Five big money buys in La Liga

Sport360 staff 22:07 18/08/2016
Spain's expensive summer signings.

The La Liga season begins as Malaga host Basque side Osasuna on Friday evening.

Here are five highly-valued signings that made their way into the Spanish division during the summer festivities.

ROBERTO SORIANO (Villarreal)

AGE: 25

POSITION: Centre-Midfield

NATION: Italy

FROM: Sampdoria

FEE: €14m (Dhs57.9m)

The German-born box-to-box midfielder rarely shies away from asserting his dominance and is a worthy adversary around the centre circle. His off-the-ball and defensive contributions don’t justly reflect his near-flawless passing with 83% accuracy, most of them short, however.

FRANCO VAZQUEZ (Sevilla)

AGE: 27

POSITION: Attacking-Midfield/Forward

NATION: Italy

FROM: Palermo

FEE: €15m (Dhs62.1m)

The Italian scored 18 goals and registered 17 assists in his previous two seasons for Palermo and has already clocked game time in Spain with Rayo Vallecano, netting three goals in 18 games during the 2012/13 campaign. Vazquez fancies taking on defenders, is a defender’s nightmare and is flexible to role changes in attack.

SAMUEL UMTITI (Barcelona)

AGE: 22

POSITION: Centre-back/Left-back

NATION: France

FROM: Lyon

FEE: €25m (Dhs103.4m)

The Frenchman boasts an eye-opening average of 38 games played per season since 18 years of age which can be attributed to his underlying confidence in his role. Umtiti rarely cracks under pressure or commits inattentive defensive errors but rather perfectly picks the right moments to hold the ball or launch a terrifying attack. Barcelona have consistently shown their weakness in defence since Carles Puyol’s departure, a difficulty alleviated by the former Lyon centre-back.

NICOLAS GAITAN (Atletico Madrid)

AGE: 28

POSITION: Winger/Attacking-Midfield

NATION: Argentina

FROM: Benfica

FEE: €25m (Dhs103.4m)

After two Champions League defeats in recent seasons, the Atleti outfit have spent wisely with acquisitions such as Kevin Gameiro and Nicolas Gaitan. The Argentina Benfica winger accumulated 15 assists in Portugal’s top division last season and has helped the Eagles claim nine trophies. Gaitan has a wealth of European experience which will come in handy as Los Colchoneros seek to claim that elusive Champions League title.

ALVARO MORATA (Real Madrid)

AGE: 23

POSITION: Striker

NATION: Spain

FROM: Juventus

FEE: €32m (Dhs132.4m)

Following two life-changing seasons with Italian titans Juventus, Alvaro Morata finds himself back home in Madrid after appearing in eight of his last 28 La Liga appearances during his first stint. Since then the 23-year-old has scored 27 goals in 93 appearances for the Bianconeri, even knocking out his boyhood club in the 2014/15 Champions League edition.

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