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Best XI of 2013/14 Premier League Signings

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMay 12, 2014

Best XI of 2013/14 Premier League Signings

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    Here is the best XI of the 2013/14 English Premier League signings.

    The aim of this slideshow is to tell you the Premier League signings who exceeded expectations.

     


     

    Substitutes

GK: Adrian (West Ham United)

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    Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

    Signed from Real Betis for Free


    West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian has raised his game to new heights.

    Just ask Chelsea central attacking midfielder Oscar, who would have scored a goal if not for Adrian's world-class save. 

    When Adrian was at Betis, he put the footballing world on notice with eight saves in a 1-0 win over Real Madrid. 

    That day, he was three-from-three when Real left attacking midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo shot on target.

    In the past campaign, Betis have used former Real keeper Antonio Adan, Guillermo Sara and Stephan Andersen.

    None of the aforementioned shot-stoppers have come close to matching Adrian's level at West Ham.

     

     

RB: Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa)

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Signed from Groningen for £880,000


    Leandro Bacuna has chipped in with five priceless league goals for Aston Villa, which played a role in the club avoiding relegation. 

    He is a set-piece specialist who has predominantly started at right-back but can play at right wing-back and in midfield. 

    While he has made 81 tackles, he made an error against West Bromwich Albion, and at times he can be found out of position. 

    At 22 years of age, Villa have signed a player with profitable sell-on value. 

CB: Dejan Lovren (Southampton)

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Signed from Lyon for £8.5 million


    Dejan Lovren's transformation from fallen star at Lyon to one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League for Southampton is remarkable. 

    It is alike to Simon Kjaer's rise from the ashes at Lille.

    Lovren has been powerful in the tackle, and he is re-building his reputation after a series of horrifically bad displays at Lyon.

    You have to assume there must have been pull-back from certain members of Southampton brass when Lovren was touted as a target.

    He made errors, was red-carded several times, showed ill-discipline and showed bad body language. 

    Credit to Lovren for proving his critics wrong, because his performances for Southampton will make him a legitimate target for bigger clubs. 

     

CB: Curtis Davies (Hull City)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Signed from Birmingham City for £2.25 million


    Curtis Davies has had a sensational season for Hull City.

    He led Hull in clearances per game (8.8), headers won per game (4.6) and interceptions per game (2.8).

    He was Hull's best player by a considerable distance. 

     

     

LB: Martin Olsson (Norwich City)

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Signed from Blackburn Rovers for £2.5 million


    Inconspicuous would be the word to describe Martin Olsson's career thus far. 

    In an era where good left-backs are highly sought after, Olsson has only played for Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City.

    Olsson has a great engine, he is a low-risk tackler (0.2 fouls per game) and has upside as a 25-year-old.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City)

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Signed from Liverpool for £5 million


    Jonjo Shelvey was a frustrating talent at Liverpool, but he is living up to the billing at Swansea City.

    With six goals and six assists in the Premier League, why has he played several games as a defensive midfielder? 

    He lacks the positional discipline and is too much of a hit-and-miss tackler to be given defensive responsibilities. 

    He plays better behind the No. 9. 

     

CM: Fernandinho (Manchester City)

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk for £30 million


    Fernandinho had bossed the midfield when he was playing for Shakhtar in the UEFA Champions League, so no-one questioned his quality, but the transfer fee was an eye-opener. 

    In hindsight, it was worth every pound. 

    Fernandinho's influence in City's midfield precipitated Yaya Toure's career best form from an attacking perspective in league play (20 goals and nine assists).   

     

CM: Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Signed from Benfica for £21 million


    Nemanja Matic will become one of Chelsea's most important players next season as the Blues will contend on all fronts. 

    Matic is a 6'4" and 185-pound central midfielder with a freakish combination of physicality and technique.

    He can take the ball past players, he is a solid ball-winner and he creates for his team-mates. 

    While signing Matic back after throwing him away in 2011 was grovelling, it will be worth it if he can play at a world-class level next season. 

    This season, he averaged 3.3 tackles per game and registered four assists in the Premier League. 

CAM: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Signed from Ajax for £11.5 million


    It would have been easy for Christian Eriksen to not give 100 percent considering his Tottenham Hotspur team-mates were not meeting expectations.

    Then there were internal problems: chairman Daniel Levy's reputation hit a new low, technical director Franco Baldini wanted to resign, Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and his successor, Tim Sherwood, has made himself the star with his outspoken demeanour. 

    Eriksen stood tall and transitioned into Spurs' most valuable player this season. 

    He was unanimously voted as Spurs' Player of the Season, per Spurs' official website

CF: Loic Remy (Newcastle United; Queens Park Rangers Loanee)

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    Richard Sellers/Getty Images

    Signed On Loan from Queens Park Rangers


    Loic Remy won't need to pray for a career payday because there will be a line of potential suitors after his displays on loan at Newcastle United.

    He scored (14) and created (three) a combined 17 goals in the Premier League. 

     

     

CF: Romelu Lukaku (Everton; Chelsea Loanee)

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    Signed On Loan from Chelsea


    At 20 years of age, Romelu Lukaku has scored 15 goals or more in four league seasons (2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13 and 2013-14). 

    Lukaku should be the starting centre-forward next season. 

    If Chelsea management take his talent for granted, the Blues risk another Daniel Sturridge situation.

     

    @allanjianga

    Statistics via WhoScored.com

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