Transfers: Ranking the New Faces in the EPL so Far This Summer
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Now that the managerial craziness has finally died down, the summer transfer window is now in full swing. But a month into the window, it's been far from the norm in the English Premier League.
While the likes of Norwich City, Sunderland and Aston Villa have been proactively strengthening their squads for next season, the top four from last season have signed just seven players between them.
The Canaries, in particular, have executed some excellent signings in the shape of Leroy Fer, Nathan Redmond and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, and according to The Mirror, Italy international Fabio Quagliarella could also be on the way to Carrow Road in the near future.
And with some interesting signings arriving in the Premier League this summer, we have a go at ranking some of the new stars and analysing what impact they can make in the 2013-14 season.
Be sure to let us know your thoughts and views at the bottom of the page.
Yaya Sanogo (Arsenal)
After starring at the Under-20 World Cup with eventual winners France, it's clear to see why Arsene Wenger is excited about the 20-year-old starlet. Arriving from Ligue 2 outfit AJ Auxerre on a free transfer, Sanogo is a towering forward with great determination and work rate.
Even standing at 6'3", he possesses a good level of technical ability and is as good on the ground as he is in the air. He scored four goals at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, making him the nation's top scorer, and was one of the standout players of the tournament. It would appear that, given he has already scored 10 goals in 21 games for his former club, Wenger has unearthed another gem.
Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)
In an attempt to both continue their policy of recruiting young, talented players and challenge for the Premier League title, Chelsea have decided to bring in highly-rated Germany forward Andre Schurrle. The 22-year-old arrived from Bayer Leverkusen last month in a deal worth £18 million and can offer Chelsea many different options in attack.
Operating from the wing or as a second striker, Schurrle offers a direct, high-octane style of play, and his pace can cause a lot of problems for the opposition defence. And he's certainly not shy in front of goal either, scoring 14 goals last season as he helped Leverkusen qualify for the Champions League. Jose Mourinho gave his stamp of approval to make the deal happen, and now the Blues can look forward to seeing what the German can offer next season.
Gerard Deulofeu (Everton)
A player highly regarded at La Liga giants Barcelona, bringing Spanish youngster Gerard Deulofeu should be viewed as one of the biggest transfer coups of the summer by Roberto Martinez. The 19-year-old is one of very few to be dubbed "the new Lionel Messi" and actually prove there's some substance to it. With an abundance of agility and excellent balance, Deulofeu is an ideal fit for the Premier League.
He scored 18 goals last season with Barcelona's B team in the Segunda Division, and while he is predominantly a winger, he can play up front on the shoulder of the last defender. His intelligent play makes up for the yard of pace he lacks that other wingers have, and the Toffees will be brimming with anticipation to see their new loan star in action.
Iago Aspas (Liverpool)
Looking at other striker moves this season, the £8 million spent on signing Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo has proved to be a very shrewd piece of business from Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. The 25-year-old, who was closely followed by Reading and Chelsea before signing for the Reds, per The Mirror, was instrumental in helping Celta gain promotion back to the La Liga in the 2011-12 season, scoring 23 goals in the process.
In addition to that, he managed a total of 12 strikes in the Liga last season, and his performances caught the eye of Liverpool. Possessing a powerful left foot, he showed his capability of scoring with a superb goal on his debut in the 4-0 win over Preston on Saturday. Seemingly impressed by his instant impact, Rodgers will be hoping their new talisman can produce the goods regularly in the Premier League.
Jesus Navas (Manchester City)
Manuel Pellegrini will know all about Jesus Navas, having come up against the Spain winger during his tenure as Malaga coach, and will therefore be able to use his positive attributes to his advantage. Signed for a initial fee of £14.9 million, Navas is a real speed merchant, using his blistering pace to race past his opponent down the byline.
His lack of goals may be a concern, given that he failed to score all of last season. But Navas' game isn't based around goals; rather, his style is more focused around creating chances for his teammates. In fact, according to statistics from WhoScored.com, the 27-year-old completed more accurate crosses (51) than any other player in La Liga. And with Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and potentially former Sevilla teammate Alvaro Negredo, per BBC Sport, the targets for his crosses, it could be a lethal combination for the Citizens next season.
