The best of the deals

  • By: Nick Hext
  • Last Updated: July 15 2012, 15:23 BST

The summer transfer window has already seen plenty of business done and our Nick Hext has selected a side from the best of the moves so far in the top four divisions of English football.

  • The three players to make the side from the Premier League.
  • Paddy Kenny: Looking for third promotion to the Premier League 
  • Curtis Osano: Steps back up to the Football League 
  • Scott Laird: Joins Graham Westley at Preston 
  • Jan Vertonghen: Moves to the Premier League after success in Holland 
  • Matt Mills: Needs to get his career back on track 
  • Darren Ambrose: Provides a big boost to Birmingham 
  • Park Ji-Sung: Brings experience to QPR 
  • Steven Davis: Returns to England after time at Rangers 
  • Keith Andrews: Important to Bolton's promotion bid 
  • Jon Parkin: Will scare defences in League Two 
  • Marc Richards: Time at Port Vale proves he is full of goals 

Our first XI is made up of three players from the Premier League, four from the Championship, one from League One and three from League Two so the team represents the players most likely to make a big difference at their respective levels.

Goalkeeper - Paddy Kenny (QPR to Leeds, undisclosed)

"I think he's the most important signing I'll make while I'm at Leeds United. He's one of the best in the country, not just the Championship." There is no bigger fan of Paddy Kenny than Neil Warnock so it won't be too big a surprise to see those quotes from the Leeds boss on his new goalkeeper. The 34-year-old already has two promotions to the Premier League under his belt from his spells at Sheffield United and QPR so it's clear that a hat-trick is the target during his Elland Road stint. Rob Green takes over as the number one at Loftus Road but Leeds fans will just be happy that move has allowed Warnock to be reunited with his favourite custodian.

Right-back - Curtis Osano (Luton to AFC Wimbledon, free)

Osano became one of the Conference's top defenders during his time with Rushden & Diamonds and Luton after leaving Reading in 2008. Now is the time for the 25-year-old to make the step back up to the Football League and he should be able to do just that with ease. The right-back only made the switch to Luton just before the start of last season so a settled summer after joining the Dons at the end of May is a big boost. Kingsmeadow chief Terry Brown expects progress from his new recruit and so do we.

Centre-back - Jan Vertonghen (Ajax to Tottenham, undisclosed)

New manager Andre Villas-Boas has already seen Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson added to his squad since taking over at Tottenham. We reckon it's the £10million defender who will prove to be the most astute signing after impressing during his time at Ajax. The centre-back was a key part of the Dutch giants' Eredivisie title-winning squad last season and his stock is sure to rise further during his time in the Premier League. He now joins Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany, two of his team-mates in Belgium's defence, in England and is more than capable of making just as big an impact.

Centre-back - Matt Mills (Leicester to Bolton, undisclosed)

It's no shock that Mills says he has a point to prove after leaving Leicester for Bolton. The centre-half joined the Foxes from Reading last summer for £4.5million and was made captain by Sven-Goran Eriksson. The former England boss quickly departed, however, and new manager Nigel Pearson didn't have much time for Mills with the 25-year-old not playing a first-team game since February 14. But there is a reason the former Manchester City youngster cost so much money this time last year and Owen Coyle is well aware of his quality. The Trotters will have to adjust to the Championship but some good business before the season starts has put them in good stead.

Left-back - Scott Laird (Stevenage to Preston, free)

Laird has been reunited with Graham Westley at Preston. The left-back enjoyed phenomenal success while playing under Westley for Stevenage as back-to-back promotions from the Conference and League Two were secured. The 24-year-old continued to impress at Broadhall Way following Gary Smith's arrival as boss and nine goals last term show it isn't just at the back where he will prove an asset. Laird had been heavily linked with a move to the Championship at the start of the summer so getting him to stay in League One is a major feather in PNE's cap.

Right-midfield - Darren Ambrose (Crystal Palace to Birmingham, undisclosed)

A fee of around £250,000 looks like cracking value in this deal for Birmingham. Ambrose has clocked up spells with Ipswich, Newcastle, Charlton and Palace during his career and is stuffed full of Championship experience. Most people will remember his goal-of-the-season contender against Manchester United last term and more of the same will have Blues fans salivating in the upcoming campaign. Lee Clark has lots of work to do after taking the top job at St Andrew's but signings like this send out a major statement of intent.

Central-midfield - Steven Davis (Rangers to Southampton, free)

This looks like the deal of the summer so far with Southampton moving to sign Davis after the chaos at Rangers. The midfielder was captain of the Scottish outfit and already has plenty of experience south of the border after spells with Aston Villa and Fulham. The Saints had to beat off plenty of competition from other clubs to land the Northern Ireland international and boss Nigel Adkins has no doubt about the quality he has acquired. "Steven's an experienced player - a very talented football player who has played international football, captained his country, captained Rangers, and played in the Premier League, so he's at a good age and comes with a wealth of experience as well."

Central-midfield - Keith Andrews (West Brom to Bolton, free)

Andrews is another player who was much in demand this summer. Bolton won the race to seal the midfielder's signature after he left West Brom and he will prove a valuable asset in their bid to return to the top-flight. The 31-year-old impressed during his half-season spell at The Hawthorns but now finds himself playing for the 10th club of his career. His loan spell at Ipswich during the start of last term was a big success so he has already more than proved his ability to shine in the Championship.

Left-midfield - Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United to QPR, undisclosed)

Park won four Premier League titles, three League Cups and the Champions League during his time at Manchester United so it's fair to say he brings experience of success to QPR. Other offers from England, Europe and the Far East were rejected in order to make the switch to Loftus Road and the fee of around £2million looks like a bargain. Mark Hughes is full of praise for the man he says "ticks every box" and is happy to add to the plaudits by saying: "What he brings to the team is technical ability, a huge work ethic and a winning mentality."

Striker - Jon Parkin (Cardiff to Fleetwood, free)

Both the strikers in this side are selected from League Two with the arrival of Parkin a major move for newly-promoted Fleetwood. The Cod Army have been very active this summer with Damien Johnson and Steven Gillespie also notable additions. Parkin is the most eye-catching signing, however, with his presence sure to cause major concerns for defences in the fourth tier. We go to manager Micky Mellon to sum up his new recruit best. "He will allow us to score different types of goals. He is strong in the air allied to great ability on floor. He will be a massive fans' favourite and will be a big presence on and off the pitch."

Striker - Marc Richards (Port Vale to Chesterfield, free)

Richards promises to deliver in League Two and arrives at Chesterfield on a free after 67 goals in 181 league games during his time at Port Vale. The Spireites drop back down after just one season in League One but they were champions last time they played at this level so the bar is set high. There was massive interest in securing the former Barnsley forward but the Derbyshire club moved quickly and can expect to reap the rewards. Expect him to be right up amongst the top-scorers once again.


Ben Foster (Birmingham to West Brom, undisclosed)
Jason Shackell (Derby to Burnley, undisclosed)
James Meredith (York to Bradford, free)
Mohamed Diame (Wigan to West Ham, free)
Michael West (Ebbsfleet to Crewe, undisclosed)
Steve Howard (Leicester to Hartlepool, free)
Steven Naismith (Rangers to Everton, free)

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