A top five list comprising of the signings of the season that includes just one player from the big four? I must be barmy right? But in all honesty there hasn’t been that many truly remarkable signings across the board during a Premier League campaign that has certainly been one of the best ever.
But even with the introduction of world class players to the Premier League mix, there were still a couple that deserve to be noticed for their ability to make an impact for their new club. Some made the switch from one Premier League club to another — while others made the jump from an entirely different league where the playing style was significantly different from that of the rough and tumble in England.
Although I’m not too hard pressed to come up with five and while you will be sure to contest them, here they are for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
5. Wilson Palacios
I’ve got nothing but praise for Palacios especially when you consider that he has been playing superbly well for Tottenham during a season in which his younger brother had been held in captivity before being brutally murdered. I don’t think I would have coped to be honest.
I ridicule anyone that calls this a sympathy vote because the Honduran has been a tremendous acquisition at White Hart Lane, protecting the back four and affording the likes of Modric and Lennon the freedom to probe forward.
The industrious former Wigan star has made that holding midfield berth his own at Spurs and at £14 million, Harry Redknapp will surely do a lot worse than that in the market.
4. Marouane Fellaini
The Belgian may deserve to be on this list purely for sporting such an impressive afro but Marouane Fellaini has proved there is so much more in his locker than just his excessively big hair.
It had seemed that David Moyes was taking something of a gamble when he made the decision to land this relatively unknown 20-year-old from Standard Liege for a club record £15 million.
Although fast-forward eight months and Fellaini’s signing appears a master stroke as his debut season with the Toffees has yielded an impressive eight league goals, relinquishing some of the pressure from a certain Australian in the process. A striking presence too (no I’m not referring to his barnet again), Fellaini has often more than capably helped cover in the centre forward position too.
3. Andrei Arshavin
He was being tracked by every manager and his dog (yes even Roy Keane was probably interested) after his successful campaign at that tournament that England failed to qualify for. I forget the name now. Fortunately for Arsenal fans, their trusty French leader realised the former Zenit man’s potential and eventually stumped up the £15 million odd required in January.
Arshavin has revitalised the Gunners since moving to the Emirates and we can only begin to ponder how different their season may have been had he signed during the summer months.
They say the Premier League and English football can be the toughest environment for a foreign import to adapt to. Well obviously no-one told Arshavin as made a mockery of that statement with his six goals and ten assists in just eleven domestic matches.
2. Abdoulaye Faye
You’ll no doubt look at this selection with an element of surprise and I’m sure many quarters would be pushing for another Stoke player to make the list. One James Beattie ofcourse.
And yes while Beattie has clearly been a huge catalyst in propelling Stoke up the table since January, the contributions of Abdoulaye Faye from the off have arguably been of much greater significance.
Having started all but two league games this season the Senegalese international has been a commanding presence at the back for City in easing any pre-Premier League relegation fears. He was recently voted the club’s Player of the Year by supporters and his team-mates and he has also aptly stood in and captained the side on many occasions. Not bad for a debut season eh.
1. Mark Schwarzer
In all fairness, this Aussi stopper was probably gearing up for a season of fighting against relegation when he first opted to join Roy Hodgon’s revolution at Craven Cottage.
Yet after a terrific season by all standards and estimations, Fulham have found themselves flirting with the European places and Schwarzer has undoubtedly played a massive part.
Often unbeatable between the sticks this season, the former Middlesbrough goalkeeper can proudly state that he has started every game in the league for the Cottagers, with Fulham conceding less than anyone else outside of the top three (even Arsenal). Take a bow Mr Schwarzer as you are my undisputed (well we’ll see!) Premier League signing of the season.