Ranking the 101 Best Transfer Deals of the Summer Window

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IISeptember 8, 2013

Ranking the 101 Best Transfer Deals of the Summer Window

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    The 2013 summer transfer window was incredibly, incredibly big.

    Akin to nothing we've seen in recent history, more big-name players made moves this summer than we care to dwell on. Neymar, Mario Gotze, Edinson Cavani, Stevan Jovetic, Radamel Falcao, Isco, Marouane Chamakh (okay, maybe kidding there).

    And then there was Gareth Bale's world-record move to Real Madrid.

    We don't yet know which transfers are going to be the best deals or which are not; it will likely take a season or two before we can begin to evaluate them.

    But we can take a stab and see which players and clubs were the big winners of the 2013 summer transfer window, and who scored the biggest deals of them all.

    The top 101 transfers of the summer lie in the slides ahead.

    I've scouted, graded, chopped and changed this list more times than you care to imagine, and we're no doubt bound to disagree on the ranking or inclusion of players.

    If that's the case, make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments below!

    Let's have a look at the top 101 deals of the 2013 transfer window.

     

A Word Before We Begin

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    Before we get this list underway, I feel that it's important to note a couple of things first. The biggest of which pertains to the grading of certain players and transfers.

    All transfers have been broken up into three separate categories, and graded out of 10.

    • the individual talent of the player
    • the value of the transfer (i.e fee paid in relation to player talent)
    • how much the team needed to add to their squad with the player

    Thus it's important to note that when someone like Simon Mignolet is ranked higher than Gareth Bale (which he is), it doesn't mean that he's better overall than Bale.

    It just means that his transfer by Liverpool (taking into consideration his talent, transfer fee and value and team needs) was better than that of Real Madrid's.

    Hopefully that will clear up some issues people may have!

    Also, all transfer fees are stated according to Transfermarkt unless otherwise noted. All statistics are provided via Squawka or WhoScored.

    Feel free to check out my completed transfer tracker provided here. 

Honorable Mentions

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    Here are some other summer transfers that didn't quite make the top 101.

     

    NAMEFROMTOFOR
     Andreas CorneliusFC Copenhagen Cardiff City £7.5 million
     Federico PelusoAtalanta Juventus £4 million 
     Felipe AndersonSantos Lazio
    £7.7 million 
     Fernando Gremio Shakhtar Donetsk£9.5 million
     Filip Djurcic SC HeerenveenBenfica£5.2 million
     Marko Marin Chelsea Sevilla FCLoan 
     Vicente Iborra Levante Sevilla FC£5.3 million
     Vlad Chiriches Steaua BucharestTottenham Hotspur£8.5 million 
     Eric Adibal FC BarcelonaAS MonacoFree 
     Pepe ReinaLiverpoolNapoliLoan
     Lucas Piazon Chelsea Vitesse ArnhemLoan
     Younes Belhanda MontpellierDynamo Kyiv £6.5 million
     Luis Alberto Sevilla FCLiverpool £7 million 

101. Willian

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    From: Anzhi Makhachkala

    To: Chelsea

    For: £33.5 million (per ESPN)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Often played as a left winger, Willian is also capable of playing in the No. 10 role. Wiry and skillful, he has great dribbling and creative skills to match.

     

    Value: 6/10

    Had Anzhi not paid so much money for him from Shakhtar, his fee would likely have been nowhere near this high. Far too much to pay for a player like Willian.

     

    Need: 3/10

    Perhaps the biggest downer here for Chelsea. They don't need Willian—even with the likes of Victor Moses on loan. He isn't going to be able to beat the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar for a starting berth. If he does, Jose Mourinho will only be hurting those stars. Chelsea didn't need another wide forward.

     

    Overall: 18/30

    A good talent, but the Blues didn't need him and overpaid for him. Hopefully, Willian can show why Mourinho was so keen to get him throughout the year.

100. Marco Van Ginkel

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    From: Vitesse Arnhem

    To: Chelsea

    For: £8 million (per Sky Sports) 


      

    Talent: 8/10

    A conventional box-to-box midfielder capable of scoring goals. Does have issues with timing and produces some bad turnovers, but will grow.

     

    Value: 7/10

    Perhaps a lot to pay for someone who isn't going to get a whole lot of game time this season, but the cost is still low for a club like Chelsea. If he can get playing time in the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup as well, then van Ginkel should go a long way to paying off his transfer fee.

     

    Need: 5/10

    Again, Chelsea don't need the youngster right now, but this one has fewer negatives than the Willian deal. Chelsea are planning ahead—they've recognised a young talent and are grooming him to fit their system. Definitely a signing for the future. 

     

    Overall: 20/30

    The hype of Van Ginkel is growing, but it's growing for good reason. Don't expect him to breakthrough this year; he'll need consistent playing time before that happens.

99. Adem Ljajic

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    From: Fiorentina

    To: AS Roma

    For: £9.4 million (per Eurosport) 


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    A versatile attacker, Ljajic has great timing on the ball and excellent vision to match. He is capable of running at defenders and creating space for his fellow attackers. His pace and agility make him an intriguing threat in front of goal.

     

    Value: 7/10

    Having sold a number of players this summer, Roma simply needed to replace them in any way possible. Ljacic was part of that. They perhaps overpaid a little to Fiorentina as a result.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Roma needed to replace their attacking depth in the squad, and with Francesco Totti not getting any younger, this was a smart move for the Italians to make. 

     

    Overall: 22.5/30

    Definitely more underrated than the Jovetic transfer, but potentially just as important. Fiorentina will be nowhere near as strong without Ljajic in their squad.

98. Fernandinho

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    From: Shakhtar Donetsk

    To: Manchester City

    For: £35 million (per Transfermarkt) 


      

    Talent: 9/10

    A holding midfielder for Shakhtar, Fernandinho also showed great ability to get forward and contribute to the attack. He probably won't need to do that as much at City, but with an excellent turn of foot and the ability to pass his way around opposing defenders, he's an excellent talent indeed.

     

    Value: 4/10

    Overpaid in a big way. Fernandinho, though talented, isn't quite world-class. City paid more for him than Real Madrid did for Isco. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    Another midfielder might not have seemed like the biggest need for City, but I disagree. Yaya Toure was forced to play deeper last season under Roberto Mancini, but with a holding midfielder now in the side, Toure has the freedom to push forward and attack again. It's little surprise to see his name in the goal-scoring column already this season.

     

    Overall: 22.5/30

    Had they not paid so much for him, this could have been one of the best deals this summer. Still, it's a great addition for City and one that could lead them to success once more.

97. Florian Thauvin

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    From: OSC Lille

    To: Olympique Marseille

    For: £12.7 million (per Goal) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Having never settled at his previous club, Thauvin comes to Marseille with a lot to prove. He has an excellent football brain and lots of speed. At just 20 years of age, he has the potential to become one of the best young players in Ligue 1.

     

    Value: 5/10

    Lille sold Thauvin to Marseille for nearly five times what they bought him for. The best part is that he never once played for Lille (on loan at Bastia). Good business from Lille; whether it turns out to be good business from Marseille or not still remains to be seen. Early signs suggest it's a big risk for the club.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Combining Andre Ayew, Dimitri Payet and Thauvin could be a masterstroke from Marseille. Of all the clubs in Ligue 1 this season, they are perhaps the most likely to break the PSG-Monaco duopoly, but to do that, they'll need a stack of world-class talent. Bringing in players like Thauvin is an important step in doing just that.

     

    Overall: 22.5/30

    Monetary jokes aside, this is a real risk for Marseille to take. Lille showed they weren't prepared to take the risk on the youngster, and with a serious offer on the table, opted to play it safe instead. Marseille will be hoping that Thauvin lives up to his billing this summer.  

96. Denis Suarez

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    From: Manchester City

    To: FC Barcelona

    For: £1 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    One of the brightest young prospects in football. Central midfielder capable of playing in defensive or box-to-box role. Only 19—huge future ahead of him.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Barcelona fans could look back on this transfer fee and laugh. The overall fee is set to rise once Suarez features in their first-team. For now, it's an absolute steal.

     

    Need: 6/10

    Will likely play in Barcelona's second-tier team; they don't need him now but will be thrilled about the prospect of him joining their squad in the next few years.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    This transfer might not rate as high as others now, but it's still an exceptional deal. City have just have sold the next Xavi straight to Barcelona for next to nothing.

    That's how good Suarez can be.

95. Maicon

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    From: Manchester City

    To: AS Roma

    For: £3 million (per Sky Sports) 


     

    Talent: 7/10

    Never quite got the chance to show his talent at City, and perhaps took a backwards step somewhat. Brings experience at the back, able to overlap down right. Does struggle against skillful attackers who use their pace and dribbling skills to take him on. Will be interesting to see if that problem continues in Serie A. 

     

    Value: 8/10

    Roma adding depth, nothing else. Fee is pretty much spot on.

     

    Need: 8/10

    A good signing by Roma. They'll need the experience once their current veterans either retire or move on, and Maicon is worth taking a punt on. Could thrive once more.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    Didn't work at City, but might be better back in Serie A. 

94. Lucas Biglia

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    From: RSC Anderlecht

    To: SS Lazio

    For: £6 million (per Sky Sports)


     

    Talent: 7/10

    Having played for Argentina, Biglia has shown glimpses of being a real star as a holding midfielder. He is an elegant ball-player whose fine individual skills with thrive in Serie A. Question marks surround his tackling and strength, though, with a tendency to get pressured off the ball. 

     

    Value: 8/10

    Biglia is 27 (which is towards the older end of the scale in football terms), but £6 million isn't that bad from Lazio. Has the skills to thrive in Italy.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Likely to become the "first one" in Lazio's 4-1-4-1 formation, Biglia could form a dynamic partnership with Hernanes in central midfield. Lazio need extra spark and solidity there, and thus signing Biglia is a nice move by the Italians.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    An all-round good deal. It will be interesting to see how he fares outside of Belgium.

93. Casemiro

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    From: Sao Paulo FC

    To: Real Madrid

    For: £5.2 million (per FIFA) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Regarded as a much better prospect several years ago than he is now, but Casemiro still possesses the skills to become a serious star at the Bernabeu. Poor fitness levels and work ethic have hounded his career to date, but could thrive playing along world-class teammates at Madrid. 

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Bit of a gamble by Carlo Ancelotti, but the low transfer fee makes this move almost no-risk. Given Casemiro's talent and ceiling, the price is a huge win for Los Blancos.

     

    Need: 6/10

    Doubts over need, even with the sale of Mesut Ozil who played a more advanced midfield role. Casemiro is best as a defensive midfielder—a position in which the likes of Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso have been prolific. The latter of that pair is injured, but the club do have Luka Modric and summer signing Asier Illarramendi to play in the role if need be. Casemiro is a luxury addition for Ancelotti.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    Potentially, a great deal for Madrid. Will be nothing more than a fringe player one suspects, but could become a favorite of the new manager very quickly.

92. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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    From: Shakhtar Donetsk

    To: Borussia Dortmund

    For: £23.5 million (per Daily Mirror) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Loves to play in behind the main striker in an advanced role, and is blessed with supreme attacking skills. Capable of scoring from distance, Mkhitaryan has an intuitive sense of exactly where to be in attack and what ball to play, which in Dortmund's attacking system can become a real weapon.

     

    Value: 6/10

    Even with his attacking variety—capable of playing out wide as well as in a central role—Dortmund still overpaid in a big way for Mkhitaryan. They needed to spend big to keep the Armenian away from Liverpool, who also pursued him. But even with his talent, £23.5 million is a bit steep. 

     

    Need: 8/10

    Having sold Gotze this summer in a well-documented transfer to Bayern Munich, Dortmund clearly needed to find a new No. 10, and they appear to have done just that. Marco Reus was certainly capable of playing in that role, but the addition of Mkhitaryan allows Reus to remain out wide and gives Jurgen Klopp the versatility in attack that he craves so dearly.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    Had Dortmund managed to keep the transfer fee down, this could have been one of the better transfers this summer. Even so, it's a great addition by Klopp.

