We’re almost a third of the year through the 2011-12 Premier League season, and already several summer signings have stood out as comparatively bargain buys. Which clubs have done their best homework to find the bargains who are producing the goods? Read below to find out.
1. Demba Ba – Newcastle United – Free
The man who arrived from relegated West Ham on a free. In 10 league appearances, the Senegalese striker has already managed 8 goals and currently is the fifth highest scorer in the league and in doing so has helped Newcastle climb the table into third place. Ba was West Ham’s top scorer in the league last season despite only arriving in January, and looks certain to keep up his goal scoring habit. He seems to have formed a decent partnership with Leon Best. Demba Out of the two strikers, Ba has received most of the praise having already bagged two hat tricks this season.
2. Michel Vorm – Swansea City – £1.5m
Arriving from Dutch side Utrecht, eyebrows were raised when Michel Vorm was chosen as Dorus de Vries’ replacement. How wrong people turned out to be. The Dutch keeper has made save after save to help keep Swansea in games and hasfew turned out to be the difference in a few games for the Swansea. This man has taken the Premier League by storm and has produced world class saves game after game. The Swans have kept the most amount of clean sheets this season and some of that credit has to go down to Vorm. He’s done a wonderful job in between the sticks.
3. Joey Barton – Queens Park Rangers – Free
Barton arrived from Newcastle after QPR announced their new owner. Barton is known for his flaring temper but we’ve started to see a new Barton emerge, one who sits in the centre of midfield, constantly looking to play balls forward as well as foreseeing the opportunity to make a tackle when needed. Joey was handed the armband for his debut and has since acted like a real leader.
4. Scott Parker – Tottenham Hotspur – £5m
After Tottenham finished fifth last season, they made no intention of keeping quiet what they were aiming to accomplish for this season: Champions League football. And by doing so, they introduced FWA player of the year Scott Parker to the Lane. The workhorse began quickly muscling his way past opponents and sliding in to retain possession. Parker quickly seized upon a first team place and looks to be a regular in Harry Redknapp’s side. Another bright spark to have emerged from West Ham’s disappointing Premier League season, Parker looks to be able to play the right ball and make the perfect timed tackle Spurs have been missing for years.
5. Yohan Cabaye – Newcastle United – £4.3m
Yohan Cabaye orchestrated everything positive for Lille as they re-clinched Ligue 1 last season. The Frenchman was bought to do that exact same job for the Toon Army. He looks to be a real threat from dead ball situations and has a real eye for goal as well as being able to pick out a pass. Cabaye loves to get on the ball and looks calm and confident when in possession. He’s also a good tackler. Lots of question marks were raised when Cabaye replaced Kevin Nolan, but those question marks have quickly been answered with deft touches, quality free kicks and perfect passes.
6. Sebastian Larsson – Sunderland – Free
The former Arsenal man, who helped relegated Birmingham to a Carling Cup trophy, joined Sunderland on a free transfer. He was quick to settle in, and scored on his debut with an amazing acrobatic effort at Anfield. Larsson was handed the number seven shirt and was labeled the best free kick taker in the Premier League by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after he scored two free kicks in just under a month. Known as being a dead ball specialist, Larsson has contributed massively to Sunderland’s season so far and looks to be a key figure for the Black Cats.
7. Danny Graham – Swansea City – £3.5m
After finishing in the Championship team of the year and being voted Watford’s player of the season, Danny Graham swapped England for Wales when he joined Swansea. He took some time to get the ball rolling but now looks a regular for club. With 4 goals in his last 5 games, you wouldn’t bet against him achieving great feats at Swansea. He is playing as a lone striker at the moment with Sinclair and Dyer cutting in from out wide. Graham has a cool head in front of goal and is one of those strikers that always ends up in the right place at the right time.
8. Gervinho – Arsenal – £10.7m
Gervinho was signed very early on in the summer arriving from Lille having helped them to a Ligue 1 title, so with Nasri out of the door, Gervinho stepped right up to the mark and has been constantly producing goals and assists for the Gunners. He has so far scored two and set up four. He loves to cut inside on his favoured right hand side but can take his man to the by-line and whip in a ball across the deck for Van Persie and others to attack. The former Lille winger has really taken the Premier League by storm and if he keeps on like this his price tag will look like a steal, especially in today’s markets.
9. Chris Eagles – Bolton Wanderers – £3m
Tyrone Mears and Chris Eagles were bought together for a joint fee of around £3 million by Owen Coyle. Mears unfortunately broke his leg, but Eagles stuck around, played hard and has been one of the very few bright sparks for Bolton following their bad start to the season. Eagles has notched up three goals and four assists in his short time at Bolton and looks to be a bright future for the former Man United player.
10. Jose Enrique – Liverpool – £6m
Big spenders Liverpool needed a left back in the summer. The club spent big in the transfer window but didn’t need to when it came to Jose Enrique. The full back quickly slotted in and has become a regular starter in that position. He is extremely fit and is constantly racing up and down the left flank, trying to supply the strikers with crosses and the wingers with support. He was named man of the match for his first start and hasn’t let the Liverpool side down to date. He is fast, agile, has a good first touch and looks a real steal at £6 million.