Premier League: Signings of the Summer
The transfer deadline has now passed after a mad dash for players on Tuesday night.
Here we will discuss the top big money deals, bargains and coups of the summer in the Premier League in a top 10 countdown.
The countdown will conclude with some notable exclusions that may surprise you and 10 of the most debatable deals concluded this window.
10. Moussa Dembele – AZ Alkmaar to Fulham – £5m
After snubbing a move to mid-table rivals Birmingham City, Fulham snapped up the Belgian international. The forward has received much praise in his time in Holland and at 23, already has 28 international caps under his belt notching 5 goals. Bobby Zamora has not really had a consistent strike partner as of yet but Dembele could well compliment the big man’s hold up play and ship in with a few goals to help the Cottagers push for Europe once more.
He may need to add more goals to his game as players with far greater goalscoring records have joined from Eredivisie and failed. He will be looking to avoid the records of the likes of Mateja Kezman and Afonso Alves.
9. Steven Fletcher – Burnley to Wolves – £6m
In an otherwise bleak season at Turf Moor last season there was one man who constantly stood out. Fletcher, who signed from Hibernian in 2009, shipped in with 8 goals last term which is no mean feat at a club who struggled desperately for goals in the Premier League. Decent pace, work rate, finishing and aerial ability are attributes that the Wolves faithful should look forward to seeing this season.
If the England born striker can create a decent partnership with Kevin Doyle then Wolves should see themselves as a Premier League team once more this time next season and with a debut goal to his name, Fletcher will look to be a big hit at Molineux this season. At just 23, the Midlands club should have the striker tied down for his best years at the club.
8. Kenwyne Jones – Sunderland to Stoke City – £8m
Kenwyne Jones is a big, strong, Trinidadian striker who will fit into the Stoke set-up with no problems whatsoever. After starting his career in England at Southampton the 25 year old has already had a short loan spell at the Britannia Stadium in 2005. The athletic front-man is seen as somewhat of a coup for Stoke and despite his £8m price tag it was a surprise that Steve Bruce decided to let him leave Sunderland.
With a great work rate and decent header, Jones will certainly look to benefit from Stoke’s no-nonsense, direct style and a few goal from Rory Delap throw-ins would not come as a shock.
7. Ben Foster – Manchester United to Birmingham City – £6m
Foster seems to have been a promising goalkeeper for about 5 years but will be looking to become more than that at St. Andrews this season. Birmingham needed to fill the considerably large hole left by Joe Hart’s return to Manchester City and they may have come as close as possible with this signing.
A superb shot-stopper and England international has been replaced by another although Foster will definitely need to look at cutting out some silly errors in his game, notably in the Manchester derby last term. Nevertheless a very decent signing for the Blues and one that may represent good value for money at what is a cheap £6m these days.
6. Ramires – Benfica to Chelsea – £17m
Somewhat of an unknown entity who has received rave reviews in both his native Brazil and Portugal, where he has been playing for Benfica. Anyone who receives such reviews in Brazil must be worth raving about and Ramires was one of a small group kept in the Brazil squad post World Cup by new manager Mano Menezes.
The midfielder spent just one season at Benfica but was hugely impressive after signing from Cruzeiro in 2009. The 23 year has as many Brazil caps as million pounds that Chelsea spent on him at 17 and is a hard working and extremely energetic holding man in the elk of Gilberto Silva.
Ancelotti may be looking for him to push John Obi Mikel for a starting berth as the Nigerian has failed to set the Premier League alight at Chelsea thus far.
5. Stephen Ireland – Manchester City to Aston Villa – Free (part exchange)
The 2008/09 City player of the year has joined the Midlands club as part of the deal to take James Milner to Eastlands. The unmistakable bald headed Irishman is creative mastermind and will be looking to unlock defences at Villa Park this season. A creative central midfielder is something that Villa have lacked for a while and Ireland impressed just about everyone in the Premier League two season ago with some admirable performances.
