Top 10: Best Premier League signings of 2012
Top 10: Best Premier League signings of 2012
With £490m spent this summer, and another vast amount in January, I take a look at the ten best deals from the Premier League this calendar year. Expect bargains, instant impacts, scouting genius and some superb scoops.
P.s. No Manchester City players, despite all their money..
By Stowe Gregory @stowegregory
10 - Steven Pienaar - Spurs to Everton - £4.5m ($7.3m)
Having left Everton in 2011 to join Tottenham Hotspur, David Moyes brought back the South African to Goodison park after a dismal period in North London this summer. He now looks an even better creative player than before in an Everton side aiming for Europe.
9 - Ben Foster - Birmingham to West Brom - £4m ($6.5m)
West Bromich Albion agreed a permanent deal for Ben Foster's move to Birmingham City in June this year. Foster soon put his whole commitment to the club after retiring from England duty (sort of). He's now key part of a Baggies side who are remarkably close to the top 4, in 6th.
8 - Steven Fletcher - Wolves to Sunderland - £12m ($19.4m)
Quite a pricey deal, yes. But having left relegated side Wolves this summer, the Scottish forward has scored 7 goals in 14 games. However, he's been fairly clinical with the limited opportunities that his struggling side, Sunderland are creating.
7 - Santi Carzola - Malaga to Arsenal - £16.5m ($26.7m)
Arsenal's new Spanish attacking midfielder is one of the few positives from Arsenal's season so far. A two time European championship winner with his country has proven a real gem. With 4 goals and 4 assists, his presence has been impressive. One of those who can create something from nothing. Class
6 - Robin Van Persie - Arsenal to Manchester United - £24m ($38.8m)
Ok, this move is a big money move. But 'RVP' is simply a brilliant purchase. With 12 league goals already this season, in just 17 games, his instant reliable impact has helped Manchester United cope with injuries and a quite simply terrible defense. Didn't please Arsenal fans, but for Sir Alex Ferguson's side this is the kind of signing anyone would want. Again, class.
5 - Nikica Jelavić - Rangers to Everton - £4m ($6.5m)
A 6 year deal for an international striker with a formidable goal scoring record. And a bargain too. David Moyes is pretty good at bringing in quality for low prices, and Jelavic is another example. 11 goals from January last season, and 6 this season. Clinical Croatian.
4 - Christian Benteke - Genk to Aston Villa - £7m ($11.3m)
"Why's Darren Bent not playing?!" cried the majority of the media earlier this season. But for those who had been paying attention to this Belgian beast they know exactly why Benteke has been starting week in week out. He's built like a monster, he's got more than a yard of pace but he's got a football brain to help create some special moments. That matched with power and a surprisingly good technical ability - yeah Benteke sounds pretty good right? Confidence seems to be his most valuable trait currently. If you haven't seen his back heel vs Liverpool then why not? Good job Villa.
3 - Dimitar Berbatov - Manchester United to Fulham - £5m ($8.8m)
Bargain. Simple as that really. £5m for a Premier League golden boot winner. Berbatov oozes quality and class. It was easy to see why Sir Alex Ferguson let him go, he simply didn't suit Man United's style. But it is a surprise that nobody else challenge Fulham for his signature. Martin Jol, well done.
2 - Papa Demba Cisse - SC Frieburg to Newcastle - £8m ($12.9m)
The best buy of January 2012 for sure. Another bit of scouting genius, that begs the question, what were the other club looking at? 13 goals in 14 games last season puts him 2nd in this list, despite a slow start this season. Some super goals helped Newcastle achieve 5th last season, with an absolute scorcher away vs Chelsea, I mean amazing. Steal at £8m.
1 - Michu - Rayo Vallecano to Swansea - £2m ($3.2m)
You read that price correctly. Miguel Pérez Cuesta (or Michu) has taken the Premier League by an absolute STORM! The League's top goal scorer currently, 12 goals in 16 games - he is an attacking midfielder or second striker, not a center forward yet he is tearing the League apart at times. In the right place at the right time, clever, quick, skillful and powerful. Who ever in the Swansea scouting department spotted Michu deserves a pay rise. But £2m is a remarkable price for him. A Spain call up probably awaits. Best signing of 2012 by a long shot.