The numbers are from the glorious transfermarkt. They might not be the numbers you see in your tabloids but they are the most informed of all the prices you will find.
10) Manchester United (£75.15m)
Players bought: Donny van de Beek (£35.1m, Ajax), Amad Diallo (£18.9m), Alex Telles (£13.5m, Porto), Facundo Pellistri (£9m, Penarol).
United only squeezed into the top ten spenders of a summer they planned to exploit by virtue of a deadline-day spree which also saw the arrival of Edinson Cavani as a free agent. For £75.15million, the Red Devils haven’t bought a player who would go straight into their first XI. Van de Beek has started the season on the bench but he may well get his opportunity when Bruno Fernandes decides he’s sick of this sh*t; he’s one of the few who deserves better than the platform Woodward and his cronies are providing.
Ranking the 15 transfer windows of Ed Woodward at Man Utd…
9) Arsenal (£77.4m)
Players bought: Pablo Mari (£7.2m, Flamengo), Gabriel Magalhaes (£23.4m, Lille), Runar Alex Runarsson (£1.8m, Dijon), Thomas Partey (£45m, Atletico Madrid).
Arsenal, who also signed Willian and Cedric Soares for free, eased into the top ten spenders in the dying moments of deadline day when they deposited the amount required to trigger Partey’s buy-out clause, boiling Atletico’s piss in the process. Speaking of Atleti…
8) Atletico Madrid (£81m)
Players bought: Alvaro Morata (£50.4m, Chelsea), Yannick Carrasco (£24.3m, DL Pro), Ivo Grbic (£6.3m, NK Lokomotiva)
Yes, that is the same Morata that they have shipped off on loan to Juventus, who definitely won the booby prize as Atletico signed Luis Suarez on a free transfer. Atletico had to watch Thomas de-Partey but recouping more than half of their summer spend will surely serve as some consolation.
7) Inter Milan (£87.3m)
Players bought: Achraf Hakimi (£36m, Real Madrid), Nicola Barella (£22.5m, Cagliari), Stefano Sensi (£18m, Sassuolo), Andrea Pinamonti (£7.2m, Genoa), Darian Males (£3.6m, FC Luzern), Aleksandar Kolarov (£1.35m, Roma).
Inter have also brought in Alexis Sanchez on a permanent deal so it’s fair to say that they are backing Antonio Conte after dodging a parting of ways in the summer, though both Barella and Sensi were on loan last season. New signings Sanchez and Hakimi came off the bench in their opening game to help turn a 3-2 potential loss into a 4-3 victory before Hakimi scored in the 5-2 win at Benevento. But Sensi was sent off in the weekend’s draw at Lazio.
6) Benfica (£85.65m)
Players bought: Darwin Nunez (£21.6m, Almeria), Everton (£18m, Gremio), Pedrinho (£16.2m, Corinthians), Luca Waldschmidt (£13.5m, Freiburg), Nicolas Otamendi (£13.5m, Manchester City), Gilberto (£2.7m, Fluminense), Jean-Clair Todibo (£1.8mloan,Barcelona)
Benfica spent most of the Ruben Dias money before it was actually in the bank but still conspired to lose in Champions League qualifying to PAOK Salonika. But they have started the Portuguese season at a canter, winning all three league games with record signing Nunez, Everton and Waldschmidt already among the goals and assists.
5) Leeds United (£94.68m)
Players bought: Rodrigo (£27m, Valencia), Diego Llorente (£18m, Real Sociedad), Helder Costa (£15,93m, Wolves), Raphina ((£15.3m, Rennes), Robin Koch (£11.7m, SC Freiburg), Illan Meslier (£5.85m, FC Lorient), Joe Gelhardt (£900,000, Wigan)
Our knee-jerk reaction while everyone else was fawning over a side that lost on the opening day was that Leeds would be involved in a relegation battle this season, alongside the other promoted clubs who have not spent quite so extravagantly. But two wins and a draw with Manchester City, who threatened to batter them in the opening half-hour, means we may have to re-think that premature assessment. Rodrigo’s first goal against City should settle the record signing. The others need to hit the ground running. Whatever happens, they will be fun to watch.
4) Juventus (£99.1m)
Players bought: Arthur (£64.8m, Barcelona), Federico Chiesa (£9m loan, Fiorentina), Alvaro Morata (£9m loan, Atletico Madrid), Weston McKennie (£4.05m loan, FC Schalke 04), Stefano Gori (£2.7m, Pisa).
Transfermarkt have done Juve a favour here. The fee for Chiesa’s loan is indeed around the £9million mark but the deal includes an obligation to buy at the end of that two-year period. Add in that £36.3million payment that Juve have agreed to pay and it takes the Old Lady’s spending up to £135.4million in Andrea Pirlo’s first window in charge.
3) Barcelona (£111.6m)
Players bought: Miralem Pjanic (£54m, Juventus), Trincao (£27.9m, Braga), Sergino Dest (£18.9m, Ajax), Matheus Fernandes (£6.3m, Palmeiras), Pedri (£4.5m, Las Palmas).
Let Sid Lowe explain why Barcelona did that deal for Pjanic. Finally, Sergino Dest has arrived from Ajax to become Ronald Koeman’s first (and only?) signing of the summer. “I have no doubt that he will be a very useful player for Barca,” he said. And if there’s one thing that Barcelona like in a player it is being ‘useful’ (it’s not). Barca had a deal agreed for Memphis Depay but Man Utd’s refusal to buy Ousmane Dembele means they could not afford to complete.
2) Manchester City (£141.12m)
Players bought: Ruben Dias (£61.1m, Benfica), Nathan Ake (£40.77m, Bournemouth), Ferran Torres (£20.7m, Valencia), Pablo Moreno (£9m, Juventus), Yan Couto (£5.4m, Coritiba), Issa Kabore (£4.05m, KV Mechelen)
A quite considerable outlay (on defenders, as usual) and yet it’s hard to see City improving enough to get close to Liverpool. It still seems remarkable that they are nowhere close to a long-term successor to Sergio Aguero.
1) Chelsea (£222.48m)
Players bought: Kai Havertz (£72m, Bayer Leverkusen), Timo Werner (£47.7m, RB Leipzig), Ben Chilwell (£45.18m, Leicester City), Hakim Ziyech (£36m, Ajax), Edouard Mendy (£21.6m, Rennes)
So far ahead of the opposition that it feels like they are playing a different spending game in a different 2020 to their European rivals. The problem for Frank Lampard now is that you cannot spend so much money and not deliver a title challenge. And the early signs are that a title challenge will not be forthcoming while the manager must juggle a bloated squad that features five centre-backs and three left-backs.
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