     

91. James Rodriguez

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    From: FC Porto

    To: AS Monaco

    For: £39.6 million (per Transfermarkt)


      

    Talent: 9/10

    Rodriguez is heralded as one of the best young wingers in world football. Has the skills to thrive on either flank or in a more central No. 10 role, and will be a huge asset in behind Radamel Falcao. Dynamic turn of foot and long-shooting skills, Rodriguez can never be underestimated when near the box.

     

    Value: 5/10

    Monaco were flush with cash this summer, but this is ridiculous even by their standards. FC Porto love to give high transfer values to their players, and the French club were seemingly willing to take the bait. Obviously a world-class talent, but almost £40 million is steep indeed. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    Outside of Joao Moutinho and Lucas Ocampos, Monaco didn't really have any other attacking midfielders capable of providing the same attacking threat of Falcao. The addition of Rodriguez changes that.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    Of all the players Monaco needed to sign this summer, a wide forward capable of playing in a No. 10 role actually fits the bill. Pity they overpaid so much in the end.

    Still a very good transfer.

90. Samuel Eto'o

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    From: Anzhi Makhachkala

    To: Chelsea

    For: Free transfer (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Eto'o might not be the player he was when he first played under Jose Mourinho, but there's little doubt that he still has the skills to be a very good striker. Knows how to finish, and is more than capable of finding space for the Blues' attackers in behind.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Value-wise, it's hard to fault this from Chelsea. Not only did they manage to get Eto'o on a free, they also managed to keep his per-game wages down as well—a bonus. A player of his quality is definitely worth the risk if you can nab him for next to nothing.

     

    Need: 5/10

    Not a fan. The arrival of Eto'o almost certainly led to the departure of Romelu Lukaku on loan, and that could come back to haunt the Blues this year. Eto'o isn't an upgrade on Lukaku or Ba, and his addition now sees their striker ranks no stronger than when he first arrived. Should he bust, that could mean Andre Schurrle is played more as a striker—a position in which he hasn't exactly thrived since arriving this summer.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    Overall, this deal probably ranks worse than it actually is. Eto'o has proven himself to be a world-class player and Chelsea have done very well to land him for free. One simply hopes they didn't throw the baby out with the bath water to get him.

89. Marouane Fellaini

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    From: Everton

    To: Manchester United

    For: £28 million (per ESPN) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Carrying a great physical presence in midfield, Fellaini has shown himself capable of both attacking and defensive midfield roles. The bustling Belgian has a keen eye for goal and provides a great aerial threat. Capable of harassing defenders into costly turnovers as well.

     

    Value: 5/10

    David Moyes had to move for a central midfielder this summer, and after a stack of his earlier options failed, he had no option but to spend big on Fellaini. Definitely overpaid for the Belgian, but hey, at least this time his bid wasn't "derisory and insulting"? 

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Needed to happen for the Red Devils. Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick just weren't providing the go-forward from the middle of the field, and while United will get a boost once Shinji Kagawa and/or Wayne Rooney are included at full health, the lack of a world-class central midfielder will still remain. They appear—for now—to have addressed that in Fellaini.

     

    Overall: 23/30

    Had the saga not drawn on all summer from United's point of view, this deal wouldn't be seen as negatively as it currently is by many football fans. United needed a central midfielder, and got a player who was one of the best in the Premier League over the first half of the season last year.

    Overpaid, but needed nonetheless.

88. Thiago Alcantara

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    From: FC Barcelona

    To: Bayern Munich

    For: £21.6 million (per ESPN)


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Has the potential to be one of the best central midfielders in world football. Blessed with incredible dribbling skills and timing with the ball at his feet, Thiago rarely plays a poor pass and while this sometimes means that he doesn't create as many goal-scoring chances as others, the chances he does create are usually very good indeed.

     

    Value: 9/10

    For a player of his class, just over £20 million is a steal by the European champions. Manchester United wanted him as well, and for this price, it's easy to see why.

     

    Need: 5/10

    Do we need to go through all the options that Bayern Munich have in midfield? Look it up. There's no way that the Germans needed Thiago any more than Chelsea need wide forwards, yet Pep Guardiola was able to bring in his former young starlet. Thiago cn to be great, but at this point, he offers Bayern Munich little other than versatility and options in attack. 

    He isn't an instant starter—or he shouldn't be, anyway—and it will be interesting to see how prolific Bayern are given that he'll be missing for a while due to injury.

     

    Overall: 23.5/30

    Brilliant player at a brilliant price. The rich keep getting richer. 

     

87. Gareth Bale

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    From: Tottenham Hotspur

    To: Real Madrid

    For: £85.3 million (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 10/10

    Gareth Bale is good. Just glance up to that world-record transfer fee if you're unsure. Bale has a first-step like few others in world football that allow him to create the slightest space needed to either beat a defender, lay in a great attacking pass or score a rocket from 25-30 yards out. Set-piece specialist as well. A genuine game-winning player and one that will completely reinvigorate Real Madrid.

     

    Value: 6/10

    Ask yourself this question. Is Gareth Bale right now better than any other player in the history of world football at any point in their career? Probably not.

    Madrid wanted Bale, and were prepared to pay whatever was needed to get him—something that Dan Levy no doubt knew and took full advantage of. 

    A simply staggering transfer fee.

     

    Need: 7.5/10

    The sale of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal does open up Real Madrid's attack a little more, but there's still no direct need for Bale at Madrid. They already have a star left winger (who you may have heard of), and plenty of other star options in the likes of Angel Di Maria and Isco. 

    Still, you can't exactly knock back a player like Bale if you have the money and he wants to come. Even if there is no direct need for his inclusion, per se.

     

    Overall: 23.5/30

    Bale has some extraordinary expectations to live up this summer given the hype (and money) that's been poured into his transfer. Fortunately for him, he has the skills and talent needed to prove why the Spanish heavyweights were so desperate to grab him this summer.

    A title-changing, power-shifting transfer if ever there was one.

86. Robbie Kruse

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    From: Fortuna Dusseldorf

    To: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

    For: £1.3 million (per Fox Sports)


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Robbie Kruse is a deceptively underrated player. A striker capable of playing wide on either flank or even in a central midfield role. Probably not an instant starter in Leverkusen's Champions League team, but certainly capable of making a mark on the Bundesliga behind Heung-Min Son or Stefan Kiessling.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Very cheap given the talent he's already shown in Germany. 

     

    Need: 7/10

    Seemed like a great fit at the start of the summer, but other arrivals (Heung-Min Son, Emre Can) have reduced his need in the team. Still a nice pickup.

     

    Overall: 24/30

    One of the more intriguing players to watch this year. Kruse always seems to pick up assists when there's not much happening in attack, and now with two world-class strikers ahead of him, could thrive as either a right winger or a secondary striker with Leverkusen this season.

85. Alessandro Matri

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    From: Juventus

    To: AC Milan

    For: £10.5 million (per Goal)


     

    Talent:  8.5/10

    A strong centre forward capable of scoring goals with either foot. Brings experience to Milan's relatively young attacking lineup, and adds nice squad depth.

     

    Value: 8/10

    For a player who could very well be playing backup to Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy for most of the season, Milan appear to have overpaid somewhat here. Juventus were obviously looking to offload strikers, but this is an intriguing one. Could he become the second striker alongside Balotelli, or will he simply provide cover for the club's Coppa Italia and Champions League fixtures?

     

    Need: 7.5/10

    Milan don't exactly need strikers, with several already in their squad and their attack by far the most productive characteristic of their performances. The club had several more pressing needs this summer (goalkeeper, midfield), which makes the decision to add another striker somewhat bizarre. Off-set a little by the sale of Kevin Prince-Boateng to Schalke 04.

     

     

    Overall: 24/30

    A good player who will provide good depth and experience for Milan. One just wonders whether adding Matri will hurt them in other areas on the field this season.

84. Fred

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    From: Internacional

    To: Shakhtar Donetsk

    For: £13 million (per Goal)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Being an attacking midfielder coming out of Brazil might not gain you the notoriety that it does in other clubs, but Fred is a very strong player indeed. An excellent dribbler of the ball, he is blessed with great quickness and speed that allows him to stand up defenders with relative ease.

     

    Value: 7.5/10

     

    Bit of gamble by Shakhtar in my opinion. At just 20, Fred is still a long way from developing completely as a footballer and has shown unpredictability in his game for some time now—which could mean big things or frustrating things for the Ukrainian giants in 2013.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    This is where this is a good deal. Shakhtar lost over £50 million worth of talent in their departure of some big names this season, and with others like Willian leaving in recent history as well, they certainly needed to add to their attack once more if they are going to be competitive in European football.

     

    Overall: 24/30

    A definite prospect to watch this season. His combination with several other Brazilian-born players at Shakhtar will certainly be worth watching this year.

     

83. Josuha Guilavogui

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    From: Saint Etienne

    To: Atletico Madrid

    For: £8.8 million (per ESPN) 


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Up-and-coming French prospect with strong defensive midfield skills. Very good tackler and hustling player in defense. Capable of striding forward and linking up with forwards (which Atletico will love).

     

    Value: 8/10

    For the price above, Guilavogui is a steal. Young and ambitious, he'll fancy his chances at a spot in France's World Cup team this year with a big season.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Few players capable of playing the DCM role that Guilavogui can at Atletico. Combine him with some like Koki or Oliver Torres? A dangerous thought indeed.

     

    Overall: 24/30

    Several clubs thought to be interested in Guilavogui this year, and for good reason. He's a fantastic talent in the middle of the field who will work tirelessly in defense without forcing the rest of the team to lose shape. Will only get better as well.

82. Esteban Granero

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    From: Queens Park Rangers

    To: Real Sociedad

    For: Season-long loan (per Goal)


     

    Talent: 7/10

    A sound player defensively, Granero—at his best—is capable of being a very strong central midfielder. Problem is he doesn't show his best all that often, with mistakes and inaccurate passing hallmarks of his time in the Premier League. A touch too ambitious for his own good at times.

     

    Value: 9/10

    For a loan deal, this is a nice move by Sociedad. Granero has shown himself to be much more adaptive to Spanish football than England—which could mean a stronger season this year than in 2012.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Makes Sociedad's midfield deeper. Might not make them stronger, but with domestic and Champions League football this season, depth will be very important. 

     

    Overall: 24/30

    If Granero can find his feet in Spain once again, this is a deceptively solid move by Sociedad. Low-risk, and while the reward doesn't appear to be exceptionally high, they could find several good weeks out of Granero this season—which would make it a very good transfer overall.

81. Christian Eriksen

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    From: Ajax

    To: Tottenham Hotspur

    For: £11.8 million (per SBS)


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    One of the best young playmakers in world football. Capable of scoring goals or providing assists; fantastic vision and timing. Rarely seems flustered.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    A steal for Tottenham Hotspur. Had Eriksen played at somewhere like FC Porto (who love to value players quite high), his fee could well have been three times higher.

     

    Need: 5/10

    Spurs do need to replace Bale, but you've got to wonder exactly where Eriksen is going to fit in their squad. Having already signed Erik Lamela, Paulinho and Nacer Chadli (along with having the likes of Lewis Holtby, Sandro and Moussa Dembele present to begin with), Andre Villas-Boas has seemingly got a huge selection problem on his hands as a result of Eriksen's arrival.

    Having bought Paulinho, Tottenham simply don't need Eriksen.

     

    Overall: 24/30

    Eriksen is a fantastic player who moved to a very strong squad at a very good transfer price. Question is: will he get the playing time to prove it this year?

80. Jozy Altidore

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    From: AZ Alkmaar

    To: Sunderland

    For: £8.5 million (per ESPN) 


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Overrated. Scoring goals in Holland doesn't equate to the same level as the Premier League or other major leagues in Europe, and Altidore can struggle to find the back of the net without someone directly feeding him chances (which could very well be the case at Sunderland this year).

     

    Value: 7.5/10

    £8.5 million for a striker yet to prove himself against top-class opposition (without rubbishing Dutch teams too much) is simply too much for Paolo di Canio. Especially when you note all the other strikers who made moves for similar prices this summer. 

