Who would have guessed three years ago that Paris Saint-Germain will have three players in the top 10 most expensive signings of the 2012 summer transfer window? Despite big names like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robin van Persie and Eden Hazard, the most expensive deal was to get Thiago Silva of AC Milan.
Lucas Moura was actually the most expensive deal with €45 million changing hands from PSG to Sao Paulo, but the 19 year old will only arrive in January, and the deal will count towards the 2013 winter transfer window.
Javi Garcia, Benfica to Manchester City – €20 Million
One of the five players to arrive at Manchester to play for the English champions on the last available day of the transfer window, Garcia came from Benfica in Portugal after three seasons with the club, winning one league title and three League Cups. The 25 year old Spaniard began his career with Real Madrid, but never played more than 17 matches for the senior club. He has one appearance for the national side and has scored six league goals in 71 league matches for Benfica.
Santi Cazrola, From Malaga to Arsenal – €20 Million
Only one season for Cazorla with Malaga was enough, although it had more to do with the club’s clearance sale than with Cazorla looking to leave. Arsenal jumped on the opportunity to sign the 27 year old Spain international, who enjoyed his best season in 2011-2012, scoring nine goals and adding four assists, helping Malaga finish fourth in the La Liga.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, From AC Milan to PSG – €20 Million
The only thing keeping Zlatan’s price at ‘only’ €20 million is his age, turning 31 in one month. Arguably the best striker in the world scored 42 league goals in 61 matches for AC Milan, carrying the side on his back to the Serie A title in 2011 and a second place finish 12 months later. This transfer also made Ibrahimović the most expensive football player in combined transfer fees, valued at €180 million.
Ezequiel Lavezzi, From Napoli to PSG – €30 Million
PSG’s first big signing this summer, the Argentinian forward has yet to score in a league match for his new club after arriving from the South of Italy. At 27, Lavezzi isn’t going to turn into a great scorer. His production for Napoli stood at 38 goals in 156 matches, but his dribbling ability and passing skills are what make him such an exceptional player to have, adding 40 assists in his five seasons with the club.
Robin van Persie, From Arsenal to Manchester United – €30 Million
The awards say RVP was the best player in the Premier League last season, also the scoring numbers with 30 goals. More than that, it means the status of Arsenal football club when compared to the likes of Manchester United and others, who year after year lure Arsenal’s best players. Van Persie scored a wonderful goal to open his United account, ‘enjoying’ Wayne Rooney’s injury, helping him cement a first team spot right from the get go.
Oscar, From Internacional to Chelsea, €32 Million
Oscar dos Santos is one of the big gambles of the summer, and Chelsea have yet to let the 20 year old start for them in an official match, although that day might be coming very soon after their 1-4 loss to Atletico in the European Super Cup. Oscar played for Brazil in the Olympics, scoring a goal on his way to Silver medal. He also has six caps for the national side since 2011. He scored 11 goals in 36 matches for his former club in Porto Alegre.
Luka Modric, From Tottenham to Real Madrid – €34 Million
After four season and two long summer transfer sagas, Luka Modric got what he wished for. Actually, by being part of the title winning performance in the Supercopa during his debut, Modric won his first title in any competition since leaving Zagreb. He had 13 goals and 21 assists during his time at White Hart Lane. He also has 57 appearances and 8 goals for Croatia, playing in the 2006 World Cup and the 2008 & 2012 Euro tournaments.
Javi Martinez, From Athletic Bilbao to Bayern Munich – €40 Million
Another transfer saga that went on a bit too long. Bayern were reluctant to pay the 40 million Bilbao demanded, but you can’t expect a team with such a limited talent pool to choose from to happily let their best player get away. Martinez, a defensive midfielder turned centre back last season under Bielsa, appeared 201 times for Bilbao since 2006, scoring 22 goals for the club.
Eden Hazard, From Lille to Chelsea – €40 Million
Despite being such an expensive purchase, the hottest young talent in Europe is a huge success after only three league matches with Chelsea, scoring one goal and adding six assists in the new look side under Roberto Di Matteo. Hazard pretty much grew beyond the boundaries of the the French League, winning the player of the season in Ligue 1 twice in a row, scoring 20 goals and adding 15 assists before making his move across the channel.
Thiago Silva – From AC Milan to PSG – €42 Million
A centre back? The highest transfer fee this summer for a centre back? PSG work under a different set of codes than the rest of Europe, even than the likes of Manchester City. They needed one of the best in the position to join the team, with their aspirations going way behind winning the Ligue 1 title (which isn’t going that great thus far), so they were patient about Silva, who was nearly signed earlier in the summer before the deal collapsed only to be resurrected. The Serie A defender of the year in 2011 played 92 times for AC Milan, scoring 5 goals in his three season there.