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Who has been the signing of the summer so far?

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Roberto Firmino a gamble for Liverpool?
Roberto Firmino a gamble for Liverpool?

The transfer window will slam shut at 6pm on September 1st and there have already been some intriguing signings in this summer's scramble for talent.

While the deals that are yet to be done could yet define this season, here is our guide to the best buys of a summer transfer window that has already seen more than £500m spent by Premier League clubs, but that is some way short of the £835m splashed out last summer.

STAR BUY - Pedro (Chelsea)

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insisted he did not need to add to his Premier League title winning squad earlier this summer, but a slow start to the season inspired him to beat Manchester United to the punch by signing Pedro from Barcelona.

A proven performer at the highest level, Pedro could have a big role to play in this season's Premier League title story.

BIG MONEY CAPTURE – Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

This 20-year-old winger is clearly over-priced as City agreed to pay £49m City to conclude his bitter divorce from Liverpool, but the potential is there for this England star to become a match-winner for City.

Comparisons with Shaun Wright-Phillips after his doomed move to City back in 2008 have been made, but Sterling should enjoy more success than a player whose deficiencies were cruelly exposed in the brightest of spotlights. Whether he will ever justify his extortionate price tag is a very different matter.

THE PRIZE CATCH – Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)

It is a sign of the evolution of Palace under Pardew that a player of Cabaye’s quality decided to make the move to Selhurst Park this summer.

This French international is a class act and he would have been a fine addition for any top six team, so Palace have pulled off a coup to sign him. Cabaye could be vital to their hopes of another finish in the top half of the table.

VALUE FOR MONEY – Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United)

So many Premier League clubs are on the look out for a midfield general to give them a platform for success and United picked up a proven performer at the highest level of English football when they signed this Frenchman from Southampton for £24m.

This elegant 25-year-old may not be moulded in the same ilk as Roy Keane, but he has the potential to be equally important to United and he could emerge as a leader of the team if he can add a few more goals to his repertoire.

THE BIG GAMBLE – Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and his Anfield transfer committee made the transfer mistake of 2014 when they signed off on a £16m deal to sign Italian striker Mario Balotelli and it remain to be seen whether similar questions will be asked of Firmino.

Very much an unproven performer in the rugged Premier League, this Brazilian will face a fight to get into the Liverpool team unless he finds his feet quickly. At £29m, Rodgers has a right to expect instant success from one of his numerous summer buys.

THE QUESTION MARK – Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United)

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has suggested that this German World Cup winner has not been fit for the last three years and that is one of the reasons why his club decided to sanction his move to Old Trafford.

If United can get the best out of ‘Basti’ at the age of 31, he could be a talisman for boss Louis van Gaal over the next couple of seasons. Alternatively, he could become a high profile bench warmer.

THE WILD CARD – James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)

West Brom boss Tony Pulis got an early glimpse of the controversy that tends to circulate around McClean when his new signing bowed his head during the playing of the British national anthem last month, yet he will be content with his new winger if he does his talking on the pitch.

Republic of Ireland star McClean is a high-energy player who should fit into the Pulis model at West Brom, but he has reached a stage of his career where he needs to confirm he can perform consistently in the Premier League.

SURPRISE BUY - Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke)

At the age of 23, Stoke appear to have pulled off a stunning signing after brining this Swiss international to the Potteries.

Having spent the last few years with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, Stoke may come as something of a culture shock for Shaqiri, but this deal confirmed that manager Mark Hughes is changing the image of his club for the better.

THE GAME CHANGER – Memphis Depay (Manchester United)

United boss Louis van Gaal needs to ensure he plays Depay in his favoured position and get the best out of him from set-piece situations, where he proved he can be a deadly operator during his spells with his PSV Eindhoven.

He will also need to control a player whose temperament has been questioned in the past, with his wild child days unlikely to be helped by the huge sums of cash and inflated profile he is now enjoying at Old Trafford.

TRIED AND TESTED – Petr Cech (Arsenal)

His opening Premier League performance for Arsenal in their shock 2-0 home defeat against West Ham last weekend did not suggest this four-time title winner is still as good as he once was, but Cech should still have plenty to offer at the age of 33.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been hugely impressed the calming influence his big summer signing has shown around his players and a proven winner of his ilk can only help the Gunners as they look to mount a sustained title challenge.