Premier League signings: End of season report
Who have been the best and worst performing signings for the so-called 'big six' this season?
As another Premier league season draws to a close, it's time to look back and examine and grade the performances of the summer signings of the Premier League's 'big six'.
Santi Cazorla | Grade: A+
The Spanish international has been one of the buys of the season for Arsene Wenger with his sparkling performances in midfield setting the Premier League alight for the Gunners.
His ability to control the tempo of games with intelligent passing and dribbling as well as exhibiting flair and incisiveness in the final third has helped ease the losses of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in recent seasons.
He is Arsenal's undisputed player of the season with 12 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.
Olivier Giroud | Grade: B-
The big Frenchman arrived to the Emirates Stadium off the back of an impressive season in Ligue 1 as he powered Montpellier to title success with 21 goals to claim the leading goalscorer gong.
With the burden of replacing talismanic striker Robin van Persie, the French international has been much-maligned by some quarters but a return of 17 goals and 10 assists in all competitions indicates a productive first season.
If he can become more decisive in the bigger games and more clinical in general, he won't be far off being a worthy spearhead of Arsenal's attack.
Lukas Podolski | Grade: C+
The Germany star has played on the wing for the majority of his first season in English football which partly explains a disappointing return of nine goals in 30 league appearances.
He has displayed flashes of brilliance, such as his stunning free-kick against Southampton, but has largely struggled in his transitional first season. He will hopefully take full flight next season with another pre-season under his belt.
Cesar Azpilicueta | Grade: B+
The recently capped Spanish international arrived from Marseille for fee in the region of £7m and has been a regular figure at right-back this season for the Blues.
With a long-term injury to John Terry sustained in November, Branislav Ivanovic switched to the heart of defence and "Dave", as his team-mates like to refer to him as, has seized his opportunity playing 43 games in all competitions while displayed maturity in defence and adventure in attack.
Eden Hazard | Grade: A-
As part of Chelsea's 'Three Amigos' the Belgian superstar has been mesmerising at times this season for the European champions.
The former Lille prodigy has taken little to no time to adjust to life in English football with a number of standout performances that have included a healthy dose of his enormous potential.
Whilst in the biggest of games he may not have always been as effective, the diminutive attacker will be even better next season with his first season with Chelsea under his belt, to build on his so far 13 goals and 18 assists in all competitions.
Oscar | Grade: B-
Another member of Chelsea's 'Three Amigos', the man who inherited Didier Drogba's legendary number 11 jersey has been a worthy recipient with some outstanding performances that have been particularly visible in the Champions League.
His wonder goal against Juventus and cracking striker against Shakhtar Donetsk have been a taste of what is surely more magical moments to come from the Brazilian starlet.
Marko Marin | Grade: D
The former Werder Bremen man has had a torrid time at Stamford Bridge with just six league appearances this season. He has been on the periphery as 'Mazacar' (Mata, Hazard and Oscar) have been virtually indispensable this season with their sensational performances.
Some may dub the move to Chelsea as a terrible career decision in hindsight, but one suspects he has failed to sparkle due to the scarce opportunities, which is shame given his huge raw ability.
Victor Moses | Grade: B-
The powerful Nigerian has been a consistently quiet achiever this season who has been happy to play second-fiddle to the 'Three Amigos' in what has nonetheless been an impressive debut campaign.
Crucial headers against Swansea City and Shakhtar have highlighted his quality in pressure situations, while his direct and robust style has been provided the Blues' attack a welcome variation. Ten goals in 39 appearances for winger who has largely played a rotation role is an excellent return.
Joe Allen | Grade: C
The Welshman's arrival to Anfield for the hefty sum of £15m was initially seen as a godsend given the former Swansea man's terrific form to begin his Liverpool career.
However, a loss of form and a shoulder injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season in March has seen the young Wales international's debut season end in misery. His metronomic passing and promise as a Xavi-esque playmaker marks him out as one of Brendan Rodgers' key men for the future.
Fabio Borini | Grade: C-
The former Chelsea man has been starved of opportunities this season as Luis Suarez's brilliant form has not given the young Italian a sniff, while the addition of Daniel Sturridge in January has seen him fall further back in the pecking order.
A meagre two goals in 17 games in all competitions suggests a disappointing season, but a lack of opportunities and injuries have curtailed his season. At just 22, there is plenty to come for the Azzurri international if he is given an opportunity.
Oussama Assaidi | Grade: D
The winger has seen very little game time this season, with just four league appearances. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Stewart Downing, Suso and Jordan Henderson have provided stiff competition in the wide areas.
