Real Madrid’s emphatic start to this summer’s transfer market has stolen football’s attention.
An extensive rebuild promised to returning head coach Zinedine Zidane has already seen – including deals previously agreed – more than €300 million spent on the likes of Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard, promising Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic and emerging Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy.
There is still the promise of even more to come, with links to €150m-rated Manchester United centre midfielder Paul Pogba refusing to go away.
This splurge is sure to transform Los Blancos’ expectations after they claimed just the Club World Cup in 2018/19. But how does it compare to previous ones?
We’ve looked back through the past five decades to select the most-consequential pre-season spending sprees. Here is the pick of the 1970s:
Key arrivals: Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish
Honourable mentions: Barcelona (1973 – Johan Cruyff, Migueli), Juventus (1974 – Sergio Brio, Gaetano Scirea), Real Madrid (1977 – Uli Stielike, Juanito), Nottingham Forest (1977 – Peter Shilton, Archie Gemmill, Kenny Burns)
Liverpool found themselves at a crossroads.
Fuelled by the goals and creativity of Kevin Keegan, years of rapid progress had culminated with the hallowed double of the First Division and European Cup in 1976/77. But the England superstar dropped a bombshell mid-season when a desire to head abroad was announced, eventually moving to big-spending West German-outfit Hamburg.
An inflection point had been reached. Fail to procure an appropriate replacement for ‘Mighty Mouse’ and they’d be left feeding on crumbs.
Under the formidable Bob Paisley’s guidance, however, they didn’t just sign a new elite forward in 1977’s summer market. They also landed in a double raid north of the border, arguably, the British Isles’ greatest-ever centre-back.
Celtic forward Kenny Dalglish and Partick Thistle defender Alan Hansen would provide the foundations for one of the game’s most dominant sides. Both would depart with major medal hauls, as players, of 20 and 23 – figures that include a trio of further European Cup victories.
The slender Hansen oozed style and composure, possessing all you’d require from a ball-playing centre-back. His relationships with Phil Thompson and Mark Lawrenson became the stuff of legend.
Dalglish would transcend even that influence to become a pivotal figure in the club’s illustrious history.
Dave, fingers crossed Jurgen and the lads can lift Big Ears for the 6th time for you. YNWA https://t.co/aHl0Mzku3Q— Sir Kenneth Dalglish (@kennethdalglish) May 31, 2019
A British transfer record of £440,000 not only bought the finest striker produced by post-war Britain, it also delivered a player-manager and manager who carried on a record of success. Plus, his dignity and commitment would hold a city together in the wake of April 1989’s tragic Hillsborough disaster.
Dalglish ensured the club was represented at all of the 96 fans’ funerals and attended many of them in person.
A return to the dugout from 2011/12 ended sourly. But his colossal achievements witnessed Anfield’s Centenary Stand renamed after him in May 2017.
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