Over €4.5 billion spent for 837 transfers across Europe’s top 5 leagues this summer
The Summer Transfer Window technically opened on July 1st, but it actually began earlier in May, when within two weeks both Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe confirmed where they will be playing next season. Since then, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Barcelona have dominated the media headlines, linking them with many potential new players, but now that the window has officially closed, we can dive into the data and compare the different leagues and clubs’ spending sprees. The two English teams spent the most money this summer, while the Catalan giants let go of 19 players to balance their books and be able to register new footballers. This week’s SportingPedia Report focuses on the amounts of new players, acquired per team in the five top European leagues, as well as the money spent for players this summer.
- The 98 teams in the top 5 European leagues completed 837 loan and permanent transfer deals for the duration of the summer transfer window.
- €4,531,210,000 were spent, excluding future fees and clauses.
- Deloitte reported the highest ever Premier League spend – £1.9 bn – nearly as much as the other four top divisions combined.
- Outside of England, only 4 teams (Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and PSG) spent over €100 million, while 10 Premier League teams broke that barrier.
- Chelsea and Manchester United combined outspent all of the 20 La Liga teams.
- Athletic Bilbao was the only team across Europe’s top 5 leagues that did not spend any money for new players.
- Except for the Basques, only two other teams have spent less than a million euros on transfers.
- The Italian clubs recruited 247 new players, with Ligue 1 following in second with 169, while the Bundesliga teams signed the lowest number 135 new players.
- Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest recruited 22 new players, setting a new league record.
- Just promoted to the Serie A, Monza and Salernitana brought in 23 new players each – the most of any of the teams in the study.
- The average cost of a new signing in the Premier League is €15.99 million, whereas the figure in the other top five divisions ranges between €3.0 and €3.6 million.
The summer transfer window has finally shut, and it is time to examine the teams’ spending sprees, as several records were broken! The English teams spent just short of €2.24 billion, breaking the previous record set in the summer of 2017. A total of 837 deals were completed, with over €4.5 billion invested. Although the Premier League teams spent the most, nearly as much as the other four divisions combined, the highest number of freshly-acquired players was in Italy.
Ten, or exactly half of the 20 Premier League teams, spent more than 100 million euros to improve their squads during the transfer window, while only four teams outside of England spent more than that. This summer, the total amount spent on permanent or loan transactions in the Premier League reached €2.24 billion, breaking the previous record for money spent in one transfer window set in 2017. The money spent by the English top flight teams only highlighted the huge financial discrepancy between the Premier League and the rest of the top 5. The 78 Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and La Liga teams spent a total of €2,294 billion euros, just 56,690,000 more than the 20 Premier League clubs. Chelsea and the Red Devils alone, outspent the entire La Liga.
Nottingham Forest’s return to the Premier League after a long absence sparked a lot of media attention, with the team’s Greek owner doing everything within his powers to get Forest back among the country’s best. Nottingham recruited the most new players of any English elite side in history – 22, although the award for most active teams on the continent belongs to Italian Monza and Salernitana. Both of the Serie A newcomers signed 23 new players during the summer transfer window, but their spending pales in comparison to Nottingham. The English side spent €161.95 million, while the two Italian teams jointly spent €50.2.
Monza and Salernitana are examples that Serie A teams have been the most active in Europe. There were 247 players that moved to or changed teams in the Calcio, however none of the other top five divisions registered more than 170 new players. After mentioning the most active, now we will list the teams who were least interested in acquiring new additions. Athletic Bilbao was the only team in the five major divisions that did not spend any money on new players. They added two new players to their squad, but both came with free transfers. Only one other team signed as few as two players, and that was Athletic’s countrymen and European champions Real Madrid. Aside from the Basque squad, only two other teams in Europe’s top five divisions showed a moderate financial approach and spent less than €1 million. They were Ajjacio from France and Bochum from Germany.
When looking at Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, the average price of freshly acquired players does not vary greatly, with costs ranging from €3.03 million in Italy to €3.56 million in Germany. Thus far, nothing stands out, but when the Premier League is included, the difference becomes clear. A player heading to the English top flight costs on average €15.98 million, which is more than four times higher than any of the other four divisions.
English Premier League
Chelsea was England’s biggest spender during the summer transfer window. The Blues, backed by new owner Todd Boehly, spent €279 million on eight new players. Manchester United followed in second, spending about €240 million, while Leicester were the least busy, signing only two new players and spending the least on new additions – €17 million.
Italian Serie A
After a poor season in which they finished fourth, Juventus was the most active Italian team on the market. Juve was the only team on the peninsula to spend more than €100 million on new players. In general, this summer, Serie A registered 247 new footballers – the highest number of newcomers across Europe’s top 5 leagues.
French Ligue 1
When it came to transfer dealings, PSG was once again head and shoulders above the rest of France. The Parisians had a relatively quiet transfer window by their standards, but they still spent close to €150 million, or almost as much as the country’s second and third highest spenders, Rennes and Marseille combined.
Spanish La Liga
One of the most chaotic periods in Barcelona’s history was the summer transfer window. In order to balance their books, the Catalan giants let go of 19 players and recruited six new ones for a total of €153 million. Athletic Bilbao was the only team not to spend a single penny not only in La Liga, but in all of Europe’s big 5 leagues. They along with Real Madrid signed only 2 new players.
There are no surprises here. Bayern Munich topped the German expenditure table, as the only team to spend more than €100 million on new players. Bochum must be recognised since the club was able to recruit 12 new players for as cheap as €750,000.