Many feel that the Premier League cannot be seen as the best league in the world due to the faltering efforts of England’s representatives in European competition last season.
However, this summer’s transfer window provides further proof that the Premier League remains the most attractive proposition for the majority of players across the globe.
Here are five players who reportedly rejected overtures from substantially bigger clubs in other countries in order to play in arguably the most competitive division in world football.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United)
At the age of just 24, Wijnaldum captained PSV to the Eridivisie title and has been capped 19 times by the Netherlands. His impressive form for club and country reportedly attracted the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool in recent years.
However, despite only sealing their survival on the final day of last season, Newcastle United managed to secure his signature for a fee of £14.7 million. The opportunity to play Champions League football was present at either PSV or a number of potential destinations around Europe, including Russian giants Zenit St.Petersburg, but the lure of the Premier League proved the deciding factor in Wijnaldum’s decision to join the Magpies.
Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace)
A former Newcastle cult hero, Cabaye endured a disappointing 18 month spell with PSG after leaving the north-east of England to play in the Champions League. The 29 year old struggled to justify his £19 million price tag and a return to the Premier League was top of his agenda ahead of this summer.
Despite rumoured interest from Southampton and Spurs, as well as Lazio and Atletico Madrid, the French international chose to link up with former boss Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace, who finished tenth last season.
Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa)
After outgrowing his Lille side, Gueye found himself linked with a host of Premier League clubs, most notably Liverpool and Arsenal. The 25 year old midfield general has made 24 appearances for Senegal and his signing should provide Tim Sherwood with a suitable replacement for the recently departed Fabian Delph.
Outside of England, Gueye was reportedly attracting interest from Sevilla and Inter Milan but quickly jumped at the opportunity to play in the most competitive league in the world, to the benefit of Aston Villa.
Andre Ayew (Swansea)
A regular fixture in Premier League rumour mills over the past few years, Ayew became a free agent this summer after running down his deal at Marseilles. Linked with Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs in recent seasons, the Ghana winger had established himself as one of the best players in Ligue 1 before his arrival in south Wales.
The 25-year-old reportedly had the chance to join both Porto and Valencia. Swansea finished eighth last term and, once again, the opportunity to showcase his skills in the Premier League proved the key to Ayew’s signing.
Jeremain Lens (Sunderland)
Sunderland is another team that narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship last season. In spite of their struggles, Dick Advocaat managed to attract Lens to the Stadium of Light from Dynamo Kiev this summer for £8.5 million. The Dutch winger has been capped 29 times by his country, scoring eight goals.
While the 27-year-old hasn’t been linked to the Premier League’s top sides as much as the other players on this list, his availability will certainly have alerted many clubs from all over the continent.