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    The one real positive in this transfer is the fact Altidore fills a big need for the Black Cats. Steven Fletcher and Fabio Borini will likely sit on top of the depth chart, with Connor Wickham chipping in from time to time. But should none of those options work against top-class opponents, Altidore's physical presence at the top of the attack could be the difference in forcing errors and finding chances that way. He also provides good cover for injuries.

     

    Overall: 24.5/30

    It's probably easy to rubbish this deal given how much Di Canio paid for him, but the fact remains that this is a good deal if Altidore can score goals of his own volition. His contribution could be the difference between Sunderland staying up and going down this year, and for that alone, his arrival could turn out to be a worthwhile move by the Black Cats.

    He's nowhere near as good as the hyperbole suggests, though.

79. Asier Illarramendi

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    From: Real Sociedad

    To: Real Madrid

    For: £33.5 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Xabi Alonso: Version II. Capable of working his way out of trouble in tight spaces, Illarra has excellent passing skills and vision. His moving and work-rate is also top-class, and he's an excellent addition into a Madrid squad that lacks tenacity in midfield from time to time.

     

    Value: 7/10

    Compare his transfer fee to that which the club paid for Isco, and the story tells itself. Bale's arrival lessons the expectations on him, which will help. 

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    DCM might not seem like a big need for Madrid, but it is—especially with the injury to Alonso. Could slot in perfectly behind Isco. Strong long-term signing.

     

    Overall: 24.5/30

    Definitely overpaid by Madrid, but Illarramendi is a very good prospect indeed. At just 23, he's got plenty of years ahead of him at the Bernabeu and stands to become the long-term replacement for Alonso. A tenacious tackler, Illarra will give Madrid's midfield a deceptive boost this year.

78. Andre Schurrle

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    From: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

    To: Chelsea

    For: £19.5 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Coming off a stellar season last year with Leverkusen. Strong forward with underrated speed and finishing ability. Loves to counterattack with quick ball movement.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Seems like Chelsea have overpaid here, but Schurrle is worth that kind of fee. He was stellar last year for Leverkusen playing alongside and behind Kiessling, and given that he will likely not be the focus of opposing defenses (with the presence of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar and others), could very well show similar form for the West Londoners throughout the season.

     

    Need: 6.5/10

    One day, Chelsea will stop buying wide-forwards. By that stage, they'll probably have about 900 and be playing in a 1-6-3 formation just to try and use them all. 

    That's maybe a slight exaggeration given that Schurrle does provide some cover and versatility in his attack, but he's still a luxury not needed this summer.

     

    Overall: 24.5/30

    If he can recapture his Bundesliga form then Schurrle could be one of the best signings in the Premier League. If not, he'll be another good wide-man capable of doing a job for Mourinho and providing cover when needed throughout the slew of competitions Chelsea find themselves in this year.

77. Lucas Digne

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    From: Lille OSC

    To: Paris Saint-Germain

    For: £13 million (per Sky Sports) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Lots of hype on Digne, but he has yet to truly show enough consistency to be a premier left-back. Too often caught out of position he forces centre-backs to abandon their men to clean up his mistakes. Roaming-style in attack is a great asset. Wing-back, to an extent.

     

    Value: 8/10

    PSG haven't overpaid at all here for Digne, and if he can iron out some of those positional errors from his game, he could become one of the better left-backs in world football. His attacking skills are up there with Dani Alves and Leighton Baines; he simply lacks consistency.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Became much more of a need after the departure of Mamadou Sakho as well as some of PSG's other squad players. Will definitely get regular minutes.

     

    Overall: 24.5/30

    Nice addition by Blanc. Lots of hype of Digne, but capable of proving why.

     

76. Dries Mertens

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    From: PSV Eindhoven

    To: S.S.C Napoli

    For: £8.5 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Rafa Benitez's first signing at Napoli was a good one. Mertens is a natural goal-scoring winger capable of providing plenty of assists into Gonzalo Higuain. Lots of energy in attack, good on-ball skills and not afraid to take on defenders and cross in via the by-line. A very consistent performer.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Under £10 million is a steal for Benitez. Napoli were flush with cash from the sale of Edinson Cavani—which can lead a team to overpay for players as other clubs try to hold them ransom—but the Italians have done a very good job here to land the Belgian at a good price. 

     

    Need: 7/10

    Hard to knock back a player like Mertens, but Napoli already had Lorenzo Insigne primed for a big year on the left flank. He'll likely move to the right to accommodate for Mertens, which is probably the only fault of this very solid transfer.

     

    Overall: 24.5/30

    Napoli know exactly what they're getting in Mertens because he shows it every single week. If he can link up well with Higuain, the results could be devastating.

75. Gary Hooper

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    From: Celtic

    To: Norwich City

    For: £5.5 million (per ESPN)


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Not the most glamorous forward, but has a knack of being in the right place at the right time. Proven himself to be a legitimate and consistent goal-scorer.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Looking at his goal-scoring record, it's hard to fault this deal for Norwich. His experience in the Champions League as well as in relegation fights will prove invaluable.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Norwich lacked goals last season. Hooper will help rectify that, as well as taking some of the addition away from new signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel. 

     

    Overall: 25/30

    A target for much bigger clubs than the Canaries this summer, Hooper could prove to be a very good transfer indeed for Norwich. He'll be a great fit at Carrow Road, and if he can develop a good combination and understanding with the Wolf, could see himself bagging plenty of goals once more.

74. Andy Carroll

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    From: Liverpool

    To: West Ham United

    For: £15.5 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Unplayable in the air. Carroll is a genuine point-man who gives shape to attack. Not that terrible when the ball reaches his feet, either. Talent has been undervalued due to Liverpool transfer fee.

     

    Value: 7.5/10

    Compared to Liverpool, this is a great move by the Hammers. Even without the knowledge that they paid less than half what the Reds did a couple of years back, Carroll going for this price is excellent business by the Londoners. He showed he was good on loan for them last year, and West Ham have done well to wrap him up on a more permanent deal. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    West Ham will play to his strengths—making him a huge transfer for the club. He was a great fit tactically for them last season, and the fans took to him well.

     

    Overall: 25/30

    In his player-rankings at the start of the year, Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe wasn't afraid to put Carroll's name out there as a potential top-five goal-scorer this year. If he stays healthy, and West Ham continue to play to his style and liking, then there's no reason why that prediction can't come true.

     

73. Raul Albiol

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    From: Real Madrid

    To: Napoli

    For: £10 million (per Eurosport)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Proven stalwart at the back with great success at club and international levels. Not the quickest or strongest of players, but has an excellent understanding of how to read the game and make important plays when needed. Perhaps struggles a little with one-on-one marking, but still provides great assurance at the back and excellent depth for Napoli this year.

     

    Value: 8/10

    Napoli appear to have paid pretty much right on the money for Albiol here. Probably doesn't have too much potential left (he's not suddenly going to get drastically better), but he doesn't appear to be showing signs of slowing down either. Good price overall. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    Massive clear out from Napoli this summer saw a total of nine defenders either released or leave on transfers. Albiol's inclusion certainly helps replace them.

     

    Overall: 25/30

    Wasn't going to get a starting spot at the Bernabeu any time soon, so the move could be one that suits him—especially given the style of Italian football compared to Spain. His vision and timing to read the game at the back will be key, especially in the club's European campaign this year. 

     

72. Jores Okore

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    From: FC Nordsjaelland

    To: Aston Villa

    For: £3.5 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Very strong and powerful defender who has a seemingly high ceiling. Brings Champions League experience to the Villans; very good at reading play.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Paul Lambert must be reading a scouting manual that few others have. Christian Benteke last year and now Okore? Both players worth at least double their fees.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Captain Ron Vlaar and Nathan Baker seemingly had the central defender spots locked for themselves, but the signing of Okore changes that somewhat. He's probably an upgrade (for now) on Baker, and adds great depth to their ranks at the back. A welcome headache for Lambert.

     

    Overall: 25/30

    Villa should stay up this year, and it will be on the back of performances from guys like Okore that they do. Look for him to shine in a team that will likely do a lot of defending. His physical strength alone will shine in the Premier League.

71. Wilfried Bony

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    From: Vitesse Arnhem

    To: Swansea City

    For: £12 million (per Guardian)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Bony might seem like an out-and-out physical player, but he's far more deceptive than that. The Swans' striker has very good passing and dribbling skills, and uses his frame to hold himself in good positions—rather than force his way in via brute strength. Excellent timing with runs and leads into the box and capable of creating chances with just the slightest defensive lapse.

     

    Value: 8/10

    Swansea had to pay big to fight off other Premier League clubs, but in the end they got a pretty accurate deal for Bony—providing he adjusts to English football.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    He had Van Ginkel behind him previously, and he's now got Michu creating chances for him. The prospect of those two linking up is a scary thought for EPL teams, and while they will take some time to gel, Bony will eventually become a crucial part of Swansea's attack this year.

     

    Overall: 25/30

    Fans will expect goals aplenty from Bony, but his real strength lies in his creative play. Look for Michu to out-score Bony this year, providing he stays healthy.

70. Dimitri Payet

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    From: Lille OSC

    To: Olympique Marseille

    For: £8.6 million (per UEFA)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    A deceptively talented wide forward, Payet created more goal-scoring chances than any other player in Ligue 1 last year. He registered 13 assists, and if he can develop a good understand with the likes of the Ayew brothers, could produce some big results for Marseille. Provides good versatility as either a wide striker or regulation right-winger if needed.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Transfer cost might seem a little high at first glance, but it's definitely worth spending from Marseille's point of view. Their team has the potential to make some serious noise in France and Europe as a whole this year. Adding in a goal-creating player like Payet could mean the difference between a good season and a year truly worth remembering.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Again, Marseille don't have a burning need for Payet, but his arrival is definitely welcome. He'll most likely play right wing, but don't be surprised to see him thrown up front at the top of the attack as cover for the Ayew brothers and Andre-Pierre Gignac.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    Marseille are quietly becoming a very good football club, a real team to watch in Ligue 1 this season. Payet's arrival is further testament to that, and he could well cause the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco serious headaches this year as a result.

69. Mathieu Flamini

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    From: Free agent

    To: Arsenal

    For: Free transfer (per Goal)


     

    Talent: 7/10

    Ferocious tackler who will thrive hunting for a first-team spot at Arsenal. Brings experience to go along with Jack Wilshere, and depth to Gunners' UCL squad. Not quite the player he was a few years ago, expectations could be a little high on his ability and consistency against younger players.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Hard to knock a free transfer, especially for an experienced player.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Arsenal needed a DCM this summer, and while they didn't get the world-class player they wanted, they still got a very handy replacement indeed. Injuries will make Flamini's presence in London crucial over the next month—especially if he can help take Arsenal through to the knockout rounds in Europe.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    Flamini isn't an instant starter at Arsenal (that falls to Wilshere/Arteta/Ramsey), but he is very talented and experienced nonetheless. He'll give his all for the Gunners, which is what Wenger really craves. Won't deliver too many, if any, substandard games.

68. Jose Maria Callejon

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    From: Real Madrid

    To: Napoli

    For: £8.5 million (per Goal) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Never truly given chance to show talent at Madrid. Better as a secondary striker/right-winger than as an isolated player. Energetic and wiry, with deceptively good finishing skills.

      

    Value: 9/10

    Given that he's still a largely unknown first-team player, this is a potentially great move again by Benitez, who has reimbursed Cavani money very wisely.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    With UCL football on the radar this year, Napoli need depth. They need an alternative to Higuain, and linking two former Madrid teammates together could be perfect foil for the Italians this year.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    A strong deal. Few faults right across the board.

67. Jherson Vergara

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    From: Deportes Quindio

    To: AC Milan

    For: £1.7 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    One of the South American stars to watch this year. Vergara is strong and disciplined at the back, but also possesses incredible on-ball skills and football smarts for a central defender. Capable of making strong runs from the back with surprisingly good results.

     

    Value: 10/10

    A fantastic prospect, Milan have done exceptionally well to nab the young Colombian. For the price, Vergara is a fantastic summer transfer. 