The Morocco international has undoubted talent, but we just have not seen enough of him this season.
Javi Garcia | Grade: C
The Spanish powerhouse began his City career in great fashion as he scored on debut, but that was just about the high point in an otherwise underwhelming debut season.
Roberto Mancini has preferred Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure in defensive midfield all season which has meant the Spaniard has had to make do with mainly a bench role.
Jack Rodwell | Grade: D
The former Everton young gun arrived to the Etihad Stadium for a fee of £12m, but the excitement of moving to the champions has quickly turned into a nightmare.
His 11 appearances in all competitions have been down to strong competition, poor form and injuries in what has been a horrific first season. His potential as a world-class winger should see him develop in the coming seasons, but the 2012/13 season has been one to forget.
Scott Sinclair | Grade D
The former Chelsea man enjoyed an excellent first season with Swansea in the Premier league last season which prompted a move to Manchester City.
In a move that promised so much, has amounted to very little with the winger being restricted to just 11 league appearances as the likes of Samir Nasri, David Silva and James Milner have been preferred in the wide positions. Its fair to say his first season with City has been a nightmare.
Alexander Buttner | Grade: D
The pacy Dutch full-back was shipped in from Vitesse to challenge incumbent left-back Patrice Evra and hopefully replace the ageing stalwart in the following years.
That was the dream, and a dream it remains as Evra has been in outstanding form to keep Buttner out of the first team with a shocking three league appearances all season. At 24, Buttner should be ready to challenge for a position but it may take longer than expected after a dismal first season.
Shinji Kagawa | Grade: C
The reigning Asian player of the year has had to battle form and fitness in his debut campaign at Old Trafford in what has been a less than ideal season.
The former Dortmund star has had to contend with strong competition and largely played a supporting role in United's title triumph, but a hat-trick against Norwich underlined the quality of the Japanese international suggesting the best is yet to come.
Nick Powell | Grade: D
The 19-year-old has played just six games in all competitions scoring once, but in all honesty a loan move would have been the best for the young English starlet as he has found it almost impossible to break into the Red Devils' all-conquering team.
Robin van Persie | Grade A+
The man some say has won the title by himself for United will most probably be scooping his second consecutive Golden Boot as well as a maiden Premier League trophy after a brilliant debut season at the Theatre of Dreams.
He has continued from where he left off at Arsenal, as he has scored for fun while hitting some memorable goals at the same time.
Mousa Dembele | Grade B-
The powerfully built and technically gifted Belgian has gradually become one of Tottenham's most important players this season with his guile and craft in midfield helping most to cover the loss of Luka Modric.
His stats in the league will read 21 appearances for one goal, but his impact has been profound with his creative passing and ability to glide past defenders to link attacks being a crucial aspect of Spurs's play. The beauty of it all, for Spurs supporters at least, is that he will only get better.
Clint Dempsey | Grade: B-
A stunning return of 23 goals in all competitions for Fulham was followed by a transfer to London neighbours Tottenham for season 2012/13.
The American international might be criticised for not being as effective as some would have hoped, but goals at home and away against Manchester United as well as a goal against Manchester City at home which sparked a stunning comeback, highlights the former Fulham man's quality.
Having scored 11 goals in all competitions in relatively limited opportunities is a strong return given the magnitude of some of those goals.
Hugo Lloris | Grade: B+
Having been kept out of the side initially by the evergreen Brad Friedel, the France captain was frustrated at the lack of playing time.
However, once being called upon to guard the posts he has taken his chance and not looked back putting in several world class performances to help Spurs's push for Champions league qualification. His consistency and reliability will be an enormous asset for Tottenham for years to come
Gylfi Sigurdsson | Grade: C
The Icelandic attacker has found it most difficult to make an impact of all of Spurs's summer signings.
The strong competition is one reason that has seen the former Swansea man be largely ineffective in his first season at White Hart Lane, but more so than that there has been an overall feeling of incompatibility at times with his role.
With Spurs playing a fast playing game with pacy wingers, Sigurdsson has looked sluggish out wide with his lack of pace, while being overshadowed in midfield by the form of Dembele and Bale when he has moved centrally.
Jan Vertonghen | Grade: A-
The former Ajax captain is arguably Tottenham's signing of the season and closest to rivalling Gareth Bale for Tottenham player of the season as he has been a rock in the heart of defence or at left back.
He has chipped in with important goals and transitioned as smoothly as possible to the English game. The Belgian has been a commanding presence at the back all season and looks set to become part of Tottenham's spine for the future.
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