The general consensus in the media seems to be that this summer's transfer window has been something of a let down with only City splashing the cash. However initial impressions can be deceiving. While there may have been very few blockbuster transfers there have instead been a lot of quality moves, often for reasonable prices. Normally it is a struggle to list a good top 20 summer transfers. Not this year. When Sebastien Squillaci, Stephen Ireland, Martin Jiranek, Ivan Klasnic, Nascimento Ramires, Moussa Dembele, Raul Meireles, Asamoah Gyan and Sandro Raniere don't make the top 20, it's a very good year.
As with previous years players that have joined on loan are not considered.
20. Nikola Zigic Birmingham City from Valencia
Part of an ultimately impressive new talent influx at St. Andrews the tall Serbian was once said to be a target of City. Zigic didn't break through at Valencia but at every other stop in his career the former Red Star Belgrade striker has scored goals.
19. Aleksandar Kolarov Manchester City from Lazio
When you take a moment to look at the talent that Roberto Mancini brought in this summer the quality is quite impressive. Kolarov is an excellent fit for the Mancini diamond and should flourish once fit. The Serbian also comes with a fearsome reputation for excellent free kicks something that City have been missing since Elano departed the club.
18. Dan Gosling Newcastle from Everton
One that somewhat flew under the radar with Newcastle taking advantage of a paperwork snafu at Everton that allowed the Devon youngster to sign for free. The midfielder ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in March of this year and while likely to play this season will not be back to full fitness until the start of next season. If Newcastle have stayed in the Premier League Gosling will be in an excellent position to contribute significantly.
17. Kenwyne Jones Stoke City from Sunderland
In many ways the signing of the Trinidad & Tobago international is a statement of intent by Stoke that having spent two years in the Premier League it is now time to move up in the standings. The presence of Jones in the penalty area as a target for Rory Delap's long thrown ins is going to cause nightmares for opposing defenses.
16. Thomas Hitzlsperger West Ham from Lazio
It's good to see "Der Hammer" back in the Premier League after a stay in Germany and Italy. The former Aston Villa fan favourite is just the sort of combative midfielder that West Ham need and combined with Scott Parker should be the "crunchiest" midfield in the league!
15. Martin Petrov Bolton from Manchester City
For all the talk of Elano, Michael Johnson, Stephen Ireland and Dietmar Hamann it was Petrov that made the Sven era Manchester City tick. All the players in the City team naturally worked best with the focus on the attack coming down the left wing. When fit, and that's the issue, Petrov is a very talented individual. If the Bulgarian plays more than half of Bolton's games, look for the Trotters to be closer to the top ten than the bottom three.
14. Jean Beausejour Birmingham City from Club America
Yet another in the South American pipeline into the Midlands Beausejour is a tricky winger and just the sort of player that manager Alex McLeish can use to maximize the talents of Nikola Zigic. In my season overview I pegged Birmingham as a candidate to struggle. This pick up plus Hleb on loan and the Martin Jiranek transfer capped a quite superb final day of the transfer window for Birmingham and I now project Birmingham to comfortably stay up.
13. Laurent Koscielny Arsenal from Lorient
In two successive summer transfer windows Arsene Wenger has rebuilt the centre of Arsenal's defense with first the Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen joining from Ajax and now the Koscielny, a potential French international, joining from Ligue 1 Lorient. With both players aged 24 the potential for a long term championship foundation is very evident.
12. Yossi Benayoun Chelsea from Liverpool
Regular readers will recall that I am a huge fan of the Israeli winger and wanted him to sign for City when it became obvious that he was about to leave West Ham. At 5.5 million this is a great bit of business by Chelsea and I anticipate that Benayoun will play a significant part in their season.
11. Jerome Boateng Manchester City from Hamburg
What's not to like? Young, already an established German international with the ability to play both full back positions, a good attacking instinct and an excellent cross. Along with Kolarov, Boateng will be a key part of unlocking the opposition when they arrive at Eastlands and park the bus.
Part Two will conclude the Top 20 tomorrow...