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TEAMtalk Soccers: Signing of the Season

Richard Garnett steps up to the podium to present the fiercely-contested TEAMtalk Soccers award for the 2012/13 Signing of the Season.

Last Updated: 12/06/13 at 08:40 Post Comment

Michu: TEAMtalk readers' Signing of the Season

Michu: TEAMtalk readers' Signing of the Season

Whether your team is owned by a Russian billionaire or scratches around to pay the kit man, everyone needs good signings.

Some managers have a knack for picking out bargains, often at a fraction of the price of so-called big names.

Aside from results, most bosses will live or die by the success of their acquisitions.

The TEAMtalk faithful have spoken and these are your top five picks for signing of the season.

5. Santi Cazorla

Arsene Wenger signed Spanish midfielder Cazorla from Malaga to complete a trio of exciting summer captures, along with Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

The 28-year-old made an immediate impact with a man-of-the-match performance on his debut against Sunderland before scoring in a 2-0 victory against Liverpool at Anfield.

Cazorla earned plaudits from across the board after a string of consistent standout performances identified him as an early contender for Player of the Year.

Technically gifted and great with both feet, the Iberian ticks all the boxes for the modern-day play-maker.

Although his star did not shine quite as bright in the second half of the season, his transfer fee of around £15million can be regarded as money well spent. He will be pivotal to the Arsenal midfield for the next three or four years.

4. Philippe Coutinho

Brazilian Coutinho was rescued from Inter Milan in the January transfer window by Brendan Rodgers after failing to hold down a regular first-team place at the San Siro.

Inter's loss was Liverpool's gain, as the midfielder - 21 on Wednesday - took to the Premier League like a duck to water.

Coutinho needed no settling in time as his dazzling control and phenomenal vision made him an instant hit with the Kop.

In just 13 appearances, the Brazilian clocked up three goals and five assists, making his £8.5million transfer fee look like a steal.

With Luis Suarez suspended, Coutinho struck up a hugely promising partnership with Daniel Sturridge. The very fact that Coutinho appears in the top five instead of Sturridge shows how much of an impact he has made.

3. Christian Benteke

Aston Villa may have narrowly avoided relegation last season, but it might have been an altogether different story if they hadn't had Christian Benteke in their ranks.

The 22-year-old Belgian international signed from Genk last summer for £7million and it was money well spent as he clocked up 19 Premier League goals in 34 appearances.

Benteke proved to be an instant hit with the fans after he scored on his debut in 2-0 victory over Swansea City and enhanced his reputation further by bagging a brace in a surprise 3-1 victory at Anfield.

The powerful forward was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, only missing out to Tottenham's Gareth Bale.

Villa manager Paul Lambert will be hoping that he can hold onto his prize asset over the summer, as admirers look to lure him to a bigger stage.

2. Robin van Persie

Having won PFA Player of the Year for the previous season, Sir Alex Ferguson paid big money to bring the Arsenal striker to Old Trafford and shake up his strike force.

Rather unsurprisingly, it turned out to be a smart piece of business as van Persie's 26 goals helped bring a record 20th league title back to the red half of Manchester.

The prolific Dutchman looked a shoe-in for PFA Player of Year for two thirds of the season before a relative lean spell saw him overtaken by Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez.

But there can be no denying that van Persie was instrumental in making Manchester United champions again and is the standout big-money signing of the season.

1. Miguel Michu

Everybody loves a bargain and there was no better one to be had in the 2012/13 Premier League season than Swansea City's inspired acquisition of Michu.

The previously unheard of striker was signed by the Swans for a mere £2million from Rayo Vallecano.

To say Michael Laudrup has had a return on his investment would be an understatement.

The Spaniard went on to clock up 18 Premier League goals and 22 in all competitions, including three in Swansea's victorious League Cup campaign.

His goals helped the South Wales club secure an impressive ninth-place finish in the league and made him one of the hottest properties in Europe.

He may have scored eight league goals less then Robin van Persie, but he was £22million cheaper!

Now that's value for money.

You can follow Richard Garnett on Twitter here.

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