Best transfer windows: Neymar and Kylian Mbappe bombshells make PSG picks of 2010s

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

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 mesmerising Chelsea attacker 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 2010s:

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (2017)

Key arrivals: Neymar, Kylian Mbappe (loan), Dani Alves

Honourable mentions: Borussia Dortmund (2010 – Shinji Kagawa, Robert Lewandowski, Lukasz Piszczek), Manchester City (2010 – David Silva, Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli, Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner, Jerome Boateng), Barcelona (2014 – Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo), Manchester City (2017 – Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson)

An earthquake occurred in the European transfer market two summers ago – and its aftershocks continue to cause rampant disruption.

In either a fit of pique caused by Barcelona’s unwanted overtures for Italy midfielder Marco Verratti or barefaced show of ambition, PSG seismically reset all expectations about the cost of elite footballers. This decision to pay the €222 million release clause in Neymar’s contract, despite Gerard Pique’s infamous “se queda” (“he stays”) tweet, more than doubled the world transfer record set a year prior when Manchester United bought Paul Pogba back from Juventus.

To put the precipitous jump into context, the landmark figure last increased by a similar percentage in 1932.

But the Parisians were not content with that. Not even close.

The final day of their astonishing pre-season assault witnessed a loan move for Monaco and France teenager Kylian Mbappe. Contained within the agreement was a permanent option set at €145m plus €35m in add-ons.

The anointed successor to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, followed by football’s hottest property. In the same transfer window and at prices – both present and future – that would make them clearly the two grandest fees ever lavished.

PSG had even begun the window in emphatic fashion, blowing fellow big-spenders Manchester City out of the water for coveted free agent Dani Alves. Pep Guardiola had been convinced that a reunion with his esteemed Barca right-back was assured.

The impact of PSG’s sensational business has been keenly felt.

Rapid hyper-inflation saw Barca, alone, forced to splurge combined fees that could total almost €300m on replacements Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho. They are far from the only club affected by a startling rise in recruitment costs.

Domestically, Ligue 1 supremacy was assured after Monaco heaped embarrassment upon them in 2016/17.

They have, however, twice been knocked out in the Champions League’s round of 16. Gaping holes elsewhere in the squad could not be plugged because of strenuous – and self-induced – Financial Fair Play problems.

All that glitter has not turned, definitively, into gold.

Most popular

Best transfer windows: Dutch connection for AC Milan makes them pick of 1980s

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

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 mesmerising Chelsea attacker 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 1980s:

AC MILAN (1987)

Key arrivals: Carlo Ancelotti, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Alessandro Costacurta (loan return)

Honourable mentions: Juventus (1982 – Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek), Napoli (1984 – Diego Maradona, Salvatore Bagni), ­Inter Milan (1988 Lothar Matthaus, Andreas Brehme, Nicola Berti), Barcelona (1989 – Michael Laudrup, Ronald Koeman)

Serie A’s lengthy stranglehold on the transfer market would begin during the era of excess that was the 1980s.

No one rode this wave better than billionaire businessman – and controversial future Italian prime minister – Silvio Berlusconi.

A fallen giant was saved from bankruptcy by the plutocrat in February 1986. In little more than a year, his enormous injection of cash would start turning into football gold.

The summer of 1987 witnessed real alchemy. Revolutionary head coach Arrigo Sacchi was poached from Parma and furnished with the players to match his grand vision.

A world-record 18 million guilders (£6m) landed dynamic Netherlands midfielder Ruud Gullit from PSV Eindhoven. Another raid on the Eredivisie would secure the signature of the world’s – then – most-promising striker: Ajax’s Marco van Basten.

It wasn’t just brazen spending, either. Cultured, but oft-injured, Italy midfielder Carlo Ancelotti was snared from Roma and versatile defender Alessandro Costacurta was welcomed back from a spell away on loan at Monza.

With the supreme talents of Frank Rijkaard, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi’s calibre already in place, a flood of trophies would follow.

Van Basten would net 125 times in 201 games before a chronic ankle injury effectively ended his career aged 28. Gullit would excel in virtually every position on the pitch, Ancelotti provided the brains of the side until 1992 and Costacurta would notch 693 appearances.

Together with Sacchi, they cast aside the constraints of ‘Catenaccio’. An innovative high-pressing style in a 4-4-2 formation would influence the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.

Before Sacchi’s intense and meticulous methods provoked an inevitable implosion, he’d claim nine major trophies with the iconic squad that was shaped in summer 1987.

Most popular

Best transfer windows: Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen make Liverpool kings of the 1970s

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

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:

LIVERPOOL (1977)

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.

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.

Most popular