     

    Need: 7.5/10

    Unlikely to make Milan's first team. Signing for the future.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    The ceiling is incredibly high on Vergara, and with loads of football ahead for Milan this year, should see time in the Rossoneri's starting side at some point this season. An exciting youngster to watch for, Vergara could be a favorite in the San Siro in the not-too-distant future.

     

66. Steven Caulker

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    From: Tottenham Hotspur

    To: Cardiff City

    For: £9 million (per Goal)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    A very solid defender, Caulker has an incredibly high work-rate in defense (averaging 13 defensive actions per game last season). Not the greatest in the air an prone to occasional positional errors, but he'll give his all for the Bluebirds this season and should thrive with regular first-team football.

     

    Value: 8/10

    A transfer record for Cardiff, one thinks they may have overpaid slightly here for Caulker. Still, he could very well be the man that keeps them above relegation this year—and that in itself makes the fee definitely worth it.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Cardiff need world-class defenders if they're going to stop the likes of Robin van Persie and Mesut Ozil this year. Caulker immediately becomes their No. 1 option.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    A big-money move by Cardiff, but one they definitely needed to make. If Caulker can develop his football intelligence and positional play a bit more this year (which he should do with more minutes under his belt), this could be a very good deal indeed for Cardiff.

65. Max Kruse

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    From: SC Freiburg

    To: Borussia Monchengladbach

    For: £2.1 million (per Goal) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    A good striker capable of finding the back of the net, Kruse's greatest strengths lie in his creative skills. Created more chances than any other striker in the Bundesliga this season, and loves to drop deep into a No. 10 role from time to time. Gives Monchengladbach a different sort of threat at the top of their attack this season, and one that could be a very strong deal indeed.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    As you might be starting to guess, I love this transfer. Kruse is worth far more than what his transfer fee suggests—making him exceptional return-for-money.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Luuk de Jong will likely remain the No. 1 striker you'd think this year, but Kruse has quickly become a valuable asset for Monchengladbach this season up front.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    One of the more underrated transfers this summer, but one that we could all be talking about by the end of the season. If he can get the support, Kruse could quickly become one of the most creative strikers in the Bundesliga, and Monchengladbach could be a surprise-team this year as a result.

     

64. Clint Dempsey

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    From: Tottenham Hotspur

    To: Seattle Sounders

    For: £6 million (per Fox Sports)


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Dempsey's biggest strength is his versatility across any attacking line. Can play as an outside winger with a strong passing game and ability to cut inside defenders; can play in a No. 10 role or as a regulation No. 9 striker depending on the system. Will likely shoot a lot in the MLS, but that's understandable given his keen eye for goal throughout his time at Tottenham and Fulham.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Probably bang on the money here. Seattle have overpaid for the individual talent, but in terms of the confidence and enthusiasm he'll provide to their team, then this is a great deal. Dempsey—as we saw at Fulham—is the type of player who makes other players play well. 

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Seattle needed an extra kick in attack, and this is it. If he's given a fluid role throughout the top of the attack where he can roam (perhaps as a secondary striker), then in the long run, he'll be a great signing.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    The hype on Dempsey is big—like most international players returning to their national league—but he will thrive in the MLS. You get the feeling he still has a lot to offer.

63. Etienne Capoue

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    From: Toulouse

    To: Tottenham Hotspur

    For: £9 million (per BBC Sport) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    One of the better holding midfielders in football at the moment. An ideal anchor in the middle of the field, Capoue is rarely caught out of position and is a profound tackler—capable of winning back the ball and sparking a quick counterattack at any given moment.

     

    Value: 9/10

    For under £10 million, this is a fantastic signing by Andre Villas-Boas.

     

    Need: 7.5/10

    Given that Tottenham already have the likes of Sandro and, to a lesser extent, Lewis Holtby and Moussa Dembele, it's a little strange to see Capoue's arrival this summer. However, he could form a dynamic midfield partnership with Sandro in a 4-2-3-1, and his versatility to play in either a 4-3-3 or even a 4-1-4-1 formation makes him a worthwhile acquisition.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    Out injured at the moment, Capoue is a huge loss for Tottenham. His presence and power in the middle of the field evident in his early performances for the club. He could very well become one of the Premier League's best pivot midfielders in years to come.

62. Dejan Lovren

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    From: Olympique Lyonnais

    To: Southampton

    For: £8.8 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    A technically-gifted defender, Lovren has impressed so far for the Saints. He rarely makes mistakes at the back and possesses a very strong passing game as well, which makes him capable of playing in either a central defender role or even as a defensive midfielder.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Given his versatility and talent, Lovren is a fantastic prospect for Saints fans to watch this year and tremendous overall value at under £10 million.

     

    Need: 9/10

    With a number of solid defenders out wide in Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne, the arrival of Lovren is somewhat of a missing piece for Southampton. He'll form a great combination with the likes of Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin this year, with his driving runs into midfield capable of causing real havoc to opposing defenders. Saints looking very strong in 2013.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    A fantastic transfer coup for a club like Southampton looking to move their way up in the Premier League this season. A top-10 finish is definitely on the cards.

61. Geoffrey Kondogbia

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    From: Sevilla FC

    To: AS Monaco

    For: £17.2 million (per Eurosport)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    If his offensive game was just a little stronger, Kondogbia would be incredibly close to a 10/10 prospect. An industrious player in defensive midfield, the Frenchman is a stalwart in defense and very capable of passing the ball off when needed. He doesn't quite select the right option every time—which has hindered his ability to become a complete central midfielder—and can be caught ball-watching at times. 

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    A big-money move by Monaco late in the transfer window, but one worth making. Kondogbia is a fantastic talent and a potential break-out player of the year in 2013.

    Hard to fault the transfer fee if that happens. 

     

    Need: 8/10

    Having already signed Joao Moutinho and Jeremy Toulalan this summer to be their central midfield pairing, the arrival of Kondogbia at Monaco is a little unexpected and unneeded. However, he allows Moutinho to push further forward than usual and help out with the attack a bit more, which is what helped bump his overall need a little higher.

     

    Overall: 25.5/30

    One of the more talked-about "young guns" in world football, Kondogbia should thrive at Monaco with loads of attacking talent around him in midfield. But don't be surprised if he's caught out from time to time this year against a world-class central midfielder. He'll learn from the experience, no doubt, but he might take some backwards steps this year before he can go forward.

    Hopefully he'll prove me wrong in 2013/14!

60. Emanuele Giaccherini

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    From: Juventus

    To: Sunderland

    For: £6.5 million (per Sunderland FC.com)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    A wiry attacker capable of providing some much-needed spark for Sunderland this year. Versatile and experienced. Capable of thriving without support, which could be important in team like the Black Cats.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Almost hard to believe he not only chose Sunderland, but that Paolo Di Canio was able to grab the Italian for a cut-price deal. Fantastic signing for the club.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    With Stephane Sessegnon at the Baggies, Giaccherini becomes an even more important player for Sunderland this year. The club have some good options at the top of their attack, they simply lacked that roaming attacker in behind or out wide capable of producing consistent chances. That's what the Italian brings to the club, and why he's such an important signing for them.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    An early front-runner for Sunderland's player of the season. Will he be enough to keep them from relegation, though?

59. Cristian Zapata

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    From: Villareal

    To: AC Milan

    For: £5.1 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Strong Serie A experience. Zapata is good with both feet, and has shown real consistency at the back. Was important to them last year, and will be again this year.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Not quite as good as the season-long loan they got out of him last year, but still a very good signing from Milan. Long-term deal in which Milan probably came out the winners. Excellent value.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Proved his importance to Milan important to them last year, and will be even more critical in 2013—especially with the likes of Vergara, Daniele Bonera and Mattia De Sciglio all injured.  

     

    Overall: 26/30

    Will likely play a great deal of football this year for the Italian giants, and has the potential to be one of their better defenders again. Milan still should have added another defender this summer. They could be left a little light at the back which increases the importance of players like Zapata. How he'll cope under the added pressure remains an intriguing storyline to follow.

58. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel

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    From: Sporting Lisbon

    To: Norwich City

    For: £8.8 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Doesn't appear to have the physical game to thrive in Premier League, but his attacking skills will set him apart. Very good playing as lone striker and sitting on the final defender to poach on any opportunity. Defenders cannot afford to take their eyes off RVW.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Compared to other strikers out there this summer, Norwich don't appear to have overpaid too much here. Just the cost of doing business nowadays, it seems.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Great deal for Norwich. With Grant Holt leaving, the Canaries needed a guy capable of playing on the final defender and getting into the 18-yard-box. RVW is exactly that, and he gives the fans something to get excited about as well. Breakout player for cult hero of the year?

     

    Overall: 26/30

    RVW is still young and raw, and may struggle to find his feet in the Premier League. But when he does, the results could be very good for both player and club.

    Duran Duran would be proud.

57. Sokratis

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    From: Werder Bremen

    To: Borussia Dortmund

    For: £8.1 million (per Goal) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Very strong central defender. Tough and composed at the back, he'll be a great signing for Dortmund and will provide strong support in the Champions League.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    The fee might seem expensive for a backup, but Sokratis is a clear third on the depth-chart at Dortmund. That means that should the likes of Neven Subotic or Mats Hummels go down for any reason, they'll need a world-class replacement waiting in the wings capable of handing players like Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gotze. That makes the fee—which is well under £10 million—very worthwhile.

     

    Need: 7.5/10

    No immediate starting need for Dortmund given they have a very strong defense already, but Sokratis is a very strong depth signing and arrival to the squad. 

     

    Overall: 26/30

    Mixed feelings on Sokratis. If he gets the minutes, then he could be a surprisingly good performer this year. If he doesn't—which is still a very real possibility—then he might be a little bit of a waste for Dortmund this year. Still a very solid defender either way, though.

56. Benat

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    From: Atletico Mineiro

    To: Athletic Bilbao

    For: £7 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Benat offers an intriguing mix of defensive strength and attacking poise. He isn't world-class at either end of the field, but he certainly isn't a liability either—making him a very interesting player to watch this year. Capable of being a stalwart in defense if Bilbao are forced to do a lot of defending this season.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Hard not to like the value here. Bilbao were never going to pay a lot—given that Benat made it clear he wanted to leave—but they did well to not overpay.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Bilbao have taken some big steps backwards since the sale of Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich. Benat's transfer is a huge forward step for the club in filling arguably their biggest need this summer, and should reinvigorate Iker Muniain.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    At 26, Benat isn't a young prospect anymore, but he's shown he can be a very good player in teams that aren't necessarily all that good. Bilbao have the potential to be much better than they've shown in the last few years. Benat could be the player to help unleash that potential.

55. Emre Can

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    From: Bayern Munich

    To: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

    For: £4.5 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Having never really got the chance to prove his worth at Bayern Munich, Can will finally be able to prove himself with regular first-team football. Very solid central midfielder (capable of playing at centre-back also) with effective passing game. Deceptively good tackler as well.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Leverkusen get another world-class talent for next to nothing. Unlikely they'll keep him long term, however, thanks to a buy-back clause in his contract.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Short of Lars Bender playing 40-50 games this year, Leverkusen need another strong option in central midfield. Can will seemingly be just that for Sami Hyypia's side, and it will be fascinating to see just how much the reputable young manager opts to use the youngster in his plans this year. 

     

    Overall: 26/30

    Can will be the central piece of Bayern's midfield at some point in the near future, it seems. So for Leverkusen to be able to grab him for two or three years now—while his ceiling is still high and his transfer costs still low—is a wonderful piece of business indeed, and one that should be very fruitful throughout the course of the season.

54. Martin Demichelis

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    From: Atletico Madrid

    To: Manchester City

    For: £3.5 million (per ESPN)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Veteran defender with strong experience throughout Champions League and various football systems around the world. Not an instant starter at City, but a good squad addition. Very strong in the air, and makes up for his lack of speed with excellent vision and reading ability.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Given the experience that he brings, City have done very well to nab Demichelis for the small price that they did. Atletico Madrid—having signed him on a free transfer from Malaga earlier this summer—just made the easiest £3.5 million they'll ever make.

