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Squad Expenditures and Investments Across the Top Five European Football Leagues

Last summer we saw the world record-breaking transfer of Neymar from Barcelona, where Paris St-Germain spent a total of £198m. The French giants, in spite of such a huge transfer fee still do not have the most expensive squad in the world. The most expensive squad title goes to one of the teams from the English Premier League. Even if you take into account the recent transfer of Kylian Mbappe at £165m, PSG still doesn’t come out on top. The recent study by CIES Football Observatory has elaborated upon how much money each club in the top squads of England, France, Italy and Germany cost. Out of the top 30 clubs, 13 are based in the Premier League, 2 are Ligue 1, 5 clubs in La Liga, 6 in Series A and 4 are in Bundesliga.

Surprisingly, Huddersfield’s complete Premier league squad cost £56.3m, which is £ 20m less than what Manchester United spent on just getting Romelu Lukaku from Everton. There are three teams that cost more than £100m put together. On the other hand, two sides have spent more than £700m to gather their squads. One can clearly see how the transfer sessions have been inflated due to this recent transfer of Neymar to PSG. This has caused the values of players to soar sky high.

The most expensive squad in the world.

The club that has received the title of the most expensive squad is Manchester City. Manchester City has been dominating the Premier League this season. This has been possible only because of the huge levels of investments in their squad, as shown by the CIES reports. Their total cost of recruitment comes to about € 878m. Not even PSG has been able to come close to this figure with their record-breaking transfer. Everton is seen in the 10th place in the data shared by CIES Football Observatory. PSG managed to bag the 2nd place with Manchester United in the 3rd.

The German Squad.

In Germany, Dortmund spent £18m on centre-back Manuel Akanji and Bayern Munich scooped up striker Sandro Wagner for around £12m. Other notable Bundesliga deal includes Admir Mehmedi (£7.2m to Wolfsburg), Milot Rashica (£6.3m to Werder Bremen) and Vincent Koziello (£2.7m to FC Koln).

Only one club from Germany made it into the top 20 list. Bayern Munich comes at 11th position with a total spending of € 363m. Last year, Bayern Munich became the only foreign club to open its offices in China, where it seeks new sponsorship and merchandise deals.

Positions of the La Liga and Series A clubs.

Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid made it to the top 10 in the list. Barcelona currently sits on the top of the La Liga with a steady lead. The Blaugranas had a happening transfer session in January. Atletico Madrid and Valencia also spent during the January Session. It was only Real Madrid that remained idle. Juventus has managed to bag the 8th position in the list of the most expensive squads in the world. The January transfer window is usually expensive due to the unwillingness of teams to let their top players go. Philippe Coutinho was transferred at €120m. The Neymar transfer inflated the purchase window and Aymeric Laporte was transferred into Manchester City for club-record of €57m.

Coutinho was bought not only at a fair price, but also he comes to the team at an ideal time. He will not be playing in the Champions League yet, he will be brought in slowly throughout the course of the La Liga and Copa del Ray campaigns. This will, in turn, provide a much-needed rest to Andres Iniesta. This acquisition was one of the most expensive in the five leagues and accounted for about half of the La Liga expenditure. Another major signing has been that of the centre back Yerry Mina. This 23-year-old Columbian defender came at a price less than € 12m.

The economic difference between the 20 La Liga clubs is just mind-blowing. Real Madrid and Barcelona alone spent as much as the remaining 18 clubs in forming their squads. With Neymar now gone, Luis Suarez has become the most expensive Catalans’ signings, followed by Paulinho, Andre Gomez,  Arda Turan and Paco Alcacer. Their prices fall in the range of 30-40m euros. Diego Costa’s heavy contribution to Spain came at £57m for moving to Atletico Madrid from Chelsea.

The Rest of the Premier League.

Arsenal managed to acquire Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record of  £60m, whereas Tottenham spent £25m on the Paris Saint-Germain striker Lucas Moura. Manchester City signed up Aymeric Laporte for a club-record £57m from Athletic Bilbao, with the Spanish club giving out the £27m release clause for Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez as a replacement. Liverpool’s £75m purchase of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk was the second-most expensive deal across the leagues – a fee the Reds later managed from the sale of Coutinho.

Chelsea managed to secure 5th position in the CIES Football Observatory reports at 592m, whereas Liverpool bagged the 7th spot with 461m. Arsenal and Everton are at 9th and 10th places respectively with 403m and 365m. Tottenham finds itself right behind Bayern Munich at 358m.

Infographic: The Teams That Spent the Most on Their Squad | Statista

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