Premier League’s signings of the season so far

 

As we approach the halfway point in the 2012/13 season of the Barclays Premier League, the talk surrounding signing of the season has begun to gather pace. So who has been the signing of the season so far?

On Monday evening Arsenal put five goals past Reading with their £15 million summer signing, SantiCazorla, bagging himself a hat trick. The Spaniard has adjusted to the Premier League very quickly and having already scored seven goals in just 17 games along with four assists, his excellent start to the season has shown no sign of slowing down. The former Malaga midfielder has proved to be a great signing by Arsene Wenger and it will be key to Arsenal that his superb early season form can continue.

One of the highest profile summer signings was Robin Van Persie’s switch from the Emirates to Old Trafford. On the 4th July 2012, Van Persie announced that he would not be signing a new contract with Arsenal, alerting rivals Manchester United. He eventually signed for United for a fee of £24 million, shocking the Gunners’ faithful. Many believed Van Persie had peaked the previous season and that he wouldn’t come near the 30 goals he scored in the 2011/12 Premier League season. However, he has begun life at Old Trafford in a very positive manner having scored 12 goals and provided five assists in 17 games. If Manchester United do go on to win the league, the Dutch International will have played a huge role in their triumph.

DimitarBerbatov has made a great start to his Fulham career since he moved to Craven Cottage and is proving to be a real bargain having cost just £4 million. He scored twice in his home debut against West Bromwich Albion and has gone on to score five goals so far this season as well as providing three assists. It’s fair to say Berbatov’s time at Old Trafford was disappointing but his performances so far this season have shown why Sir Alex spent so much money on him back in 2008.

Following Wolves’ relegation from the Premier League, striker Steven Fletcher submitted a transfer request. He moved to Sunderland for £12 million. Potentially rising to £14 million and despite the hefty price tag it has proved to be a great bit of business by the Black Cats. Sunderland have endured a tough season so far and without Fletcher and his seven vital goals, they would be even worse off. Fletcher’s excellent start to the season saw him win the Barclays Player of the Month award for September and his goals will be key to Sunderland staying in England’s top flight.

Christian Benteke was an unfamiliar name to the Premier League until Aston Villa signed the 6ft 3 striker from Genk for £7 million. He scored on his Villa debut in a 2-0 win over Swansea City after coming on as a substitute. Since then Benteke has gone from strength to strength helping Villa reach the last four of the Capital One Cup. The Belgian International has already netted eight goals in all competitions with his stand out performances earning him praise throughout the country.

A great summer signing doesn’t have to score goals. Just look at West Bromwich Albion’s Claudio Yacob and West Ham United’s Mohamed Diame. The two defensive midfielders have been instrumental to their teams’ great starts to the season. Yacob signed for the Baggies on a free transfer from Racing Club de Avellaneda and was awarded man of the match in his home debut against Liverpool. The Argentinean has proved to be a real bargain and has become one of Albion’s key players this season. West Brom already have an excellent defensive midfielder in Mulumbu, however, Yacob puts his body on the line with last ditch tackles and has allowed Mulumbu to clean up and spread the play. They really do complement each other well on the pitch.

Mohamed Diame was also signed on a free transfer and joined West Ham after being released by Wigan at the end of last season. He made his Hammers debut in their 1-0 win over Aston Villa and scored his first goal for the club in their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal. Diame is currently out injured which will be a huge blow to Sam Allardyce’s side having made such a big impact in the Premier League so far this season.

Finally, in my personal opinion I believe the signing of the season so far has to be Michu. The attacking midfielder signed for Swansea for just £2 Million from RayoVallecano and has been a breath of fresh air to the Premier League this season. The Spaniard has already netted 12 goals in 17 games which leaves him top scorer in the league so far. On his league debut, he scored twice and provided an assist in a 5-0 away win against Queens Park Rangers. He has maintained his phenomenal start to the season by scoring a late double against Arsenal at the Emirates which sent the Swans up to seventh in the league. If you look at the consistent performances from Michu this season, it is quite hard to believe how Swansea managed to get him for just £2 million. He is an absolute bargain and that’s why I believe he has been the signing of the season so far.

Andrew Floyd