2009-10 season preview

Top Ten: Best transfer moves

August 11, 2009
By Jon Carter
(Archive)

With Real Madrid dominating the headlines in their pursuit of a new set of Galacticos, English clubs have also been busy this summer bolstering their squads before the new season. Here we look at the top ten deals, so far, and their potential impact on their new clubs:

Carlos Tevez
GettyImagesCarlos Tevez opted for City

Carlos Tevez - Unknown to Manchester City - £25m*

Sir Alex Ferguson may not think he's worth £25m but, if he plays regularly, the Argentine will surely prove his former boss wrong. Turned down by United, Manchester City pounced to pick up the controversial striker from whoever it is that owns him and the boost of pinching a former Red Devil from Old Trafford could certainly be felt in the stands next season. Strong, skilful and with a work ethic that makes Dirk Kuyt look like Dimitar Berbatov, Tevez's partnership with Robinho in the final third could prove the difference between the Europa League and the Champions League. City will be targeting fourth place and players like Tevez can help them get there.

Emmanuel Adebayor - Arsenal to Manchester City - £25m* and Kolo Toure - Arsenal to Manchester City - £16m*

It was quite a shock when news of City's interest in Adebayor was confirmed, but Eastlands could be the perfect place for the Togo striker. On his day, the powerful frontman is one of the most dangerous attacking players in the league and he should give the Citizens the power and aerial threat that the likes of Robinho and Tevez don't bring. In defence, Toure was the perfect option for them once it was made clear John Terry wasn't coming. Strong, powerful and committed, Toure can have a massive impact on a rather shaky City defence and those at the Emirates may live to regret selling two of their stars to a rival when the Champions League spots are decided.

Antonio Valencia - Wigan to Manchester United - £17m*

A replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo was the priority, but Valencia won't feel the Portuguese's spectre hovering over him too much. An experienced Premier League winger, despite still being just 24, the Ecuadorian knows what is expected of him and 42 goals per season isn't it. The pressure will certainly be on to impress at one of the world's best clubs, but Valencia has the tools at his disposal to do well under Sir Alex. More of a team player than Ronaldo ever was, his integration onto the flanks at Old Trafford could prove fruitful.

Gareth Barry - Aston Villa to Manchester City - £12m

Despite being criticised for his apparent motivations to join City over Liverpool, the former Aston Villa captain will be one of the most important players for the Eastlands club. His partnership with Stephen Ireland in midfield will provide the flair players with a platform to build on, while he will also be responsible for digging deep and providing some defensive solidity in the tougher games. A snip at £12m, Barry's decade of experience in the English top flight will be vital to Mark Hughes' plans for the future.

Stewart Downing - Middlesbrough to Aston Villa - £12m

The acquisition of Downing raised questions over the future of winger Ashley Young, but if both versatile midfielders get a chance to play together then Martin O'Neill's side could renew their challenge for the Champions League. Downing won't be fit until December, but his purchase has long-term potential, as he has proved himself to be one of the finest English wide men in the top flight over the past few years.

Glen Johnson - Portsmouth to Liverpool - £18m*

It is well known that Liverpool have struggled in the full-back department in recent years, but Rafa Benitez has chosen to strengthen this summer and at some cost. Johnson has shown his potential at Portsmouth, despite failing to make the grade at Chelsea, and England's first-choice right-back can only improve by playing alongside Anfield's best. Offering an attacking threat down the right flank, the defender is not the best tackler, but will surely give the Reds an extra dimension and should be a vital player for them this season. Alberto Aquilani, a reported £20m* signing from Roma, will fill the void left by Xabi Alonso but has a bad injury history and may need time to adjust to the pace of the English game.

Nenad Milijas - Red Star Belgrade to Wolves - £2.6m*

Last year's Serbian player of the season could be a real bargain for Mick McCarthy. He has impressed in pre-season and his range of passing, quickness of thought, as well as his movement, mark him out as a potential star. At over six feet tall he brings an aerial presence and scored 22 goals from midfield for Red Star in 2008-09, while he is also entering the peak of his career as he is still only 26.

GettyImagesJoel Hart: World Cup hopeful

Joe Hart - Manchester City to Birmingham - Loan and Cristian Benitez - Santos to Birmingham - £9m*

Every team that faces a relegation battle needs to be strong between the sticks and it was a fine move from the Blues to secure England Under-21 goalkeeper Hart from Manchester City on loan. A good shot-stopper, Hart has the potential to put himself firmly in contention for full England honours and should get plenty of opportunities to impress. Up front, the club's reported record capture of Cristian Benitez from Mexican side Santos will keep opposition defences busy. The Ecuadorian has an excellent scoring record at international level and with talent at either end of the pitch, Birmingham will be confident of staying up.

Peter Crouch - Portsmouth to Tottenham - £10m*

Labelled the same, wherever he goes, Crouch can bring something different to the Spurs front-line, but questions have been raised over the need to sign another striker at White Hart Lane. With Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko already at the club, Crouch will have to fight for his place but could finally settle in London alongside his former Pompey team-mate Defoe. A lot is made of his aerial ability, but he has quick feet and a fine touch, while he will be motivated by the desire to get himself on the plane to South Africa next summer.

Fraizer Campbell - Manchester United to Sunderland - £3.5m

Steve Bruce made it quite clear that he was keen to bolster Sunderland's strikeforce and Under-21 international Campbell could make waves at his new club. A similar type of player to the other striking import - Darren Bent - Campbell could elevate himself above the former Tottenham man if he can follow up the kind of potential he showed while on loan to Hull. With a fee that could be set to rise to £6m, Campbell provided good funds for United once it was clear he wasn't going to make the breakthrough at Old Trafford, but the Black Cats could certainly benefit from the deal as well.

*Transfer fee was undisclosed, but an informed estimate is given.