Marcone, Gonzalez & Gallardo: The top 10 transfers of the Liga MX Apertura

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Cruz Azul's summer overhaul led to the superlider position & a spot in the final. What other offseason signings made the difference in Liga MX?

  1. Hector Vivas

    Ivan Marcone | Lanus to Cruz Azul

    Marcone shored up the Cruz Azul midfield upon arrival and reportedly has interest from Villarreal for a big-money move to La Liga after his excellent debut campaign in Liga MX.

    He completed more than 84 percent of his passes per match and was perhaps the best player in the league at winning the ball back. It's no accident that as Pedro Caixinha modified his lineup during the season, the Argentine never gave up his space, missing out on a single league match between the Apertura campaign and the playoffs.

  2. Manuel Velasquez

    Pablo Aguilar | Tijuana to Cruz Azul

    One of Liga MX's best center backs for the last several campaigns, Aguilar didn't drop off after returning to Mexico City. The 31-year-old anchored a back line that conceded only 13 times in the 17-match regular season and chipped in three set-piece goals for good measure.

    The former America center back now has a chance to help his club to a double by beating America in the title match. It's a remarkable testament to his longevity - and his discipline. The previously foul-prone defender saw yellow just three times this season while winning five duels a match and making good on more than 70 percent of the tackles he attempted.

  3. Jesus Gallardo | Pumas to Monterrey

    While Rodolfo Pizarro struggled with injury, Gallardo proved to be a savvy signing who produced immediate results for Diego Alonso's side this season.

    After playing at left back during the World Cup, with some reports suggesting he'd garnered European attention only for teams to learn he'd already agreed to move to Monterrey, Gallardo gave Alonso a piece who could attack, defend or do a mix of both. He ended the campaign with three goals and an assist. The fact he can play at left back, left wing or in the midfield makes Gallardo more valuable than his numbers would suggest.

  4. Hector Vivas

    Carlos Gonzalez | Necaxa to Pumas

    Carlos Gonzalez filled the Nicolas Castillo-sized hole that had existed at the front of Pumas' attack. After the Chilean's departure for Benfica, the question was who would score for Pumas after their heavy dependence on "El Tanque" up front. The answer was the Paraguayan Gonzalez.

    His performances against Tigres shouldn't escape notice. After a hat trick against Tuca Ferretti's side in the regular season, he added another in the playoffs as Pumas progressed in the clubs' quarterfinal matchup. All in all, Gonzalez ended the season with nine goals between regular season and playoffs.

  5. Manuel Velasquez

    Roberto Alvarado | Necaxa to Cruz Azul

    The 20-year-old was extremely versatile for Cruz Azul manager Pedro Caixinha this season. Capable of playing on the wing, as an interior midfielder or behind the striker as he's doing now during La Maquina's title chase, Alvarado has excelled nearly every place he's played. Along with Diego Lainez, he's one of the hottest prospects suiting up for El Tri and reportedly has drawn attention from teams as big as Manchester United.

    After seeing his two goals and four assists in league play this year, Necaxa fans are left to wonder what could have been were their club to have kept hold of Alvarado and some of the other assets that helped it to the Copa MX the previous season, while Alvarado can take pride in once again winning the cup - and perhaps something even more important.

  6. Hector Vivas

    Raul Gudino | Porto to Chivas

    Gudino is back at home after seeing sporadic time in the Porto youth teams and in Cyprus, where he was on loan. He put his stamp on the starting job in Guadalajara and set himself on the way to being a Chivas legend with a standout game in the Clasico Nacional.

    Just 22, there's still more to do before Gudino reaches that level, but his first season back in Mexico gave plenty of reason to believe he can be a starter at Chivas for the foreseeable future and may even have what it takes to make a return to Europe.

  7. Azael Rodriguez

    Leonardo Ramos | Tapachula to Lobos BUAP

    An Argentine who Lobos picked up from the Mexican second division, Ramos showed he has the quality to be in Liga MX. The 29-year-old scored eight goals, good enough to tie for sixth in the league this season.

    Lobos needed to overhaul after a year that led to relegation. After paying a payment to stay up when the Ascenso champion wasn't eligible to promoted, Lobos stayed in the first division. To do that again, they'll need to avoid finishing last and had a decent campaign after a slow start. Without Ramos and several of his fellow summer signings, it could've gone much worse.

  8. Julio Cesar Aguilar

    Hugo Nervo | Huracan to Santos Laguna

    It was going to be difficult for Santos Laguna to defend its title without its two center backs. But the Torreon club brought in reinforcements after selling Nestor Araujo to Celta de Vigo and Carlos Izquierdoz to Boca Juniors.

    Nervo adapted well to Liga MX and led the club's back line as it allowed just 18 goals, fewer than all but two teams. He played in all 19 games for the club (the regular season and both legs of a Liguilla quarterfinal against Monterrey), averaging nearly two interceptions a match and making just more than four clearances a game.

  9. Roger Martinez | Jiangsu Suning to America

    Martinez came into the league in the summer with the goal of boosting America's attack. In some ways, he accomplished that. Las Aguilas scored more goals than any team in the league and playoffs.

    In others, he disappointed. Martinez scored just three goals himself and America's attack worked in mostly fits and starts. While he gave Miguel Herrera another option up top and managed to score on occasion, the cub will expect more of him in the Clausura.

  10. Azael Rodriguez

    Julian Quinones | Lobos BUAP to Tigres

    This is a loan return, so maybe it barely qualifies as a transfer. Yet, it was a no-brainer for Tigres to bring the Colombian back into the fold after his standout campaigns with Lobos.

    Just 21, Quinones is a salve for an ageing Tigres team, and his quality this season allowed Tuca Ferretti's side the flexibility needed to move Ismael Sosa on this offseason and perhaps sell an additional attacker.