Premier League's Signings Of The Summer

It may have taken a little longer than desired, but Harry Redknapp has his man and this has to be his best catch and one of the most shocking. Tottenham’s last-minute, £8m pound move for Dutch star Rafael Van der Vaart has been given the thumbs-up from the Premier League, nearly a full day after the end of the summer transfer season. After only launching their bid to land the Real Madrid man with a couple of hours to push the deal through, Tottenham submitted the necessary documents mere minutes before the deadline, but the club still had to wait for confirmation from Premier League. In the end, the deal is done, and for less than half of what he’d have cost just a day prior, as an £18m pound move to Bayern Munich was reportedly in the works before he became available to Spurs for the bargain fee.

After coming through the renowned Ajax academy, Van der Vaart made his senior debut at the end of the 1999/2000 season and made his full breakthrough into the first team the next season. He left Ajax for German side Hamburg in 2005, scored 48 goals in 116 appearances over three seasons and lead Hamburg to two top-four finishes. Van der Vaart moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2008. After two seasons, 70 appearances, 12 goals and 13 assists for Real, now, he is heading to Premier League to bolster Tottenham’s hopes of scoring another top-four Premier League finish and advancing from a Champions League group that includes reigning European champions Inter Milan, FC Twente and Werder Bremen.

Some of the other notable summer signings in Premier League are as follows:

Steven Fletcher – Burnley to Wolves – £6m

In an otherwise bleak season at Turf Moor last season there was one man who constantly stood out. Fletcher, who signed from Hibernian in 2009, shipped in with 8 goals last term which is no mean feat at a club who struggled desperately for goals in the Premier League. Decent pace, work rate, finishing and aerial ability are attributes that the Wolves faithful should look forward to seeing this season. If the England born striker can create a decent partnership with Kevin Doyle then Wolves should see themselves as a Premier League team once more this time next season and with a debut goal to his name, Fletcher will look to be a big hit at Molineux this season. At just 23, the Midlands club should have the striker tied down for his best years at the club.

Kenwyne Jones – Sunderland to Stoke City – £8m

Kenwyne Jones is a big, strong, Trinidadian striker who will fit into the Stoke set-up with no problems whatsoever. After starting his career in England at Southampton the 25 year old has already had a short loan spell at the Britannia Stadium in 2005. The athletic front-man is seen as somewhat of a coup for Stoke and despite his £8m price tag it was a surprise that Steve Bruce decided to let him leave Sunderland. With a great work rate and decent header, Jones will certainly look to benefit from Stoke’s no-nonsense, direct style and a few goal from Rory Delap throw-ins would not come as a shock.

Ben Foster – Manchester United to Birmingham City – £6m

Foster seems to have been a promising goalkeeper for about 5 years but will be looking to become more than that at St. Andrews this season. Birmingham needed to fill the considerably large hole left by Joe Hart’s return to Manchester City and they may have come as close as possible with this signing. A superb shot-stopper and England international has been replaced by another although Foster will definitely need to look at cutting out some silly errors in his game, notably in the Manchester derby last term. Nevertheless a very decent signing for the Blues and one that may represent good value for money at what is a cheap £6m these days.

Ramires – Benfica to Chelsea – £17m

Somewhat of an unknown entity who has received rave reviews in both his native Brazil and Portugal, where he has been playing for Benfica. Anyone who receives such reviews in Brazil must be worth raving about and Ramires was one of a small group kept in the Brazil squad post World Cup by new manager Mano Menezes. The midfielder spent just one season at Benfica but was hugely impressive after signing from Cruzeiro in 2009. The 23 year has as many Brazil caps as million pounds that Chelsea spent on him at 17 and is a hard working and extremely energetic holding man in the elk of Gilberto Silva. Ancelotti may be looking for him to push John Obi Mikel for a starting berth as the Nigerian has failed to set the Premier League alight at Chelsea thus far.

Stephen Ireland – Manchester City to Aston Villa – Free (Part Exchange)

The 2008/09 City player of the year has joined the Midlands club as part of the deal to take James Milner to Eastlands. The unmistakable bald headed Irishman is creative mastermind and will be looking to unlock defenses at Villa Park this season. A creative central midfielder is something that Villa have lacked for a while and Ireland impressed just about everyone in the Premier League two season ago with some admirable performances. Great runs from midfield and exceptional team play are qualities that the 24 year old has to boast about. Ireland will be looking to forget his birthday debut for the club in the 6-0 defeat to Newcastle as swiftly as possible and emulate the form that inspired so many with City.

Raul Meireles – Porto to Liverpool – £11.5m

Meireles is a highly cultured and experienced Portugese international. A real string puller in the centre of midfield and a great bit of business by new manager Hodgson to help fill a Javier Mascherano shaped hole. The 27 year old shone for his country at the World Cup overshadowing the likes of Ronaldo, putting in a particularly inspired performance against North Korea. It is slightly surprising that Porto have let him leave after 6 years at the club netting 15 times. The price is fairly decent for Liverpool in today’s current climate and look out for a decent partnership developing with captain fantastic Steven Gerrard.

James Milner – Aston Villa to Manchester City – £16m + Stephen Ireland

Tireless, consistent and English. Milner is a breath of fresh air in the Premier League and a superb season for Villa saw him pick up the PFA Young Player of the Year award. After cementing an England place in the World Cup the 24 year old may be there for quite some time. After breaking through into the Leeds first team at just 16 it was obvious that the boy had talent. An extraordinary work ethic has seen him become a manager’s dream and with a huge transfer fee on his head he will need to perform this season without any doubt. Mancini may have signed him for his home grown status but his versatility may prove invaluable at City this season.

Marouane Chamakh – Bordeaux to Arsenal – Free

Moroccan forward Marouane Chamakh has an impressive recent goalscoring record and may be just the player that Arsenal have been missing. It is only in the last two seasons at Bordeaux that Chamakh really stood out as a top European striker and the player seemed committed to a move to Arsenal from a year ago. Arsenal failed in a bid to sign the 26 year old last summer but it is obvious that the move was very appealing to the striker who reiterated his desire to leave for the Emirates Stadium in January. The lanky target man is a direct, if somewhat belated, replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor who left to join the City revolution last term. Chamakh’s arrival may see Nicklas Bendtner’s chances at the club restricted which is something that won’t leave a lot of Arsenal fans having sleepless nights.

Joe Cole – Chelsea to Liverpool – Free

Joe Cole's move to Liverpool still puzzling many Chelsea fans. After a couple of torrid seasons at Chelsea with injuries Cole is now closing in on full fitness and will no doubt have the Anfield crowd in the palm of his hand this season. With qualities that suggest he is both a top quality wide man and advanced playmaker, the 28 year old will be looking to link up with England team mate Steven Gerrard to bring the good old days back to Liverpool. Rather indifferent starts to his Liverpool career have seen him sent off on his debut and miss a penalty in his next game although he did impress against Tabzonspor in Europa League qualifying. The England international is no doubt still hurting after being constantly overlooked by Fabio Capello in the World Cup and will be looking to prove himself which can only benefit the Kops.

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