Great runs from midfield and exceptional team play are qualities that the 24 year old has to boast about. Ireland will be looking to forget his birthday debut for the club in the 6-0 defeat to Newcastle as swiftly as possible and emulate the form that inspired so many with City.
4. Raul Meireles – Porto to Liverpool – £11.5m
Meireles is a highly cultured and experienced Portugese international. A real string puller in the centre of midfield and a great bit of business by new manager Hodgson to help fill a Javier Mascherano shaped hole. The 27 year old shone for his country at the World Cup overshadowing the likes of Ronaldo, putting in a particularly inspired performance against North Korea.
It is slightly surprising that Porto have let him leave after 6 years at the club netting 15 times. The price is fairly decent for Liverpool in today’s current climate and look out for a decent partnership developing with captain fantastic Steven Gerrard.
3. James Milner – Aston Villa to Manchester City – £16m + Stephen Ireland
Tireless, consistent and English. Milner is a breath of fresh air in the Premier League and a superb season for Villa saw him pick up the PFA Young Player of the Year award. After cementing an England place in the World Cup the 24 year old may be there for quite some time. After breaking through into the Leeds first team at just 16 it was obvious that the boy had talent.
An extraordinary work ethic has seen him become a manager’s dream and with a huge transfer fee on his head he will need to perform this season of which I feel there is no doubt. Mancini may have signed him for his home grown status but his versatility may prove invaluable at City this season.
2. Marouane Chamakh – Bordeaux to Arsenal – Free
It was a tough decision for the top summer signing this season between two quite remarkable free transfers. Moroccan forward Marouane Chamakh has an impressive recent goalscoring record and may be just the player that Arsenal have been missing. It is only in the last two seasons at Bordeaux that Chamakh really stood out as a top European striker and the player seemed committed to a move to Arsenal from a year ago.
Arsenal failed in a bid to sign the 26 year old last summer but it is obvious that the move was very appealing to the striker who reiterated his desire to leave for the Emirates Stadium in January. The lanky target man is a direct, if somewhat belated, replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor who left to join the City revolution last term.
Chamakh’s arrival may see Nicklas Bendtner’s chances at the club restricted which is something that won’t leave a lot of Arsenal fans having sleepless nights.
1. Joe Cole – Chelsea to Liverpool – Free
My signing of the summer has to be Joe Cole in a move that has seen many Chelsea fans still wondering why at Stamford Bridge. After a couple of torrid seasons at Chelsea with injuries Cole is now closing in on full fitness and will no doubt have the Anfield crowd in the palm of his hand this season.
With qualities that suggest he is both a top quality wide man and advanced playmaker, the 28 year old will be looking to link up with England team mate Steven Gerrard to bring the good old days back to Liverpool. Rather indifferent starts to his Liverpool career have seen him sent off on his debut and miss a penalty in his next game although he did impress against Tabzonspor in Europa qualifying.
The England international is no doubt still hurting after being constantly overlooked by Fabio Capello in the World Cup and will be looking to prove himself which can only benefit the scouse club.
|Sol Campbell||N’castle||Free||Titus Bramble||S’land||Undisc.|
|Mario Balotelli||Man City||Undisc.||Paul Konchesky||Liverpool||Undisc.|
|Aleksandr Hleb||B’ham||Loan||Chris Smalling||Man Utd||Undisc.|
|David Silva||Man City||Undisc.||Brad Jones||Liverpool||£2.3m|
|Milan Jovanovic||Liverpool||Free||Tal Ben Haim||West Ham||Loan|
|Jerome Boateng||Man City||Undisc.||Jermaine Pennant||Stoke||Loan|
|Javier Hernandez||Man Utd||Undisc.||Marcus Bent||Wolves||Loan|
|Yaya Toure||Man City||Undisc.||Phillipe Senderos||Fulham||Free|
|Hatem Ben Arfa||N’castle||Loan||Benjani||Blackburn||Undisc.|
|Aleksandar Kolarov||Man City||Undisc.||Carlo Nash||Stoke||Free|
Rafael van der Vaart’s transfer was not confirmed at the time of publishing this article.