How football officially went bonkers this summer!
This transfer season, we witnessed some record-smashing, some eye-brow raising, some historic and yet, some underwhelming deals go through before the window shut on the 31st of August, bringing an end to an unforgettable transfer window.
One shouldn't really be surprised at the amount of money that was spent by the clubs on new recruits this summer. After all, it had been coming. The signs were always there. Paul Pogba, John Stones, Gonzalo Higuain, all cost their clubs a small fortune last summer, even though one could clearly see that they hadn't done enough to prove themselves among the "elite".
You might argue that Pogba is an exception to that, but again, was he £89m material then? Would he have been worth £89m today, if not for the way the transfer summer turned out? John Stones has been thriving under the tutelage of the master, Pep Guardiola this summer, but you simply couldn't say he would, with the way he embarrassed himself in the early part of last season.
Gonzalo Higuain is an excellent striker, but I've never been convinced that he would be a big game player! His horrendous performance, that possibly cost Messi and Argentina a world cup title in 2014, is stark evidence to that.
But this summer, we witnessed some of the greatest transfer sagas in football history. From the costliest (Neymar), to the most embarrassing (Ousmane Dembele, Virgil van Dijk and Phillippe Coutinho), to the most dramatic(Romelu Lukaku and Kylian Mbappe), to Paulinho(sigh), this transfer season had it all!
There were just too many things to remember this transfer season for: The ridiculous ways of welcoming a player by their employers, the embarrassing lengths to which certain players went to get their dream transfer, 'the harassment' meted out by certain clubs on players to sign for them, and so on.
But the single most important reason to remember this transfer season, was for the money that was involved. 14 of the 20 premier league clubs broke their transfer record this summer.
Everton spent around £20 million more for Gylfi Sigurdsson than Real Madrid paid for Toni Kroos(a world cup winner) three seasons ago! Spurs flop Paulinho was signed by Barcelona from Guangzhou for €40 million!
20-year-old Ousmane Dembele and 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe made big money moves to Barcelona and PSG respectively. PSG spent as much on a single player that certain clubs would be spending in years!
Of course, the increase in revenue from TV rights has been a major factor for the astronomical amount of money spent this season, but the point of major concern is the fact that football clubs are beginning to accept that you need to spend big to be successful. Manchester City were probably the first to accept that.
Will we see a decrease in spending anymore? Do the weaker clubs have the financial muscle required to keep up with the few big clubs in the league? Will the leagues remain as competitive as before? Is it possible for another Leicester City miracle to happen again? Only time will tell. But one thing's for certain, football has officially gone bonkers!