The 15 best Premier League buys this summer

Ollie Irish

2nd, September 2009


It’s been a relatively quiet summer in terms of star names coming into the Premier League, but there’s been a lot of interesting business conducted between Prem clubs. Here’s my selection of the best buys this summer (loan deals not included), with the benefit of some hindsight:

15. Peter Crouch (Portsmouth to Spurs)
The bottom line is: Crouchinho scares defenders and scores goals. With the World Cup coming up, he’ll fight tooth and nail for a starting place in the Spurs team, so expect him to show his best form this season. Could form a very tasty partnership with Jermain Defoe, both for Arry Redknapp and Fabio Capello.

14. Lee Cattermole (Wigan to Sunderland)
Just the type of dynamic, box-to-box midfielder every Prem team needs. If he manages to control his natural aggression, he’ll be a valuable asset to Sunderland.
13. Kamel Ghilas (Celta Vigo to Hull City)
The waspish Algerian striker cost Hull just £2m and he looks a steal at that price. He’s already a firm favourite with Tigers’ fans and you can see why – Ghilas oozes confidence.
12. Fabian Delph (Leeds Utd to Aston Villa)
Martin O’Neill didn’t wait to chuck Delph in at the Prem’s deep end (he started in Villa’s first leage game of the season), which tells you how highly Villa’s gaffer regards the 19-year-old midfielder. Delph has all the talent in the world and will be a full England international within 18 months, I’m sure.
11. Michael Turner (Hull City to Sunderland)
We don’t know how much money the Mackems paid for Turner, but for Hull’s sake, I hope it was a figure not too far short of £10m. Hull fans must be gutted at the club selling their most consistent performer.
10. Darren Bent (Spurs to Sunderland)
Bent’s not fashionable or stylish but he scores goals. He looks much more confident and relaxed now and may even get close to England’s World Cup squad.
9. Sebastien Bassong (Newcastle Utd to Spurs)
The athletic Frenchman has settled in very quickly at the Lane and played a big part in the club’s fine early-season form.
8. Yuri Zhirkov (CSKA Moscow to Chelsea)
The versatile Russian is yet to make his mark for Chelsea, but he looks a terrific, progressive player. His time will come.

7. Johnny Heitinga (Atletico Madrid to Everton)
The powerful Dutchman didn’t come cheap but I think he’s the ideal player to fill Joleon Lescott’s boots.
6. Tuncay (Middlesbrough to Stoke City)
I’ve long been a fan of the Turkish forward. He combines great natural ability with a terrific attitude and work rate. Not a combination you see enough of these days.
5. Stephen Hunt (Reading to Hull City)
Hunt is even more irritating and combative than Robbie Savage. He’s also a very good player who’s not afraid of getting stuck in, nor of venturing into the box from wide positions. I’d hate to play against him. He’s been Hull’s best player so far this season – £2.5m looks like a stone-cold bargain.
4. Glen Johnson (Portsmouth to Liverpool)
Johnson is hardly recognisable from the boyish defender we saw a couple of seasons ago. He’s reborn as a thrusting, goal-scoring wing-back. I rated Alvaro Arbeloa highly but Johnson gives Liverpool so much more going forward.
And on to my top three…
3. Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal to Man City)
No small degree of hindsight here, admittedly, but as Arsenal fans will tell you, when Adebayor is in the mood, he’s scarily good. Luckily for City fans, he does seem to be in the mood. WIND-UP ALERT: Gooners, you just didn’t love him enough.
2. Gareth Barry (Aston Villa to Man City)
Villa fans know what you get from Barry, and now City fans know it too. You get excellence without fuss or drama, and you get it week in, week out, whatever the weather – his consistency is robotic. And let’s not underplay just how quickly he’s established himself as one of the first names on Mark Hughes’s team sheet. Truly a model pro.
1. Thomas Vermaelen (Ajax to Arsenal)
The Belgian centre-back is too small for the Premier League, they said. They were wrong – and when you can jump like that, who cares if you’re 5ft4in? Sceptical Arsenal fans might reasonably have expected Vermaelen to take a month or two to adjust to the Prem but not a bit of it. The guy’s a natural.
Agree or disagree with my picks? Let’s hear it…

Posted in Featured, Top 10s & lists

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  1. Aphiss says:

    Wooooo! Vermaelen! Good pick for number one ;)

  2. Syndex says:

    I have to say one match with distin has got me convinced, also surely tevez has got to be on the list

  3. Aphiss says:

    Forgot to mention it, but I doubt you will see Adebayor anywhere near that high come the end of the season.

