Premier League Transfers: Power Ranking Best EPL Summer Transfers

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIDecember 12, 2012

Premier League Transfers: Power Ranking Best EPL Summer Transfers

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    The summer transfer window saw a large number of transfers take place—some that caused plenty of controversy and others that went largely unnoticed.

    But now, nearly halfway through the English Premier League season, we are able to see just how effective or ineffective certain transfers were and whether or not teams were right to spend the money that they did to bring certain players to their club.

    So which transfers have proven to be the best moves? Which players that made a move over the transfer window are playing the best so far?

    Is it Michu? Is it Santi Cazorla? Is it Eden Hazard?

    Read on as we power rank the top 20 transferred players this year.

20. Pablo Hernandez, Swansea City

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    After making a £5.5 million move from Valencia to Swansea City, Pablo Hernandez has started brilliantly in the Premier League this year and is a huge reason behind the Swans' strong season to date, where they sit just one win off a top-four spot.

    The midfielder currently leads Swansea in goal-scoring opportunities created per game and has two goals and two assists for the year.

19. Olivier Giroud, Arsenal

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    Olivier Giroud might have taken a little longer to get going in the Premier League than we had all expected, but the French international is slowly starting to show why he was considered worthy of £13 million in his transfer from Montpellier.

    The 26-year-old currently leads the Gunners in Premier League goals this season with four and is showing great purpose and intent in attack—something that, if matched well with clinical finishing, will hold the North London club in good stead this year.

    Lots of adjustments to make from Giroud and whilst it is taking time, he is still proving to be a strong player in the English competition this season.

18. Robert Snodgrass, Norwich City

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    Currently leading all Norwich City players across a number of categories is Robert Snodgrass, who has been superb throughout the past couple of months for the Canaries.

    The 25-year-old made a £3 million move from Leeds over the summer and, with three goals and three assists on the year, is proving to be one of their best attacking weapons. 

    Snodgrass also leads the team in tackles, is second in goal-scoring opportunities created per game and is in the top four in pass completion percentage per game—culminating to give him the highest average match rating through the Premier League season.

17. Romelu Lukaku, West Bromwich Albion

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    West Bromwich Albion's strong start to the Premier League season has caught many by surprise, and whilst Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku took some time to get going for the Baggies, he is certainly a huge driving factor behind their success at the moment.

    The Baggies picked up the 19-year-old on loan this year and, with five goals and an assist from just four starting appearances, is proving to be a valuable player for Steve Clarke's men, who currently sit tied on points with fourth-place Everton nearing the halfway mark of the season.

16. Kevin Mirallas, Everton

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    Much of what Kevin Mirallas has done this season doesn't make for mouth-watering reading on the statistics sheet, but his work off the ball and his ability to create attacking space for the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic has been huge for the Toffees this year.

    Everton currently sit in fourth position—just a win behind defending European champions Chelsea—due to the strength of their attacking core, featuring Mirallas as one of the focal players.

    Mirallas currently ranks top two in goal-scoring opportunities created and effective crosses per game for the Merseyside club so far.

15. Clint Dempsey, Tottenham Hotspur

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    American international Clint Dempsey made a £6 million move from Fulham to Tottenham Hotspur over the summer transfer window and, so far, is proving to be a great transfer for Andre Villas-Boas.

    The man known as Deuce is being very effective in behind Jermaine Defoe and ahead of his former Cottage teammate Moussa Dembele—leading the club in assists this season whilst netting three goals of his own from his 11 appearances this year.

14. Lukas Podolski, Arsenal

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    German legend Lukas Podolski's arrival at the Emirates has had a huge impact on the Gunners this season, with the 27-year-old proving to be one of Arsene Wenger's top signings for the club—costing just over £10 million from Cologne.

    Podolski currently sits top of the team in goals this season and second in assists and, with a little bit more clinical finishing, would have found himself further up this list here. Having said that, there is little doubting the talent existed in Podolski and in his combination with Santi Cazorla, with the pair proving to be the Gunners' best chance at a top-four spot this season.

13. Eden Hazard, Chelsea

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    After a blistering start to his Premier League career, Eden Hazard has slowed down a little for Chelsea of late, but is still one of the top players in the league this season.

    Making a spectacular £32 million transfer from Lille, Hazard has the second-highest average match rating for the Blues this year—netting three goals and six assists to date.

    His passes have been completed at a strong 85 percent completion rate and creating an average of two goal-scoring chances per game, and he will continue to be a huge factor for Chelsea's attack throughout the EPL this year as they seek to rectify their Champions League heartbreak.

12. Ben Foster, West Bromwich Albion

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    After impressing last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, goalkeeper Ben Foster was signed on a long-term deal this summer by the Baggies and is proving that to be a great decision, with his instinctive reflexes a huge part behind the club's strong start to the year.

    Foster has faced nearly 150 shots this season and has conceded just 11 goals in that time—the fewest for any player to have faced the number of shots that he has. He also ranks top five in clean sheets for the year, despite playing several fewer matches than the likes of Joe Hart, Petr Cech or Simon Mignolet (per The Score).

11. Mohamed Diame, West Ham United

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    He might now be injured for a good (or bad) part of three months, but prior to that, West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame was having an excellent season for the newly promoted London club.

    Averaging a whopping four-plus tackles per match (a team high) and also showing to be an attacking masterpiece against Chelsea recently, Diame's influence on West Ham was seen most clear against Liverpool last week when the Reds came from behind to beat the Hammers, but only gained a foothold in midfielder after Diame had been taken off injured.

