In recent years, La Liga has experienced somewhat of a downfall on the continental stage. With both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo departing the Spanish top-flight in the span of three years, La Liga has encountered a serious dip in viewership. Nevertheless, with two of the biggest clubs on the planet at its center, the Spanish top-tier still has the pulling power to attract some of the biggest names in football.
The most interesting new signings in La Liga
In comparison to other top European leagues, La Liga turned out to be penny-pinchers in the summer transfer window of 2021. The Spanish top-flight registered the lowest net expenditure among all the elite leagues, recording just €486 million in transfer transactions. However, some interesting names still jumped ships to join Spanish sides this season.
Atletico Madrid staged a coup while acquiring the duo of Rodrigo De Paul and Matheus Cunha, shelling out a combined fee of €65 million. On the other side of Madrid, Real managed to secure the highly sought-after Eduardo Camavinga for a nominal fee of €31 million. Cash-strapped Barcelona indulged in numerous free transfers, signing the likes of Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia without spending a single dime. Rafa Mir to Sevilla and Arnaut Danjuma to Villarreal were some other notable incomings to La Liga.
Considering the alterations that Spanish clubs have made this term, there has been a huge shift in the dynamic of their valuation. Following the departures of La Liga mainstays like Messi and Raphael Varane, a new set of players appear on the list of footballers with the highest market value right now.
With a total worth of €755 million, let's take a look at the most valuable La Liga XI (3-4-3) at the moment:
Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak (€70m, Atletico Madrid)
The most obvious inclusion on this eleven, Jan Oblak is easily one of the best shot-stoppers on the planet. The big Slovenian joined Diego Simeone's fortress in the summer of 2014, effectively replacing the outgoing Thibaut Courtois. Fast forward seven years and Oblak has clearly surpassed his predecessor at Atletico Madrid.
Winner of a joint-record five Zamora trophies, the 28-year-old goalkeeper has made 234 La Liga appearances for Los Rojiblancos, keeping a mind-boggling 125 clean sheets along the way.
Center-back: Jules Kounde (€60m, Sevilla)
A relatively fresh face in La Liga, Jules Kounde's meteoric rise to prominence has been well documented by scouts all across the continent. Part of a Sevilla side that conceded the third-least goals in La Liga last season, Kounde is arguably the most prized asset in that formidable backline.
Due to his consistent performances, the French international has been linked with a big-money move to Chelsea. Nevertheless, the 22-year-old defender continues to remain in La Liga and deservedly makes the list.
Center-back: José María Giménez (€60m, Atletico Madrid)
The Uruguayan centre-half has been criminally underrated throughout his Atletico Madrid career. Having played alongside the evergreen Diego Godin at both the club as well as on the international stage, Giménez has learned all the tricks to rock-solid defending.
The 26-year-old centre-back has been with Atletico for eight years now and has played a crucial role in the club's transitional period. Giménez is now a seasoned defender himself, leading the backline for the reigning La Liga champions.
Centre-back: David Alaba (€55m, Real Madrid)
The former Bayern Munich superstar recently joined La Liga giants Real Madrid on a free transfer, yet skims his way into the league's most valuable eleven. Signed up on a weekly wage of around €435,000, David Alaba is a dependable defender who is equally adept in playing at the center as well as on the left.
Following the combined departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, the 29-year-old Austria international is a welcome addition to both Real Madrid and La Liga.