Looking back at the summer transfer window of 2012, a total of £490 million pounds was spent on transfer fees by Premier League clubs. Some signings have soaked, some have sunk, and some are still trying to improve their new team’s fortunes. The biggest transfer moves are reflected upon here, being named in order of club, followed by fee. To avoid this list being longer than Harry Redknapp’s list of January targets, ‘Top’ transfers are judged in terms of price and also the speculated impact of the signing on their new club. Not every club’s dealings are in this list; this is a subjective article on the larger transfers in the window only. Here are my top 20 summer transfers and how they have done so far:
From: Malaga To: Arsenal Fee: £16.5m
Cazorla’s positive attitude and technical ability have quickly won the fans over at the Emirates. The Spanish playmaker has enjoyed an excellent start so far. 8 goals and 6 assists is an excellent return, however Cazorla is becoming less prominent in games where Jack Wilshere also plays alongside him. Overall has been an inspired signing so far and Arsenal’s best player by a distance. Hit.
From: Montpellier To: Arsenal Fee: £13m
The French target-man struggled initially to make his mark on the season, missing excellent chances in his first few games, firing wide when he only had the keeper to beat. Has held the ball up well and works hard, is starting to find his feet in English football over the past month or 2. Has also scored 8 goals which isn’t a bad return considering he doesn’t start every game, needs to kick on in the second half of the season. Jury’s out.
From: Koln To: Arsenal Fee: £11m
Podolski has over 100 caps in a highly-rated Germany team, but struggled with his last ‘big’ club – Bayern Munich – to make his mark in a team full of stars. Has been extremely inconsistent so far this season, often goes a number of matches without scoring and drift in and out of games. However 7 goals and 9 assists is no mean feat for a man still adapting to life in England. Jury’s out.
From: Genk To: Aston Villa Fee: £7m
Has been an absolute sensation, the only positive in a nightmare of seasons for Villa. Will rely heavily on him to fire them out of the relegation zone. Has (rightly or wrongly) kept Darren Bent out of the team, despite initially appearing to lack composure with his finishing. Has been a revelation so far though, with excellent hold-up play, good shooting, skill and an almost unrivalled ability in the air, leading to comparisons with Didier Drogba. Hit.
From: Lille To: Chelsea Fee: £32m
The highly-sought after Belgian playmaker started his Stamford Bridge career on fire, providing almost all the assists in Chelsea’s first few games. Has a great ability to link up with team-mates, is extremely agile and has started to chip in with more goals. He doesn’t appear willing to ever track back though, which puts pressure on the full back in the 4-2-3-1 system Chelsea play, and the ball-boy incident although harsh, may hint at a temperamental side on display when he realised the biggest clubs in England were after him in the summer. Jury’s out (for the price tag).
From: Internacional To: Chelsea Fee: £25m
The much admired midfielder is a talented playmaker, possessing 2 great feet and a swagger and style of all good Brazilians. Also can do a good job defensively and appears to possess a good tactical knowledge when having to mark defensive midfielders without the ball. However 1 league goal all season just isn’t good enough for a man costing £25 million, but you do get the sense that he is a signing slightly for the future as well as the present. Jury’s out.
From: Man Utd To: Fulham Fee: £5m
Oozes class and confidence and has revelled in moving to a club where he is unequivocally the main man. Dictates play from high up the pitch and rarely loses the ball, playing the game at his own (usually walking) pace. Is Fulham’s top scorer with over double of anyone else in the squad, and you feel without his contribution Fulham would be a lot more involved in the relegation scrap than they currently are. A snip at £5 million. Hit.
From: Swansea To: Liverpool Fee: £15m
Viewed as an important figure in Brendan Roger’s new look, slick Liverpool midfield engine, Allen as a pass completion ratio of over 90% so far this season and has started pretty much all of Liverpool’s games. Attacks usually start from the small Welshman, who is a composed presence in implementing Roger’s style of play on the pitch. Doesn’t do enough defensively or offensively, with 0 goals this season. Is often criticised by Liverpool fans for sideways passing lacking penetration or imagination, and they have a right to expect slightly more for the money paid. Miss.
From: Benfica To: Man City Fee: £15.8m
A similar player to Allen in that he has enjoyed an 89% pass completion ratio so far in his City career. Has endured a difficult start to life in the blue half of Manchester despite scoring on his debut against Stoke. Finds it hard to affect a game, doesn’t supply the security in midfield that his predecessor De Jong used to, and is being kept out the side by Gareth Barry. Only 9 appearances so far displays manager Roberto Mancini’s lack of faith in him. Miss.
