it becomes that the brilliant Dane repaid a £3m investment in spades.