Top 10 English Premier League signings, summer 2015
10. Xherdan Shaqiri
Signed for Stoke from Inter Milan, R255 million.
One of the more surprising summer transfers saw the Swiss International winger join a mid-table side more known for their aggressive style of play than any attacking flair. Mark Hughes, now in his third season in charge, has done a lot to dispel that notion, and in bringing in Xherdan, Stoke’s record signing, he would have certainly made a statement to that. While a lot of people have questioned his move to lesser known stoke, nobody is doubting that the club has scored a top winger, and one that is physically perfect for the Premier League.
9. Yohan Cabaye
Signed for Crystal Palace from Paris Saint-Germain, R208 million.
Eighteen months after making a dream move to French giants PSG, Cabaye heads back to England in search of regular first team football ahead of the 2016 Euros. He is reunited with his former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, and has become the club’s record signing in the process. The versatile midfielder is set to play a key part in club’s bid to enter Europe, after two consecutive mid table finishes.
8. James Milner
Signed for Liverpool from Manchester City, free.
With Steven Gerrard moving on, Liverpool moved quickly to replace his experience and leadership with English International Milner. His deeper role and defensive work will allow his fellow midfielders more time to focus on getting forward, while he retains a fantastic shot when given space. An astute signing from a club that has splashed a lot on some questionable deals the past few seasons.
7. Morgan Schneiderlin
Signed for Manchester United from Southampton, R510 million.
A key part of the Southampton side that went from the League One all the way up to the Premier league, Morgan has been the target for several of the English elite for some time. After a season which saw Manchester United rotate their midfield frequently, the signing of the French international is set to give them some stability. His defensive work and accurate passing will be a boon to the United midfield, with future midfield signings likely to be based off of his style of play.
6. Dimitri Payet
Signed for West Ham from Marseille, R223 million.
West Ham has gone on a bit of a recruitment drive over the summer, with Dimitri Payet being their most expensive and highest profile signing. The French International midfielder excels playing in an advanced midfield position, and is equally adept at playing wide. He brings creativity that was nonexistent at West Ham last season, and has fit in perfectly under new Hammers coach Slaven Bilic.
5. Memphis Depay
Signed for Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven, R659 million.
The star of the 2014/15 Eredivisie and the driving force behind PSV’s league win, Memphis scored a 28 goals in 40 appearances which saw him attract the attention of Europe’s elite. A move to United happened early in the window, with Louis van Gaal desperate to land his compatriot who he capped for the national side back in 2013. A modern winger with great goal scoring ability, Memphis has attracted comparisons between himself and Portuguese wonder footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. United fans will certainly be excited over their new prolific winger.
4. Andre Ayew
Signed for Swansea from Marseille, free transfer.
The Ghanaian forward made a surprise move to Welsh side Swansea after his contract ended at Marseille. His partnership with former Lyon rival Bafétimbi Gomis has yielded 7 goals in 4 matches between them, with the Swans looking very deadly up front against top sides Chelsea and Manchester United. Ayew looks perfect for the Premier League, and considering he joined for fee, it could prove to be a fantastic piece of business in the long term.
3. Nicolas Otamendi
Signed for Manchester City from Valencia, R606 million.
Nicolas was the star man in the Valencia defense last season, helping them back into the Spanish top four after several seasons drifting down the table. His transfer saga started while the previous season was winding down, with Manchester United looking firm favourites to land the Argentine International before he joined rivals City towards the end of the transfer window after United baulked at his asking price. City will be desperate to challenge for the title after a disappointing 2014/15 campaign by their standards (and wage bill), and Nicolas will play a big part in ensuring their defense improves on last season.
Signed for Chelsea from Barcelona, R445 million.
The veteran Spanish international winger seemed so likely to end up at Manchester United, but a last minute move by Chelsea saw one of the most decorated players in world football end up at Stamford Bridge. He adds pace and quick feet to a Chelsea side that was accused of being too conservative in their title winning season of 2014/15, while settling in shouldn’t be an issue with Spanish International team-mates Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas lining up with him.
1. Petr Čech
Signed for Arsenal from Chelsea, R208 million.
After dropping down the pecking order at Chelsea behind Belgian wonder keeper Thibaut Courtois last season, Čech was bound to move on. He was granted his request of staying in London, and a move to rivals Arsenal was one of the early highlights of the transfer window. His arrival has seen the erratic Wojciech Szczęsny go out on loan, with Arsenal finally finding some stability between the goal posts. A phenomenally gifted goalkeeper with a number of seasons remaining, Arsenal should be immensely pleased for securing his signing.