Robin Van Persie
From: Arsenal To: Man Utd Fee: £24m
Has flown out of the blocks at Old Trafford, firing 22 goals in all competitions for United so far. Has scored against teams in the bottom half and the teams at the top, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City, making him a cult hero in quick-time. Both Mancini and Ferguson have said he could be the difference in the title race, and it is clear to see why Mancini is angry at missing out on the hitman. His all-round game is excellent and has provided 6 assists, will be central to United challenging on all 3 fronts in the second half of the season. Hit.
From: Bologna To: Southampton Fee: £12m
The much sought after Uruguayan chose Southampton as his destination over reported interest from both Liverpool and Spurs. Has warmed to the Premier League after a slow, injury-hit start, with 3 goals and 3 assists a decent return from 13 appearances. Is a good creative, slippery playmaker behind Rickie Lamberts’ battering-ram approach. Has a tendency to drift in and out of games and possibly shoots slightly too often when a pass is a better option. Jury’s out.
From: Wolves To: Sunderland Fee: £15m
£15 million seemed a lot of money at the time, but quite simply, Fletcher has been worth every penny. Fans may be forgiven for thinking Fletcher was the only attacking player Sunderland possessed such was the importance of his goals in a shy Sunderland attack. 10 goals in 21 assists have brought Sunderland priceless points, and will be relieved his team’s performances have picked up of late, possibly reducing the pressure on his shoulders to score. Hit.
From: Man City To: Sunderland Fee: £10m
Big things were expected of the England international after leaving the bit-part player status at City to become explosive winger-in-chief at Sunderland. Has failed to live up to expectations so far, but has kicked into life in the past month or so, looking more confident and sharp. 4 goals and 4 assists show a good all round threat, and a return to form in the second half of the season could result in more England caps for the talented winger. Jury’s out.
From: Real Vallecano To: Swansea Fee: £2m
Has been a sensation at Swansea. Various managers of Premier League clubs have claimed they could have signed the Spaniard, but credit to Michael Laudrup for his knowledge of the Spanish league to pluck this gem from La Liga. Great hold up play, work ethic, skill, agility and possesses a lethal ice-cold finish. Signing of the season so far with 13 goals in the league, could prove the signing of the decade after recently signing a new 5 year deal to stay in Wales. Hit.
From: Fulham To: Spurs Fee: £15m
Was linked with Man Utd in the summer for his dynamic, skilful play in the centre of midfield. Has looked extremely sharp early on and scored his first goal against Norwich. Hasn’t kicked on goal or assist-wise from there, with being out for a month in November not helping his form, but is an important component as the creator-in-chief for the Spurs’ midfield. Has provided 3 assists and will be looking to help boost Spurs into the Champions League places come the end of the season. Jury’s out.
From: Ajax To: Spurs Fee: £9.5m
Has looked a class act since he joined, filled in well at left back for the injured Assou-Ekotto earlier in the season, scoring in a memorable 3-2 victory at Old Trafford for his team. Seems like a real leader, is a tough tackler, has good positional awareness and is also good in the air. Has been a rock since being moved back into his preferred centre-back position and can also bring the ball out of defence if need be. Hit.
From: Lyon To: Spurs Fee: £8m
Faced an uncertain start to life in London as he appeared to be promised first-team football, but was kept out initially by the impressive American Brad Friedel. Has since established himself as the first choice keeper, hasn’t made a costly error as yet in a season where most keepers have, and has made a few fines saves showing why he is the French captain. Can only improve as he gets used to life in the hustle and bustle of the Premiership, is only 26 years old, and looks a steal at £8 million. Hit.
From: Chelsea To: West Brom Fee: Loan
Has helped fire West Brom to their lofty start in the Premier League. Has provided a good alternative for Shane Long’s mobile style up front for the Baggies. 9 goals and 2 assists is a fantastic return for the young Belgian quickly being labelled ‘the next Drogba’. On his day can terrorise any team as he has 2 good feet, good dribbling skills, a ferocious shot, neat link up play and is as powerful as anyone in the Premiership. Will be a great player for Chelsea in the future, West Brom have got the loan signing of the season. Hit.
From: Wolves To: West Ham Fee: £10.75m
The much-coveted winger switched to newly-promoted West Ham for a hefty deal closing in on £11 million. Hasn’t displayed any of the form he showed for Wolves last season leading to him being linked with an England call up. A paltry 1 goal and 0 assists so far this season is a poor record for an expensive signing, and needs to work harder in the second half of the season for his team. Miss.
From: Liverpool To: West Ham Fee: Loan
Had a great start to his stint at the Hammers, where he linked up with old chum Kevin Nolan instantly. Goals have been a problem for the big man, and are usually a pretty important factor in judging strikers. Has been unfortunate with injuries as well meaning he hasn’t had a consistent run of games so far under Big Sam, but appears to be a great deal considering West Ham didn’t pay a fee. Could be an important player if West Ham manage to avoid sliding into the relegation dogfight. Miss (so far).