Friday, April 22, 2011

Premier League's 10 best transfers of the 2010-11 season

The transfer window produces its fair share of flop signings as clubs aim to boost their chances of a highest possible finish in the Premier League, but it cannot be denied that some real gems are also unearthed in the process too.

Clubs up and down England's top flight this season have made significant movements in the transfer market throughout the summer and winter windows, and Goal.com UK is celebrating the pick of the bunch in a top 10 countdown.

We judged the 10 best transfers for 2010-11 based on:
  • The player's overall contribution (this being the most important factor)
  • How the player fitted into his new line-up
  • How quickly the player adapted to his new surroundings, and vice-versa
  • The transfer fee paid, if any, and any other financial details known. (Transfer fees unconfirmed by either club or otherwise unknown are given as approximations and are marked in italics.)
Among those who just missed out on making the cut were Asamoah Gyan, Sandro, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Demba Ba, Ramires, and Darren Bent.

So who have been the most eye-catching performers to arrive in England over the past season? Goal.com UK examines the candidates to find a definitive top 10 of quality performers for their new clubs.


10) Peter ODEMWINGIE



Appearances: 28

Goals Scored: 12
West Brom from Lokomotiv Moscow - £1m

Signed by Roberto Di Matteo to add strength to the newly-promoted Baggies' front line, the Nigerian took to the Premier League from Russia with the minimum of fuss.

The former Lokomotiv Moscow striker has scored 12 goals in his 28 appearances for West Brom, and his contribution in his debut season in England has seen the side, now managed by Roy Hodgson, manage to climb to 11th in the table in their efforts to avoid immediate relegation back to the Championship.


9) Cheik TIOTE


Appearances: 24

Goals Scored: 1
Newcastle FC from Twente - £3.5m

Signed from Dutch champions Twente, the midfielder wasted no time in quickly adapting to the Premier League when he joined Newcastle towards the end of August 2010.

Tiote's simple but effective style of play has caught the eye on many occasions this season, and despite picking up 10 yellow cards, several managers in the top flight would surely have loved to have snatched up the Ivorian for a relatively small sum of just £3.5m. His wonder strike against Arsenal in a 4-4 draw is just one highlight of a glimmering first season.


8) David SILVA


Appearances: 46
Goals Scored: 6
Manchester City from Valencia - £26m

Roberto Mancini and big-spending Manchester City spent a large sum on acquiring a member of Spain's World Cup-winning squad, and within a handful of games it was easy to see why.

The former Valencia man broke his goalscoring duck after just five games and has been referred to by Mancini as his Eastlands 'Trequartista'. A continuation of his exemplary season thus far could see City secure the final Champions League place for next season. When City were without Silva in the 3-0 defeat against Liverpool, his absence was clearly sorely felt.


7) Raul MEIRELES


Appearances: 37
Goals Scored: 5
Liverpool from Porto - £11.5m

An arrival towards the end of the summer transfer window, the signing of the Portugal international in late August was a surpising one, perhaps made due to the loss of Javier Mascherano, who opted to join Barcelona.

It took the Portuguese a short time to settle, but Meireles has since embraced his role at Anfield, scoring in five games out of six in a crucial spell that helped Liverpool away from a potential disastrous debut season for him and towards European qualification.


6) Luis SUAREZ


Appearances: 8
Goals Scored: 2
Liverpool from Ajax - £22.8m

A January signing during what Kenny Dalglish was probably hoping would be a relatively quiet winter transfer window, which ultimately saw him lose £50m striker Fernando Torres.

Suarez wasted no time in scoring, picking up a debut goal against Stoke and netting with a fine strike against Sunderland towards the end of March. The Uruguayan also endeared himself to Liverpool fans by turning in a performance of the highest calibre against bitter rivals Manchester United as the Reds ran out 3-1 winners.


5) Chris SMALLING


Appearances: 29
Goals Scored: 1
Manchester United from Fulham - £10m

Sir Alex Ferguson actually announced in January 2010 that Smalling would be arriving at Old Trafford during pre-season of the same year, and following a few performances, it was easy to see why the Scot was keen to wrap the deal up.

Smalling has excelled for United this season, largely in the absence of the vastly experienced Rio Ferdinand, and at 21 years of age the former Fulham man looks like he could be the figurehead of the United defence for many years to come.


4) David LUIZ


Appearances: 8
Goals Scored: 2
Chelsea from Benfica - £21m

While fellow January signing Fernando Torres is yet to hit the target for his new club, central defender David Luiz has wasted no time in establishing himself as a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge following two decisive goals against Manchester United and City.

At just 23, Luiz has demanded a relatively high transfer fee but has shown all the signs of justifying his £21m price tag with the Blues, while drastic changes could be happening around him.


3) William GALLAS


Appearances: 31
Goals Scored: 0
Tottenham from Unattached - Free

Spurs fans had their reservations regarding the signing of the former Arsenal defender, but manager Harry Redknapp described the move as a no-brainer, and the Frenchman has repaid his boss's faith in him.

Two performances stick out as the ones that could yet endear Gallas to the Tottenham faithful; his stellar display against former club Arsenal in which Spurs won 3-2, and the Champions League home leg against AC Milan in which the centre-back cleared a certain goal off the line, thus preserving himself in White Hart lane folklore.


2) Rafael VAN DER VAART


Appearances: 30
Goals Scored: 12
Tottenham from Real Madrid - £8m

Bought for the surprisingly low sum of just £8m, Van der Vaart quickly became a star man at White Hart Lane, climbing the scoring charts, reaching double figures in no time during his first season in England.

His performances may have slightly tailed off towards the end of the season, but the Dutchman certainly played a crucial part in keeping Spurs in the race for fourth place, while scoring some crucial goals in the Champions League before Redknapp's side were beaten in the quarter-finals by his old club.


1) Javier HERNANDEZ


Appearances: 38
Goals Scored: 18
Manchester United from Guadalajara - £8m

Potentially one of the best buys in Premier League history, Chicharito had been monitored by the club for a couple of years before they finally got their man in the summer of 2010.

Hernandez has scored some vital goals for United in his debut season at the club, few more important than his double in the Champions League last 16 second leg against Marseille at Old Trafford. "We've stolen him," said Sir Alex Ferguson about the signing, and with every performance from Chicharito the statement rings more and more true.

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