As the transfer window builds to its natural crescendo tomorrow with deadline day, here is a look at the most expensive five deals from last season, and how they have panned out.
Peter Crouch - Tottenham to Stoke - £12 million
If you asked many people who the most expensive player was on deadline day last year, not many would accurately guess Peter Crouch. But the striker who had led Tottenham to a memorable victory at AC Milan months before had found himself surplus to requirements in the wake of Adebayor's loan arrival at the club. He had experienced a tough end to the season at Spurs, with a red card against Real Madrid and scoring an own goal against Manchester City which preluded Harry Redknapp's decision to shake things up. Stoke was viewed as the perfect fit for him, with his frame and playing style suited to their preferred method of attack. He started well with a goal against Manchester United, and ended the season with a memorable volley against Manchester City, and his 14 goals in all competitions was a decent return. 10 of those came in the Premier League, and he would have been hoping to push that towards 15. He scored in the League Cup against Swindon in midweek, and will hope it is the first of many this season. Has it been a success? Moderately so, but he missed out on Euro 2012, and needed a bigger season to convince Roy Hodgson he was worth taking, so a bit mixed overall.
Bryan Ruiz - Twente to Fulham - £10.6 million
Who? Many Fulham and Premier League fans were left asking when Fulham spent a substantial part of their transfer budget on the forward. But those who had followed the Costa Rican's progress with Gent in Belgium and Twente in Holland knew all about the striker's goalscoring ability, he had scored more than 60 over a five year spell. At first, he appeared to struggle to adapt to the Premier League, but showed what he was capable of with an excellent chipped effort against Bolton. But he only scored twice, but his deeper role means the goalscoring is less of a problem if he is creating them, and he provided four assists. As time has gone on, he has appeared more and more settled, and really playing an important role under Martin Jol's management, and there are high expectations for him this season. With a promising pre-season behind him, and signs of good form early on, this is the campaign where Fulham will hope to really get their money's worth. Has it been a success? So far not entirely, but there are promising signs, this will be his year.
Mikel Arteta - Everton to Arsenal - £10 million
Mikel Arteta is a testament to the whirlwind excitement of transfer deadline day, as in the days before it had seemed as though he was truly an Everton player, starring in a back-to-the-wall win over Blackburn at Ewood Park. Days later he was back at the stadium in an Arsenal shirt, scoring as his new side went down 4-3. Arsenal had suffered a terrible start to the season, and an hammering at Old Trafford had finally convinced manager Arsene Wenger that new faces needed to be brought in. Arteta's move was on, then it was off, then it was sealed with hours to spare, and the Spaniard adapted excellently. Initial comparisons with Cesc Fabregas were unkind, they are two different types of player, but Arteta played a key role in steadying the Arsenal midfield and helping them go on a winning run through October and November. He scored his fair share too, including a joyful winner against Manchester City which had appeared to have cost them the title. After that he got injured and Arsenal's late form fell apart as they limped over the line into third spot, underlining just how important the Spaniard had become. Has it been a success? Absolutely.
Andre Santos - Fenerbahce to Arsenal - £6.2 million
The left-back was another deadline day addition to Arsenal's ranks, brought in because of Kieran Gibbs' injury problems, and Arsene Wenger giving up on Armand Traore. The Brazilian was given a rough introduction to Premier League football in the away defeat to Blackburn, and still is yet to convince he has what it takes defensively. When he came in it was his attacking talents he was most renowned for, and that showed early on, when he bagged an early goal against Olympiakos at the Emirates in the Champions League. He would score two other important goals, one in the unforgettable 5-3 away win at Stamford Bridge, and one crucial strike on the final day at West Brom to help secure third place for the Gunners with a 3-2 victory. It was an injury in the away tie to Olympiakos when he suffered an injury just as he was hitting his stride. Wenger would later admit, with hindsight of course, to regret playing him with the Gunners already assured of qualification. When he returned, Kieran Gibbs would be first choice, and his playing time became limited. This season he has began it on the substitute's bench, and faces a fight to win back his place. Has he been a success? If only for the final day goal against West Brom, yes, but his real challenge begins now.
Scott Parker - West Ham to Tottenham - £5 million
The most astounding thing to note about Scott Parker's late move to Tottenham was that it had taken until deadline day for anybody to sign him from Championship club West Ham. He was the reigning Football Writers Player of the Year, and had just established himself in the England set up. His impact upon his move to Spurs was immediate, helping them go on a winning run which saw them rise up to third place by January and start talk of a title challenge. It later fell apart and they slipped to fourth, and the blame was pinned on manager Harry Redknapp for overplaying Parker and not resting him when he could have rotated Sandro and electing to keep Steven Pienaar. It was no fault of Parker, who was battling niggling injury by the season's end, but went onto play a key role in England's Euro 2012 campaign, solidifying his reputation as one of the country's top midfielders. Injury has prevented him from playing a part so far this season, and there is even talk of Andre Villas-Boas putting him up for sale. There would be no shortage of takers. Has it been a success? Yes it has, and will continue to be unless his manager makes a hasty decision to sell.
How do you think the moves have panned out? Will there be more expensive deals this year?
image: © Mafue