  4. Syndex says:

    Are we going for a worst signing soon if so can I say downing and lescott now.

  5. Adam says:

    Five syllables:
    Wait and see :)

  6. David Norris says:

    I think these are some great choices, and be really interesting to see how Delph develops and if Turner can kick on from Mr reliable and turn into a top-class defender.
    A few I would think about;
    – Owen at Manchester United
    – Ferguson at Birmingham
    – Kranjcar at Spurs
    – Bilyaletdinov at Everton

  7. Ehh says:

    No Antonio Valencia? List is void.

  8. 505anthony says:

    No Altidore? I know you had a lot of Hull here, but…

  9. megaman789 says:

    @505anthony- loan deals not included so no Altidore.
    And I don’t think Valencia is a great buy considering he came to replace Ronaldo, infact, it makes him a crap buy.
    Same goes for Owen who came to replace Tevez will thus, be a crap buy.
    Also, I feel that Johnson should higher on the list, with rate he is scoring goals and getting assists, I won’t be surprised if e is one of the nominees for the PFA player of the year award.
    And Vermaelen is pure class!!!!
    Also I don’t think Crouch is one of the best buys. Surely he is good but not that good and came in too expensive. Also its not like Spurs have a lack of quality strikers there.
    Sometimes I wish my team had a budget as much as the rich teams :(
    By my post, you guys probably have guessed which team I support.

  10. Gordon says:

    You’ve never seen Heitinga play, have you?

  11. Vermaelens Dad says:

    You’re saying Thomas is 5ft4????? This is a disgrace. I don’t know where you got that he is small he is 6ft.
    Next time look up your facts idiot.

  12. Bayernbomber says:

    Mr. Vermaelen kicks over the ball. He doesn’t even touch it.
    Really, a great defender. ;-)

  13. Sam says:

    Reasonable list. As for the bloke who says Valencia should be on here… HAHAHA!

  14. Aaron Lennon says:

    Surely Thomas Vermaelen is taller than me, i’d say he’s around 6ft.

  15. Scoot says:

    re valencia to replace ronaldo therefore crap buy. Basically by your logic anybody bar messi we could have brought in wouldve been a crap buy, which I’m sure you agree cant be right. Judge a player on his own merit and what he can add to the team. Not saying he should be on the list, just making a point. And owen replacing tevez…I’ll come back with the minutes per goal ratios at the end of the season.
    All in all, reasonable list for now but come June I’m sure a lot of that will change.

  16. Fredmeister says:

    Heitinga. You sell a £10mil defender for £24mil the buy a better player for less that half the price. He sat all over the Ashleys for Holland the other week.
    Moyes 1 – Judas Hughes 0

  17. Justice96 says:

    -valencia to man utd?
    -Owen to man utd?
    -Is peter crouch a good buy considering spurs’ striking options?
    -Should darren bent’s move to sunderland not be higher placed?
    P.S was that idiot that said valencia was a bad buy as he wasn’t as good as Ronaldo being serious?

  18. JimmieTheYid says:

    Where Is Krancjar In This ?
    Crouch Should Be In Top 5 .
    Vermallean Is Shit .
    Bassong Should Be In Top 3 ?
    Who Ever Wrote All This Obviously Has No Clue About Football … And Probaly Plays Golf Or Sank :)

  19. Alan Shearer says:

    I am Alan Shearer, you may remember me from TV shows such as Match of the Day and The Antiques Roadshow.
    Why have you not included Lorik Cana, he’s hard as muck!

  20. arf says:

    how can you have yuri zhirkov, as a “best buy” when he hasnt kicked a ball yet?

  21. chuck norris says:

    lorik cana should be on there he’s class and hard as nails that lad

  22. Danne says:

    Vermaelen is a good signing, but hes not the best signing! a top7 sounds reasonable to me for the short one… One thing i have to disagree with totally is Adebayor. Perharps the most inefficient striker in PL history, having that said as a non-Arsenal supporter. I think that Aquilani will prove that he should’ve made lists as these (which he hasnt) when he’s fit to play

  23. mac says:

    RE: Vermaelen’s dad. i think what was said about him being 5’4 is tongue in cheek. but fuck all that, the guy is fucking class! c’mon you ARSENAL!

  24. Anonymous says:


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