Football

Premier League: Most influential signings of the season

Pogrebnyak joined Reading after a loan-spell at Fulham. (©GettyImages)
Pogrebnyak joined Reading after a loan-spell at Fulham. (©GettyImages).

A total of £490 million was spent in the summer transfer window of 2012 with the most notable signings being Robin van Persie to Manchester United and Eden Hazard to Chelsea.

But how have the players faired in their first season at their new clubs? Whether expensive or cheap, have they had their desired influence on the team?

We take a look at the best signings each club has made in the last season.

Arsenal  | Santi Cazorla

Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla has been a revolution for Arsenal this season, since his £16.5 million move from Malaga. His phenomenal passing range, eye for goal and ability to change games in an instant; helped him to become an instant hit with Gunners fans.

Aston Villa | Christian Benteke 

Although Villa have been locked in a relegation battle all season, their fate would have been sealed long ago; had it not been for Christian Benteke. The Belgian International cost just £8 million but his contribution of 22 league goals this season, could be priceless if they help Villa beat the drop.

Chelsea | Eden Hazard 

Eden Hazard did not take long to settle into life at Stamford Bridge, immediately forming a partnership with Juan Mata that has terrorised premier League and European defences throughout the season. Scoring ten goals and creating twelve more in 37 appearances is a good return for his first season in England. Having narrowly missed out on the PFA young player of the year award, the Belgian will only get better in future years.

Everton | Stephen Pienaar 

David Moyes paid £4.5 million to bring Stephen Pienaar back to Goodison Park for a third time, and he is probably glad he did. Having failed to establish himself at Tottenham, Pienaar returned to Everton and formed a devastating partnership with Leighton Baines; which contributed to what has been a fantastic season for the Toffees.

Fulham | Dimitar Berbatov 

Despite breaking the wage structure at Fulham by nearly £60,000, Martin Jol had a stroke of genius when he snapped up Dimitar Berbatov; for the small fee of £5 million. Despite having been labelled as lazy, there is no doubt that the Bulgarian is a fantastic talent who on his day is unplayable. His experience and goal contribution has helped Fulham to a comfortable season.

Liverpool | Phillippe Coutinho 

Philippe Coutinho only Joined Liverpool in the January transfer window. However he has settled in so quickly to life on Merseyside that you might think he has been there for years. Already with two goals and four assists to his name, the Brazilian highlighted his quality with a dominant performance against Newcastle United; providing two assists and hitting the crossbar

Manchester City | Matija Nastasic

Having missed out on all of their priority targets; the players brought in have been disappointing for Manchester City. Only Matija Nastasić has established himself as a first team regular, becoming a vital part of the City defence in the process.

Manchester United | Robin van Persie 

Such is the influence that Robin van Persie has had on United, it is fair to say that the title would have gone elsewhere; had the Dutchman not signed for them for £24 million. He immediately hit the ground running, scoring seven goals in his first eight games and 29 across all competitions. Had he signed for City, the premier league trophy would be draped in light blue once again.

Newcastle United | Moussa Sissoko 

Moussa Sissoko made an instant impact for the Magpies following his move from Toulouse. Scoring the winner against Chelsea in his first game was a good way to announce himself to the Toon army, and he is now a central part in the Newcastle midfield.

Norwich City | Sebastien Bassong

Bassong brought some much needed stability to the Norwich back line, when he arrived from Tottenham. He has been an ever present throughout the season; putting in man of the match performances against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United.

Queens Park Rangers | Julio Cesar

In what has been a woeful campaign for Queens Park Rangers, few have performed better than goalkeeper Julio Cesar. Having arrived on a free transfer from Inter Milan, the Brazilian has made some vital saves; particularly when he kept Chelsea at bay at Stamford Bridge.

Reading | Pavel Pogrebnyak 

Pogrebnyak was the major signing for Reading and he proved to be a flop. He was signed after impressing on loan Fulham, but he has not scored enough goals to prevent relegation

Southampton | Gaston Ramirez 

Ramirez has settled in well in his first season in English football. He controls midfield, offering an attacking threat that has materialised under the management of Mauricio Pochettino

Stoke City | Jack Butland 

Signings have been disappointing from the Potters, but the acquisition of Jack Butland from Birmingham City is an excellent bit of business. He has the potential to be an England great in the future.

Sunderland | Steven Fletcher 

Fletcher's contribution of 11 goals proved vital to Sunderland, as he was the only player who could score for them. Had it not been for his injury he could have scored more due to his instinctive knack of knowing where the goal is.

Swansea City | Michu 

Michu may well be the best bargain of all time, having signed for the low price of £2 million. He happens to be one of the calmest finishers in the game, with his rack of 21 goals contributing to a top ten finish and a carling cup success for the Swans.

Tottenham | Jan Vertonghen 

With Gareth Bale in your team you can easily be forgotten, but Jan Vertonghen has made a major difference to Spurs. His fierce and no nonsense approach to tackling has made him one of the most respected defenders in the league, whilst his partnership with Michael Dawson has been a solid foundation for Spurs to build on.

West Bromwich Albion | Romelu Lukaku

On loan from Chelsea, Lukaku is one of the major reasons the Baggies are sitting in eighth in the Premier League. He has made a vital contribution, scoring fourteen and creating four this season.

West Ham United | Andy Carroll 

The direct approach used by West Ham is perfect for Andy Carroll, who has settled in well since joining on loan from Liverpool. His man of the match performance against Manchester United emphasised the threat he poses in the air; and the Hammers would love to make the move permanent.

Wigan Athletic | Arouna Kone

Ivorian striker Arouna Koné has proved to be a very cool and composed player in front of goal, providing Wigan’s goal threat virtually on his own. He has had a reasonable season for a team who are on the verge of relegation.


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