As the season's end draws near, managers may already have their eye on players they want to bring to their clubs, with the previous summer transfer window in the Premier League proving pivotal this season.
Indeed, United's capture of Robin van Persie is what many have put their dominance down to in the current campaign, despite the Dutchman's real slump in form.
WhoScored.com takes the chance to look at some of the signings of the season, compiling an XI in a 4-4-2 formation of players who made at least 10 league appearances for their new club based on their unique statistical rating system.
Although only seven keepers are in contention here, that should not belittle the performances of the veteran Finn, whose heroics have been key to ensuring West Ham's likely survival. Of teams outside the top nine, only Stoke have a better defensive record than the Hammers, though they clearly owe a great deal to Jaaskelainen, who leads the league in saves (134).
It proved to be quite a weekend for Villa's young right-back, smashing in a goal-of-the-season contender, but more important a vital strike to drag Stoke further into the mire. The 23-year-old made the step up from League One with Sheffield United seamlessly, playing every minute of Paul Lambert's side's league campaign, while only Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin has more tackles and interceptions combined than the full-back this season (184).
Chico made his return to the side after a lengthy spell on the sidelines saw the Spaniard miss Swansea's Capital One Cup glory. His absence has been notable in the league, however, with Swansea losing 5 of the 11 games he hasn't started this season compared to 6 of the 21 he has. The 26-year-old ranks third in the league for interceptions per game (3.3), but also among the top 10 for tackles (3.5) and passes (58.2).
While some of Martin O'Neill's more 'glamorous' signings let him down the man he brought from Villa has gone quietly about his business when fit for Sunderland. The Spaniard ranks among the top 20 players in the league for average tackles (3.1), clearances (9) and shot blocks (1.1), as well as winning more aerial duels than any of his defensive teammates at the Stadium of Light (3.1).
Primarily a centre-back, Vertonghen has made half of his league starts for Tottenham (14) from the left this season, including most recently against Everton. The Belgian is the top defender in the league according to WhoScored ratings (see the rest of the leaderboard here), scoring four goals and bagging three assists, as well as recording team-high tallies for tackles (80), interceptions (82) and clearances (239) thus far.
The Scot would have seen his goal against Swansea as a long time coming, but nevertheless Snodgrass’ strike saw him draw level with Holt as Norwich's top scorer, with five. He is also the team's leading man for assists (4), as well as e averagshots (2.3), key passes (1.6) and successful dribbles (1.3). The former Leeds player’s tally of three goals from direct free kicks remains a league high, while his 62 accurate crosses is enough to rank fourth in the top flight.
Arsenal may have lost their talisman last summer, but in sealing the deal for Cazorla they pulled off the signing of the season so far, according to WhoScored's ratings. With 12 goals and seven assists in the league he's the Gunners' latest hero, and his creativity is up there with the club's greats of the past. The Spanish international has completed twice as many through balls as any other player (26) and ranks among the top five for average passes (65.8) and dribbles (2.3).
The only player in midfield here who isn't a newcomer to the Premier League, the former Fulham man has picked up at Spurs where he left off at Craven Cottage. He’s one of the league's most domineering all-round midfielders, ranking fifth this season for successful dribbles (61), eighth for pass accuracy (91.2%) and among the top 20 for tackles (61), including figures from his two Fulham appearances.
It’s fair to say last summer's most expensive Premier League import hasn't had it all his own way this season, but regardless, Hazard has shown frequent glimpses as to why Chelsea forked out so much for his signature. He has eight goals and eight assists, both good returns for a Premier League debut season, completing 17 more dribbles (51) than any other teammate. Expect those figures to rise next season if his most recent run of form is anything to go by.
While there have undoubtedly been better players in the Premier League this season, few have been as imperative to their side as Benteke. Even fewer could have predicted the impact he would have in the Midlands. He netted his 15th league goal in the dying minutes against Stoke; 10 of those have come since the turn of the year. The Belgian’s strikes have accounted for 43 percent of Villa's goals this season, a higher proportion than any other player in the division.
Robin van Persie
A run of four league games without a goal (going into Monday's match) has allowed Luis Suarez to race in front in the top scorer stakes this season, with van Persie failing to strike in his last eight matches for United in all competitions. His 19 league goals, however, were enough to earn Ferguson's men a significant gap at the top of the table, and those strikes have still earned his side the most points this season of any player in the top flight (22), proving that when he does score, they're often match-winners.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.