Ligue 1 Football: Top Summer Transfers Outside of PSG and Monaco

Nicholas McGeeContributor IJuly 17, 2013

LILLE, FRANCE - MARCH 03:  Dimitri Payet of Lille battles with Cheick tidiane Diabate of Bordeaux during the Ligue 1 match between LOSC Lille Metropole v FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Grand Stade Lille-Metropole on March 3, 2013 in Lille, France.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

With their business in the summer transfer window, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco are undoubtedly the two favorites for the Ligue 1 title.

Monaco have acquired Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez, to name a few, while PSG have dipped into the market to sign Napoli striker Edinson Cavani and promising Lille left-back Lucas Digne.

But who has made the best signing away from the Parc des Princes and Stade Louis II? Bleacher Report takes a look at the top summer transfers away from PSG and Monaco.


Dimitri Payet: Lille to Marseille

Marseille, as with every other Ligue 1 club, do not possess the riches of PSG and Monaco, but in securing the signing of Dimitri Payet from Lille, they have acquired a player who was undoubtedly one of the best in the division last season.

Payet was the primary bright spot on a disappointing Lille team, scoring 12 league goals and providing 12 assists.

He was not able to inspire Les Dogues towards a place in European competition for next season, and that failure has led to the loss of his services, with Marseille swooping in as they aim to challenge PSG's superiority at the top of French football.

Marseille finished 12 points behind the Parisians in second place last campaign, but by combining Payet with the likes of Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Ayew, striker Andre-Pierre Gignac should have enough service to improve on his tally of 13 league goals in 2012-13.


Sebastien Squillaci: Arsenal to Bastia

It may not be the most high-profile transfer of the summer, but in capturing Sebastien Scquillaci, Bastia have a player who has the ability to shore up a defense which was the most porous in Ligue 1 last season.

Squillaci may not have been a success in his time at Arsenal, but his experience and ability is much needed at the Stade Armand Cesari.

Bastia conceded 66 goals in last term and, although Squillaci's presence will not immediately fix their defensive weaknesses, he should help improve a team whose back four was too often their downfall last year.


Vincent Aboubakar: Valenciennes to Lorient

Touted as one of the most promising young strikers in Ligue 1, Vincent Aboubakar's 2012-13 performance was a massive disappointment.

The 21-year-old Cameroon international was a regular at the Stade du Hainaut last term, but he could only manage to score two league goals, as Valenciennes slumped to a mid-table finish following a strong start to the season.

Physical and pacy, Aboubakar is a striker whose talents are yet to be properly honed.

However, Lorient manager Christian Gourcuff is a man known for getting the best out of his players, with former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere the prime example.

Aliadiere scored 15 league goals last season, and if Gourcuff can do similar wonders for Aboubakar, then they could form one of the better striking partnerships in the division.


Benjamin Corgnet: Lorient to Saint-Etienne

Aboubakar may have joined the ranks at the Stade du Moustoir, but one player who has departed is midfielder Benjamin Corgnet.

Corgnet was one of the revelations of Dijon's season in the top flight in 2011-12 and, despite failing to establish himself in Brittany, Saint-Etienne manager Christophe Galtier opted to take a chance on the 26-year-old midfielder.

A player with an excellent creative touch and eye for goal, Corgnet should link up well with Romain Hamouma, Joshua Guilavogui and Renaud Cohade. However, much of his success will depend on how Saint-Etienne replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who chose to leave for Borussia Dortmund.

Brandao is now Les Verts' first-choice striker, and he will need to be prolific if the signing of Corgnet is to be of benefit to Galtier's side.


Nicolas Benezet: Nimes to Evian

Nimes missed out in a packed race for promotion from Ligue 2 last campaign and as a result have not been able to hold to a highly-rated attacking midfielder in Nicolas Benezet.

Their loss has been Evian's gain, though, and the side that won so much acclaim on their run to the Coupe de France final will be aiming for the 22-year-old to improve their already dynamic attack.

Manager Pascal Dupraz will undoubtedly be hoping that Saber Khelifa remains in Annecy, and should the Tunisian choose to do so, then he and Benezet, who scored nine goals and contributed eight assists last term, could make up an excellent attacking pair and help fire Evian up the league table.