Several clubs have spent big bucks this time around.
Since the beginning of the global pandemic, football clubs have incurred losses in their revenue streams. Some sides have struggled to maintain their status and reach a balance between sustainability and competitiveness. Meanwhile, others have utilized this opportunity to gamble with investments. Such deals have landed clubs in debt as well.
Only this year, we have seen some clubs spend lavishly to retain their global appeal and marketability without second-guessing failures. Let us look at the top 10 heavy spenders of the summer around Europe.
Plenty of chances but no finished product
10. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves have sold off Morgan Gibbs-White and Rúben Vinagre to earn £35.55m, which they reinvested and a little more to bring in Matheus Nunes, Gonçalo Guedes, and Nathan Collins for £106.74m. Bruno Lage now has a reliable squad that should eliminate their inconsistency issues from last season. Finishing 10th isn’t something the club is willing to settle for this time.
9. Tottenham Hotspur
Antonio Conte is not a roll-over manager. He has made that evidently clear by stating what he needs to uplift this team to make it more competitive. Spurs had to reach into their pockets to spend £107.91m to buy Djed Spence, Destiny Udogie, Yves Bissouma, and Richarlison. It was a wise strategy to go after proven players at clubs that cannot afford to refuse a considerable offer. Both Steven Bergwijn and Cameron Carter-Vickers went out the door. Tanguy Ndombélé is also out on loan. They have brought in talents with potential that can anchor them towards rewards if everything progresses as anticipated.
8. Manchester City
In a rare occurrence, contrary to the general census, the Premier League champions were the only side to generate a profit from their net income and expenditures. Pep Guardiola’s side reinforced their forward line after a season, adding solidarity to the challenge for Europe. £109.57m got invested to poach proven players like Erling Haaland, Julián Álvarez, and Kalvin Phillips. About £143.91m got generated in income by selling off Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Citizens have made an overall profit of £34.34m this summer.
7. Arsenal FC
With Mikel Arteta’s belief in a young squad, the Gunners have secured some promising prospects. Marquinhos, Fábio Vieira, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus found a new home at the Emirates for a total spend of £118.86m. On the flip side, they managed to sell off Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, and Mattéo Guendouzi and recovered £21.42m in the process. They look like one of the best utilizers of this transfer window, judiciously spending on the weaker areas to compete against better sides.
6. Bayern Munich
Robert Lewandowski’s departure left a big hole to fill. The Bavarians were unwilling to trust their prized possessions with an outright chance of compromising a season. They have invested £123.75m to bring Sadio Mané, Mathys Tel, and Ryan Gravenberch for the frontlines, while Matthijs de Ligt has come in to bolster their backline. In terms of sales, the Bundesliga champions generated a handsome amount of £86.31m, leaving their balance sheet at around £ -37.44m.
5. West Ham United
The Hammers backed David Moyes again after another promising season. They secured qualification for the Conference League play-offs. With spending £125.15m, they have got Thilo Kehrer, Emerson, Nayef Aguerd, Maxwel Cornet, and Gianluca Scamacca. They only managed to sell Issa Diop to earn £16.02m. The London-based side hopes to finish within the European places and do well in the competitions they’ve qualified for.
4. Manchester United
With a new managerial change comes a reshaping of a squad. Especially when the outfit is performing below expectations. Erik ten Hag brought in Casemiro, Lisandro Martínez, and Tyrell Malacia for £128.72m with immediate effect. The management expects to do well this season with a new philosophy in place. The Red Devils only managed to recover a fee of £10.35m from a departing Andreas Pereira, as Eric Bailly is out on loan. Currently, United is at £- 118.37m. The club is preparing to propose an astronomical fee for Antony from Ajax to strengthen their attacking options. If that move materializes, they could go far above in this ranking.
3. Nottingham Forest
Since their promotion back to the promised lands of the English top-flight, Forest has found itself in the middle of scrutiny due to their unfeasible spending spree. They have spent an astonishing amount of £133.25m signing 12 players for a fee, three for free and one on loan. Most of the starting players from the promotion-winning side have departed, leaving them in a bad state. They had to roll the dice and keep adding depth, helping Steve Cooper with a fighting chance to survive and extend their stay at the top level. A total of £6.3m was made in profits, keeping the net balance at £-126.95m.
2. FC Barcelona
Europe was taken aback by the way Barcelona reacted in this window. From being in financial turmoil to buying most some of the most-sought-after players with the help of their economic levers, Joan Laporta was able to make the impossible possible. The primary focus at Camp Nou was to reduce the wage bill, for which the club has parted ways for free with many of its talents. Xavi got world-class players like Jules Koundé, Raphinha, and Robert Lewandowski for £-137.7m. Both Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen signed for free. Francisco Trincão got loaned to Sporting CP while Philippe Coutinho and Óscar Mingueza were sold to generate a sum of £23.40m. Their cumulative balance was left stranded at £-114.30m.
1. Chelsea FC
The Pensioners couldn’t claim any profit from this window as plenty of first-team players left London seeking new challenges elsewhere in Europe for free. Thomas Tuchel had the task of replenishing his backline. Heavy investment was needed urgently to cover up for their lack of defensive quality. Under new ownership, the funds came easy as Chelsea managed to spend £181.43m to buy players like Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, and Kalidou Koulibaly. They loaned out Romelu Lukaku back to Inter Milan and sold off Timo Werner to RB Leipzig. Emerson left for fellow London-based side West Ham. In total, the income for the Blues amounted to £39.96m, which put a £-141.47m tally on their accounts.
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