V-League is now a game of money where most clubs are supported by strong financial backing. Money gives them the power to bring best players to their team (even by unreasonable price) . Do we still remember what happened last season? Newly-promoted T&T Ha Noi broke the transfer record when taking Le Cong Vinh from SLNA for USD 400,000. Meanwhile, HAGL caused a big story when ex-PSV player Lee Nguyen signed a 3-year deal with them. The Cong bought 3 Brazilian players described as "great signings". And the most shocking transfer was undoubtedly ex-Betis Denilson to XM Hai Phong. Then rumor about Pavel Nedved, Mohamed Kallon, Christian Vieri, Guti ... made Vietnamese fans crazy.
Let's look back at these signings' performance in V-League 2009. Le Cong Vinh struggled while Lee Nguyen found it harder than he had thought to adapt to Vietnamese football. Big name Denilson played 45 mins, scored a goal and leave. The Cong's great signings turn out to be amateurs. Although Cong Vinh and Lee Nguyen have get back to their form later in the season, fans and press still voice their criticism.
Now look at most surprising performers last season and find out who they are:
- Leandro da Luz (XM Hai Phong): Hai Phong's captain is truly a rare talent. He was in the squad of Olympic Brazil some years ago. He did show a lot of promise but failed to fulfill his potential. Joining Hai Phong from Matsubara in 2008, he was not even selected in the first team. In 2009, he boomed and outshined all other stars. Undoubtedly, Leandro is now the best player in V-League.
- Gaston Merlo (SHB Da Nang): Merlo's outlook make people think he is a big but clumsy striker. However, the Argentine striker turns out to be a new Ibrahimovic of Da Nang. He came to Da Nang in 2009 without much expectation but his top-scorer award with 15 goals last season make a lot of people surprised.
- Lazaro (Military Zone 4): An amateur before coming to Vietnam. All clubs said no to him. Newly-promoted Military Zone 4 was not a well-off team so they signed him as last choice. And he showed V-League who he was with 14 goals last season. Now a lot of big clubs want him.
- Timothy Anjembe (Dong Thap): A rejected-everywhere player like Lazaro but this 20-year-old striker was the one who ruined Lee Nguyen's debut with his hattrick against HAGL. He is showing a lot of potential and is currently a hot name in transfer market.