Ask anybody about the bargain of the season so far and they will instantly mention the £10m Arsene Wenger paid to bring Thomas Vermaelen to the Emirates stadium. Having scored 5 goals this season from defence , it would appear that he is a worthy pick.
Yet when Hull City’s new chairman Adam Pearson revealed the club only received £2.8m for defender Michael Turner, a new contender emerged. The 25 year old who won the Official Supporters Club’s player of the year for each of his 3 seasons at the KC Stadium as well as the official player of the year award for both of his seasons in the premiership was even touted for a place in the England squad after turning in some stellar performances.
The 6 ft 4 in central defender not only adds size to the Sunderland back line as well as a target for set pieces, but is also technically proficient and along with only Sylvain Distin was the only outfield player to play every minute of every game last season.
Steve Bruce pulled off somewhat of a coup bringing him to the Stadium of Light as both Liverpool and Man City had their eyes on the former Hull player and Turner immediately showed why he was so highly rated by the likes of Rafa Benitez and Mark Hughes when in his debut he grabbed the fourth goal in a 4-1 victory against his former club.
Pearson’s revelation that Turner was not sold to balance the books at the Yorkshire club will further anger The Tiger’s fans as he was valued at £12m by Phil Brown during the transfer window. Pearson said the total fee, which involved no add-ons based on performance or progress, was £4 million which then throws Liverpool’s claims that they were priced out of a deal into dispute as they had to settle for the £1.5m Sotirios Kyrgiakos instead.
Upon signing him Steve Bruce said “I believe that Michael is one of the country’s premier central defenders.” and he is not failing to live up to such a lofty tag after putting in solid defensive performances against the likes of Man United as well as helping Sunderland keep a clean sheet against previous suitors, Liverpool in a 1-0 home victory. The fact Turner is not a big four player but is still being recognised for his obvious talents just goes to show how good he really is and if Rio Ferdinand continues to suffer with form and injury then he could even find himself the recipient of a surprise England call up in this World Cup season.