Serie A has had an eventful summer so far. No one will dispute that the league is far stronger in August than it was back in May.
With all that in mind, attempting to pin down the best deal of the transfer season so far is an insane undertaking, and before I talk about which signing I chose as the best, full disclosure: I'm a Napoli fan, but my pick is not Gonzalo Higuain.
Also, loans won't be considered. Otherwise Pepe Reina would be the winner without question.
With that out of the way, here were a few of my guidelines, that way you can find fault with my criteria as well as my choice. Guidelines are: team need at the position, value of player vs. price paid, player potential and the player's known ability.
So for instance, getting back to my fandom with Napoli just for a minute, if Napoli were to sign Jackson Martinez (though the likelihood is slim at best at this point) it'd be tough to rate it a good signing.
Following the above criteria, Martinez is faulty on just about all counts. He would serve as an understudy to Higuain (I believe Lorenzo Insigne is ready to fill the role), his cost was reportedly at €40 million according to ESPN (much too high for someone to be a secondary target man), while, at 26 years old, Martinez is entering his prime and thus doesn't have a ton of room for growth, and finally, he only has one year's experience on a big team.
Though 29 goals in 28 appearances for Porto isn't bad by any means, it's just an awful lot of money for an unproven commodity.
So without any further delay, my pick for best signing this summer: Mario Gomez.
Shouldn't be though, not in the least.
Gomez is 28 years old, has all the big-game experience a team could possibly want, filled a dire need for Fiorentina as Stevan Jovetic now resides in Manchester, and the price for him was unbelievable considering the other deals done this summer.
Gazzetta dello Sport via FIFA.com report that Gomez's price was €15 million.
Quite frankly, that's a steal.
Gomez is more productive than Tevez. Consider the motivation issues or fitness problems Tevez has experienced in the past, and, even if you're convinced all of that is behind Tevez, there's always something to be said for consistency which Gomez brings.
There were other great additions this season, don't get me wrong. For instance, James Horncastle highlighted Kevin Strootman's value to Roma for WhoScored.com. Roma also did well by adding Gervinho from Arsenal as well.
Andrea Poli possesses a lot of upside and will do well to bolster AC Milan's midfield.
Ultimately, Gomez is the best addition this summer so far though. Fiorentina will be just as competitive if not more so this season with Gomez as their target man. He's reliable and has all the experience necessary to be the clutch performer Fiorentina need throughout their upcoming campaign.
Do you rate a transfer higher than Gomez to Fiorentina? What is your criteria when grading a move?
Leave your thoughts below!