Top BPL Signings of the Season

After the curtain came down on yet another action-packed Barclays Premier League campaign, it is time to look at some of the men who made their mark.

Michu strikes again!

By the FOX Sports Editorial Team

We've taken into account the price of the arrivals as well as the impact they had on their respective clubs to pick the top eleven.

All transfer figures are approximate.

1. Michu (Rayo Vallecano to Swansea - £2million)

A virtual unknown on the English isles prior to his arrival in the summer, Michu became a household name with four goals in his first three games.

A perfect fit in Michael Laudrup's stylish side, the Spaniard finished with 18 league goals to finish fifth in the overall standings. Add the three league cup goals that took the Swans to the first silverware in their history and you have the best pound-for-pound signing of the league this season.

2. Robin van Persie (Arsenal to Manchester United - £24million)

There have been many Arsenal players who've left the club in recent years, but none have found the same joy that Van Persie did in his maiden season at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman faced down immense pressure, hatred and the weight of expectations to thump 26 goals past hapless defences across the league - the one (that one) against Aston Villa on the night United sealed the title being the most memorable of the lot. Even if he does not do a lot next season, he will go down as one of Fergie's best signings for sheer short-term impact.  

Kudos as well for helping make our Fantasy Manager jobs slightly easier.

3. Jan Vertonghen (Ajax to Tottenham - £10.6million)

Within a season of his arrival, Vertonghen has become the embodiment of how Spurs play their football - with flair and at pace.

Attacking and exciting are not words you usually associate with a defender, but that is exactly what Vertonghen has been. Able to play at left-back or in the centre of defence, the former Ajax man was superb in both positions and arguably the most crucial player for Spurs after Gareth Bale. 

If he can keep up the same work-rate, Vertonghen has it in him to become one of the best modern-day defenders.

4. Christian Benteke (Genk to Aston Villa - £7million)

For a country of its size, Belgium is producing world-class footballers at a remarkable rate. Benteke roared into that list with some mercurial performances that dragged Aston Villa back from the gaping maw of relegation.

The 22-year-old used his lethality in the air and a ferocious burst of pace on the ground to the tune of 19 top-class goals - his hat-trick against Sunderland arguably turning the season on its head for Paul Lambert's men. Bigger, better things beckon.

5. Santi Cazorla (Malaga to Arsenal - £16.5million)

Arsenal's signings have been fairly underwhelming recently. Not this one. Cazorla settled in remarkably quickly, becoming the fulcrum of an Arsenal side that had lacked a creative outlet last season (when Alex Song had the most number of assists).

12 goals and 11 assists later, it's difficult to imagine the Gunners without the talented Spaniard in their midst. Left foot, right foot, outside the box, inside the box, cute through balls - Cazorla strutted his stuff with authority. The only criticism would be that he wasn't as consistent as fans would have liked - purple patches were followed by fallow periods. On the whole though, it was a season to remember for the 28-year-old.

6. Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina to Manchester City - £13million)

Mario Balotelli was shipped off, Sergio Aguero and David Silva were nowhere close to their last season form, the English champions relinquished their crown with barely a fight and finally, Roberto Mancini was sacked.

After the highs of the last campaign, City endured a sobering season this time around.

The sole silver lining around the gloomy cloud was the emergence of Nastasic as one of the best centre-backs in the league. The 20-year-old displaced the reliable Joleon Lescott from the starting eleven and helped his side concede the least number of goals in the league.

7. Kevin Mirallas (Olympiacos to Everton - £6.5million) 

Everton under David Moyes had established a reputation for being a hard-nosed team. They asked for no quarter, they certainly gave you none.

Along with Steven Pienaar, Mirallas added silk to the steel with some marvellous performances that helped Everton finish sixth despite the misfiring Nikica Jelavic. His solo goal against Stoke in March is undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the season while the Belgian gave Moyes the perfect farewell gift with a brace against West Ham in the Scot's last game at Goodison Park.

Having said that, Mirallas was held back by injuries which lessened the impact he might have had. Everton fans will be hoping he stays fit next season as the club enter a new era without Moyes.

8. Hugo Lloris (Lyon to Tottenham - £10.6 million)

Lloris had a tough initiation to life in the Premier League, struggling to displace veteran Brad Friedel in Spurs' goal. 

Once he got his chance though, the Frenchman went from strength to strength, dovetailing perfectly with his defence and allowing Andre Villas-Boas to play his preferred high-line which allowed Tottenham to launch their counter-attacks at lightning pace.

9. Sascha Riether (Cologne to Fulham - Loan)

Players in mid-table teams have to work extra-hard to get the recognition accorded to their more illustrious peers, but it was virtually impossible to ignore Riether's contributions at right-back for Fulham.

The German edged the likes of Dimitar Berbatov to be voted the club's Player of the Season - an acknowledgment of the consistently solid displays he put in during the 35 games he played this season.  

Recently, Fulham moved to make his loan move from Cologne permanent -well deserved indeed.

10. Sebastien Bassong (Tottenham to Norwich - £2.7million)

Bassong was another player from a mid-table side who forced his way into the best signings of the season with the sheer weight of his performances.

In the early part of the season, Norwich were struggling after heavy defeats at the hands of Liverpool and Chelsea, but the Frenchman upped his game to turn the defence into one of the most well-organised defences in the league.

Like Riether, Bassong's contributions were duly recognised when he was crowned the Canaries' Player of the Season - the first foreigner to get the accolade.

11. Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea to Liverpool - £12.7million)

Granted he played only half a season for Liverpool, but Sturridge represents yet another piece in Brendan Rodgers' jigsaw.

He partnered well with Luis Suarez and then rose to the fore when the Uruguayan was banned for mistaking Branislav Ivanovic's arm for a slice of cake. 11 goals in 15 matches are nothing to be scoffed at - especially when he was expected to fill Suarez's massive shoes.

If Rodgers can perfect a system in which Suarez and Sturridge can deliver consistently, other sides had better watch out next season.

Honourable Mentions

Eden Hazard (Lille to Chelsea - £33.8 million)

Oscar (Internacional to Chelsea - £27 million)

Julio Cesar (Inter Milan to QPR - Free transfer)

Chico Flores (FC Gunea to Swansea - £2.1million)

Robert Snodgrass (Leeds to Norwich - £2.5million)



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