English Premier League: A Look Back, Ranking The Top 10 Transfers This Summer
With just over a quarter of the Premier League season in the books, now is a good time for a first assessment of this summer's transfer window and rank the newcomers.
Most of the top transfers came from leagues outside of England, with names like Chamakh, Hernández and van der Vaart claiming most of the attention. But a couple of players were kept inside the borders, simply experiencing a uniform switch.
Between the wallet breakers at Manchester City, the pocket change signings and a couple in between, some have gone well, others sour. Nine games into the season, let's take a look back and rank the top 10 signings in this summer's transfer window.
Honorable mentions: DJ Campbell (Blackpool), Moussa Dembele (Fulham), Sebastien Squillaci (Arsenal)
Frédéric Piquionne, West Ham United
Frédéric Piquionne spent last season with Portsmouth on loan from Lyon. This year he made a full switch back to the Premier League, following his coach at Portsmouth to West Ham United.
He has appeared in all nine Premiership games for the Hammers, scoring twice, and his 6-2 frame provides a monument in the final third, complementing West Ham's other giant forward Carlton Cole.
Piquionne seems to have a knack for joining clubs at the bottom of the tables. Portsmouth were relegated last season, and West Ham is dead last this year while scoring a league-low seven goals to date.
His team is poor, but the signing has been worthwhile.
David Silva, Manchester City
David Silva has appeared in eight Premier League games (five starts) after his switch from Valencia over the summer.
The £24 million signing is a clever distributor playing behind Carlos Tévez, but has yet to attain enough touches to qualify as a top signing. City's roster is so deep--especially in the midfield--it is hard for Roberto Mancini to juggle the stars and develop a true rhythm amongst his constantly changing starting eleven.
The Spanish international scored his first goal against Blackpool two weekends ago and finally looks comfortable in the Mancini system.
He is still behind others like James Milner and Gareth Barry, but as the season progresses, and the touches and pitch time increase, his service and form all over should only improve.
Nikola Zigic, Birmingham
The 6-8 monstrosity of a forward in Nikola Zigic made the move from Valencia to Birmingham for an estimated £6 million in May.
While he is not the most fluid and agile, he moves well for his size and has scored twice for the Blues so far this year, helping the club to a 12th place position early in the season.
The Yugoslavian has done well in his first stint in the top flight in England, mainly to rival Peter Crouch as the tallest footballer in the Premier League, much less the world.
At times, he still looks weary amongst his teammates, but they know the skills he possesses in the air and have utilized him well so far.
Yaya Touré, Manchester City
A second high-profile City signing was Yaya Touré, a £24 million transfer from Barcelona.
The 6-3 midfielder joined his brother Kolo at Eastlands and has added another talented footballer in the middle third for Mancini. The younger Touré has made eight starts for City and provides an intimidating presence to opposing defenders.
His familiarity with his teammates has yet to develop fully, but like David Silva, the ever-changing selection can present consistency problems. However, he has shown the ability to play well in the top-flight in England.
The 27-year old has a goal and an assist to date, but lately has not performed up to his normal standards--getting subbed out in consecutive matches. Nevertheless, he figures to be a solid fixture for Mancini in the future.
Martin Petrov, Bolton
Despite the plethora of new signings coming into Manchester City, there actually were players that transferred out of the club.
Atop that list is Martin Petrov, who left City for Bolton on a free transfer. The midfielder was essentially forced out by better, younger talent, but he has embraced his role as a wiry veteran on a Bolton squad that is playing quite well.
Petrov--who is tied for the most assists on the club with two--is taking a backseat to scoring, since Johan Elmander is in top scoring form. The Bulgarian is only 31, so he still has a couple of quality years for Owen Coyle.
Good form from Petrov will only sustain Bolton's stay in the middle of the table, prime for a European push.
James Milner, Manchester City
The word on James Milner's £26 million move from Aston Villa to Manchester City may still be developing. The midfield/winger has scored just once on the year, but it came in Villa colors as he has yet to find the net for City. He does have three assists, however.
Is he a bust? Hardly.
Milner's agility and quickness along the side complements the play opposite of Adam Johnson, and he has been a fixture in the first eleven for Roberto Mancini, starting all nine Premier League games to date. His presence is strong and does well servicing from the wing.
Is more expected of him? Probably.
The season is still young, and Milner really has not taken many attempts on goal. He seems to be in a pretty concrete role on the pitch, without much room to flex his abilities. Does the injury to Carlos Tevez mean more open field shots on target for 24-year old? He is certainly capable, and City's offense needs more options.
Kenwyne Jones, Stoke City
In August, Kenwyne Jones signed for Stoke City on an £8 million fee from Sunderland.
Since his move, the Trinidadian has found his heading form early on as a high-flying threat in the box for the Potters. Jones has scored three times in league competitions (five in all) for his new club after scoring just nine all last season and seems to be the lone forward on the club in scoring form.
Sure, Stoke's overall form is down, but the 26-year old is revitalized after leaving Sunderland on poor terms. He is out to prove his value, and he has done just that. His numbers should only swell as his gains comfort and sustains form throughout the season.
Javier Hernández, Manchester United
Chicharito is slowly becoming a fan favorite amongst the United forwards.
Probably one of the best bargain buys of the summer, Hernández made the move from Guadalajara for a reported £7 million. Already, the 22-year old has three goals in five Premier League appearances. He has added two more in a substitute's role, one in the League Cup and another in Champions League play.
With Wayne Rooney's grumblings and off-the-pitch circumstances, the young Mexican has embraced the high expectations of United and has performed wonderfully.
He has certainly pushed for consistent first eleven selections.
Marouane Chamakh, Arsenal
Arsenal picked up a huge scoring threat on a free transfer in May with Marouane Chamakh joining the Gunners from Bordeaux--the club in which he spent his first seven years as a professional footballer.
The 26-year old has appeared in all nine Premier League fixtures for Arsenal, etching his name on the score sheet three times and six in all competitions.
Robin van Persie's early season injury appears less of a concern now that Chamakh has filled into his role nicely, but upon the Dutchman's return, Arsene Wenger will have a flurry of offensive options in the final third.
The French Chamakh has developed a sturdy rapport with Arsenal's midfielders and only extends the fluid offense that Wenger implements.
He has brought a complete and well-rounded skill set to the pitch. He is clever on the ground and a force in the air.
Rafael Van Der Vaart, Tottenham
Just two hours before the transfer window closed in August, Spurs landed what has turned into the top signing of the summer.
For a bargained £8 million, Tottenham signed Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid. The Dutchman has already scored five times in all competitions for Spurs, including four goals in six league appearances.
With Jermain Defoe sidelined for some time with an injury, van der Vaart has picked up the scoring slack in a huge way, leading the team in goals.
He has slided nicely into Harry Redknapp's talented midfield and commands heavy attention from opposing defenses, which could turn into a deadly proposition once Defoe returns to health.
For now, van der Vaart tops this summer's list of signings.