While considering the lavish amounts of money dished out in the European transfer window, a line from a famous poet comes to mind. Lawrence S. Pertillar, one of America’s most distinguished poets, couldn’t have been more wrong when he said: “A person’s worth is invaluable.” Rather, the poet should have said: “In today’s Middle-East backed football world, a person’s worth is astronomical!”
The exciting, enthralling, thrilling (/annoying, irritating, frustrating?) transfer season is over and money has been spent lavishly by clubs who have it. For the smaller clubs? Well there is always a possibility of getting a player on loan.
A humongous sum of over €1.6 billion was spent across the top 5 European leagues (viz. EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga) and a lot of big names switched clubs. Let’s take a look at the 5 most expensive transfers this summer.
1. Sergio Aguero:
Manchester City decided to strengthen their squad ahead of their debut Champions League campaign. Despite having a ferocious strike force comprising Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli, manager Roberto Mancini bought the want-away Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero for €45 million.
All eyes were on Aguero when Manchester City began their season in the Community Shield match against Manchester United. Aguero started on the bench and didn’t feature in City’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals. In City’s next match against Swansea, Aguero came off the bench in the 60th minute to score twice and assist one more goal as City won 4-0. Aguero scored once more in the 5-1 win over Tottenham, making it 3 goals in 3 premier league appearances for the Argentine international. Who says money can’t buy you happiness?
My Opinion: Will shine, no doubt. But is overpriced and overhyped.
2. Javier Pastore:
If Manchester City were the spendthrifts in the Premier League, it was Paris Saint Germain in French Ligue 1 who broke the bank to get in new players. Backed by the enormous wealth of their new Qatari owners, PSG spent nearly €89million this summer with more than 10 new faces arriving at the club. The most expensive of them was yet another Argentine, the 22 year old Javier Pastore. PSG paid €43 million to Serie A club Palermo to acquire the services of this lanky playmaker who can operate on either wings. And the move seems to be paying off as Pastore has already assisted 4 times in 4 appearances for his new club.
My Opinion: Will take PSG to new heights and at just 22 years of age, expect a move to Real Madrid or Manchester City in the near future.
3. Radamel Falcao:
The former FC Porto striker was snapped up by Atletico Madrid as a direct replacement for Sergio Aguero. Talent comes for a price and in Falcao’s case, the price was an unbelievable €40million. The Colombian goal-machine, who scored more than 70 goals in just 84 appearances during his 2 year spell at Porto, hasn’t had a chance to show his magic in the La Liga courtesy the player strike that has postponed the start of new campaign. Falcao’s addition should mean that the Madrid based club will compete with the likes of Valencia and Villarreal for the third spot in the table.
My Opinion: With the help of Diego (who is on loan from Wolfsburg), Falcao will score 25+ goals this season.
4. Cesc Fabregas:
And what a start he has had to his Barcelona career! 6 years without a trophy at the Emirates were followed by 3 trophies in his first 3 appearances for the Catalan club. The 24 year old won the Spanish Super Cup by beating Real Madrid over two legs. Next up was the Joan Gamper Trophy that the Catalans won by thrashing Napoli 5-0. The UEFA Super Cup was next as Fabregas scored his first Barcelona goal in the 2-0 victory over FC Porto. Fabregas was named in the starting XI for Barcelona’s season opener against Villarreal and scored the second goal in a 5-0 win.
My Opinion: Despite the presence of Xavi, Iniesta, Keita and Thiago, Cesc will make 30+ appearances for Barcelona and score a few vital goals.
Clearly a surplus to Real Madrid’s needs, the 23 year old can operate as a left winger and a wing back. €30million was the sum spent to buy Coentrao from Benfica. The arrival of Coentrao means Jose Mourinho will be left with no excuse should Real Madrid fail to win the title this season. Coentrao made an excellent start to his Real Madrid career and was named the Man of the Match on his debut against LA Galaxy in preseason. His first two official games for Madrid were against Barcelona in the Super Cup while he made his La Liga debut in the 6-0 win against Real Zaragoza, where he played on the left wing while Marcelo played at left back.
My Opinion: His versatility and pace are the only plus point. Won’t add anything extra to a star studded Madrid squad.