The transfer window is not yet over, and there is still some time before the 2nd of September. However, before then and before the ‘greatest league in the world returns’, several clubs have been partaking some very astute dealings.
Here is a XI of what we feel is the best of the Transfer Window so far. We have picked imports only – which is to say players who are joining the Premier League from other leagues.
The formation is 4-2-3-1...
1) Marteen Stekelenburg (AS Roma to Fulham)
The Dutch number one will be hoping to revive an otherwise slightly stagnated career. His time in the Italian capital will not be a fondly remembered one. Joining Fulham however provides more than just redemption – in replacing the huge gloves left behind by Mark Schwarzer, he will also be following in the footsteps of his immediate predecessor at national level, Edwin Van Der Sar, who also once played for Fulham
Possible Substitutes : Adrian (Real Betis to West Ham)
2) Dejan Lovren (Lyon to Southampton)
Not a right back per se, and that is a consequence of the lack of investment by Premier League clubs during this window for that position. He does however represent dependability at the back. A good passer of the ball and reads the game well. Should add to Southampton’s defence which at times last season lacked concentration at crucial times.
3) Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk to West Ham)
Outside of the top European nations, the Romanian is probably the best left back around, with Champions League experience from several seasons with Shakhtar. His adventurous runs forward provide an attacking threat, and his early crossing will fit into Sam Allardyce’s game plan. If allowed space, that left foot can also unleash belters.
Possible Substitutes: Jordi Amat (Espanyol to Swansea City)
4) Erik Pieters (PSV to Stoke City)
Another Dutchman aiming to revive a career stagnated by a horrendous injury. His versatility means he can play at center back or at left back. Certainly a signing that proves Mark Hughes’s intent at overturning Stoke’s previous reductive long ball philosophy. In the process, Pieters will be hoping to regain his spot in the Dutch national team.
Possible Substitutes: Marc Muniesa (Barcelona to Stoke City)
5) Fernando Amorebieta (Atheltic Bilbao to Fulham)
The Venezuelan is the second man to be nicknamed ‘The Butcher of Bilbao.’ It is not his outrageous red card record that caught the eye of Martin Jol, but his ability to add the steel required to a team that will once more hope to build play from the back.
Possible Substitutes: Modibo Diakite (Lazio to Sunderland)
6) Paulinho (Corinthians to Tottenham Hotspur)
A dynamic holding midfielder who stated his ability with brilliant performances for Brazil as they became champions of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. Not only can he hold in front of defence, but like Yaya Toure can burst forward with beastly intent. He certainly adds to Andre-Villas Boas options as the Spurs manager seeks a perfect midfield triangle.
Possible Substitutes: Victor Wanyama (Celtic to Southampton), Marco Van Ginkel (Vitesse to Chelsea), Jose Canas (Real Betis to Swansea City)
7) Jesus Navas (Sevilla to Manchester City)
Explosive down the right wing, he adds to the growing quality of Spanish players in the Premier League. Unlike most of them though, Navas will not be the one to provide control in midfield, but will use his pace to create chances from out wide. One who will relish the tempo of the Premier League.
8) Fernandinho (Shakthar Donetsk to Manchester City)
Another dynamic midfielder who can play a variety of roles from the base of midfield. His tentacle like legs bring back the memory of Patrick Vieira, while his astute distribution will be key to Manchester City’s possession. An upgrade of Gareth Barry.
Possible Substitutes: Cabral (FC Basel to Sunderland), Derek Boateng (Dnipro to Fulham)
9) Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla to Manchester City)
The highest scoring Spaniard in La Liga last season. Does not replace the power City lost when selling Mario Balotelli, but mixes the movement of Sergio Aguero with the finishing of Edin Dzeko beautifully. Will be buoyed by the fact that for years at Sevilla, he was the man on the end of Jesus Navas’s crosses, which he will hope to be once more as they find themselves as teammates.
Possible Substitutes: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo to Liverpool), Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (Sporting Lisbon to Norwich City), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar to Sunderland), Wilfried Bony (Vitesse to Swansea City), Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen to Cardiff City)
10) Stefan Jovetic (Fiorentina to Manchester City)
The most talented Montenegrin of his era, and probably, ever. His versatility means he can play on the left as a wing forward, a central striker, or just behind the striker. Pace and skill, great control as well as power on the ball. Can score from distance, tap ins, set pieces, headers as well as creativity that compliments his vision. May just be the signing of the season not just for City, but also across the whole League.
Possible Substitutes: Leroy Fer (FC Twente to Norwich City), Luis Alberto (Barcelona to Liverpool), Alejandro Pozuelo (Real Betis to Swansea City)
11) Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea)
The German adds width to an otherwise narrow attacking trio that plays behind Fernando Torres. With Jose Mourinho as manager, he is with the right manager who could make his talents elevate to the next level just as Angel Di Maria benefited at Real Madrid. Another versatile forward with the technique and positioning to become a true star.
Possible Substitutes: Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus to Sunderland), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona B to Everton), Nacer Chadli (FC Twente to Tottenham Hotspur)
Who would make your perfect XI?
image: © carca