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Juan Mata and Demba Ba enjoyed strong starts for Chelsea and Newcastle, Papiss Cisse has stolen the show since and Mikel Arteta and Sergio Aguero have also impressed at new clubs


The 2011-12 Premier League season has seen the revival of the January impact signing. Papiss Cisse generated yet more headlines for all the right reasons on Wednesday night, scoring a spectacular double to guide Newcastle United past Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Cisse's remarkable flurry of goals (he now has 13 in 12 Premier League matches) since signing from Freiburg have undoubtedly helped Newcastle push for the fourth and final Champions League qualification place but several others can stake a valid claim to being the best signing of the season.

Demba Ba, also at Newcastle, and Juan Mata of Chelsea could argue that their form for three or four month spells earlier in the season was just as good as Cisse's.

Ba, who signed on a free transfer after leaving West Ham, enjoyed a spectacular stretch of 17 goals in 17 league games between the end of September and the beginning of February. The Senegal international has hit a barren spell in front of goal since but has continued to contribute, remaining a virtual ever-present in the Magpies team in a deeper position from which he has unselfishly supported Cisse.

Mata, meanwhile, has scored an impressive 12 goals in all competitions from midfield this season since leaving Valencia and while his form was particularly dazzling before Christmas, he has remained consistent amid a fair amount of turmoil at Stamford Bridge in 2012.

The Spaniard has also shown himself capable of playing a more restricted role for the benefit of the team, featuring in both legs of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.

In Manchester, Sergio Aguero has proved himself to be one of the division's top strikers and needs to help Manchester City to just two more wins to be crowned a Premier League champion. The former Atletico Madrid man has scored 22 league goals in addition to seven in cup competitions and his stable presence has been a relief for Roberto Mancini, who has had to deal with the volatility and inconsistency of Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez.

A dark horse for the prize could be Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta. Arteta was signed from Everton to fill the void left by Cesc Fabregas after his departure to Barcelona and has done an admirable job in central midfield. The Gunners, after a turbulent start, have shown an encouraging amount of solidity and consistency compared to recent seasons and Arteta's experience has played a big part in that improvement.


Has Cisse done enough in his short time in the Premier League to be named as the season's best signing? Was Ba's spell earlier in the season, coupled with his continued importance to Newcastle, more impressive? Should the consistency of Mata, Aguero or Arteta be recognised? Or perhaps you think another candidate, such as Everton's Nikica Jelavic, Swansea City's Gylfi Sigurdsson or Tottenham's Brad Friedel is top of the pile?

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Who has been the Premier League signing of the season?