The Best Premiership Signings of 2009
Here are my choices for the five best Premiership signings of 2009.
1. Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St. Petersburg > Arsenal, £16.9 million)
The Russian arrived in London in January having missed out on a switch to Spurs in the summer of 2008. Arsenal fans will be grateful that their archrivals were unable to negotiate a transfer fee for the Russian genius. Arshavin has lived up to the hype, and is one of the most exciting players in the Premier League.
Industrious, inventive and unerringly lethal, the highlight of his Arsenal career so far was undoubtedly his four goals at Anfield. In his full first season in England's top-flight one can expect the miniature Russian to cement his place among the league's elite.
2. Darren Bent (Tottenham Hotspur > Sunderland, £10 million)
It was a complicated process getting Darren Bent to the Stadium of Light: delayed flights and Twitter controversy. However, the striker has done all his talking on the pitch since, with six goals so far. Bent has been a sensation for the Black Cats and is revelling at his new club where he fast becoming a fans' favourite.
3. Thomas Vermaelan (Ajax > Arsenal, £8.45 million)
One of the most understated signings of the summer. Very much an unknown quantity, but he has rapidly become a major hit at the Emirates. Vermaelan has provided vital experience at the back and looks very solid. He is powerful in the air and a good reader of the game. He is also a goal scoring centre back having already bagged four goals for the Gunners.
4. Shay Given (Newcastle United > Manchester City, £6 million)
Joe Hart seemed to have successfully staked his claim as Manchester City number one, but the arrival of Given coincided with demise in Hart’s fortunes at Eastland’s. In reality, was it not for the exploits of Given for Newcastle, then the club would have been relegated before 2009. Since his arrival at City, he has provided vital insurance between the sticks and has already earned a handful of rave reviews.
5. Wilson Palacios (Wigan Athletic > Tottenham Hotspur, £12 million)
Ironically, it was Arsene Wenger who recommended the Honduras international to Steve Bruce and Birmingham City in 2007. The player described by Bruce as a 'young Paul Ince' followed Bruce to Wigan in 2008.
Tottenham Hotspur came calling in January’s transfer window, as Harry Redknapp looked to add some steel to his midfield. Palacios became an integral part of the side, with Spurs only losing four times after his signing.
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