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The Six Smartest Premier League Signings of the Summer So Far

24/07/2015 17:10 BST | Updated 23/07/2016 10:59 BST

​The Premier League summer transfer window is now in full swing, with all 20 clubs having conducted at least some business. High profile moves like Raheem Sterling's record transfer to Manchester City may have dominated the headlines, but what about some of the deals that just seem to make incredible sense?

Here's a look at the six smartest moves of the summer so far.

6. Etienne Capoue to Watford

Watford's capture of Etienne Capoue is just one of several good deals the newly promoted Hornets have pulled off this summer, but the French midfielder's record arrival already looks to be the most shrewd.

Capoue actually started last season as a permanent fixture in Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham side before being surprisingly disposed of in early November, only to feature sparsely thereafter. His passing skills and defensive awareness will be crucial if Watford are to remain competitive in the top flight and avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

5. Matteo Darmian to Manchester United

​Manchester United fans were jumping for joy when the club completed deals for Batsian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin last week, but the £12.7m signing of Matteo Darmian could yet prove to be the best business the club does this summer.

Crucially, Darmian already has the physical ability and stature to cope with the demands of the Premier League, aiding a potentially tricky transition from Serie A. United made do with Antonio Valencia at right-back last season and while the winger performed admirably in the circumstances, the back four will look much stronger with a real defender added to the mix.

4. Sylvain Distin to AFC Bournemouth

​Keen to learn from the naive mistakes of various newly promoted sides who have come horribly unstuck in the past, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has moved quickly to bolster his team's defensive stability this summer.

To meet that requirement, the Cherries drafted in Sylvain Distin on a free transfer after his release from Everton. The 37-year-old is experienced as they come in the Premier League and is still fit enough and capable enough to do the job. His influence in a dressing room almost completely devoid of top flight know-how will be a huge asset.

3. Petr Cech to Arsenal

Arsenal have arguably lacked a reliable first choice goalkeeper since Jens Lehmann left the club in 2008 and such defensive frailty has been a large part of why the Gunners haven't seriously challenged for the Premier League title in that time.

Petr Cech's arrival shows great ambition and is a huge coup for Arsene Wenger and the club. His presence will finally breathe confidence into the back four, who can rest a little easier in the knowledge that they have one of the safest pair of hands in the world behind them. His importance simply cannot be understated.

2. Maarten Stekelenburg to Southampton

Southampton's heroic seventh place finish in 2014/15 was built on a solid defensive foundation. But Fraser Forster's cruel knee injury in March was a big blow to their season and despite Kelvin Davis' best efforts, it quickly became clear a new goalkeeper would be required.

With Forster out for most, if not all, of the upcoming campaign, Dutch international Maarten Stekelenburg fits the bill perfectly at St Mary's. He played in the 2010 World Cup final and has years worth of top level experience. Most importantly, with their needs only temporary, the Saints were able to acquire the 32-year-old on loan.

1. Yohan Cabaye to Crystal Palace

For Crystal Palace to have any chance of replicating their shock top half finish of last season again in 2015/16, Alan Pardew needed to buy real quality this summer. In securing a reunion with Yohan Cabaye after their past at Newcastle, that is exactly what he has done.

Although a club record for Palace, Cabaye's £12.8m price tag is rather modest in the current era, especially for a player with a proven Premier League track record. The French international will instantly add a great deal of creativity to his new team with his excellent range of passing to feed the Eagles' exciting front-line.

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