Now that the season is drawing to an end its clear which Premier League transfers have been a success and which have not. Though transfers made during the January transfer window have had less time to make an impact for clubs in the Premier League there are still a few that have proved a good purchase and a worthy entry into this list. This top 10 list isn’t necessarily the top ten best players, it is the best purchases and factors such as their transfer fee, impact for their new club, do they stand out in their new team and was they a needed purchase for their club are, all factored into this list.
Before I go into the top 10 here are a few transfers that came close or some big transfers that haven’t yet proved themselves enough to make this list for their new clubs, either down to not having enough time to make an impact for the club or that there was better entries above them for specific reasons.
Marko Arnautović: Werder Bremen – Stoke City £2m
Dejan Lovren: Lyon – Southampton £8.5m
Mesut Özil: Real Madrid – Arsenal £42.5
Juan Mata: Chelsea – Man Utd £37.1m
Jesús Navas: Sevilla – Man City £14.9m
Álvaro Negredo: Sevilla – Man City £16.4
Gerard Deulofeu: Barcelona – Everton Season Long Loan
Steven Caulker: Tottenham – Cardiff £8m
Tom Huddlestone: Tottenham – Hull £5.25m
James McCarthy: Wigan – Everton £13m
Nathan Redmond: Birmingham City – Norwich £3m
André Schürrle: Bayer Leverkusen – Chelsea £18m
Mohamed Salah: FC Basel – Chelsea £11m
Fernandinho: Shakhtar Donetsk – Man City £34m
10. Nemanja Matić: Benfica – Chelsea £21m
Matic was part of the make-weight deal that brought defender David Luiz to Stamford Bridge in 2011. Three years on and Chelsea re-signed the attacking midfielder for £21m. In theory yes its bad business on Chelsea’s part for allowing the player to leave in 2011 but has proved a great addition to the Chelsea squad. He was needed in the Chelsea squad and filled a gap, and since joining fitted perfectly into the starting eleven, making 14 appearances, in which he has got 4 assists. He is a key addition to the Chelsea side and looks like he is part of the side’s long-term future under Mourinho, as he is still in the process of crafting his ideal title wining side.
9. Willian: Anzhi Makhachkala – Chelsea £32m
Willan arrived for a hefty fee from Anzhi, only 8 months after his move from Shakhtar Donetsk. He has been very impressive all throughout the season despite being part of an extremely crowded position and competing with teammates Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazzard and new January signing Mohamed Salah, all of which being very impressive players. Willian has made 23 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 3 goals and getting 8 assists but it’s not down to his goal scoring ability that he has made this list. He pushed Juan Mata out of the starting line-up and is arguably one of the factors that lead to his sale to Man Utd. The majority of his work goes unnoticed in a match but Willian always puts in all he can into a game. He is quick and an attacking threat but also is very good at tracking back and defending when it’s needed. He is clearly a player José Mourinho has taken a liking to.
8. Simon Mignolet: Sunderland – Liverpool £9m
Mignolet was a much needed signing into the Liverpool squad, especially if Liverpool was to achieve a stronger finish compared to last season’s 7th place position. Yes the goalkeeper isn’t the reason Liverpool finished 7th last season but Pepe Reina’s last few seasons at Anfield was very inconsistent in terms of performances and it was time Liverpool replaced the Spaniard. Mignolet has been very important to Liverpool’s successful season and featured in every minute of every league game this season. Liverpool’s defence still isn’t as strong as it should be for a title winning side but having Mignolet in the side has won Liverpool some vital points this season with the 100 saves the keeper has made so far this campaign.
7. Jason Puncheon: Southampton – Crystal Palace Season Long Loan but brought for £1.75m in January
Perhaps the bargain of the season and one of the factors why Crystal Palace have secured their Premier League status for next season. Puncheon has been very important to Pulis’ side and kept Palace’s January signing, Thomas Ince out of the squad. Ever since that penalty miss against Tottenham, Puncheon has given his all into every performance, with an extremely high work rate and scoring 7 goals this season. The English winger will be attracting the attention of some bigger clubs going into next season but it’s hard to see Palace allowing him to leave for anything less than substantially more than what they paid for him.
6. Curtis Davies: Birmingham City – Hull City £2.25
Another bargain buy on this list is for the English centre back who has had an impressive run with Championship side Birmingham City since 2011. It was surprising that Hull was able to capture his signature for such a small fee but the centre back has well exceeded his worth during his first season with Hull City. The newly promoted Hull City are currently 6 points clear of the drop and look as though they will be playing Premier League football next season, but had Davies not have been in the Hull squad then it’s hard to see The Tigers still being on the same points total that they are currently sitting on. The 6ft 2in defender is fantastic in the air, rarely makes mistakes and one of the most impressive defenders across the whole season and a crucial part in the Hull defence. It’s a shame that the centre back is being overlooked as a potential player to make his way to the World Cup as I feel he has rightly earned his ticket, even if it’s from the bench.
Part 2 coming later this week.
By Conor Rees Twitter: @Conor_Rees