LaLiga Santander and Serie A asserted themselves in this summer’s transfer market as they outspent the Premier League on player signings.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were the top three spenders across Europe, with each bringing in one expensive superstar.
Here are the main talking points from Prime Time Sport’s Football Transfer Review 2020.
LaLiga breaks records
Both LaLiga Santander (1.319 billion euros spent) and Serie A (1.178 billion euros) broke their spending records this summer.
Premier League clubs lost ground in terms of expenditure with only Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal breaking their previous records.
In terms of spending, LaLiga Santander has four clubs (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico, and Sevilla) in Europe’s top 10 while Juventus and Inter represent Serie A.
Real Madrid lead Europe
Los Blancos broke their previous spending record by parting with 305 million euros to reinforce their squad. However, for the third year in a row, Real Madrid have the squad with the highest average age in LaLiga Santander.
Lots of spending but little change, something that is reflected in Zinedine Zidane’s recent starting line-ups.
Atletico reach the elite
Atletico flexed their ever-growing financial muscle during the summer as they splashed out 243 million euros on players.
The signing of Joao Felix signaled their intent in breaking into Europe’s biggest clubs. In fact, in the last five years, Los Rojiblancos have spent more (728 million euros) than city rivals Real Madrid (624 million euros).
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have moved to rid themselves of signings that haven’t worked out.
The obvious one from this summer was Philippe Coutinho, who cost Barcelona 145 million euros in January 2018. He was shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich after just 18 months at the Camp Nou.
Los Blancos have either sold or loaned out players that they spent a total of 56 million euros on in the last three years.
More sales than ever
With bigger spending comes a necessary increase in player sales. Clubs try to stay within financial guidelines of their own and of UEFA.
LaLiga Santander clubs sold over one billion euros worth of talent this summer with Atletico making 311 million euros in total.
Over the last five years, Monaco has been the biggest sellers (851 million euros) followed by Juventus (710 million euros), Atletico (660 million euros) and Barcelona (644 million euros) – Real Madrid are 10th on 444 million euros.
Fewer academy graduates
Investment in new players has seen the number of academy players reaching the first team fall. Real Madrid has just six academy graduates in their squad this season and Barcelona have nine (eight fewer than in 2013).
Segunda spending rises
LaLiga Smartbank broke their spending record this summer with their clubs shelling out a total of 39 million euros on new players.
Almeria has been the big spenders in Spain’s second tier. Their purchase of Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest for 8.8 million euros is the second-highest transfer fee paid by any second division team ever in Spain.
The Premier League loses ground
Premier League clubs were still the biggest spenders in Europe thanks to the signings of Harry Maguire (87 million euros to Manchester United), Nicolas Pepe (80 million euros to Arsenal) and Rodri (70 million euros to Manchester City).
LaLiga Santander, Serie A, and the Bundesliga all made huge strides in closing the gap at the top. LaLiga Santander was boosted by the signings of Joao Felix (126 million euros to Atletico), Antoine Griezmann (120 million euros to Barcelona) and Eden Hazard (100 million euros to Real Madrid).