Manchester United will regret Hazard failure

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Premier League fans have had their say on which new signing will make the biggest impact next season - and Chelsea star Eden Hazard was the unanimous choice.

The former-Lille winger has been by far the most expensive transfer of the summer so far, but most fans predict Chelsea will get value for money for their purchase. Of 23,681 poll votes to be counted, Hazard received more than 10,000, taking 43% of the vote.

Despite still being just 21 years old, Hazard is already a two-time French Footballer of the Year, his country's most talented player and the most highly-coveted signing of the year so far.

His signature - subject to tortured months of will he, won't he speculation - ensured that the Premier League has fulfilled it's annual quota for achingly dull transfer sagas.

But Chelsea got their man, and now look a good bet to improve on their fifth placed Premier League finish, possibly even challenging Manchester United and Manchester City for the title.

And each of the top clubs, with the exception of the reigning Premier League champions, have made significant moves in the transfer market.

Sir Alex Ferguson has delighted supporters with the capture of Shinji Kagawa, Andre Villas-Boas has begun his Spurs refit with the additions of Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Arsene Wenger went on a rare shopping excursion, returning with a couple of European internationals - Frenchman Olivier Giroud and German Lukas Podolski.

Of course, Chelsea have spent the most - Oscar and Marko Marin join Hazard - and in terms of value for money the debate remains well and truly open as to which club has made the shrewdest moves.

But Premier League fans are in no doubt as to who they expect to make the biggest impression on the English top flight next season. And at a reported £32m you would Hazard to settle quickly and contribute immediately.

For half the price United got Shinji Kagawa, and few fans would reasonably argue that Ferguson didn't get a fantastic deal for the Japanese international. At £17m, the 23-year-old has considerable resale value and a huge upside.

And football fans seem to agree, with 28% backing the Japan star to be the new recruit to make the biggest impact in the coming year. Kagawa is expected to play a major role at Old Trafford next season, possibly even slotting into the starting lineup from day one.

The former-Dortmund playmaker is enjoying a fantastic pre-season, picking up a man-of-the-match award along with a goal this week, and a font four of Kagawa, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and Nani looks frightening - with Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia poised to strike in reserve.

Wenger and AVB will be similarly smug with their transfer dealings. For around £20m, possibly less, each signed two high-quality, international-calibre players who can be reasonably expected to contribute from the off.

But still, the summers for both north London clubs will ultimately be defined by outgoings rather than incomings. The sooner the futures of Robin van Persie and Luka Modric are sorted, the better for both teams.

And while Sigurdsson is an excellent piece of business for AVB, few Premier League fans - just 2% - expect him to make the biggest impact of the new signings. Of course, if Luka Modric departs, Sigurdsson may forced into a more prominent role, but as proved during his Swansea spell, the Icelandic international is no Premier League novice.

For Lukas Podolski the situation is the reverse. With van Persie in the side, Podolski may flourish faster - less pressure and a focal point for his crosses. Without him, the burden falls immediately into the laps of Giroud and Podolski, and just 13% of fans expect the German to make the biggest impact.

The uncertainty hovering over the north London clubs probably doesn't encourage votes. In contrast, fans likely view Manchester United as a pillar of stability, and Chelsea seem to have a concrete long-term vision - spending lavishly on Europe's - and South America's - best young players.

Talking of long-term outlooks, Brendan Rodgers philosophical revolution at Anfield has begun in earnest, but just 14% of supporters anticipate a stand-out season from new signing Fabio Borini.

The Italy striker with certainly get the opportunity. With Andy Carroll seemingly out of the picture, Borini and Luis Suarez will be Rodgers' frontline, and the former-Roma striker will be relied upon the hit the back of the net from day one as Suarez recovers from his Olympic duties.

His existing rapport with former-manager Rodgers will stand him in good stead, but a question mark hovers over Borini in a way that it does not over Hazard or Kagawa.

So far this summer, Premier League clubs have spent cautiously - Serie A sides have splashed out more - and invested heavily in young talent.

With just over a month to go until the transfer window shuts expect a flurry of activity as the deadline looms. And surely Manchester City will not let the new season kick off without one or two expensive additions.

But, taking stock with just over three weeks to go until the Premier League begins, it's clear that fans expect big things from Eden Hazard.

And if he delivers, United and City will be left to rue the one that got away.


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