    Still, his season has been excellent so far.

10. Joe Allen, Liverpool

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    Liverpool's passing master Joe Allen cost the club £15 million to bring over from Swansea City, but the midfield maestro is proving to be worth the money as he directs the Reds back into top-four contention heading into the midway point of the season.

    Yet to miss a league game for the Merseyside club, Allen leads the team in tackles and interceptions this season, but his real strength is his passing game—leading the team in average passes per game at a strong 91 percent completion rate.

    Few would doubt Allen's importance to Liverpool this season.

9. Jussi Jaaskelainen, West Ham United

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    Despite his side recently being promoted to the top flight and currently sitting in the bottom half of the league table, West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen has had an excellent year for the Hammers—proving to be one of the top shot-stoppers so far.

    Jaaskelainen came on a free transfer form Bolton Wanderers this summer and has posted the fourth-highest number of clean sheets this season despite facing the second-highest number of shots (according to The Score).

8. Christian Benteke, Aston Villa

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    Aston Villa's Belgian star, Christian Benteke, only cost the club £7 million to bring in from Genk over the summer—a figure they would happily pay again giving his strong performances to date.

    Benteke currently has the highest average match rating for the club—leading the team in both goals and assists—and is without doubt the Villans' most attacking option this season. Yes, Darren Bent, that includes you too.

7. Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham

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    Having finally been afforded playing time after moving from Manchester United to Fulham for £5 million, Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov is proving he still has what it takes to compete with the league's best this year—netting five goals and three assists in just 11 appearances for the Cottagers.

    Berba currently has the club's highest average match rating and is a clear leader in attacking chances created per game—something he'll definitely need to continue over the near future with injuries to key attacking players likely to increase his required work rate and involvement.

6. Steven Fletcher, Sunderland

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    If Sunderland generate anything in attack this season, it's fairly safe to say that's come through Steven Fletcher—the club's £15 million summer transfer from Wolverhampton Wolves.

    The striker has scored half of the Black Cats' total goals this season and, should the likes of Stephane Sessegnon offer further assistance to him, could become an even more effective striker for Martin O'Neill this season—a truly frightening prospect indeed for opposing defenses.

    He works tirelessly in an otherwise poor team.

5. Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham Hotspur

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    We're inside the top five now and we've reached the best transferred defender this season—Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen, who made a £10 million move from Ajax over the summer.

    A former captain, Vertonghen's on-field leadership has been key for Spurs' rise under Andre Villas-Boas over the past few months as his defensive skills—with the Belgian international second only to tackling machine Sandro in tackles and interceptions this season.

    Vertonghen also ranks highly in average passes per game and effective clearances per game—proving to be an integral part of Spurs' attacking and defensive solidity this season.

4. Oscar, Chelsea

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    Somewhat lost in the hype of Eden Hazard and the 2012 London Olympics was the arrival to Chelsea of Brazilian sensation Oscar, who has proven to be one of the best players this season—if not the Blues' best so far.

    Oscar has thrived in the Champions League side of the game, with Rafa Benitez not offering the youngster the same opportunities in the Premier League so far. Despite that, Oscar still ranks highly in goal-scoring opportunities created, average passes per game and pass completion percentage when he is on the pitch—taking hold of every opportunity provided for him.

    Perhaps most importantly is his ability to attack attention and defensive focus away from Spanish international Juan Mata, with the two developing a strong relationship in midfield this season when afforded playing time at the same time.

3. Michu, Swansea City

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    As far as bargains go, Swansea's £2 million summer pickup Michu has been by far this smartest and most effective transfer seen in recent Premier League history.

    The Spaniard is one of the most highly rated league players and currently leads the league in goals scored this season—ahead of all the other strong strikers in the league. 

    His involvement in the Swans' attack and drive throughout the middle has created a strong season for Michael Laudrup's men, and he has very quickly replaced Joe Allen at the club.

2. Santi Cazorla, Arsenal

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    Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is the heart and soul of the Gunners this season with the Spanish international without doubt the top playmaker.

    The numbers don't do justice to Cazorla, who leads team in goals and is second in assists this year—creating a whopping 2.6 goal-scoring chances per game and threatening defensive units every single time he touches the football.

    He made a struggling Olivier Giroud look reasonable and he makes Gervinho look like a real footballer—both of which are no easy achievements to do.

    Cazorla is without doubt the best midfielder the club has had in recent history—yes, even more so than Fabregas—and is the lifeblood of the club's top-four chances this season, holding the highest average match rating out of every player in the Premier League this season.

1. Robin van Persie, Manchester United

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    But there can be no better transfer than that of Robin van Persie to Manchester United, with the £24 million transfer completely shifting the balance of power back into the hands of Sir Alex Ferguson.

    The Dutch international is the club's go-to player when their backs are against the wall and has bailed them out time and time again this year—proving to be the biggest reason why United are six points clear on top of the Premier League ladder.

    Van Persie has netted 11 goals and four assists in just 14 appearances this season—numbers that could well determine the title outcome come the end of the year. 

    Arsene Wenger looks foolish for letting him go, Sir Alex looks like a genius, and the 29-year-old van Persie looks like the greatest thing to come to Old Trafford since a young, former Everton striker walked through the doors a couple of years back.

    Which he is.


    Which summer transfer have impressed you the most this season?

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    All transfer details via The Daily Mail; all statistics via WhoScored