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 one, featuring players selected 10-15 in our countdown of the top signings of the season to date:
15. Scott Parker - Undisclosed fee (Tottenham Hotspur - Fulham FC)
Fulham have not exactly had an inspiring season but the battle-hardened Scott Parker has put in some heroic performances along the way. Let's not forget that a few seasons ago, West Ham finished rock bottom of the league yet Scott Parker's brilliant form still allowed him to end the season as the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year. Hopefully for Fulham, this time he will have some assistance if he is to try and drag the team to safety. A sensible purchase and it could be argued that Spurs may well be missing his services this year.
14. Mamadou Sakho - £15 million (PSG - Liverpool)
The loss of Jamie Carragher to retirement in the summer not only meant that Liverpool could stop having to worry about conceding swathes of own goals. Brendan Rodgers could look to the transfer market as an opportunity to finally bring in some top class competition to his defence. The France international centre back was purchased to provide the team with more stability at the back and his inclusion in the team has contributed to Liverpool's fine defensive record.
13. Wilfred Bony - £12 million (Vitesse Arnhem - Swansea City)
A physically imposing striker who boasted an incredible goal scoring record for Vitesse over the space of a few years. He has a great balance of strength and skill and could well be around in the Premier League for a number of years. Whilst he has taken a bit of time to find his stride, it looks like he will have a much greater impact in the 2nd half of the season. His two goals against Man City proved that he has the quality to be a real threat against top opposition.
12. Simon Mignolet - £9 million (Sunderland - Liverpool)
A top, top goalkeeper who will undoubtedly be Liverpool's number one for a fair few years to come. £9 million is not a lot of money to spend on a keeper for a club like Liverpool, or any top 6 Premier League club for that matter. It is a long term investment and if fit, he will play 38 league games a season and save Liverpool a number of points along the way. If Mignolet remains as solid and consistent as he has been so far, Liverpool won't have to reconsider that position for quite some time, and what price can you put on that?
11. Christian Eriksen - £11 million (Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur)
Touted as the target of a big money move to a whole host of top European clubs over the past few years, it is certainly a steal for Spurs to land this dynamic Dane for only £11 million. Although it is obvious that he will need some time to adapt to the pace of the Premier League (exemplified by his constant dwelling on the ball against Arsenal at the Emirates), he possesses the potential to become one of the league's leading attacking midfielders.
image: © Кирилл Крыжановский