The three best Premier League summer signings so far this season

With the January transfer window open for business, Premier League sides will be deeply embroiled in dealings they hope will have a positive impact on their season.

Such is the desperation for success throughout the league, it seems that footballers are the only commodity that regularly rise in price at this time of year.

The summer of 2015, when clubs were last permitted to open their cheque books, seems a long time ago, given all the water under the bridge, and not necessarily Stamford Bridge.

With the season half gone, it seems like a good time to review the performances of those players who joined a new Premier League side before the campaign got under way and pick out a few highlights.

The selections may surprise, with three players outdoing even the prodigious Dele Alli this season, who technically was bought last January.

Determining the success of a signing is though, after all, based on many factors. Payet, Cabaye, Alderweireld and Shaqiri have all thrilled their respective fan bases but all four cost over £10million.

The real masterstrokes appear further down the list…

Gerard Deulofeu

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If ever Everton pulled of a major coup, then Deulofeu is it. The sight of the winger in full flight makes his paltry £4.2 million price tag seem laughable.

The Spaniard is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and arguably there is no finer place on earth to educate a young player in the beautiful game.

Deulofeu’s style is certainly pleasing on the eye. The 21 year old has been compared to both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with his lightning step-overs and his ability to ghost past his man.

The player developed an affection for Goodison Park during his loan spell in the 2013-14 season when, as a 19 year old, he impressed but often flattered to deceive.

His development though has rapidly accelerated and he has had a major impact for the Toffees this term, producing eight assists and linking brilliantly with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.

Such is his natural footballing ability, Everton find themselves with one of Europe’s brightest prospects on their books for a comparatively small outlay.

The only possible fly in the ointment is that Barcelona included a clause in the deal, which would reportedly gives them the option of bringing the wideman back to Catalunya for just £6.5 million.

N’Golo Kante

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It’s not unrealistic to think that even now many Premier League fans might be a bit unsure when they hear the name N’Golo Kante. To say that his contribution has gone under the radar is an understatement of massive proportions.

The player himself at just over 5ft 6 hardly thrusts himself into the limelight. Kante plays for Leicester, where a dream season has been filled with headlines involving his teammates Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

The Foxes rise to the top of the table over the last calendar year has been nothing short of miraculous but the addition of Kante in the summer should not be overlooked as a key factor.

The Paris-born man has been virtually ever-present in the Leicester midfield since joining from  Caen for just £5.6 million. The 24 year old, who is of Malian descent, has wasted little time in adapting to the Premiership and has looked stylish and assured in the centre of the park.

While he has contributed just one goal, his positioning and passing have been key to the Leicester success.
Vardy, Mahrez and boss Claudio Ranieri have all been quick to praise the impact of the little Frenchman.

If Leicester can cling onto a top four spot or even make the Europa League, Kante will represent money superbly spent and a scouting system truly vindicated.

Petr Cech

Petr Cech (2)

Admittedly Cech cost £10 million at the age of 33 and admittedly the fact that he has turned out to be one of the best keepers in the league this season is hardly a surprise. That money though, could still represent the ultimate bargain come May.

The big Czech has been in stunning form since his summer move across the capital from Chelsea, where he became surplus to requirements.

Arsene Wenger has been chasing another Premier League title for over a decade and during all that time he has never quite been able to find the right man to stand between the sticks; someone to bring the quality of his goalkeeping department onto par with the rest of the talent in his squad.

There is no doubt that Cech is that man.

The giant keeper recently claimed the record for Premier League clean sheets and while most of them were gained at Chelsea, it is the Gunners who sit top of the table now – with his presence giving them a more galvanised look than they have had for some time.

Cech is a winner and a veteran of title run-ins. It his not just his supreme ability as a keeper, but his experience and leadership which contributes hugely to Arsenal having their best shot at the league crown for some time.