Which of the top four's new signings will be a success in the Premier League?

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The transfer window has been officially open for just-shy-of three weeks, but in typical fashion the cash-strapped top four of last season have taken no time in flexing their financial muscle.

And with new multi-billion television rights set to be implemented, the Premier League's top clubs now have even more power to splash the cash - and they're doing just that.

We've already seen a massive influx of players into the self-proclaimed best league in the world, but will the new arrivals make any difference to the clubs they signed for?


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Last season's finish: 1st

New arrivals: Radamel Falcao (Monaco, loan); Asmir Begovic (Stoke, £8m)

Departures: Petr Cech (Arsenal, £10.9m); Didier Drogba (released); Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach, £5.5m)

A first place finish never means that you can rest on your laurels in the transfer window, and nobody will know that better than Jose Mourinho. Having made the early loan acquisition of Manchester United flop Falcao, Chelsea have been relatively quiet up until now, especially when compared with last summer.

Mourinho has claimed that Falcao has the hunger to prove himself in the Premier League, and realistically if anybody is going to get the best out of him it will be The Special One. Chelsea's direct play suits him well, and they have always played with a target man up front.

The problem still remains, though, that Falcao is horribly out-of-form, suffering not only a poor season but a very indifferent Copa America, where he failed to find the net once. The difficulty of incorporating Falcao into a squad where Diego Costa is the main man is also somewhat of a hurdle, despite the two having previously played together at Atletico Madrid, where Falcao enjoyed a prolific campaign and Costa was pushed out wide, where he was far less effective.

Mourinho will be aware of this though, and won't want to compromise a winning formula that saw his Blues storm to last seasons title just to accommodate a loanee, albeit a very expensive one. Falcao, therefore, might have to submit to playing second fiddle to Costa.

As for Asmir Begovic, well, there's not much to say except that he'll play a bit-part role in a position where Thibaut Courtois is the far-superior first choice.

Manchester City

Last season's finish: 2nd

New Arrivals: Raheem Sterling (Liverpool, £49m); Fabian Delph (Aston Villa, £8m)

Departures: James Milner (Liverpool, free transfer)

A very poor season still saw City finish second last season, although realistically their title defence was in tatters long before that. With UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules loosened, the billionaire-owned club is spending freely again, and began with a £49 million deal for Liverpool's Raheem Sterling.

Manuel Pellegrini often plays with a classic 4-4-2 formation, rendering pace on the flanks essential, and while Jesus Navas offers an abundance of pace, that's all the Spaniard really has, whereas Sterling provides pace alongside a half-decent end product. He's still the unfinished product, though - far from it - and the hefty price tag is therefore a long-term investment rather than a short-term proposition. Sterling's pace and energy will be welcome addition to a relatively ageing team alongside his versatility across the front line.

Fabian Delph is likely to be a backup to the big names in the starting lineup, and conveniently makes up the homegrown player quota given the departures of loanee Frank Lampard and James Milner. Delph's ability deserves better than the Manchester City bench, which makes you question the mentality of players like Delph who clearly have their eyes on the money more than anything else. 


Last season's finish: 3rd

New arrivals: Petr Cech (Chelsea, £10.9m)

Departures: Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray, £2.8m)

Arsene Wenger has finally addressed a major flaw in his side's armoury - the man between the sticks. Petr Cech will add a world-class touch in a position that for years has been lacking and is likely to become the Gunners' unanimous number one. He cannot help them win a title on his own, though, even despite the some 15 extra points that he's expected to win the Gunners, and it is therefore of Wenger's best interest to further strengthen the spine of the team. More signings to come, surely?

Manchester United

Last season's finish: 4th

New arrivals: Memphis Depay (PSV, £31m); Matteo Darmian (Torino, £12.7m); Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton, £25m); Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich, £14.4m)

Departures: Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce, undisclosed); Nani (Fenerbahce, £4.25m); Tom Cleverly (Everton, free transfer)

The spending continues under Dutchman Louis van Gaal, and this summer it stands at just over £80 million. As he found out last season though, incorporating a lot of new faces is a tall ask, and it ultimately ended in Angel di Maria, Falcao, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo all wasting away on the bench.

Memphis Depay was the Eredivisie's star man and top scorer last season and worked with Van Gaal when he was manager of the national team. A raw talent, it remains to be seen whether he'll make his mark or let his ego get the better of him like so many have done before him. He's likely to find himself in the starting line-up in place of the ageing Ashley Young, although the pacey winger won't have much time to settle in with a game against Spurs on the opening day of the season for the Red Devils. Depay's versatility means that he can also play up front and behind the striker, so Van Gaal could certainly have a gem on his hands.

Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger were brought in to shore up United's shakey midfield, and while they're both solid acquisitions who'll add experience and ability, it remains to be seen where that leaves the likes of Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera? It is likely that Fellaini will drop out of the starting lineup and Carrick's injury record means that his place is also up for grabs, creating openings for Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger to join Herrera in the heart of United's midfield.

Finally, Matteo Darmian is the relatively unknown former Torino right-back. He can play across the defence and helped to establish the small Italian club as a top ten team over the past few seasons. Known for his apt reading of the game and a good balance between attack and defence, the dynamic full back is a good replacement for Antonio Valencia, who was never comfortable in a full-back position. 

With more than six weeks of the transfer window yet to unfold, expect more spending and more drama.

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