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10 best value transfers of 2018

Shea Robinson
Top 5 / Top 10
29.20K   //    02 Sep 2018, 10:23 IST

Douglas Costa (L), Thibaut Courtois (C), and Arturo Vidal (R) all feature on this list, but who is number 1?

The transfer window for 2018 finally closed on September 1st with an incredible €4.48 billion spent across the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and the Bundesliga.

Among all this frivolous spending by Europe's elite clubs were some high-profile moves which took many by surprise due to the extraordinary fees involved. Liverpool's signing of Alisson Becker and Chelsea's signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga spring to mind.

While these transfers may prove value for money in the future, at the time of the moves both clubs paid far in excess of what the goalkeepers are worth according to market data.

There were, however, many transfers this summer which represented excellent value for the clubs involved.

We have correlated data from with actual fees paid for players throughout the transfer window to reveal the 10 best value transfers of 2018 below.

Note: Market value is based on a range of factors gathered by data analysis platform,, and is correct at the time of writing. For the purposes of this list, we have excluded all players who moved on loan or a free transfer.

#10 Radja Nainggolan & Santiago Arias

Radja Nainggolan (L) & Santiago Arias (R)

Radja Nainggolan

Market Value: €45 million


Transfer Fee: €38 million

Difference: (€7 million)

Radja Nainggolan was a key signing for Inter Milan this summer as he moved from Serie A rivals, Roma for a cash fee of €24 million plus Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo who were both valued at €14 million.

Despite the two-player plus cash deal to secure the signature of the Belgian international, Inter can feel they got a bargain. Nainggolan is currently valued at €45 million and is rated as one of the best midfielders in the Italian league.

He scored on his Inter debut against Bologna and will become a key cog in his side's push for at least a Champions League spot this season.

Santiago Arias

Market Value: €18 million

Transfer Fee: €11 million

Difference: (€7 million)

Another player who is worth €7 million more than the fee paid for his services, Santiago Arias moved from PSV in the Netherlands to Atletico Madrid in LaLiga this summer. The Columbian right-back enjoyed a good World Cup with his nation, leading to Deigo Simeone targeting his services for Los Colchoneros this summer.

Having been handed the number 4 jersey this season, we can expect to see plenty of the 26-year-old in LaLiga this season. He was instrumental in PSV's league title success during the 2017/18 Eredivisie and will hope to make Atletico's defence even better as they challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid this year.

It is surprising that PSV allowed the Eredivisie Player of the Year to leave for such a comparatively small fee and Simeone is bound to be delighted at securing such a bargain.

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