With 2014 now approaching its climax, it is time to assess the signings who have excelled after making a move in 2014. Not every signing will be a hit, as we have seen with great regularity in the Premier League over recent seasons however here five of the best signings of the calendar year.
5. Frank Lampard: Manchester City (Joined August 2014)
Much was said about Chelsea legend Frank Lampard not being handed a new deal by the club he had been with since 2001 however it was the general consensus that his time at the very top level of English football may well have been up, particularly when Lampard agreed to join Manchester City’s MLS-bound New York City FC.
However given Manchester City’s Financial Fair Play restrictions adding to their already excellent squad would prove to be difficult and thus Lampard shocked English football by agreeing to join City on a six-month loan. Neither party has ever looked back.
Lampard has been one of City’s key performers in the first-half of the campaign contributing six goals in 14 appearances in all competitions. This doesn’t tell the whole story however, with Lampard’s presence coming off the bench often galvanising a City team chasing a game with the perfect example being the 1-1 draw with title rivals Chelsea in September.
Jose Mourinho has defended his club’s decision to allow Lampard to leave, but with City frantically trying to extend Lampard’s loan deal the 36-year-old has certainly shown he still has a lot to give at the top level and could be a decisive part of the title race should he remain in the North West.
4. Jeremy Menez: AC Milan (Joined June 2014)
Jeremy Menez made his return to Italian football this summer following a largely disappointing spell with Paris Saint-Germain where the vast investment in the playing squad at the Parc des Princes simply saw the former AS Roma starlet fall by the wayside in the French capital.
However, back in Serie A, Menez has started what looks like being a wonderful spell with the Milanese giants contributing eight goals in 14 league appearances. Apart from his excellent goalscoring record from midfield, Menez also seems happy playing football again and is producing moments of magic that are only even considered by individuals at the very peak of their powers.
The prime example of this came in Milan’s 5-4 victory over Parma back in September when Menez took the ball round an outstretched keeper before sensationally back-heeling the ball into the net.