      

    Need: 9.5/10

    Manuel Pellegrini's team need some cover at the back, especially with the loss to injury of Vincent Kompany at least until October, according to the Guardian. Demichelis could provide just that. Unfortunately, Demichelis himself was injured in training just days after signing and could miss six weeks, the Guardian reports. Assuming a smooth recovery, he'll likely get plenty of playing time throughout the Champions League campaign early in the year with his European experience.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    City needed a central defender with good experience at the back, and Demichelis provides just that. He's not the quickest guy—so I'm not convinced he'll get a lot of Premier League playing time—but his European experience should prove invaluable in the club's Champions League campaign.

     

    Martin Demichelis was part of a defence that kept five clean sheets in the Champions League last season and won its group after four matches

    — Christian Machowski (@Christian_ESEM) August 29, 2013

     

     

53. Kolo Toure

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    From: Manchester City

    To: Liverpool

    For: Free transfer (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    An all-action defender not afraid to get involved when needed, Toure has already shown himself a strong summer addition for Liverpool. His quickness and ability to read the game allows Liverpool to employ a very high defensive line. His strong tackling has been pertinent to the Reds' undefeated start. 

     

    Value: 10/10

    Never quite fit at Manchester City, a free transfer away from the club didn't seem like it would be all that important. Oh, how wrong we all were!

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Jamie Carragher's departure left a massive hole at Liverpool, and while Toure was probably only brought in as a squad player (who could potentially challenge for some first-team football), he's quickly adjusted to life on Merseyside and has become a key player indeed.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    I'm not convinced that Toure will remain strong over the entire season. But for what he's shown—and the fact that he cost nothing—Liverpool must surely be happy with his performance so far.

52. Kaka

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    From: Real Madrid

    To: AC Milan

    For: Free transfer (per Independent)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    As they say, form is temporary but class is forever. A strong midfield playmaker capable of filling a number of roles for Milan. Genuine leader on and off the field. 

     

    Value: 10/10

    Acquiring a player like Kaka is a huge coup for Milan given that they had to fight off interest from other clubs to land the former Los Blancos star. Him arriving for free is another thing all together, with his presence in the Rossoneri's squad not to be underestimated this season at all.

    Definitely worth watching for this year.

     

    Need: 7/10

    As noted already, Milan's attack is arguably the most effective aspect of their game, and the inclusion of Kaka didn't fix their more pressing concerns at defense or goalkeeper. However, you can't say no to a player of Kaka's caliber. His leadership and experience are key for Milan this year. 

     

    Overall: 26/30

    Kaka is one of the great players of the last decade. He might have declined somewhat since moving to the Bernabeu, but the Brazilian is a star talent nonetheless, and Milan will be very glad to have him.

51. Kevin Gameiro

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    From: Paris Saint-Germain

    To: Sevilla FC

    For: £8.6 million (per Sky Sports) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    A proven goal-scorer capable of finding the net from seemingly anywhere on the field. Great timing and vision in attack, and knows when to catch defenders off guard with his runs into the box. Not a tall striker—so he isn't going to be a real weapon from set-piece situations—but his aggressiveness and decisiveness in front of goal is a huge addition for any team.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Sevilla have seemingly got themselves a great deal here. Gameiro is still raw—so it's important not to pay over the odds—but the Spaniards have done very well.

    PSG's second highest goal-scorer last season.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Sevilla needed to replace the losses of Jesus Navas, Luis Alberto and Alvaro Negredo. Gameiro is a much-needed addition to cover their absence in 2013. 

     

    Overall: 26/30

    A legitimate poacher, Gameiro has the potential to become Sevilla's No. 1 striker next season. He's shown himself capable of netting goals on a consistent basis, and while Zlatan Ibrahimovic did most of the heavy lifting last season, Gameiro will step up in a big way this year.

    He's not Negredo, but he's a very good (and cheaper) replacement.

50. Kevin Prince-Boateng

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    From: AC Milan

    To: Schalke 04

    For: £10.5 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Up-and-down player. At his best, can be a devastating winger who knows when to pop up in attack at the right time. At his worst, can go through massive goal-scoring slumps with a tendency to choose the wrong option in attack. Can be found trying too much at times.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Originally the price seemed a little high given he can't play Champions League football, but Boateng will be available for the group stage after all.

    Big transfer costs, but he should thrive in central or wide roles for Schalke. Great pace should suit the counterattacking nature of Bundesliga football. 

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Schalke had Draxler in the roles in which Boateng will most likely be used (central No. 10 or left wing), but that's no reason not to add talent when needed. His presence will free up space for Draxler on the left and take even further attention away from Jefferson Farfan (a fantastic player) on the right. Gives Schalke lots of attacking options to experiment with.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    Somewhat of a shock to see Boateng leave Milan this year. Fantastic talent on the wing for them; Schalke will gladly use his services. Has the potential to combine well with Julian Draxler in advanced midfield roles, and if that happens, then Schalke could be dangerous this year.

49. Leo Baptistao

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    From: Rayo Vallecano

    To: Atletico Madrid

    For: £6 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Doesn't have oodles of pace, but has a nice natural stride that allows him to thrive in central attacking roles or even as a wide forward. Strong dribbling skills; has good feet that allow him to drop back and help create the attack—rather than simply run on and finish all the time.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Very cheap option for Madrid in their attempts to replace what Radamel Falcao provided to their squad. Baptistao's fee could easily have gone into double figures. Excellent signing.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Atletico already have the likes of Diego Costa and David Villa, but the prospect of replacing Falcao isn't an easy one to do. They needed to add in as much attacking talent as they could (without spending all of the money, obviously) and Baptistao helps do that for the Spanish club.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    The hype was a little high on Baptistao with lots of Premier League and La Liga clubs thought to be interested in him previously, but that shouldn't count against him. He will do great at providing extra space and creativity for Villa (the player not the club) and could easily hit double figures for assists this year.

48. Stevan Jovetic

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    From: Fiorentina

    To: Manchester City

    For: £26 million (per News.com) 


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Natural goal-scorer, but also capable of dropping back and creating attack. Probably hasn't scored as many goals as you'd think, and never quite showed full potential at Fiorentina. That either means he'll be one of those guys who "never quite lives up to expectations", or he'll blow those expectations out of the water once he adjusts to life in the English Premier League.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Not far off in terms of valuation for Jovetic, but I always thought the value was a little high. Jovetic never quite stood out in the same class as someone like Negredo, and it will be interesting to see how the City depth chart sorts itself out over the first few months of the new year.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Both a need and a luxury for City. Yes, the club needed to replace Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez, but at the same time, they're certainly not short in attacking options.  

     

    Overall: 26/30

    Might be being a bit harsh on Jovetic, but I can't see him getting the starting minutes everyone thinks he'll get at City. He's never quite shown himself to be the goal-scoring phenom that the rumor mill painted him as, and with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Negredo at the club, Jovetic will have a tough time breaking into their first-team on a constant basis this year.

    Still a very good player, nonetheless.

47. Bojan Krkic

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    From: FC Barcelona

    To: Ajax

    For: Season-long loan (per Goal) 


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Blessed with natural acceleration and clinical finishing. A regulation centre forward but has experience playing in wider roles as well. Loves to sit on the last man. Not great at tracking back in defense.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Given the hype on him at some stages in his career, getting him for free (even if it's just for one season) is an excellent deal for Ajax Amsterdam.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Having sold Christian Eriksen and watched five other wingers leave the club this summer, Ajax have a huge need for Krkic as a wide forward. Depending on how he fares in that role, he could even get playing time in a more central No. 9 position in the Eredivisie or Champions League.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    One of the more underrated transfers of the summer. Ajax have spots in their team open for the taking at the moment, and love to develop the inherent skills of their players. For Krkic, that could finally mean living up to the potential that he's threatened for so long.

46. Daniel Carvajal

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    From: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

    To: Real Madrid

    For: £5.5 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Coming off very good season for Leverkusen. An attacking fullback capable of dribbling and passing like a regulation winger—perfect for Madrid.

    Extremely competent tracking back in defense as well.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Why did Madrid let him go in the first place? Tough to say, but they did a good job utilizing the buy-back clause this year before it rose even higher next season. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    Madrid always seem to look shaky at the back; Carvajal will help. What's better is that he can do it while still contributing to their attacking system as well.

     

    Overall: 26/30

    Alvaro Arbeloa isn't good enough to be starting, and finally, Madrid have someone able to usurp him.

45. Nacer Chadli

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    From: FC Twente

    To: Tottenham Hotspur

    For: £7 million (per Transfermarkt)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Chadli offers Tottenham good attacking versatility, with lots of creativity on either flank. Deadly when he cuts in from the wing and shoots towards goal on either foot. 

     

    Value: 9/10

    He's not Gareth Bale, but he's the start of Spurs' replacement plans. Chadli is an experienced player in big games and is capable of chalking up consistent performances—something that Tottenham lacked at times last season from their central and wide midfielders. 

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Spurs' biggest criticism last year was that their attack lacked width—something that only got worse with the sale of Bale. Chadli (among others) helps fix that. 

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Chadli's arrival might get lost amongst the slew of other world-class players that Tottenham brought in this summer, but there's little doubting his skill. Chadli is a deadly player with the ball at his feet and will cause defenses around the league plenty of headaches throughout the year as a result.

    Watch for him to also score plenty of long-range, Bale-esque goals too.

44. James McCarthy

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    From: Wigan Athletic

    To: Everton

    For: £13 million (per Daily Mail) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Natural passer and surprisingly good CM. Capable of pushing forward and creating chances, but also very strong in one-on-one situations in defense. Won a strong 75 percent of his attempted tackles last year.

     

    Value: 8/10

    Part of a crazy deadline day for Everton, Roberto Martinez might have overpaid slightly for his former central midfielder. However, if anyone knows just how good McCarthy is and can be for the Toffees, the club's current manager is seemingly as good a judge as any.

     

    Need: 10/10

    Having sold Fellaini, Everton needed a central midfielder capable of playing in advanced midfield or defensive midfield roles depending on the situation.

    McCarthy gives them everything they need.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Very strong deal for Everton, and a huge return on the money that they "stole" from United in the sale of Fellaini. McCarthy will thrive being back in the EPL.

43. Leroy Fer

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    From: FC Twente

    To: Norwich City

    For: £4.5 million (per BBC Sport) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Fer has good strength for his size and seemingly has a keen eye for goal as well. Strong passing skills, with loads of energy and enthusiasm in defense.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Very good deal for the Canaries. Looks to be a natural fit in the Premier League and an absolute steal at the price that Chris Hughton managed to wrangle him for.

    Especially given the £8.6 million he nearly went for in January.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Capable of playing anywhere in central midfield, Fer fills a number of different holes for Norwich and will be the key provider for Hooper and Van Wolfswinkel.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Must create chances more than he tries to score goals this year, but other than that, it's hard to see too many faults with this deal. Low-risk in terms of money spent, but potential high-reward for the Canaries if Fer can manage to pull the strings in their attack this season.

     

42. Josep Ilicic

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    From: Palermo

    To: Fiorentina

    For: £7.7 million (per ViolaChannel)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Very good player. Understands how opposing defenses are playing and adjusts to thrive in various circumstances. Excellent first touch; strong creative skills. Knows when to sit on the last man and when to come back and help out the attack.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Very good signing for Fiorentina. Definitely worth double figures.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Welcome to the long-term replacement for Stevan Jovetic. It's strange to admit it, but it isn't out of the question that he'll be better than the Serbian.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Fiorentina look to continue their love for attacking football this year, and that should suit Ilicic. His ability to read the game and understand how to adjust to it is a rare trait in strikers, and his quick movement will catch plenty of defenders off guard throughout the course of the year.

