The summer transfer window in European football has been a whirlwind affair that has kept us biting our nails over the course of the last two months.
Following the end of this year’s January market, FIFA decided to abolish the emergency loan system that allowed clubs to bring players in after the official end of the transfer window which left clubs working hard to wrap all of their business dealings within the regulated timeframe.
With 31 August already behind us we take a look at the clubs we consider to be the winners of the transfer market in Europe’s top 4 football leagues.
The summer transfer window has been the biggest in English football history. Over £1 billion were spent before deadline day came to an end eclipsing the last year’s record of £870 million in terms of transfer expenditure.
14 of 20 Premier League clubs broke their own transfer records this summer with Manchester United setting a new record for world’s most expensive football transfer with their £93 million Paul Pogba buy from Juventus in July.
Given the transfer dealings by the Old Trafford club, it is fair to conclude that this early in the season Red Devils should be considered as projected winners of the transfer window.
Jose Mourinho was brought with a task of getting Manchester United back to the top of English and European football with Portuguese tactician starting the revolution with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan alongside the returnee Paul Pogba.
The arrivals of the aforementioned players will not only increase the quality of United’s performance, but it will also have huge impact on the club’s brand value, marketing and economic aspects which must also be taken into consideration.
With all departments reinforced in timely fashion by world-class stars who can make immediate impact, Red Devils deserve the transfer crown in England, despite their greatest Premier League rivals such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal digging deep into their pockets to boost their respective ranks.
Pushed back behind Europe’s leading domestic football competitions in financial terms mainly, Serie A has made its return to the biggest stage in style.
Several club takeovers by rich investors have allowed clubs to invest more money in bringing new players and attracting exciting stars that have been avoiding to go to Italy in recent years.
Heavy investments and financial reorganisation have allowed Serie A clubs to break the 2001 summer Mercato record. The Italian clubs have spent €678 million compared to €677 million spent fifteen years ago.
The 32-time Serie A champions Juventus have seemingly done most during the summer transfer window in the new 2016-17 season.
The Old Lady have broken the club record with the €90 million signing of former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, while the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Dani Alves, Marko Pjaca and Mehdi Benatia have added much required squad depth at the same time raising the squad quality that will help Juventus in their title defence and in the European endeavours alike.
Inter Milan as the honourable mentions deserve praise for their last-gasp efforts in the market as well. Chinese takeover has allowed Nerazzurri to spend €40 million on Sporting CP’s Joao Mario and €27.5 million on Brazilian forward sensation Gabriel, also known as Gabigol.
These two players will surely help Frank de Boer as the Dutch tactician attempts to get his team back on track and include Inter in Scudetto race.
When it comes to Spanish football, three clubs have all the attention in the world which has been the case during the summer transfer window as well.
Having reinforced with the likes of Valencia stars Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer, Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti, PSG left back Lucas Digne, Ajax keeper Jasper Cillessen and Villarreal midfielder Denis Suarez the reigning champions Barcelona look like they have an even more competitive squad than it was the case last year.
With their team boosted in all the right positions, the Catalans are seemingly the undisputed winners of the summer transfer window.
Contrary to busy summer at Camp Nou, Real Madrid have only brought back Alvaro Morata from Juventus, while Zinedine Zidane opted to promote youth and home grown talent such as Marco Asensio.
Their quiet transfer window however has been regarded as a wise move in a financially inflated market as Los Blancos already have more than enough quality within their ranks to fight for major honours.
Honurable mention in the Spanish La Liga goes to Granada, whose business dealings have once again been impressive.
Having lost ten loaned players who returned to their parent clubs during the summer, Granada’s recruiting system worked diligently to replace the exact number with new loans, who are expected to play an important part in the new season in order to help the club stay afloat.
German championship has become a two-horse race in recent years and chances are that this year will bring nothing different to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund vying for the Bundesliga title.
Current champions have lost their manager Pep Guardiola, who moved to Manchester City, but Carlo Ancelotti has been in many eyes seen as an improvement to the Spanish tactician who has some in-squad, man management problems at Bayern.
Bavarians have already had arguably the strongest squad in the league, so it should not come as a surprise that only two players were added to the current crop during summer.
Former Dortmund defender Mats Hummels returned to Bayern after a long service with Borussia, while the Bavarians demonstrated shrewd transfer thinking by snapping the exciting Portugal talent Renato Sanches for £30 million in front of numerous suitors from all over Europe.
Winners of the transfer window in Germany are however Borussia Dortmund, who have had a proactive summer. The arrivals of Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Ousmane Dembele, Raphael Guerreiro, Sebastian Rode and Marc Bartra among others took the total expenditure to €109 million.
The sum was covered by the sales of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan, the first-team regulars who got worthy replacements that will add an extra quality to Thomas Tuchel’s side as Dortmund hope to get involved in the title race more seriously this season.
BVB are currently at 5/1 betting odds to be crowned Bundesliga champions towards the end of 2016-17 season.
Who is your summer transfer winner?