Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool, Stoke City, Everton, Cardiff and Southampton signings among those to feature, but the most expensive addition of all, made by Arsenal does not make the cut.
With the annual PFA awards on the horizon, we select the Premier League’s best players who were imported last summer.
The annual PFA awards will take place later this month, with many players vying to be crowned both the best and/or most promising young individual in England.
While Eden Hazard, Yaya Toure and Luis Suarez battle will likely battle it out for the main prize, we present you the first of our alternative teams of the year. The first is based on the strongest players in the Premier League who were involved in a summer transfer at the start of the season.
Simon Mignolet – (Sunderland to Liverpool)
After three years occupying the number one jersey at Sunderland, Mingolet joined Liverpool in June to replace Pepe Reina. The Belgian has endured a solid first season for the Reds that has seen them launch an unexpected title challenge. Mingolet has played every minute in the Premier League for Liverpool this season, making 97 saves along the way. He made vital saves most recently in the 3-2 victory over Manchester City, that now makes Liverpool favourites for the title in his debut season.
Erik Pieters – (PSV to Stoke City)
Pieters arrived at the Brittania Stadium from PSV Eindhoven in the summer, and has been an integral part of Mark Hughes’ defence this season. The Dutchman has missed just one game for the Potter’s all season, and scored his first goal against Newcastle United on the weekend. He has proved one of the best attacking full-backs of the campaign, having been involved in goals more than any other Stoke defender.
Steven Caulker (Tottenham to Cardiff)
Steven Caulker joined Cardiff City in the summer transfer window for a fee in the region of £9m. Despite the hefty price tag, Caulker has been outstanding in the Bluebirds defence and is the Premier League’s best at charging down shots, having done so 47 times this season. If Cardiff fail to beat the drop, he will likely be one of the first in their squad to be picked up by a Premier League club.
Curtis Davies (Birmingham to Hull City)
Curtis Davies has been key to Hull City’s strong Premier League campaign. The Tigers captain has shown quality leadership and been a rock at the back for the FA Cup finalists. Many have called for Davies to earn selection to the England squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer through his string of good performances. Should Liverpool fail to win the league, he may be the only Englishman to lift a trophy for his club this season.
Dejan Lovren (Lyon to Southampton)
Lovren joined the Saints from French side Lyon back in June for a deal in excess of £8m. Despite the occasional injury problem, the Croatian international has proved a worthy transfer having played 27 times and scoring twice this season. His quality performances have even seen him linked with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United for the next campaign.
Gareth Barry (Manchester City to Everton on loan)
Everton’s acquisition of Manchester City’s Gareth Barry has proved one of the signings of the season. The midfielder has been a big part of Everton’s push for a Champions League spot, from making goal saving blocks to chipping in with the occasional goal and eye of the needle pass. This season has also seen him surpass the 500 Premier League appearances mark, becoming only the tenth man to do so.
Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester City)
After strong performances in the Champions League against Chelsea last season, Manchester City snapped up the services of Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk. The Brazilian has become part of a formidable partnership in City’s centre midfield next to Yaya Toure, and has scored four goals so far in his debut season. Often referred to by fans as the agile Nigel De Jong, Fernandinho has slotted in well in his debut season, and may still be part of a title winning side yet.
Christian Eriksen (Ajax to Tottenham)
Many questions have been raised over Tottenham’s £110m spending spree last summer, in particular the quality of the likes of Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Paulinho. But their capture of Christian Eriksen from Ajax has to be one of the best in the Premier League. The Danish international has oozed class during his performances for Spurs this season, scoring an average of one goal every three games. The Danish international is also Tottenham’s most creative player, having assisted six goals this campaign.
Willian (Anzhi Makhachkala to Chelsea)
After snatching Willian from the clutches of Tottenham Hotspur last summer, Chelsea’s Brazilian trickster has earned plenty of praise for his fast feet and flare that he has brought to Stamford Bridge this season. His dazzling performances are sure to leave him in contention for World Cup selection by hosts Brazil this summer, and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has often looked to his invention in the big games to provide the spark.
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea to Everton on loan)
After scoring 17 league goals for West Bromwich Albion last season, Romelu Lukaku once again snubbed the chance to stay at Chelsea for a loan move. This time he headed to Everton, where he has continued his imperious form, scoring 13 goals. His potency in front of goal along with his immense strength and power have made him one of the hottest young properties in world football. He has had a season manager Jose Mourinho would kill for from a striker in a Chelsea shirt, and Everton are reportedly keen on signing the Belgian on a permanent deal.
Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla to Manchester City)
After arriving at the Etihad from Sevilla in the summer, Negredo had to wait his turn to get a chance ahead of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko at Manchester City. But the Spaniard certainly took his chance when it came, and has scored 26 goals across all competitions this season. Despite not scoring since January in the Premier League, Negredo has still had an excellent first season in England.