This summer, Neymar da Silva Santos Junior became the most expensive player in the history of soccer when he left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint German for $263 million.
It is a hefty price that is paying off really well for the French club where Neymar already has scored, assisted and displayed some of his fancy soccer tricks.
Of course, the Brazilian was the most discussed transfer of the summer. Rumors, players on social media and the silence of the star contributed to this soap opera, which is still going with Barcelona suing Neymar.
Besides Neymar’s transfer, there were other notable transfers in European soccer that made this transfer season one of the craziest yet. Here are the top transfers of this summer.
Borussia Dortmund bought the young player the summer before for a little less than $18 million dollars. A year later they sold him for a fee of $125 million to Barcelona who, after an ugly loss against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, needed someone to fill the void left by Neymar. As with Neymar, this involved drama when rumors came out that Dembélé had stopped contact with Dortmund. Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke even came out and said he had lost respect for Barcelona and what they did to get the 20-year old Frenchman.
The ex-Chelsea and ex-Everton striker joined Manchester United this summer and so far, so good. He has three goals in three games and is reviving a United who had lost itself in the past few years. Man U has scored 10 goals and has not allowed any goals. This has been a good investment after they let their all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney go back to Everton on a free transfer.
Morata, a product from Real Madrid’s youth system, left the Spanish capital team to get more playing time. In this new Chelsea where Diego Costa no longer is the obvious choice as a striker, Morata hopes to earn the trust from coach Antonio Conte. Conte said Morata had to improve a lot in order to adapt to the way they play. Chelsea looks to repeat in the English Premier League, which they won last year in a dominant manner.
The Serbian international reunited with his former boss at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho, in Manchester. Matic is not a flashy name but a hardworking midfielder that knows how the Portuguese coach works. In his first game he scored a beautiful goal.
Bonnuci made a name for himself in Juventus as one of the most solid defenders in the world. He is always in the right place at the right time. That’s why it was strange that Juve would let him walk away to Milan. Juventus has won the last six Italian league titles without much opposition. This year, however, Milan seems determined to put up a fight and has thrown money around to make sure it has a competitive team. Bonnuci is a key piece in that plan.
This transfer is on this list not because he’s a good player, but because it was a poor attempt from the Barcelona board to get someone after Neymar left. Paulinho failed at Tottenham and left for China, where he improved. Did he improve enough to play at Barcelona? Probably not but, as many know, Barcelona has a long history of wasting money on players that end up being forgotten.
If this transfer market has shown us anything, it’s that Financial Fair Play by UEFA is nothing more than words on a piece of paper. The rule established to both help clubs become economically solvent and help avoid disparity among teams is failing. When you have a rich owner like PSG, you are able to afford astronomical sums for the players that make you better. This has inflated the market and one has to ask, when will it stop? Can the market support this kind of spending for much longer?
Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.