Last Big Paydays

In the end, the rutting session didn’t go too badly. I had a decent win at the horses, and there was some good football-related conversation. I raised a question, in light of speculation Patrick Vieira might sign for Man Utd, which got people thinking. When was the last time a Premiership team signed a top-class footballer on his last big payday, and said footballer produced two consecutive seasons of football in line that met or exceeded the standards set at his previous clubs? The only player mentioned in response, bar Robbie Savage (!), was Claude Makelele. However, although he was roughly the same age as Vieira is now when he signed for Chelsea, he didn’t have Vieira’s history of injuries, and it would have been stretching things a bit to say that this was his last big payday.

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August 2006
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