The Premier League spent £630 million this summer across 20 clubs on new play signings but who makes the best XI of the transfer market? Players from Liverpool, Southampton, Stoke, Manchester united, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City all feature.
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
Liverpool’s £10 million outlay for Sunderland stopper Simon Mignolet was one of the best buys of the summer. The 25-year-old Belgian had two of safest hands in England last term and he’s only going to improve with age.
Unlucky to miss out: Mark Schwarzer signed a one-year deal with Chelsea on a free transfer, which was another astute bit of business from the Blues.
Centre-Backs: Mamadou Sakho & Dejan Lovren
This pairing might be slightly controversial, especially given some of the other defensive acquisitions this summer. I personally think Liverpool have been the most intelligent with their signing of French youngster, 23-year-old Mamadou Sakho who signed on deadline day along with the free transfer of Kolo Toure from Manchester City who, despite his advancing years, is still a top defender.
Southampton were another club to make some excellent signings at very good prices this summer and their purchase of Croatian centre-back 24-year-old Dejan Lovren from Lyon for £8.5 million will serve them very well over the course of the next few seasons and, in my estimation, ensures top tier survival for the Saints for the years to come.
Fullbacks: Erik Pieters & Thiago Ilori
Not the big-name big-fee signings of the summer but Stoke’s signing of 25-year-old Dutch left-back Erik Pieters was very smart along with Liverpool’s Thiago Ilori who, admittedly is a central defender, is also capable on the right and I want him in the team. So there.
Central Midfield: Marouane Fellaini & Mesut Ozil
Both Manchester United and Arsenal seemed to be the wallflowers of the transfer market this summer – both clubs let it go to the wire to sign their big stars but, in the end, they made two of the most crucial acquisitions of all in United’s big Belgian Marouane Fellaini for £27.5 million and the Gunners’ German playmaker Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for a club record breaking £42.5 million.
These two players are my two favourite signings of all this summer and, despite their late showing at the transfer party on deadline day, both the Red Devils and Arsenal swiped two of the best players in the world. Ozil, in particular, is a fantastic addition to the Premier League – he is one of the finest footballing talents in the world.
Unlucky to miss out: Fernandinho of Manchester City is another big player to watch out for this season, as well as Tottenham’s Paulinho and Etienne Capoue but my pick of the most intelligent midfield signing is Southampton, again, for their £12.5 million deal to land Victor Wanyama from Celtic – the Kenyan youngster is another great addition to the league and the Saints have really made an impression in the transfer market.
Undoubtedly the most unlucky to miss out is Tottenham's Christian Eriksen who, if Ozil hadn't arrived in North London, would have certainly been my maestro of choice.
Wingers: Erik Lamela & Willian
This is another tough category – I am torn between Chelsea’s Willian and their earlier purchase this summer of Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen.
Tottenham’s record-breaking signing of Erik Lamela from Roma to effectively replace Gareth Bale is another great addition who I’m looking forward to watching this season but I also think Liverpool’s deadline day loan move for Victor Moses is a great bit of business again from Brendan Rodgers.
Unlucky to miss out: Jesus Navas’ signing for Manchester City was somewhat lost in the haze this summer because it was announce so early on but the speedy Spaniard is going to make City very very dangerous on the break and he’ll stretch teams to the limit.
Strikers: Alvaro Negredo & Roberto Soldado
This is undoubtedly the most difficult selection decision and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of disagreement (I’m not even sure if I agree with myself, to be perfectly honest) but I’m going to pick a Manchester City’s Alvaro Negredo and Tottenham’s Roberto Soldado.
Both Spaniard’s are, for me, included because they are at the right age – both 28 and certainly two of the most seasoned finishers on the continent. I really like Swansea’s Wilfried Bony who is going to make the Swans very tricky opponents to deal with and I’m a big fan of City’s Stevan Jovetic and Norwich’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel too.
I think Everton’s loan swoop for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku is sensational – I can’t actually believe the Blues allowed such a talented forward to leave Stamford Bridge but, then again, Samuel Eto’o is and has been one of the most coveted strikers on the planet for just under a decade and his previous relationship with Jose Mourinho should pay dividends but, for me, the Spanish duo are the two most likely to challenge for the Golden Boot this term.
image: © jansolo09