The financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped clubs from splurging big money in the ongoing summer transfer window. However, money doesn’t guarantee success, and big-money signings can often go dramatically wrong for player and club.
In the past decade, the game has witnessed a massive influx of cash, which has seen exorbitant amounts of money spent in the transfer market. There have been over ten transfers that have exceeded the €100 million mark in the past five years.
That has led to fans questioning their club’s spending, as teams like Barcelona have been driven into billions of dollars of debt through exorbitant expenditures. However, big-money signings can sometimes provide a much-needed impetus and boost to a club and propel them to domestic and European glory.
On that note, here's a look at five players who silenced their critics after securing big-money moves.
#5 Kai Havertz
After an impressive four-season spell at Bayer Leverkusen, Kai Havertz earned a big-money €80 million move to Chelsea.
The German was directly involved in 77 goals (46 goals, 31 assists) in 150 appearances for Leverkusen as he established himself as one of the most talented prospects in the game. However, he was still an unproven quantity on the big stage, so many wondered if Chelsea had overpaid for the youngster.
There were also questions regarding Havertz’s ability to adapt to the rigours of English football. Much like Chelsea, Havertz endured a tough start to his 2020-21 campaign. But with more game time under his belt, the 22-year-old looked more at ease, and soon established himself as a regular under Thomas Tuchel.
Kai Havertz assisted the opening goal in Chelsea’s 2-0 win against Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals. Havertz then got himself on the scoresheet in arguably the biggest match of his career, scoring his first Champions League goal to seal Chelsea’s second triumph in the competition.
One can surely surmise that the German has proved most of his doubters wrong.
#4 Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez was arguably the best striker in the game when Barcelona came calling in the summer of 2014.
The Uruguayan almost single-handedly propelled Liverpool to a Premier League title in the 2013-14 season, registering a direct involvement in 48 goals (31 goals, 17 assists) in 37 Premier League appearances.
While there were no doubts regarding his abilities, many expressed concerns about his temperament. Suarez's Barcelona debut was delayed by three months, as he received a suspension for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The 34-year-old was also involved in a biting incident in 2013 during his time at Anfield, this time it was Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. In another shameful incident, Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra during a Premier League game against Manchester United.
To his credit, though, Luis Suarez apparently cleaned up his act after making an €82.3 million move to Barcelona. He hit the ground running, and emerged as one of the most important players in a world-class Blaugrana squad.
The Uruguayan has registered a stellar tally of 195 goals and 113 assists during his time at Camp Nou. Suarez formed one-third of the feared MSN attacking trio that won the 2014-15 continental treble.
Now at Atletico Madrid, Suarez scored 21 times to propel the Rojiblancos to their first league titles in seven years last season.