41. Jeffrey Bruma

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    From: Chelsea

    To: PSV Eindhoven

    For: £2.5 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Has struggled with positional play throughout his career, but should be better away from the spotlight of the Premier League. Needs first-team football. Gives versatility across the back for Eindhoven.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    The pace of the Eredivisie will be slower than the Premier League, so Bruma (in theory) shouldn't struggle as much with being caught out of position. He will likely become a starter for PSV, and with regular playing time, is definitely a risk worth taking for such a small transfer fee.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Having sold Marcelo and Erik Pieters, PSV need some new arrivals at the back. Bruma—with his versatility—is an important pickup for the club as a result.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    People seem to be against Bruma, but his fundamental skills are sound. Understanding one particular position more than chopping and changing all the time could help him positionally, and he should relish the opportunity of being away from the spotlight for a while.

    Nowhere near a breakout star, but he'll be better than advertised.

40. Victor Moses

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    From: Chelsea

    To: Liverpool

    For: Season-long loan (per Guardian) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Lots of pace and very strong dribbling ability. Excellent link-up player. Doesn't create enough chances, but always provides a wide outlet for central midfielders.

     

    Value: 10/10

    Great work by Brendan Rodgers. A year ago ago, Moses was one of the hotter young prospects in the Premier League and you couldn't have touched him with anything less than a double-digit deal, it seemed. Now—having not lost any of those skills or slowed down at all—he's Liverpool's for free. Even if for just one season, it's a phenomenal signing by the Reds.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Biggest question mark here is as to whether Liverpool need him or not. Already signed Luis Alberto this summer, and need to keep playing Jordan Henderson.

    Does Moses' arrival jeopardize the playing time of those two players?

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    One of the better loan deals this summer. Interesting to see how often Rodgers uses him and in what role (as a regulation winger or as more of a wide forward?).

39. Roberto Soldado

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    From: Valencia

    To: Tottenham Hotspur

    For: £26 million (per Guardian)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Fantastic player inside the box. Not as great outside of it, and it will important for Soldado to develop a good understanding with the likes of Paulinho early this season to achieve similar success to what he had at Valencia last year. Deceptively strong and competent in the air.

     

    Value: 8/10

    A club record signing for Spurs. Perhaps a little over the odds, but if Soldado is going to be their "franchise striker" per se, then it's money that needed to be spent.

    Time will tell whether Spurs paid too much or not.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor are not Champions League strikers. If that's where Tottenham want to go, they need to have a squad that is talented enough, and striker was their biggest area of concern in this regard. Until Soldado arrived, that is.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Spurs have struggled with issues up front for a while, and needed a legitimate No. 1, which Soldado provides. Big money—a signal of intent, perhaps?

38. Felipe Melo

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    From: Juventus

    To: Galatasaray

    For: £3.2 million (per Sky Sports)


     

    Talent: 8/10

    The absolute epitome of a hit-and-miss player. Melo can be brilliant one minute and then missing the next, but he was good last campaign for Galatasaray and should continue such form again this year.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Juventus simply wanted him off their books, and were willing to accept an offer well below what they should have. Even at his worst, Melo is better than his fee this summer, and with strong performances to his name last year, should have gone for much higher than he did.

    Galatasaray did very well in this regard.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Should get regular playing time alongside Selcuk Inan in central midfield. Inan will make Melo play better, and to some extent vice versa.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Gala were more than happy to wrap up this deal given the fee Juve wanted. Keeping Burak Yilmaz to play ahead of him could lead to some big things this season in Turkey, but it's all about consistency for Melo. Could be a another great (or incredibly not-so-great) season.

37. Angelo Ogbonna

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    From: Torino

    To: Juventus

    For: £11.2 million (per Sky Sports)


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Already proven himself capable in Serie A with his immense size and strength. Tremendous tackler. Will be one of the best central defenders in Italy this year.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Had Ogbonna been a forward, this deal would have easily been double what Juventus paid Torino. Such is the nature of defenders and their transfer fees.

    Not that the Old Lady will be complaining or anything...

     

    Need: 8/10

    Great fit into Juve's three-man defensive system. Club have options already at the back, but Ogbonna has the potential to take them to the next level this season. 

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    So strong and so powerful. Juventus will be very tough to break down this year (not that they already weren't tough to break down). Worth the hype.

36. Bernard

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    From: Atletico Mineiro

    To: Shakhtar Donetsk

    For: £21.5 million (per Eurosport) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Highlight reels aren't exactly hard to find for Bernard. Electric turn of pace and loves quick ball movement. Capable of linking up with central attackers or taking defenders on via the by-line. Tremendous dribbling ability with both feet, and loves to track back and force turnovers in defense.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Shakhtar have paid big money for Bernard, but the signs are definitely there. Bernard could be one of the best players not in Europe's five major leagues next season, and with Champions League football calling, will show why the Ukrainians were desperate to sign him (whatever the cost).

     

    Need: 9/10

    Having lost Fernandinho, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian in the last 12 months, Shakhtar need new talent. They need a new identity and new star players.

    Bernard is arguably the pick of the bunch.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    With a big year, look for Bernard to be in Brazil's 2014 World Cup team. He's simply that good, and will thrive on the Champions League stage. Budding star.

35. Gonzalo Higuain

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    From: Real Madrid

    To: Napoli

    For: £32 million (per Metro)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Loves to link-up with teammates and will be a bigger threat at the top of Napoli's attack as a result. Won't be a huge goal-scorer (in the way that Edinson Cavani was), but will be a great addition at the top of Rafa Benitez's high-octane attack and should give Napoli much success this year.

     

    Value: 7.5/10

    Still overpaid, in my opinion. Higuain is hitting the prime of his career, but this is a guy who couldn't beat out Karim Benzema for a starting spot at Madrid.

    Not sure he's worth the extraordinary amount Napoli paid.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    With Cavani gone, Napoli needed a replacement. They needed a striker obviously, but they also needed a big-name signing to fill his shoes (and reputation) as well.

    Higuain is a guy that—in theory—can do all of the above.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Comes to Napoli with the club in a very exciting time. Summer arrivals will help Higuain be much better than he was at Madrid, but will he ever be Cavani-like?

    Time will tell.

34. Pablo Osvaldo

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    From: AS Roma

    To: Southampton

    For: £15 million (per Daily Mirror)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    A versatile option for Southampton given that he can play as either a wide forward or the second striker behind Rickie Lambert. He'll likely play out wide this year, with his big physical presence and creative personality likely to win plenty of fans at St. Mary's Stadium.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Big money for Saints, who have perhaps overpaid a little here. Serious talent, but with some temperamental issues, could be a big risk signing.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Lambert—especially if he's going to keep getting England call-ups—is going need replacing. He needs an alternative forward to feed off and help create space for him. Osvaldo does just that.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Much of what Osvaldo does this year for Southampton will be off the ball in creating space and running lanes for Lambert. He's not the No. 1 striker at the club—which could cause some issues—but Southampton have done very well to land a player of his caliber this summer.

33. Paulinho

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    From: Corinthians

    To: Tottenham Hotspur

    For: £17 million (per Fox Sports)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Paulinho's arrival could spell huge success for Tottenham. A strong central midfielder capable of playing as either a box-to-box man or as a more advanced No. 10—even as a double pivot. Deceptively big goal-scoring threat from the middle of the field that signals a potential return to the 4-3-3 formation that Andre Villas-Boas had such success with at FC Porto.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Excellent value for Spurs. Less than £20 million is very well done.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Tottenham don't exactly need Paulinho in that they have a number of strong central midfield options (Eriksen, Holtby, Dembele among others). However, at the same time, Paulinho offers them a presence like few others at both ends of the field.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Great signing for Villas-Boas. Once he develops a combination with Soldado, big things could be coming out of Spurs in England and Europe this year.

32. Marquinhos

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    From: AS Roma

    To: Paris Saint-Germain

    For: £30 million (per Goal) 


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Defensive beast akin to current teammate Thiago Silva. One of best up-and-coming central defenders in world. Imposing, but athletic. Averaged a staggering 12 defensive actions per game last season.

     

    Value: 8/10

    Obviously big money for PSG to spend, but could be worth it in the long run. Marquinhos is still so young and now stands to give several good seasons to the capital club as a result. Potential long-term replacement for Silva (if he moves to Barcelona soon).

     

    Need: 9/10

    At the time, didn't seem like a huge need, but definitely there now with the sale of Sakho to Liverpool. PSG let a total of seven defenders leave this summer.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Fantastic talent who should thrive alongside Silva. PSG are just as strong at the back as they are up front (which we'll get to shortly).

31. Juan Cuadrado

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    From: Udinese 

    To: Fiorentina

    For: £4.3 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 8/10

    Ferocious player who brings great energy and commitment to Fiorentina. Loves to take defenders on via the by-line with his strong dribbling skills. More than capable with either foot; all-round attacking weapon.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    On loan at the club last year, Fiorentina have done exceptionally well to sign him in a long-term deal for the price that they did. Fantastic talent to watch for. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    Club lost Ljajic, Jovetic and Seferovic. Arrivals of guys like Gomez helps replace them, but the club needs depth. Cuadrado gives them a continued threat out wide. 

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Fiorentina fans will be the first to admit how strong Cuadrado looked last season. Still very raw, but the natural skills are there. Developing year this season.

30. Iago Aspas

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    From: Celta Vigo

    To: Liverpool

    For: £7 million (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Extremely hard-working player who will be great arrival for Liverpool. Capable of beating several defenders with quick change of direction and acceleration. Fantastic finisher as well with versatility throughout midfield. Could form a dynamic partnership with Philippe Coutinho.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    For the depth and versatility he provides, excellent value.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Liverpool will have a slew of creative options available to them once Luis Suarez returns from his suspension, but Aspas needed to be brought in this summer.

    Too versatile and talented for clubs to ignore any longer. 

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    Was due for a move to a big-name club soon, and should thrive in the Premier League. Rodgers must continue to give him regular playing time this year.

29. Edinson Cavani

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    From: Napoli

    To: Paris Saint-Germain

    For: £55.6 million (per Guardian)


     

    Talent: 10/10

    Natural goal-scorer, and has proven it in recent seasons. Will move around top of the attack. Difficult to keep track of alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Capable of sitting on last minute and breaking through for goal, or dropping in front of defense and beating them one-on-one.

     

    Value: 8/10

    Understandable given how strong PSG are now with their dual-threat up front, but the transfer fee was excessive. Too much—even for a player like Cavani.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Ibrahimovic's best strengths are as a creator, as a goal-scorer. Obviously he's very good at the latter, but PSG needed to play someone capable of feeding off Ibra. Having sold Kevin Gameiro, they needed another striker.

     

    Overall: 26.5/30

    A Champions League-defining transfer? Not out of the question.

28. Loic Remy

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    From: Queens Park Rangers

    To: Newcastle United

    For: Season-long loan (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 7.5/10

    Loves to drift wide and then cut inside and shoot. Dangerous to read when he's at his best. Potent attacker with lots of speed and acceleration over short distance.

     

    Value: 10/10

    Alan Pardew finally gets some good value to fall his way.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Papiss Cisse can't do it all (as we saw last season). Demba Ba is still missed at St. James' Park, and while not as good as Ba, Remy is a helpful replacement.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Newcastle needed to pull the trigger and get a striker this summer. They didn't exactly "pull the trigger" per se, but they got what they needed for next to no cost.

    Deceptively effective without being spectacular.

27. Joao Moutinho

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    From: FC Porto

    To: AS Monaco

    For: £22 million (per Transfermarkt) 


      

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Hard-working central midfielder who will thrive on a big stage once more. Loves quick passing and moving; capable of being a defensive stalwart or playing more advanced roles depending on team's need. Not a prolific goal-scorer compared to other central midfielders.

     

    Value: 8/10

    Talented player, but Monaco overpaid. Perhaps a little bit of their eagerness to bring in talent and FC Porto's constant overvaluing of players.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Fills huge need for club. Will likely play as regulation CM to begin with, but can be thrown forward into CAM or dropped back as DCM or double pivot if need be. 

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Strong deal this summer. Doesn't appear to be a long-term signing for Monaco, but he'll be very good in the time that he's there. Combination out wide with James Rodriguez will be interesting to watch, while Radamel Falcao is no doubt licking his lips in anticipation of what's to come.

