Summer Signings New to the EPL That Have Had the Biggest Impact so Far
Whether fair or, Arsenal's Olivier Giroud has found himself under intense scrutiny early in to his first EPL season. It took the £13 million signing from Montpellier seven games to notch his first Arsenal goal against Coventry in the Capital One Cup. It also took seven matches for Giroud to score his first Premier League goal against West Ham.
Proving how ridiculous it is to criticize a player after such a short time at a new club, just look at past Arsenal recruits Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Bergkamp scored in his seventh game for the Gunners while it took Henry eight games to get off the mark.
This certainly doesn't imply that Giroud will go on to be as prolific a player as Bergkamp and Henry. Rather, it points out how unjust it is to expect players new to their club and the league to adapt immediately.
On the other hand, some players have come into the league and made a quick start. Here are just a few of the new summer signings that are making a name for themselves in the EPL.
Eden Hazard: Chelsea
Eden Hazard has quickly established himself as an integral part of Chelsea's squad.
Hazard is the highest ranked new signing in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 176 points. In fact, he is currently ranked third overall among EPL players The PPI is the Premier League's player-rating system, which is used to measure each player's overall contribution on the pitch.
Santi Cazorla: Arsenal
Santi Cazorla has hit the ground running and has become a major force in the Arsenal midfield.
In a short time, he has proven to be another superb signing by Arsene Wenger. He puts in a Man of the Match performance every time he takes the pitch.
Arsenal are often criticized for trying to score the perfect goal. Cazorla has added another dimension to the Arsenal attack. His stunning goal from the edge of the box versus West Ham shows he has the ability to score from distance.
His PPI dropped this week after Arsenal's loss to Norwich, but he is still ranked 24th in the EPL with a total of 123 points.
2011-2012 was Michu's first season in the top flight of any league. Prior to that Michu played for clubs in the Spanish Second Division.
In Swansea's first eight matches of the season, Michu has been on the score sheet six times. He also put one past Crawley in the third round of the Capital One Cup.
Michu's current PPI index of 137 puts him among the top 10 among EPL midfielders.
Arouna Kone: Wigan Athletic
Arouna Kone joined Wigan this season after several years playing in Holland and Spain.
Despite Wigan currently sitting in the bottom half of the league table, Kone has been a standout for Roberto Martinez's team. The striker has scored three goals and assisted on two others in his first eight games in the Premier League.
The Ivorian forward's 110 PPI total has him ranked in the EPL's list of top ten strikers.
Shinji Kagawa: Manchester United
Kagawa has appeared in six matches and has scored two goals with one assist. He got on the score sheet in United's home opener versus Fulham back in August.
Kagawa's current PPI total of 92 ranks him 68th in the league.
Claudio Yacob: West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion have gotten off to a tremendous start and currently sit sixth in the EPL table.
Part of West Brom's early success can be attributed to new signing Claudio Yacob. Yacob joined the Baggies from Racing Club in Argentina's Primera Division.
Yacob has yet to get on the score sheet, but his passing ability has helped make West Brom's attack more potent. He also plays in front of the back four and serves as the club's midfield enforcer.
Yacob's current PPI total is 74.
Jan Vertonghen: Tottenham
Jan Vertonghen was one of Tottenham's top signings of the summer. The 25-year-old had already established himself as an international player with the Belgian national team and spent six seasons with Ajax of the Eredivisie.
A left-footed centre back, Vertonghen is a versatile player and has shown some prowess with his attacking ability. He scored the opening goal in Tottenham's defeat of Manchester United at Old Trafford and picked up an assist on William Gallas' weekend goal versus Chelsea.
Vertonghen also scored in Spur's defeat of Carlisle in the Capital One Cup's third round.
Vertonghen presently has a PPI total of 90 points.
Javi Garcia: Manchester City
The £15.8 million signing has only appeared in three games so far for the champions due to a glut of outstanding players on his team. His one goal came in his Manchester City debut away to Stoke. His header from a free kick earned his club a 1-1 draw.
His PPI total has dropped due to lack of playing time and currently stands at 52.
Kevin Mirallas: Everton
Mirallas' netted his first EPL goal in Everton's victory away to Swansea. In the club's 5-0 defeat of Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup, Mirallas scored twice and set up two other goals.
Mirallas has a current PPI of 61 points.
Lukas Podolski: Arsenal
German forward Lukas Podolski was Arsene Wenger's first signing of the summer.
Despite playing for relegated FC Cologne of the Bundesliga last season, Podolski scored 18 times in 29 league appearances.
Podolski has also been an integral part of the German national side with 44 goals in 103 games.
With the departure of Robin van Persie, a lot of pressure has been placed on the striker. Early into his England career, Podolski has looked solid and comfortable in the Arsenal lineup.
Podolski's first Arsenal goal versus Liverpool was also the club's first goal of the season. His second goal was an amazing free kick that went over the Southampton wall and in to the top corner of the net.
The striker has also netted against Montpellier and Olympiacos in the opening rounds of the Champions League.
Podolski is the tenth-highest rated striker in the current PPI standings with 106 points.
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