Tevez, Vermaelen among the season's best transfer purchases
With a week left on the Premier League clock, thoughts are starting to turn to the wheeling and dealing that the coming months will bring.
From big-money commitments to canny loan deals, here's the pick of the most influential moves since last summer's transfer window opened (in order of expenditure):
By almost every measure you can come up with, Tevez has been the season's star buy, adding 29 goals and a scampering urgency to City's frontline. The only thing spoiling the love-in is his insistence on criticizing
It's no secret that I've been
Vermaelen is the most expensive defender Arsene Wenger has ever signed for Arsenal, but this wasn't a rush of blood to the head after cashing the check from Manchester City for
It's not often Koreans pitch up in the Premiership, let alone make a good impression, but Lee has been one of the most exciting new players this season. Despite falling asleep on the bench during his first match, Lee's nimble feet and agile mind have been such a hit on the Bolton wing that Liverpool is reported to be offering a quick $9 million profit this summer.
Despite being on loan, O'Hara has played like a Pompey fan born and bred, charging around the midfield with scant regard for his blood pressure. No other Portsmouth player has provided more assists, or a lovelier goal than that he curled in against Hull back in March.
Rarely can anyone have adjusted to the Premier League in so brief a time and with such composure -- Everton manager
With the good, must come the bad. Until a few weeks ago,
Lescott's dismal start to life at City -- having mangled Everton's early season with his protracted move -- wins out as the biggest flop. In fairness, the ransom demanded by Moyes, who wanted Lescott to stay, put enormous pressure on the young England pretender to perform. But even if he'd stayed fit, he rarely looked like justifying the fee.
It's almost too easy to pick on City, whose interest in anyone automatically sends the asking price through the roof. But Santa Cruz's haul of three league goals and zero assists (even Lescott's got one) puts him right in the firing line. While his lustrous mane has grown considerably, the same cannot be said for his reputation. Last summer he was being linked with Spurs and Liverpool; this summer, newly promoted Newcastle is hoping to pick him up on the cheap.
One league goal in 31 appearances suggests you can take the player out of the Championship, but you can't take the Championship out of the player; Scotland scored 21 in that division for Swansea last season. If you're a striker being outscored by bungling defender
The guy's so desperate for a game that he's playing for $1500 a week, peanuts by Premier League standards. A peanut. But goodwill only stretches so far, and Mido's failure to contribute to West Ham's goal count since arriving in February hasn't gone down well with the fans. Especially having missed a penalty against Everton when relegation was still very much on the cards. The overweight Egyptian didn't help his cause when he was caught scoffing a large portion of fish and chips by a Hammers bigwig within a month of arriving.
Unsurprisingly, Mido wasn't in the West Ham squad to face Fulham this weekend.