Sportsmail’s Top 10 EPL signings of the season
They were the players brought in, invariably at great expense, carrying even greater hope of transforming the fortunes of their new club.
A massive £760million was invested over two transfer windows, each addition going on to enjoy varying degrees of success, or otherwise.
Here, Sportsmail runs you through our top 10 signings of the 2013-14 Premier League season…
Who nets top spot in our Top 10 best Premier League signings?
10. Willian (Chelsea)
Here’s what you could have won, Spurs fans. The Brazilian was all set for White Hart Lane until Chelsea intervened and took him to west London in a £32m deal. The energy and endeavour of the livewire midfielder is in stark contrast to those signings who wound up at Spurs. Only Christian Eriksen threatened to populate this list, but Willian just shades it for the final spot in our top 10.
Eyes on the prize: Willian almost signed for Spurs while Dejan Lovren is the only defender to make our top 10
9. Dejan Lovren (Southampton)
The Croat is the only defender to make our top 10 but his performances on the south coast this season make him a worthy resident. An £8.5m arrival from Lyon, he is both classy and composed but with no shortage of steel and has been one of the key components in Southampton’s success this season. 8. Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City)
Yes, the Spaniard has fallen away in the second half of the season – his last league goal came on January 12 – but his impact in the early months of the campaign was sensational and he has scored 23 goals since his £20m arrival from Sevilla. In the absence of Sergio Aguero he kept City’s goal return ticking over and his physicality has brought a new dimension to City’s forward line.
Fallen away: But Alvaro Negredo, pictured here ahead of Man City’s win over Aston Villa, has scored 23 times
Negredo scores with spectacular scissor-kick strike in training
7. James McCarthy (Everton)
Before his £13m move to Goodison Park, the majority of football fans outside of Wigan did not know their McCarthys from their McArthurs. But this James has certainly made a name for himself this season. Boasting brains as well as bite, the Republic of Ireland midfielder is very quickly becoming a terrace favourite with the Toffees and Roberto Martinez’s decision to bring McCarthy with him to Merseyside has proved inspired.
Doing the business: Nemanja Matic (left) and James McCarthy in action for Chelsea and Everton respectively
6. Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)
At £21m, the Serb’s return to Stamford Bridge came at a hefty cost. Matic, though, could prove a snip. He has added steel and composure to a Chelsea midfield in desperate need of an anchoring presence in recent seasons. Matic has done nothing but impress since January and the best is arguably still to come. 5. Loic Remy (Newcastle)
Without the loanee’s goals Newcastle may well have found themselves dragged in to a scrap at the bottom of the table. The France forward has plundered 14 times and will surely start next season playing Champions League football, as is his wish. Remy is certainly deserving of the continent’s biggest stage on the evidence of this season.
In black and white: Loic Remy is set for Champions League football next term after impressing on loan
4. Wilfried Bony (Swansea City)
Players prised from the Dutch league have not always enjoyed a smooth transition into the English game. Bony, though, has proved a resounding success; his 24 goals bear testimony to that. Alert, agile and with a killer instinct, the 25-year-old Ivorian is deserving of his place in our top five. 3. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace)
Initially a loan signing before making permanent his stay in January, the journeyman midfielder has arguably made the difference in Palace’s survival bid. Indeed, his seven goals in 2014 have all added points to the tally which sees the Eagles well clear of danger entering the final game.
Puncheon has even been suggested as a wildcard pick for England’s World Cup squad, such has been his form in the second half of the season.
Making an impact: Jason Puncheon and Wilfried Bony have starred for Crystal Palace and Swansea in 2013/14
2. Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
A loan signing, yes, but shrewd nonetheless. The Belgian’s goals – 14 of his 17 coming in the league – took Everton mightily close to a Champions League finish.
Still just 20 years old, Lukaku has amplified his reputation as one of the game’s most promising talents and that is before he leads the line for Belgium at this summer’s World Cup.
On the evidence of this season in the blue of Everton, it would be staggering were he not given a chance in the blue of Chelsea next term, especially when their frontmen have all failed to outscore their club-mate.
On target: Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, has scored 17 goals this term
FOOTBALL FREESTYLE with Romelu Lukaku
1. Fernandinho (Manchester City)
The £30m capture of the Brazilian anchorman last summer was not met with too much fanfare. It was an under-the-radar signing and so, we assumed, Fernandinho was an understated type happy to go about his business with minimum fuss.
The 29-year-old, however, has proved so much more, adding craft, graft and even goals to the City engine room. He has been a real class act but, the factor which sees him elevated to the summit of our list, is his consistency. The former Shakhtar man has been a dependable presence at the heart of a side which looks destined to finish the season as champions.
Key man: Fernandinho (right) has starred for Manchester City this season since his £30million summer arrival
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