26. Kevin Strootman

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    From: PSV Eindhoven

    To: AS Roma

    For: £17.2 million (per Sky Sports) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Lethal finisher from central midfield. Very reliable passer and clinical playmaker for PSV; interesting to see how he adjusts to technically superior Serie A. Has skills needed to be huge success this year.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Probably good value here. PSV don't overvalue targets so Roma weren't going to have to pay over the odds to get him. Still costly, but will be worth the price.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Daniele De Rossi continues to be linked with move away from Roma. Throw in the sale of Erik Lamela and there's a huge need for attacking play to come out of central and wide midfield this year, which is where the arrival of Strootman is so important for the Italians.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    A favorite name in the rumor mill, Strootman finally gets the chance to show exactly what he can do. Will thrive in a deceptively talented Roma team this season.

25. Heung-Min Son

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    From: Hamburg

    To: Bayer 04 Leverkusen

    For: £8.8 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Ambidextrous and versatile forward. Capable of playing in wide role as central attacker, better as wide-forward. Deceptively good on-ball skills and movement.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Excellent value. Heung-Min Son hasn't truly broken out yet as a footballer, so it's hard to rate value too high, but the signs are there for this being a great deal. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    Stefan Kiessling needs support in attack. He had it last season in Andre Schurrle, but with his sale to Chelsea, Leverkusen needed to replace his goals/assists.

    Enter the Korean phenom.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    One of the less-talked about transfers this year, Heung-Min Son can be star. Playing Champions League football now; will thrive with defensive focus on Kiessling and not on his movement in the attacking line.

24. Wellington Nem

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    From: Fluminense FC

    To: Shakhtar Donetsk

    For: £8 million (per Goal)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Not the greatest tackler in the world, but certainly capable of making a stand at the other end of the field. Nem is a prolific dribbler with excellent pace. At times, he looks like he has the ball on a string, and his ability to play some stellar passes thanks to his world-class vision is a great strength.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Given the fee that Shakhtar received for the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Fernandinho, Nem is an absolute steal at just a fraction of the cost. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    The players mentioned above have moved on from the Ukrainians this summer, and with Champions League football once again beckoning, Shakhtar need new talents to help carry their attack. Nem—along with Bernard (mentioned previously) help do just that.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Nem has been there or thereabouts in world football for a while now and it will be interesting to see how he fares on the bigger stage. He's still somewhat of a liability in defense, but his ability to quickly break out and play the correct pass will be a huge advantage for Shakhtar this season.

23. Victor Wanyama

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    From: Celtic

    To: Southampton

    For: £12.5 million (per Independent) 


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Victor Wanyama has been subject to a little bit of hype (at least in Premier League circles), but the hype on him is certainly worthwhile.  Wanyama is a sound defensive midfielder who reads the game expertly. He has great positional sense and tackling ability, and his ability to remain disciplined and calm on the ball made him a highly-sought after prospect this summer window.

    Has the potential to go into beast-mode if need be.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Probably could have gone for a little bit higher this summer, but the money spent by Southampton seems close to the valuation for the former Celtic star. 

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    With Morgan Schneiderlin already in the Saints' side as a holding midfielder and the likes of James Ward-Prowse knocking on the door, Southampton didn't exactly need Wanyama as desperately as some other clubs (cough, Manchester United) may have. However, his ability alongside Schneiderlin will be a key aspect of the Saints' midfield this season, and there'll definitely be plenty of opportunities for him.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Southampton have done a remarkable job this summer at picking up high-profile transfer targets without paying too much. Wanyama is perhaps the pick of them all.

22. Luis Gustavo

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    From: Bayern Munich

    To: VFL Wolfsburg

    For: £17 million (per Yahoo! Sports)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    An all-action holding midfielder, Gustavo possesses a crisp passing game and fantastic timing. His vision is world-class and always knows where to be in the middle.

    Being in Bayern Munich's world-class midfield did help, though.

     

    Value: 8/10

    Big money for a club like Wolfsburg to stump up, but this was an important deal for them and they didn't pay too much in the end for Gustavo. Maybe a bit over.

     

    Need: 10/10

    Gustavo instantly becomes Wolsfburg's best central midfielder and will be their key player this season as a result. His ability to hold his team's shape together and allow their creative players like Ivan Perisic the chance to show their skills will define whatever success they might have this year.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    A very promising player that we'll no doubt see plenty of over the next few seasons in the Bundesliga. Immense talent and at 26, still plenty of time to grow also.

21. Mario Gotze

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    From: Borussia Dortmund

    To: Bayern Munich

    For: £31.6 million (per Goal)


     

    Talent: 10/10

    A world-class player like few others. Mario Gotze has superb timing with his passes and runs into attacking midfield, and is capable of playing as either a No. 10 or even in the false-nine role. For his age, he's incredibly mature as a footballer, rarely caught playing the wrong option. A stretch to say he's Bayern's best player, but he's definitely up there with the best.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Borussia Dortmund wouldn't have sold Gotze for the price they did were it not for the buyout clause in his contract. Bayern know that they got a good deal.

     

    Need: 8/10

    Not a "needed" signing for Bayern given their rich attacking strengths. Gotze does give them versatility in advanced attacking positions that few others can, but he's still another midfielder that will be battling away for playing time under manager Pep Guardiola.

    Interesting to see what affect the arrival of Thiago Alcantara has on him.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Gotze is a star. Give him time in Pep's system (as well as developing his understanding with new team-mates) and the results will be devastating.

20. Toby Alderweireld

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    From: Ajax

    To: Atletico Madrid

    For: £6.1 million (per ESPN)


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Another Belgian talent, Toby Alderweireld possesses fantastic defensive positioning and awareness. He's not the quickest centre-back around, but his ability to read the game makes up for that. Also able to venture forward and find the back of the net when needed. Strong aerial presence.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    One of the better central defenders in world football, compare the transfer fee of Alderweireld to the asking price of a player like Thiago Silva. Great value.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Atletico have the likes of Miranda and Diego Godin in defense, but they don't have depth. Alderweireld gives them another starting option to help fix that problem.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Deceptively good transfer from Atletico on deadline day. They are capable of holding off the likes of Barcelona and Madrid now. Doesn't mean that they will every single match, but at least they have the personnel capable of getting the job done for Diego Simeone.

19. Alvaro Negredo

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    From: Sevilla FC

    To: Manchester City

    For: £24.5 million (per Daily Mail)


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Multi-skilled striker capable of scoring goals from a variety of situations. Strong in the air and with both feet, Negredo is an instinctive finisher who'll prove a handful for Premier League defenders this year.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Expensive signing from Pellegrini given he still has the likes of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko. Probably close to his true value, though, so not too bad.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Four strikers. That's how many clubs need to have a legitimate chance at competing in multiple tournaments. City now have that with Negredo. They have lots of other options in attack, but with Dzeko now touted as a potential departure, adding Negredo could turn out to be very important. Seems like a luxury addition, but there's method to the madness for City. 

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Will become a regular starter at Manchester City by Christmas. Incredibly talented striker who can seemingly do it all. Fantastic signing by the club.

18. Erik Lamela

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    From: AS Roma

    To: Tottenham Hotspur

    For: £26 million (per Guardian) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Fantastic versatility in attack. Capable of producing high volumes of goals and assists; similar skill-set to his predecessor in Gareth Bale. Strong conversion rate.

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Given he'll provide essentially what Bale did, the transfer fee of Lamela is almost a steal compared to what Real Madrid paid for the Welsh winger. There is the little issue of actually replacing Bale in real life, not just on paper. While Lamela does appear worthy of becoming a star left winger in his own right, his transfer fee is very high for "potential" alone.

    An educated gamble, you could say, from Andre Villas-Boas.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    No Bale, and with Spurs already struggling for width at the best of times, another winger was needed. Lamela is just that for Tottenham, and gives them added versatility up front as well. Of all of Spurs' big-name signings this summer, Lamela was the key.

     

    Overall: 27/30

    Good enough for Villas-Boas to built the team around him, but creative enough to thrive even if the team is built around someone else. Lamela alone keeps Spurs in the hunt for Champions League football.

17. Mamadou Sakho

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    From: Paris Saint-Germain

    To: Liverpool

    For: £17.5 million (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Blessed with a wonderful mix of speed, power and athleticism, Sakho is a world-class talent and will quickly show that at Anfield. Brings aggression that Liverpool fans will love; fantastic in the air as well. 

     

    Value: 8.5/10

    Big-money move from the Reds, but an accurate one. Sakho is that good.

     

    Need: 10/10

    Jamie Carragher is no longer at the club, and if the Reds are going to mount a serious challenge on the top-four this year, they need to shore up at the back. Sakho's signing helps do just that, and for a club yet to concede a Premier League goal this season, his arrival could be huge. 

     

    Overall: 27.5/30

    Close to the top (if not the top) defensive transfer this summer. Sakho struggled to fit at PSG, but will be gladly welcomed by Liverpool—and for good reason.

16. Haris Seferovic

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    From: Fiorentina

    To: Real Sociedad

    For: £2.6 million (per UEFA) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Seferovic has shown in the Champions League so far that he can score a golazo or two, and will become a regular goal-scorer at Sociedad. Reads the game very well. Loves to drop back in front of defenders and build attack, but isn't afraid to directly attack the defense either. Budding star.

     

    Value: 10/10

    Tremendous value for Sociedad. Has already proven in the Champions League that he's worthy of a transfer fee much higher than what the club paid for him.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Carlos Vela's likely No. 2 at the club, Seferovic fills a very important role. 

     

    Overall: 27.5/30

    Interesting to see whether Seferovic is played as a wide forward or as a more regulation centre forward this year. Capable of thriving (and scoring) from either.

    Terribly underrated transfer this summer.

15. Gerard Deulofeu

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    From: FC Barcelona

    To: Everton

    For: Season-long loan (per Guardian) 


     

    Talent: 8.5/10

    Lots of hype on Deulofeu, but largely justified. Product of Barca's system, the youngster is talented with the ball at his feet and is a very sound passer. Industrious player whose flair and skill is often kept under locks by tika-taka system, but should thrive in Everton's system under Roberto Martinez.

     

    Value: 10/10

    A "free" season for a player of Deulofeu's class is tremendous value. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    With the Toffees showing that they're going to become a high-possession team this year, Deulofeu's inclusion is exceptional. Everton have to be patient with his development, though.

     

    Overall: 27.5/30

    Deulofeu isn't a world-class player yet, but he could be, and that's what's so exciting about this transfer. Everton hope that they can give the Barcelona starlet plenty of playing time as a replacement for Marouane Fellaini. Onteresting to see how he fares with someone like Ross Barkley given that the two midfielders have incredibly different styles and skills.

14. Carlos Tevez

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    From: Manchester City

    To: Juventus

    For: £12 million (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Tevez knows where the goal is at all times—be that in his finishing skill or with his underrated creativity as well. Has excellent vision and movement at the top of an attacking line. Passing game better than what was advertised and shown at Manchester City. 

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Given his strengths as both a goal-scorer and creator, Juventus appear have to found exceptional value here in the former Manchester journeyman. If he can get consistent minutes, look for his value to skyrocket back towards what it was when he first arrived at the Etihad Stadium.

     

    Need: 9/10

    Llorente will be the No. 1 striker at Juventus this year, but Tevez is certainly capable of challenging him for that mantle. Juve's squad is very strong across the board, but Tevez's creativity and vision is what makes Llorente's inclusion such a valuable one. Dual-threat.

     

    Overall: 27.5/30

    Juventus have five strikers on the books at the moment. Regardless of which ones do (and don't) get playing time, Tevez is capable of making them all play very well. That's the type of under-the-radar player he can be, and the reason why the Old Lady were so happy to sign him this year.

13. Mesut Ozil

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    From: Real Madrid

    To: Arsenal

    For: £42.2 million (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 10/10

    Easily one of the best playmakers in world football, if not the best. Assist-total like few others in past few seasons. Created an astounding 2.9 goal-scoring chances per game last season—a constant threat for teams to watch for. Power-changing transfer in the EPL.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Big-money for Arsene Wenger to spend but given Ozil's proven record of success, this is a very strong (and accurate) transfer signing from the Frenchman.

