Who do you think the best football player in the world is who makes less than ₤10,000? Could it be one of the stars of the Scottish Premier League? Perhaps a player from a lesser competition, like the Alphabet Leagues (Japan's J-League, Korea's K-League and Australia's A-League)? A guy from from MLS?
I suggest the best player playing for for less than this amount is Charlie Adam, the captain of Blackpool FC in the English Premier League. Adam plays with heart, with guile and with a thunderous left foot.
After signing on loan for Blackpool for the 2009 Championship season, he was purchased permanently from Rangers the following season after falling out of favour. Instrumental in Blackpool obtaining promotion last year, pulling the strings from midfield as the Tangerines thrived under Ian Holloway's 4-3-3 attack-minded style. He scored 17 goals from the centre of midfield and has carried on that form this term in the Premier League. It may help that he is the centrepiece of a system designed specifically to emphasise his talents, but that notwithstanding, he provides the drive for the north coast club, drive one usually associates with larger transfer fees and vastly increased wages.
His performances so far have so far outweighed the 500,000 that Blackpool paid for him that he's now making not only a convincing case for consistent caps for Scotland, but also for a potential spot on the bench in the Premier League's team of the year. It's chiefly his ability to make the sound pass that makes Blackpool tick - and they're currently ticking over so nicely that they sit ninth in the EPL after being tipped to struggle mightily.
The Seasiders may end up relegated this year, but like any new club they've shown that they have talent. Adam is the best example of that talent and even if Blackpool don't stay up this year, I'm sure you'll see Charlie Adam in the Premier League for many more years.