Here is our list of the top ten summer signings for the coming Barclays Premier League season:
10) Gary Medel
Affectionately nicknamed the Pitbull from his time at Universidad Catolica, Medel will prove to be worth his weight in gold for Cardiff this season. A tenacious midfield battler who will aggressively protect the defence, he is equally at home at anywhere along the back-line if called upon. The example he sets on and off the pitch will be crucial for Cardiff City’s fight to survive their debut season in the Premier League.
9) Jozy Altidore
His second spell in England after a disastrous period at Hull City, Altidore will be out to prove the doubters wrong and has never found himself in a stronger bout of form. He rebuilt his career in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar and is creating an ever more important role in the USMNT. With all the skills to succeed at Sunderland and having already learned through failure in England, Altidore returns with a point to prove.
A pivotal part of the Corinthians side that won both the 2012 Copa Libertadores and then the subsequent World Club Championship, and more recently with Brazil in the Confederations Cup, Paulinho comes to London with hype surrounding him. A very reliable and tactically aware and disclipined player, a perfect fit of Villas-Boas’ tactics and one who will added steel to an often fragile Spurs. Will Paulinho be the first big name Brazilian to really shine in at the highest level in the Premier League?
7) Jesus Navas
The former Sevilla winger was notoriously reluctant to leave his hometown as he believed he would become too homesick to thrive abroad, he has eventually made the jump to Englad, much to the terror of left-backs all over the league. A truly thrilling player and one who will provide a directness the likes of Milner just never could.
6) Etienne Capoue
A great signing by Spurs as Capoue is one of those players who brings perfect balance to a team, not only in his own game but in his direction of others. With no real obvious weaknesses, the best phrase to describe him is ‘simple but effective’, and with the likes of Sandro and Paulinho alongside him, that is a midfield trio that will physically boss every other they come across. The only real issue however is the lack of combined creativity they pose.
5) Stevan Jovetic
After returning from a long term lay-off due to a cruciate ligament injury, Jovetic became a real leader in Florence and last season went a long way to re-capturing the promise he showed pre-injury. This is the move that will determine whether that potential to be a top top player is still there and with Pellegrini conducting City’s orchestra, there will be no better place for him. Signings such as Jovetic and Navas go a long way in showing Manchester City have been very careful in selection of their attackers this time around, both are a million miles from the selfish nature Tevez and Balotelli displayed in Manchester.
4) Victor Wanyama
A player who would’ve walked into any starting team in this league and a real coup for Southampton. Powerful but precise, Wanyama can be called upon as a midfield anchor or as a centre-back. Smart, mobile and hungry to improve himself, it is near impossible to see him failing in the Premier League. The Saints are quickly becoming an ambitious club and with Wanyama they have an extremely ambitious player to match that. A good partnership and one Southampton will make only but profit from.
3) Andrea Schurrle
Devastating on the left and he will stalk the nightmares of right-backs up and down England, expect to regularly see the sight of him cutting in from the left onto his right-foot to seek out the far corner. The decision to move to Chelsea was a brave one considering the World Cup is only a season away and with competition at that left wing position being heavily stacked a Stamford Bridge with De Bruyne and Hazard there, Schurrle will quickly have to make that role his own.
2) Wilfried Bony
Swansea stated their ambition early into the market with this signing and it will be fascinating to see how he handles England. He was a one man army in the Eredivise for Vitesse and if he can spark a working relationship with Michu, don’t be surprised to see Daddy Cool hit 18+ goals in his debut season in England and drive Swansea into the top seven places.
1) Roberto Soldado
Exactly the striker Spurs have been begging out for in a long time. Soldado is a world class finisher, cut throat and as cold as ice in in front of goal. Soldado was essential in providing Valencia with Champions League football after the departures of David Silva and David Villa. A clear upgrade over both Adebayor and Defoe, Spurs have themselves a striker entering the form of his life and one who will score just as many goals (if not more) than Gareth Bale in the upcoming season, if Bale stays of course. With an acquisition of this quality, it is not too far-fetched to see Spurs as title contenders in 2013/14.