     

    Need: 8/10

    In many ways, Arsenal didn't need to sign Ozil this summer. They have Santi Cazorla and have much bigger needs in defense, defensive midfield and up front. However, the signing of Ozil was one that they did need to make at the same time. The Gunners fans were slowly becoming disillusioned with the absence of success at the Emirates, and Ozil is the type of player that can change that. He'll make other players—such as Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott—even better than they are now.


    People who say Ozil is not what Arsenal 'needed' are missing the point. He's what every team needs > a world class match-winner. #Afc

    — Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 3, 2013

     

     

    Overall: 27.5/30

    Arsenal fans couldn't contain their excitement when Ozil signed for them on deadline day. He's a fantastic player to watch, and is perhaps the Premier League's best player on form right now. Interesting to see how he fares against more physical defenders, but there's no doubt he'll succeed.

     

12. Neymar

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    From: Santos

    To: FC Barcelona

    For: £48.6 million (per BBC Sport) 


     

    Talent: 10/10

    One glance of the highlight reels will have you staring amazed for hours on end. Neymar is one of the most talented players in world football, and will only get better. Loves to get to the by-line and take defenders on; deceptively good finishing skills as well.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Definitely a lot of money for Barcelona to cough up, but it seems pretty good value for now—especially given how much the likes of Gareth Bale cost Real Madrid.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Probably the only fault with this transfer. Barcelona have a number of wide forwards capable of filling the role Neymar will assume. Obviously the Brazilian is an upgrade on the players, however, which makes this deal worthwhile for La Blaugrana. Can't say no to his arrival at Camp Nou.

     

    Overall: 27.5/30

    One of the best players to move this summer, and overall, a great deal for Barcelona. Without doubt one of the biggest names to watch in world football this year.

     

     

11. Simon Mignolet

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    From: Sunderland

    To: Liverpool

    For: £11 million (per Guardian) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Possesses fantastic reflexes; one of the better goalkeepers in world football over the past 12 months. Errors still exist, but covers himself better than most.

     

    Value: 9/10

    Goalkeepers are never going to attract high transfer fees, but even still, Liverpool have done well here in their fee for Mignolet. Pretty close to true transfer value.

     

    Need: 10/10

    Pepe Reina killed Liverpool with errors last year. The Reds not only needed a replacement for him, they needed a serious upgrade, and they got it in Mignolet.

     

    Overall: 28/30

    Already close to the best GK in the EPL, Mignolet will only get better.

10. Juan Quintero

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    From: Pescara

    To: FC Porto

    For: £4.3 million (per Sky Sports)


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Possesses creativity like few other players in football. Dazzling skills with either foot; extremely quick footwork and acceleration in first step. Loves to link up and between between the midfield and defensive lines. Capable of scoring from distance or laying through sublime passes—incredibly unpredictable.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Unbelievable value for a player with Quintero's skills that have already been shown as well as the potential that he threatens to produce later on in his career.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Porto sold arguably their best creative option in Joao Moutinho and their best wide option in James Rodriguez. Quintero helps cover their loss this season.

     

    Overall: 28/30

    In the same mould of Neymar in terms of transfers to be excited about. Quintero has some exceptional skills and will thrive under the careful guidance and management of Porto's system. 

9. Radamel Falcao

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    From: Atletico Madrid

    To: AS Monaco

    For: £50 million (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 10/10

    The best pure striker in world football. Wonderful movement at the top of the attack. Capable of finishing with his head or either foot—regardless of angle or the distance. A fantastic poacher when the ball is inside the box but also capable of holding the ball before taking on defenders.

      

    Value: 8.5/10

    Big money, but all comparative. Compared to what the likes of Edinson Cavani, Mesut Ozil and Gareth Bale went for, this is a pretty accurate offer.

    Was this the result of a buyout clause? Either way, still not a bad deal all up.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Monaco didn't have the greatest striker options before Falcao. If the club are going to challenge PSG this year, then they're going to need to score goals—which is exactly what the Colombian striker brings.

     

    Overall: 28/30

    A superstar in his own right, Falcao will be a huge hit this year.

8. Mario Gomez

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    From: Bayern Munich

    To: Fiorentina

    For: £17 million (per ESPN) 


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    A proven goal-scorer, Gomez is absolutely deadly when inside the box. He's a predator when the ball's on the ground or in the air. Reliable and experienced. 

     

    Value: 9/10

    Gomez might be getting on in age, but he's still got talent—as he showed last year for Bayern Munich. No worse than Stevan Jovetic, but big disparity in fees.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Replaces Jovetic. Huge need, but completely filled by Vincenzo Montella.

     

    Overall: 28.5/30

    Gomez showed last year for Bayern Munich that he's still a reliable goal-scorer who can cause havoc for defenses around the league. Capable of working with a secondary striker or wide forward, and will help Fiorentina's other attacking options play very well this year.

    Fiorentina might have seemed like they were due for a down year with the sale of Jovetic. The exact opposite appears likely now with Gomez's arrival.

7. Isco

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    From: Malaga

    To: Real Madrid

    For: £23 million (per BBC Sport) 


     

    Talent: 10/10

    A star in central midfield, Isco can do it all. He can dribble past defenders with ease, play through a delightful assist for a striker or wide forward, or he can hit the back of the net himself. Capable of being a genuine game-changer this year for Real Madrid, even with other stars in squad.

     

    Value: 10/10

    Buyout clause. Tremendous deal for Madrid. Absolutely no way in the world that he's more than three times less important or talented than Gareth Bale.

     

    Need: 8.5/10

    Would have been a lower grade until the sale of Ozil. Isco becomes the natural attacking midfielder in the team now, and will thrive in role. At the same time, however, it's not like Los Blancos were exactly short on midfield options, with the likes of Angel Di Maria, Luka Modric, Casemiro and potentially even Gareth Bale capable of stepping up centrally.

     

    Overall: 28.5/30

    Wonderful player who comes to the Bernabeu with a huge future ahead of him. Isco won't have the expectations on him that many would have expected (courtesy of Bale's arrival and subsequent hype); will be interesting to see who has the bigger impact for Los Blancos this year.

6. Thibaut Courtois

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    From: Chelsea

    To: Atletico Madrid

    For: Season-long loan (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 9/10

    Young, but supremely talented goalkeeper. Wonderful reflexes and ability to read the game. Also very good in the air compared to other La Liga shot-stoppers. 

     

    Value: 10/10

    World-class goalkeeper for free? Don't mind if I do...

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Courtois is the club's goalkeeper. They don't really have another option outside of him. Will be interesting to see what they do at the end of the season if (or when) he goes back to Chelsea.

     

    Overall: 28.5/30

    Courtois conceded just 29 goals in 37 La Liga games last year. He won the Copa del Rey as well. At just 21, the Belgian international is primed for a huge future and as I stated earlier this summer, could very well finish his career with a Ballon d'Or trophy to his name. He's simply that talented.

5. Jesus Navas

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    From: Sevilla FC

    To: Manchester City

    For: £15 million (per Guardian)


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    With blistering pace and ability to beat a defender one-on-one, Navas has already shown himself to be an integral part of City's new attack. Expect that to continue.

     

    Value: 9.5/10

    Fantastic price for City, probably helped by the fact that Navas' most recent campaign wasn't as strong as other years have been throughout this career.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    City need to add width to their attack, and have done that here. Arguably their biggest need coming into the transfer window, which they've filled perfectly.

     

    Overall: 28.5/30

    A fantastic talent who will thrive in Pellegrini's system. City might be known for splashing cash unnecessarily, but this is a smart and shrewd signing indeed.

4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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    From: Saint Etienne 

    To: Borussia Dortmund

    For: £11 million (per Sky Sports) 


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Horrendously underrated coming into the Bundesliga. Brings versatility across several attacking roles (as a winger or secondary striker), with his athleticism and ability to be in the right place at the right time a huge advantage for Dortmund. Debut hat-trick showed just how dangerous he'll be this year.

     

    Value: 10/10

    Excellent value for Dortmund, who are already seeing great return for their dollar. Aubameyang's versatility alone makes him worth the cost. 

     

    Need: 9/10

    Aubameyang obviously fills a huge need for the club this summer in the departure of Mario Gotze. However, his biggest need could come in the 2014-15 season when current striker Robert Lewandowski leaves the club for Bayern Munich (per Welt am Sonntag, h/t ESPN). Still a very important player for the squad now if they're going to build on their European success from last year.

     

    Overall: 28.5/30

    Can't fault this deal at all from Dortmund. Reinvested the Gotze money excellently in Aubameyang, and while he won't replace the youngster's importance straight away, he is certainly capable of filling Gotze's shoes throughout the course of the season.

3. Fernando Llorente

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    From: Athletic Bilbao

    To: Juventus

    For: Free transfer (per Transfermarkt) 


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Llorente is a magical striker capable of playing a variety of different roles up front. A clinical finisher, the former Bilbao man can turn creator or sit on the final man as a poacher. Not the quickest of strikers, but has a natural ability to find space and take advantage of opportunities that fall his way. Excellent on both feet. Only criticism is his tendency to become isolated and not involved defensively.

     

    Value: 10/10

    Best value transfer of the summer. Llorente for free is huge.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Juventus have a number of strikers in their squad—all of which are very strong players—but up until the addition of Llorente, they didn't have a genuinely world-class finisher that comes with the same attacking versatility and completeness that Llorente does.

     

    Overall: 29/30

    A done deal earlier in the year, Llorente to Juventus has become a forgotten transfer in the minds of many courtesy of big-money transfers for the likes of Gareth Bale, Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falaco. Juventus fans won't have forgotten, though, and Llorente will well and truly prove his worth this season for the Old Lady in both Italian and European competitions alike.

2. Romelu Lukaku

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    From: Chelsea

    To: Everton

    For: Season-long loan (per BBC Sport)


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Still so young, Lukaku has the potential to become the best striker in world football if he keeps growing the way he has done so far in his career. A strong and powerful presence, Lukaku is a dynamic finisher who can score with either foot. Loves to pressure defenders into making mistakes at the back, which in turn, he then capitalizes on to full extent in attack. 

     

    Value: 10/10

    Best loan deal of the summer. Everton are huge winners with him.

     

    Need: 9.5/10

    Everton were weaker than expected in attack last season. Nikica Jelavic took a backwards step and Kevin Mirallas couldn't stay healthy. With their best goal-scoring option off to Manchester United and Victor Anichebe heading to West Brom, Lukaku's arrival is even bigger than first imagined for the Toffees, and one that could very well make them an outside chance at the top four this year.

     

    Overall: 29/30

    Why Chelsea let Lukaku leave (and not Demba Ba or Fernando Torres) is simply staggering. He's a world-class player already and showed on loan last year that he's ready to play for a top team. Everton obviously aren't complaining, but will his departure cost Chelsea this year?

1. David Villa

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    From: FC Barcelona

    To: Atletico Madrid

    For: £2 million (per FC Barcelona.com)

     


     

    Talent: 9.5/10

    Villa's movement off the ball is just as prolific as his involvement off the ball. Loves to get behind the defense and cause havoc from a myriad of different positions; capable of producing big goals when his team need him most. Versatile forward who can play as the lone or secondary striker.

     

    Value: 10/10

    How Barcelona could justify selling Villa for the price that they did is simply mind-boggling. They might get first choice on Olivier Torres as a result, but they've lost out massively here. Atletico have come very close to replacing Radamel Falcao for about a twentieth of the price.

     

    Need: 10/10

    Having sold Falcao, Atletico needed to bring in a top-class striker capable of playing in the No. 9 role this year. Villa is just that, and the Atletico fans know it!

     

    Overall: 29.5/30

    Cannot fault the transfer of Villa in any way. He's proven himself to be a very good striker at Barcelona, and with Atletico needing a new front man at the top of their attack, his signing (for a ridiculously low transfer fee) is an excellent move for Diego Simeone's side. Few other transfers capable of having the same immediate impact that Villa will this year.

     

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