As we approach the half way point of the January transfer window, it is time to turn our attention away from the lack of activity and judge how some of the summer's Premier League signings have faired so far.
The summer of 2013 was a busy one and whilst we saw buckets of cash thrown about in one corner, we witnessed a whole host of low budget purchases in another.
For bigger clubs, big money can be wasted but it can also be utilised. Smaller clubs must spend their budget wisely, and in some cases a shrewd piece of business may just mean the difference between relegation and safety.
Premiership survival, winning the title or European qualification; all are comparable achievements depending on the realistic limitations of your club; and acquiring the right personnel is often paramount to gaining success in any area of the league.
Here is part three, featuring players selected 1-5 in our countdown of the top signings of the season to date:
5. Tom Huddlestone - £5 million (Tottenham Hotspur - Hull City)
Unfortunately for Spurs, it seems as though every player they offloaded to league rivals is having a tremendous season at their new clubs. Tom Huddlestone has been simply outstanding for Steve Bruce's side. His solid and reliable displays have led Hull to cement themselves safely in the middle of the table for the time being at least. He marked the end to his goal drought with a ceremonious haircut and he may well be adding to that tally if he intends on making the flight to Brazil.
4. Mathieu Flamini - Free transfer (AC Milan - Arsenal)
Arsenal have churned out a few wins against the kind of physical opposition that they have struggled to overcome in recent years. The free signing from Milan - in his second term at the club - has provided a much needed boost to Arsenal's revitalised midfield. If Arsenal are to offer up a real challenge for the title this year then Flamini is the sort of player who will give them with the much needed discipline to pick up vital points along the way.
3. Mesut Ozil - £42.5 million (Real Madrid - Arsenal)
A slightly obvious pick given his big money move but then again, he has fitted so perfectly into a somewhat physically demanding league and with no obvious hampering to his creative aptitude. His entire approach and technique is so in tune with the style that Arsene Wenger likes his teams to play, it almost feels like the most sensible £42.5 million that he could have spent. In any business it would be hard to justify forking out such a large amount of money, however football is a crazy industry and unlike many other giant investments made by Premier League clubs in the past decade, he definitely looks set to be a long term one.
2. Alvaro Negredo - £16.4 million (Sevilla - Man City)
His physical attributes have proved the perfect foil for Sergio Aguero's speed and agility, and in the absence of the little Argentinian, he has managed to pose a very significant goal threat when partnered with Eden Dzeko. £16.4 million is a very reasonable price when you consider what Spurs paid for his underachieving compatriot, Roberto Soldado. With half the season gone, Negredo has bagged 18 goals in all competitions for a free-scoring Manchester City and will certainly be looking to double that tally by May.
1. Steven Caulker - £8million (Tottenham Hotspur - Cardiff City)
Deemed surplus to requirements by Andre Villas-Boas and the Premier League's newcomers moved quickly to snap him up. Spurs affectively swapped Caulker for a Romanian defender who, despite a few good performances, has on occasion looked scarily out of his depth. In contrast, Caulker has matured into a player who offers the sort of consistent work-rate which Spurs are so desperately missing this season. Solid at the back and a significant goal threat at set pieces, Steven Caulker must surely be adding to his solitary international cap sooner than later.
image: © Christopher Elkins