Football’s summer transfer window has just concluded. Here’s how everyone fared.
In February next year, it will mark four years since Milan played their last competitive game in the Champions League. For such a massive club, it hasn’t been acceptable and the previous owner, Silvio Berlusconi, had a lot to do with that by not investing in the club like he once did.
That resulted in a change in ownership in May, as Milan were bought out by Chinese owners with an ambition to bring the club back to the top of world football. Judging by the transfer window, the $260 million they have spent have suggested that they are deadly serious about their new project.
Eleven new signings were made, most notably the purchase of Leonardo Bonucci caught everyone by surprise. Others such as Hakan Calhanoglu, Frank Kessie, Andre Silva, Ricardo Rodriguez and Andrea Conti have all been quality purchases and for this reason they can challenge for the scudetto.
Milan are indeed the biggest winners of this transfer window. Watch out for them this season.
The Parisian owners have done a fine job this summer, recruiting two of the hottest prospects in world football. The signing of Neymar from Barcelona sent shockwaves across the world.
The huge $262 million transfer fee forced fans to take notice and appreciate that Paris Saint-Germain will be one of the favourites to win the Champions League. He will give the club a lot of goals and creativity on the pitch as well as brand exposure off it.
Only three weeks ago was Kylian Mbappe linked to a move to his dream club Real Madrid. However, Paris Saint-Germain once again found a way to lure another talented prospect to the French capital on loan, with the option to buy next season for over $210 million.
Oh, and don’t forget the purchase of Dani Alves. The Brazilian full-back will give Paris Saint-Germain some much needed experience in they are to challenge for the Champions League.
Both Neymar and Mbappe have become the two most expensive transfers on history, sending strong warning signs to its European rivals that they mean business.
Whenever a season goes past, Juventus always seem to find a way to strengthen their squad with even more depth. The depature of Bonucci was disappointing for the club, but they were able to replace him with experienced German Benedikt Howedes, as well as keep hold of prize assets Alex Sandro and Paulo Dybala, rejecting bids from Chelsea and Barcelona for $83 million and $190 million respectively.
Then there’s Italian and Brazilian wingers Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa. Both are extremely talented players with a lot to give going forward. Finally, Blaise Matuidi would have to be the bargain of the summer, costing as little as $25 million. The Frenchman will be consistent and offer accurate passing and awareness in Juve’s build up play.
Expect another strong season from them this campaign.
In the past few seasons, the main objective for the German champions was specifically to win the Champions League. That hasn’t happened, but winning the Bundesliga will always be an easy task for them.
In terms of their new signings, it has created depth and new problems which is a good thing for Carlo Ancelotti. The loan signing of James Rodriguez caught everyone’s attention, and the Colombian will be a valued addition going forward.
As well as the acquisitions of Corentin Tolisso and Niklas Süle, Bayern were able to keep hold of their main stars such as Arturo Vidal and David Alaba.
Putting Renato Sanches out on loan to Swansea will see the Germans benefit as he has the potential to become one of the best midfielders in the world. He will only grow stronger.
After the signing of French striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, fans and pundits were actually having second thoughts about if Arsenal could maybe challenge for the title.
Instead, they have since suffered throughout the summer by not being able to sort out the Alexis Sanchez saga firstly. By him staying, it will only cause disharmony and unnecessary tension in the locker room.
Not being able to complete the Thomas Lemar deal on deadline was nearly as embarrassing as the $120 million they were prepared to pay for him.
They also weren’t able to strengthen the midfield and defence, which is a real concern.
It was only at the start of June that Aubameyang was inches away from completing his move to Paris Saint-Germain for a hefty price. The Paris club pulled out at the last minute, and since then it has caused a domino effect as clubs have started becoming hesitant.
The player wanted to leave, but Dortmund just didn’t want to let him go. He revealed that he wanted to return to AC Milan, but Dortmund refused any offers.
The Gabon international is just going to have to work a bit harder this season to force a move next summer transfer window.
Yes, the loss of Neymar would have come as quite a shock for the club, but that was no excuse to not find a suitable replacement.
All Barca did this summer was panic. Offering silly amounts of money to clubs to lure players such as Lorenzo Insigne, Paulo Dybala and Philippe Coutinho for $119 million, $190 million and $178 million respectively which showed just how desperate they were.
They were able to purchase the 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele making him the third most expensive transfer in history. A talented player, but Barcelona are taking a risk just hoping on potential. Same goes for right-back Semedo. Paulinho was also a terrible purchase from the Chinese Super League, showing just how far Barcelona have fallen.
Financial Fair Play
Seriously, no words can describe how pathetic this FFP rule has become. No one understands how it works or what are the actual regulations behind it.
How Paris Saint-Germain can spend nearly $500 million on two players makes the FFP an absolute joke.