Even though the English Premier League is the richest in the world, only one signing among the top 10 most expensive football transfers of the summer in 2013 was made by an English club, while Paris Saint-German and Monaco (both with two signings) make it look like the French league is much stronger than it really is.
Obviously, Real Madrid with Gareth Bale and Barcelona with Neymar are among the big names that cost a lot of money, but there are also surprising names like James Rodriguez or Marquinhos that made the list.
10 – Marquinhos, Roma to PSG, €31.4 Million
Regarded as the best young centre back in the world, Marquinhos made quite an impression during his first season in Europe with AS Roma, attracting the attention of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. The Spanish champions were deterred by the price, but the French champions weren’t. Four matches into the new season, he still hasn’t played a single match.
9 – Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid to Napoli, €37 Million
Earlier this summer Arsenal looked like the club that will sign the Argentine striker, but failed to pay the price. Napoli came through with the massive signing, already getting a goal and an assist from him, happy that he isn’t in any striker competition anymore, through the first two matches of the season.
8 – Mario Götze, Dortmund to Bayern Munich, €37 Million
Dortmund didn’t really have a say in the matter as Bayern Munich triggered the young German’s release clause. He’s played twice for Bayern this season, not really impressing so far, like the rest of the team, struggling to find their rhythm under the changing tactics of Pep Guardiola.
7 – Willian, From Anzhi Makhachkala to Chelsea, €38 Million
The 25-year old Brazilian has spent most of his career with Shakhtar Donetsk, but has been the subject of more than €70 million exchanging hands over the last couple of months, not doing much for Anzhi and escaping the Russian club before the financial benefits stop being so comforting, joining the never ending list of attacking midfielders at Chelsea.
6 – Fernandinho, From Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester City, €40 Million
Manchester City made one of their biggest signings ever on the 28-year old Brazilian midfielder who doesn’t really show up on the stat pages as someone who contributes much to the match. However, they felt like their defensive midfield was a very weak part on the field for them last season, and are hoping to see some of his pace and long range shooting abilities produce some goals very soon.
5 – James Rodriguez, From Porto to Monaco, €45 Million
One of the more surprising transfers this summer – both for its destination and for the price spent on the 22 year old Colombian winger, who has mostly been mentioned with Manchester United over the last couple of seasons. He has played twice for Monaco since arriving, not really impressing so far.
4 – Neymar, From Santos to Barcelona, €57 Million
Because the Neymar signing was confirmed so early in the transfer window it seems like he’s been with Barcelona for a very long time. He’s been brought up slowly into the lineup, and has already scored one goal for the club, securing the Super Cup trophy thanks to his first for the team.
3 – Falcao, From Atletico Madrid to Monaco, €60 Million
The Colombian striker surprised many when he chose Monaco over the long list of suitors he had, but money almost always wins. He has done very well since arriving, even if the rumors about the club wanting to sell him for tax reasons might have gotten in the way. Through the first four games of the season, Falcao has already scored three goals.
2 – Edinson Cavani, Napoli to PSG, €64.5 Million
Many were surprised to see Paris Saint-Germain spend so much money on the Uruguayan striker – both because it seemed a bit much for him (Despite his impressive scoring record for Napoli), and for the reason of not really needing him when they have Zlatan. However, Cavani has done well since arriving, scoring twice in four matches as the team shook off a rocky start.
1 – Gareth Bale, Tottenham to Real Madrid, €91 Million
Time will tell if Bale is one of the biggest wastes of money in history or simply a star that proved to be worthy of the price paid for him. The thing about Bale that makes the price Real Madrid paid for him questionable? He has turned into a global superstar because he was signed by a huge club. He wasn’t one before the signing.