Last week saw the summer transfer window draw to a close, bringing an end to the mass spending across Europe. Whilst plenty of spending records were broken, including the Premier League spending over £1bn for the first-time, there were still many bargains to be found.
Whilst some clubs commit to spending millions upon millions of pounds for one player, others scour the market for a diamond in the rough and the sides featured here have certainly hit the jackpot, with the players they’ve signed being captured for a very competitive price when, in truth, they could have cost a lot more.
We decided to overlook free transfers for this one, so there’s no Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Mario Balotelli, but there is plenty of household names and some youngsters you should keep your eyes out for over the next few years.
Rob Holding: Bolton to Arsenal (£2m)
Arsenal’s capture of Rob Holding from relegated Championship outfit Bolton Wanderers didn’t spark much excitement but the young Englishman shone on his first few games for the club, particularly when partnered alongside Laurent Koscielny against Leicester City and Watford. With Calum Chambers joining Middlesbrough on-loan for the season, Holding should continue to see plenty of opportunities this season and the minimal fee Arsenal paid for his services stands-out as a massive coup.
Gabriel Barbosa: Santos to Inter Milan (£21m)
Whilst the fee paid for Gabriel Barbosa, aka Gabigol, is the biggest on this list, Inter Milan have secured a massive coup by capturing the South American. Gabigol won the Olympic gold medal with Brazil during the summer and is rated as the best player to emerge from Brazilian football since Neymar, so he should go one to take Inter Milan back to the heights they once reached or command the San Siro side an audacious amount of money in the future if he is sold for profit.
Breel Embolo: FC Basel to Schalke (£19m)
Like Gabigol, Breel Embolo is a young player who can offer a lot in the coming years and Schalke swooped early to land the Swiss international. The 19-year-old was a target for a number of top-sides in Europe but the Bundesliga side paid a fairly large fee for his services, although they should recoup that price quickly through the player’s on-field performances.
Mario Gotze: Bayern Munich to Borussia Dortmund (£21.7m)
After a turbulent few years with Bayern Munich, Mario Gotze returned to Borussia Dortmund this summer and commanded a fee of just over £20m- when it’s fair to say the German World Cup winner could have easily commanded in excess of £30m for his services, especially if he was purchased by a Premier League side. At 24, Gotze still has plenty of years ahead of him and would have learned a lot from his failures in Bavaria- so you should expect him to kick-on this season amongst an extremely talented Dortmund side.
Antonio Rudiger: Stuttgart to Roma (£7.5m)
After a very successful loan spell in Rome last season, where the German international amassed 30 appearances for Roma, the Serie A title-hopefuls exercised their option to sign defender Antonio Rudiger on a permanent basis- and secured a bargain in the process. Rudiger was a target for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea and at just 23-years-old, he could develop into one of the finest defenders in the European game.
Lucas Digne: Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona (£14m)
Barcelona landed 23-year-old full-back Lucas Digne from fellow European giants Paris Saint-Germain this summer and the fact they paid under £15m for the Frenchman can be seen as daylight robbery, as it gives the Catalan super-club a perfect long-term replacement for Jordi Alba. Whilst Alba is just 27 himself, Digne will give the side added competitiveness and will help Luis Enrique’s side in their ambitions over the coming years.
Ousmane Dembele: Stade Rennes to Borussia Dortmund (£12.5m)
Borussia Dortmund are back on our list again, after landing Ousmane Dembele for just £12.5m. The 18-year-old is rated as one of the best attacking talents in the European game and shone at Stade Rennes last season, scoring 12 goals in 25 games and landing Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year award. Amongst Thomas Tuchel’s extremely talented squad, Dembele should achieve even more and may even end up replacing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, if the Gabonese forward earns his dream move to Real Madrid in the future.
Emmanuel Mammana: River Plate to Lyon (£6.3m)
Arriving from South America for a minimal fee, Lyon landed a superb deal to capture Emmanuel Mammana and have a direct replacement for Samuel Umtiti, who joined Barcelona. The 20-year-old was linked with a wealth of European sides, particularly in Serie A, but the move to Lyon should help the serial Ligue 1 winners compete with Paris Saint-Germain once again this term.
Piotr Zielinski: Udinese to Napoli (£11.7m)
A young talent full of promise, 22-year-old Piotr Zielinski was linked with the likes of AC Milan and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool but it was Napoli who ended up capturing the Polish international for a very low fee. Whilst other players of his calibre moved for around double the price, Napoli landed himself a bargain and should help the Naples outfit in their ambitions of loosening Juventus’ grip on the Serie A title this term.
Manuel Lanzini: Al Jazira to West Ham United (£10m)
Benefitting from a loan deal agreed last summer that gave West Ham the option to purchase Manuel Lanzini on a permanent deal this term, the Hammers secured one of the biggest bargains in the Premier League transfer window by paying just £10m to sign Lanzini in a four-year deal. The Argentine excelled during his spell in East London last term, including netting in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea, and should be a big-player for Slaven Bilic’s side again this season- in what is a historic year for the club, as they’ve moved to the Olympic Stadium.
Victor Wanyama: Southampton to Tottenham Hotspur (£11m)
The Kenyan international has rejoined former boss Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane, with Tottenham paying just £11m for the privilege to land Victor Wanyama for Southampton- paying less than the Saints paid Celtic three years ago. Just 24-years-old, Wanyama could have commanded a much-higher price-tag and Spurs will be very pleased with the signing, particularly if he continues the form he showed on the South Coast- where he featured in 85 Premier League matches.