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The best and worst Premier League signings of 2015

We have narrowed down the highs and lows of the English transfer market this year.

Best

1. Petr Cech (Arsenal)

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Cech has added a certainty to Arsenal’s rearguard that has long been lacking.

While some felt that Colombia international David Ospina could succeed at this level, Cech has proved a shrewd signing by Arsene Wenger behind a defence that has looked shaky at times this season.

His £10 million (€13.5m) signing looks like money well spent.

2. Dimitri Payet (West Ham)

Source: Steve Paston

It’s no surprise that West Ham fans are desperate for Payet to return from injury.

After a blistering start to the season the Hammers have struggled without the Frenchman, who fell foul of injury against Everton in November.

They have won just once in the attacking midfielder’s absence and talk of a return against Liverpool on Saturday has already raised Irons excitement levels again.

3. Dele Alli (Tottenham)

Source: EMPICS Sport

What a year Alli has had.

The 19-year-old began 2015 playing with MK Dons but finishes it with a serious chance of featuring for England at Euro 2016 and sampling Champions League football for Spurs next year.

Blessed with speed and quick feet, the midfielder has been a regular for Mauricio Pochettino’s side since his return from a loan spell in the summer, scoring four times and registering five assists.

His £5m (€6.8m) transfer fee looks like a snip.

4. Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)

Source: Nick Potts

When Alan Pardew managed to lure Cabaye to Palace, it caught many by surprise.

Long touted as a transfer target of England’s top clubs, the France international has made quite an impression at Selhurst Park since his summer move from Paris Saint-Germain.

He has regularly been singled out by Pardew for praise and his five goals have helped Palace sit just outside the top four after an outstanding first half of the season.

5. N’Golo Kante (Leicester City)

Source: Nigel French

Kante has been one of Leicester’s star players in their remarkable season to date and has caught the eye of many.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been doing most of the damage in the attacking third but the Frenchman’s engine and battling skills have been key to the success of Claudio Ranieri’s side.

Honourable mentions: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham),  Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Christian Fuchs (Leicester City), Gerard Deulofeu (Everton), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andre Ayew (Swansea City), James Milner (Liverpool), Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Robbie Brady (Norwich City).

Worst

1. Radamel Falcao (Chelsea)

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Eyebrows were raised when Jose Mourinho signed the Colombian following his unsuccessful stint at rivals Manchester United. And with good reason.

Falcao, once considered one of the world’s best frontmen before suffering a serious knee injury that ruled him out of the 2014 World Cup, finds himself chasing another move to revive his career.

He has done little but drain money from Chelsea’s coffers since arriving and his returning injury troubles makes that likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

2. Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea)

Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Another Colombian gives Chelsea an unwelcome 1-2 in this list.

Big things were expected following a £24m (€33m) move from Fiorentina in January, especially considering how well he had played during the World Cup in Brazil.

England and Cuadrado just didn’t seem to match up though. There is no doubting his ability; he starred for Colombia again in the Copa America earlier this year and is already making a name for himself in Italy with Juventus.

However, his five months of Premier League football will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

3. Florian Thauvin (Newcastle)

Source: Owen Humphreys

There was plenty of excitement around Newcastle United before the season began – then the football started.

There was serious money spent on the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Georginio Wijnaldum and Thauvin over the summer but bar some flashes of Wijnaldum’s obvious ability, they have failed to light it up and Steve McClaren’s side have struggled.

Mitrovic has at least scored three times in the league this season so Thauvin, who was signed for £12m (€16m), edges this battle. The Frenchman has no goals or assists from his 12 league appearances to date, and he is yet to play a full game in England’s top tier.

4. Memphis Depay (Manchester United)

Source: AP/Press Association Images

The Dutchman is only 21 years old but it is looking like his move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs has come far too soon.

He impressed in a Champions League qualifier against Club Brugge early in the season but he seems to be regressing by the month ever since.

A dreadful outing against Stoke City recently saw him hauled off at half-time while he was also dropped from the Netherlands squad this year for “not being a team player”.

His £25m (€34m) move is looking more wasteful by the week.

5. Andrei Kramaric (Leicester City)

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Kramaric’s transfer is about the only negative coming out of Leicester City these days.

After paying £9m (€12m) for the striker last January there were big things expected from the 24-year-old Croat who was once a transfer target of Chelsea.

However, with Vardy and Mahrez impressing for the Foxes, and Leonardo Ulloa preferred in reserve, it looks like Kramaric is on the way out with a move to Italy believed to be on the cards.

Honourable mentions: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United), James Chester (West Bromwich Albion), Ricky Lambert (West Bromwich Albion), Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace), Patrick Roberts (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Baba Rahman (Chelsea), Adama Traore (Aston Villa), Wilfried Bony (Manchester City).

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10 Premier League transfers we would like to see in January

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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