Any observers of the Club World Cup last year would've have noted Paulinho's performances as something of a highlight, but those who watched him take part in the Confederations Cup would understand why Tottenham shelled out £17 million to sign him from Corinthians.
A strong and tireless midfielder, Paulinho is the tough-tackling, box-to-box midfielder that Andre Villas-Boas has been looking for to complete his favoured 4-3-3 setup. The 24-year-old rarely puts a foot wrong and scored a crucial header in the 2-1 win over Uruguay in the semifinal of the Confederations Cup. Even despite their worrying lack of attacking options, having him in the side will significantly boost Spurs' chances of finishing in the top four next season.
Wilfried Bony (Swansea City)
This has the potential to be one of the signings of the summer from Michael Laudrup and Huw Jenkins, who should be commended for convincing one of Europe's top marksmen to join the Welsh club. The 24-year-old striker hit 31 goals in just 30 appearances in the Eredivisie last season, helping his club Vitesse Arnhem to a surprise fourth spot.
And it's his reputation for scoring goals which has seen Swansea swoop for the highly-rated forward. The Ivorian is widely seen as the man who will eventually replace Didier Drogba in the national team, where he also enjoys a good strike rate, with eight goals in 20 caps. His attacking position is unrivaled, his work rate is phenomenal and there's no doubt the Swans are getting a brilliant striker for the £12 million they spent.
Leroy Fer (Norwich City)
After coming so close to joining Everton in January, Leroy Fer will be delighted to finally be joining a Premier League club, even if they are some 100 miles south of his proposed destination. Norwich boss Chris Hughton swooped in to sign the Dutch international from Twente this week, and it could turn out to be masterstroke as he looks to solidify the Canaries' position in the Premier League.
Nicknamed "The Bouncer" due to his imposing muscular frame, Fer is a player in the mould of Patrick Vieira: an elegant, strong midfielder who contains bounds of energy and stamina. He's tough in the tackle, and for that reason, the 23-year-old will be suited to the physicality of the Premier League. We've all seen how he fared in the audition at the European Under-21 Championship, now it's time for the real thing.
Victor Wanyama (Southampton)
He's made quite an impression during his short career in Scotland, but now Kenyan starlet Victor Wanyama has a big price tag to live up to. After Southampton agreed to pay the £12.5 million asking price Celtic had put above his head, the 22-year-old must repay the faith shown in him by Mauricio Pochettino.
A strong yet stocky midfielder, Wanyama can also be utilised as a centre-half when required. His work rate is an essential part of his game, closing down the opposition and executing important challenges in the middle of the park. Granted, his temperament needs some work, with several fines and bans handed out to him while in Belgium with former club Beerschot AC. But his performances have shown he is maturing as a player and will hopefully become a key player for the Saints.
Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)
For a long time now, Jozy Altidore was known as the American talent who failed to impress during his loan at Hull City, scoring just goal in a dismal spell at the Yorkshire club. To his credit, though, he has gone out and made his name at AZ Alkmaar, where he scored 23 goals in the Eredivisie, including three hat-tricks.
Now Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio has given him a second shot at making a name for himself in the Premier League after agreeing an £8 million fee with the Dutch club. The 23-year-old USA international is a quick, agile and strong striker, and there's no doubt that, after ill-fated spells at Hull and Bursaspor in Turkey, he is ready to make his mark in England.
Marc Muniesa (Stoke City)
It's now become clear about why Stoke City decided to part company with Tony Pulis. Even despite their run of consecutive seasons in the Premier League and getting into Europe, their chairman Peter Coates wanted to get rid of the "rugby" image that Pulis had implemented into the club. And with Mark Hughes in charge, the Welshman has started a new era of football with the signing of La Masia graduate Marc Muniesa.
The former Barcelona centre-back, who signed for the Potters on a free transfer, was a surprise acquisition, but it seems that the Spain Under-21 international sees his future in English football after experiencing a frustrating start to his career at the Camp Nou. Still only 21, he suffered a cruciate ligament injury last year in preseason and has done well to recover. A composed defender, he rarely makes a mistake, and Hughes will be hoping he can use his experience working with the best to help improve his Stoke side in the new season.
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