THE LIST: Sportsmail's top 50 Premier and Football League signings of the season - Nos 30-21

14 April 2010 10:45
        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Who is your top signing this season? Amid the excitement of the football season's final furlong, Sportsmail pauses to reflect on the men who have made all the difference to their new clubs. We pick out our top 50 signings from this season in both the Premier and Football Leagues, but who would be your No 1? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK As the football season nears its climax, fans up and down thecountry will either be gunning for glory, praying for salvation orsimply hatching plans for success next time round.

But whateverthe outcome of your team's season, thoughts will very soon turn towardsnext term and the summer transfer window. Just ask Rafa Benitez. TheLiverpool boss has demanded £60million to spend on three world-classplayers.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, Sportsmail havemade a list of the top 50 players signed this season who have made allthe difference to their new clubs.

Whether it's Landon Donovan,who sparked Everton's bid for European football next year, ThomasVermaelen, who provided the platform for Arsenal to push for the titleor Sebastien Bassong's understated influence at Tottenham, stay tunedfor the Premier League's most inspired signings this term.

Butthe Football League's best buys are here too, from Darren Ambrose andhis goal-scoring exploits at Crystal Palace to loan star TomCleverley's instant impact at Watford.

We'recounting down 10 each day till our No 1 is revealed on Friday and, asever, let us know who you think was the top signing this season.

Read Nos 50-41Read Nos 40-31

30 Glen Johnson (Portsmouth to Liverpool, £18m)The size of the transfer fee paid by Rafa Benitez made some rub theireyes in disbelief. Portsmouth paid Chelsea £4m for him in 2007was moving on for £18m.

Granted, it has hardly been a season to remember for Liverpool butthe knee injury which threatened to scupper his season is now just amemory and Johnson is back to his best.

He has improved defensively, but it has been his surging runs from right-back that have caught the eye. Johnson has popped up with the odd goal, too.

Golden Glen: Johnson's raids forward for Liverpool have been one of few positives during the campaign at Anfield

28 Adel Taarabt(Tottenham to QPR, loan) Tottenham's entertaining midfielder couldn't secure a regular placeat White Hart Lane, moved across London and is now doing the businessat Loftus Road.

Highlights include his solo wonder-strike against Preston in October and the winner away against Scunthorpe.

However, this may be the Moroccan's last year in England, afterstating his desire to move to Spain in the summer.

Adore Adel: Tottenham's loss has been QPR's gain this season

29 Johnny Heitinga(Atletico Madrid to Everton, £6m)David Moyes worked hard to bring the Holland international to Merseyside from Atletico Madrid last summer.

And Heitinga has repaid his manager's persistence with a solid debut season. Strong and tough at the back, he has also impressed in midfield. Comfortable on the ball in an attractive Everton side.

27 Stephen Warnock (Blackburn Rovers to Aston Villa, £7m)Failure to make it at Liverpool was a tough blow for Warnock butthe left-back has resurrected his career at Blackburn and, now, Villa.

Anfield regulars now question Rafa Benitez's decision to let him go, given his rising profile. Aside from his trusted defensive abilities, Warnock offers a useful attacking threat to work with wingers Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.

A late contender for the World Cup after Wayne Bridge's decision to opt out.

Cover: Heitinga

Revived: Warnock

26 Chris O'Grady(Stockport to Rochdale, undisclosed)O'Grady has led something of an itinerant life for the past sevenyears, playing for nine different clubs.

But he seems to have found a home at Rochdale after hisloan move, which commenced in August, and was made permanent in January. 

The striker has netted 23 times so this term, firinghis side to the top of League Two.

25 Mohamed Diame(Rayo Vallecano to Wigan, £3m)The French midfielder came to the DW Stadium after a spell in Spainwith Vallecano, where he developed a reputation as aball-winning midfielder.

Wigan's season can hardly be described as a success, but there are acouple of players in Roberto Martinez's side whose stock has greatlyrisen this term.

Diame is certainly one of those players after proving himself aperfect replacement for Wilson Palacios.

Settled: O'Grady

Replacement: Diame

24 Lee Bowyer(West Ham United to Birmingham, free)Alex McLeish invested in some relative unknowns in the summer aswell, as handing Bowyer a two-and-a-half-year deal to make his loan movefrom West Ham permanent.

It has proved to be a very astute decision by the manager. Bowyerwas the club's top goalscorer in the heady early days of the season andhis energy and guile have helped Birmingham to mid-table safety. 

23 Radoslaw Majewski (Polonia Warsaw to Nottingham Forest, loan)Majewski's was faltering in Warsaw, but his move to Nottingham and subsequent excellent form has seen his career blossom once again.

The Pole has scored cracking goals against Derby and West Bromwich Albion this season, and helped Forest to the Championship play-offs.

Investment: Bowyer

Poles apart: Majewski

22 Scott Dann (Coventry to Birmingham, £3.5m)There have been plenty of surprises in the Premier League this season - and one of the biggest has come at St Andrew's where a centre-back pairing without any top-flight experience has flourished.

The quiet, unassuming Dann has put himself forward as a future England defender after an assured first season with the Blues, who have the third best home defence in the league to date.

21 Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy to Everton, loan)It's English fans' prerogative to moan about the quality of America's MLS but there's no doubt Donovan did quite a job for Anglo-American relations during his sabbatical with Everton.

The flying American winger caught the eye with a string of sizzling performances for the Toffees.

Noted for his directness and pace, Donovan wasn't shy of putting in a tough challenge too - just ask Ashley Cole.

Scott's your lot: Dann

Loan ranger: Donovan

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 Explore more:People:David Moyes, Lee Bowyer, Glen Johnson, Ashley Young, Scott Dann, Sebastien Bassong, Rafa Benitez, Stewart Downing, Wilson Palacios, Wayne Bridge, Darren Ambrose, Ashley Cole, Alex McLeish, Roberto MartinezPlaces:Liverpool, London, Warsaw, Nottingham, Birmingham, Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, AmericaOrganisations:Football League

Source: Daily_Mail

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