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Six Impressive Premier League Signings for Smaller Clubs That Could Be Stars

14/08/2015 17:31 BST | Updated 14/08/2016 10:59 BST

What has been evident from the transfer window this summer is that the Premier League's so-called 'smaller clubs' can now afford to splash the cash, benefitting from the lucrative TV rights deal.

While some are perhaps correct in baulking at the record rights package paid by Sky and BT Sports for Live Premier League action, the quality pouring into English football can only be heralded as a great thing.

Here, we take a look at six of the most impressive summer signings for clubs outside last season's top six that could become stars and propel their new side up the Premier League ladder.

6. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa)

​It's always difficult making the step up from the Championship to Premier League but Villa's powerful new striker looks as though he may help stem the bleeding from Christian Benteke's departure.

The 26-year-old Frenchman is certainly as devastating in the air as his Belgian predecessor at Villa Park, with his winner against Bournemouth on the opening day of the season being his 20th headed goal since the beginning of the 2013/14 season.

Described brilliantly in the Daily Mail as a "leaping juggernaut" Gestede could be exactly the powerful target man Tim Sherwood wants in attack, with the pace of Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew complimenting his brute force nicely.

With his goal against the Cherries, he's effectively earned a starting berth in Friday night's showdown with Manchester United, but can he continue to deliver? We think so.

5. Andre Ayew (Swansea City)

​While retaining the services of Bafetimbi Gomis this summer has been a huge boost for Garry Monk's Swans, he will need assistance in providing goals on a regular basis - Ayew is an ideal candidate to take some of the pressure off his shoulder.

Another goalscoring debutant in the Premier League opening weekend, Ayew showed some nice feet and composure to net the equaliser against champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Thierry Henry described him as a "very clever player" and that looks like an accurate assessment of a man who notched 60 goals for Marseille.

At 25, he is entering his prime and looks prepared to impress in England after a length spell in France.

4. Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City)

The Japan international didn't manage to bag a goal on his debut, but he impressed throughout the Foxes' 4-2 victory over Sunderland nonetheless.

Okazaki looked extremely comfortable on the ball and did not shy away from the physicality, regularly standing up to Younes Kaboul at the heart of the Black Cats defence.

While he doesn't possess blistering pace, Leicester have plenty of speed in attack with Jeffrey Schlupp, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, so Okazaki could be the missing ingredient. What is clear however, is that the former Mainz striker has great technique and vision, and may prove to be the linchpin in attack for Claudio Ranieri.

3. Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United)

​There was never any doubting Wijnaldum's quality on Tyneside - he did captain PSV to a brilliant title-winning season in the Eredivise last year - but rest assured, the Toon Army breathed a collective sigh of relief when their new midfielder got off to a flying start at the weekend, scoring in the 2-2 draw with Southampton.

Showing an impressive all-round athleticism and understanding of the game, Wijnaldum looks as though he may occupy the centre of the Geordie's midfield with great aplomb. Steve McClaren is obviously hoping that he can be the heartbeat for him like he was for Philippe Cocu in Holland and that may not be wishful thinking.

Newcastle may have found themselves a genuine box-to-box goalscorer; something every manager craves in his first-team.

2. Salomon Rondon (West Brom)

​Although the excitement of seeing their most expensive striker ever before kick-off quickly evaporated against Manchester City on Monday night, Baggies fans should still be positive about their chances with Rondon in the starting line-up.

Benefiting from a law passed by Vladimin Putin that restricts the amount of foreign players in Russia, West Brom have acquired genuine quality in the Venezuelan striker. Rondon notched 13 league goals for Zenit last season and also impressed in European competition, so we know he has the pedigree to deliver.

At 6ft 2in tall, he is a powerful presence up front and his significant aerial threat is music to the ears of Tony Pulis, who likes his strikers big and strong. He can perform the lone striker efficiently, but could dovetail perfectly with a mobile strike partner like Saido Berahino (provided he stays, of course).

1. Dimitri Payet (West Ham)

Anytime Payet received possession for West Ham during their 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday, the pulses of the Hammers fans quickened. Seeing their expensive summer recruit wreak havoc on the Gunners defence must have been immensely satisfying and there is enough reason to suggest he will continue a rich vein of form.

Providing the assist for Cheikhou Kouyate's opener with a perfectly delivered set-piece, Payet also displayed wonderful footwork and pace at times, and looks a real handful when driving at the heart of defences with the ball at his feet.

Expect him to play a massive part for Slaven Bilic's men this season. He is a real star in the making. ​

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