5 clubs that nailed the transfer window

by | Oct 8, 2020

It was always going to be an uphill battle planning transfers for the summer window, given the financial impact of COVID-19 on most football clubs. To think a powerful club like Real Madrid, usually in the top 3 in the Forbes’ list of most valuable clubs, made zero signings this summer for the first time in 40 years and still had to sell for £88.65m to maintain finances, makes you realise how tough it has been all around. But among all the doom and gloom, a few clubs have had the opportunity to make shrewd transfers and build a good platform for their manager to achieve his aims while keeping an eye on the bank balance. We highlight 5 of these clubs who have had a praise-worthy 2020 summer window.

1. Everton FC

Ins:

Name Age Pos From Fee
Ben Godfrey 22 CB Norwich £24.75m
Allan 29 CM Napoli £22.50m
Abdoulaye Doucoure 27 CM Watford £19.89m
James Rodriguez 29 AM Real Madrid Free
Robin Olsen 30 GK AS Roma Loan

Sum: £67.38m

Outs:

Name Age Pos To Fee
Morgan Schneiderlin 30 DM OGC Nice £2m
Kieran Dowell  22 AM Norwich £1.98m
Luke Garbutt 27 LB Blackpool Free
Maarten Stekelenburg 37 GK Ajax Free
Sandro Ramirez 25 ST SD Huesca Free
Moise Kean 20 ST Paris SG Loan
Theo Walcott 31 RW Southampton Loan
Leighton Baines 35 LB Retired
Cuco Martina 30 RB Released
Oumar Niasse 30 ST Released
Djibril Sidibe 28 RB AS Monaco End of loan

Sum:  £3.98m

Net Spend: £63.4m

The Premier League clubs have had it better than the rest of Europe when it comes to the financial burdens due to COVID. The Premier League clubs together spent a whopping €1.37 Billion with a net spend of €892.05 million this summer. But when it comes to gaining high value for deals and creating a competent team to support their manager, nobody did it better than Everton. The Blues bought a completely new midfield in workhorses Allan and Doucoure and creative genius James Rodriguez, who had his best spell under Carlo Ancelotti in Real Madrid. The manager-player duo has reconnected to great effect with James starting the season strong with 3 goals and 2 assists already to his name. Manager Ancelotti is enjoying great performances from the 3 midfielders, an area where Everton have been desperately lacking in for many years. In addition to that, the shrewd acquisition of Ben Godfrey has gone unnoticed. A high potential defender, he is one player who can fix the back line issues that have plagued the Merseyside club in recent years. Coupled with the in-form strikers, the Italian manager now boasts of a very competent squad that already sits at the top of the table with 4 wins in 4 games. All this while letting go of many deadwood players, Everton have managed to streamline their squad and give their manager a great platform to build on. A top 4 finish? The dream is on!


(Photo by NICK POTTS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

2. Stade Rennais FC

Ins:

Name Age Pos From Fee
Jeremy Doku 18 RW RSC Anderlecht £23.40m
Serhou Guirassy 24 ST Amiens SC £13.50m
Martin Terrier 23 LW Olympique Lyon £10.80m
Alfred Gomis 27 GK Dijon £9.00m
Nayef Aguerd 24 CB Dijon £3.60m
Dalbert 27 LB Inter Loan
Daniele Rugani 26 CB Juventus Loan

Sum: £63.90m

Outs: 

Name Age Pos To Fee
Edouard Mendy 28 GK Chelsea £21.60m
Raphinha 23 RW Leeds £16.72m
Armand Lauriente 21 RW FC Lorient £2.70m
Souleyman Doumbia 23 LB SCO Angers £2.70m
Jordan Tell 23 ST Clermont Foot Free
Sacha Boey 20 RB Dijon Loan
Lilian Brassier 20 RB Stade Brest 29 Loan
Jeremy Morel 36 CB FC Lorient Free
Jakob Johannson 30 CM IFK Goteborg Free
Hakim El Mokeddem 21 AM FC Sete 34 Loan
Rafik Guitane 21 AM Maritimo Loan
Metehan Guclu 21 ST Valenciennes FC Loan
Jeremy Gelin 23 CB Royal Antwerp Loan
Jordan Siebatcheu 24 ST BSC Young Boys Loan
Joris Gnagnon 23 CB Sevilla FC End of loan

Sum: £44.89m

Net Spend: £19m

It was always going to be interesting to see how Stade Rennais approached the summer transfer window. The French club finished 3rd in Ligue 1 last season – the highest in the club’s history. Suddenly faced with Champions League football and a challenge to follow up with a good league season, the onus was on Rennais to ace the transfer window. And that’s exactly what they did. Two extremely talented young wingers for either side in Doku and Terrier will have fans super-excited while the signing of Guirassy completes a new look attack. Using the lure of Champions League football, the club was able to loan in unwanted but talented stars, Rugani and Dalbert, who will be looking to prove themselves. Stade Rennais was able to capitalize on the big-spending desperation of Premier clubs Chelsea and Leeds by selling Mendy and Raphinha for a combined £38m. The shrewd capture of Gomis serves as a good GK replacement. All in all, the club sold well, bought players to fill in all the gaps and developed bench strength to compete in multiple competitions, all while rounding off a net spend of just £19m – a masterclass window!


(Photo by Philippe Le Brech/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

3. Bayern Munich

Ins:

Name Age Pos From Fee
Leroy Sane 24 LW Manchester City £40.50m
Marc Roca 23 DM Espanyol £8.10m
Bouna Sarr 28 RB Marseille £7.20m
Alexander Nubel 23 GK FC Schalke 04 Free
Tanguy Nianzou 18 CB Paris SG Free
Eric Choupo-Moting 31 ST Paris SG Free
Douglas Costa 30 RW Juventus Loan
Tiago Dantas 19 DM Benfica Loan

Sum: £55.80m

Outs:

Name Age Pos To Fee
Thiago 29 CM Liverpool £19.80m
Sven Ulreich 32 GK Hamburger SV Free
Sarpreet Singh 21 CM FC Nuremberg Loan
Lars Lukas Mai 20 CB SV Darmstadt 98 Loan
Christian Fruchtl 20 GK FC Nuremberg Loan
Michael Cuisance 21 CM Marseille Loan
Adrian Fein 21 DM PSV Eindhoven Loan
Ivan Perisic 31 LW Inter End of loan
Phillipe Coutinho 28 AM FC Barcelona End of loan
Alvaro Odriozola 24 RB Real Madrid End of loan

Sum: £19.80m

Net Spend: £36m

It won’t be ridiculous to say that Bayern Munich would make the top 5 clubs that nailed the transfer window every year in recent times. The Bavarians are well-run and have been showing astute planning and execution in the transfer market for a few years now and this summer was no less. The long-term strategy to acquire Leroy Sane for good value paid off this window. The Germans were able to bid goodbye to loanees Coutinho and Perisic who took care of the left-wing slot last season and finally welcomed one of Europe’s exciting wingers for just £40.5m. Coupled with the in-form Lewandowski and Gnabry, this puts Bayern’s attack among the best in Europe now. While they had to let go of superstar Thiago to Liverpool, they more than made up for it by acquiring one of Europe’s brightest deep-lying playmaker prospects for a measly £8.10m (not including add-ons). Marc Roca’s capture could quite possibly be the deal of the window and was included in our top 5 under-the-radar deals of the window as well. Trading a 29 year old want-away for a 23 year old potential star is exactly the kind of smart move the Bavarians are known for. Coupled with the existing high-performing midfield duo of Kimmich and Goretzka and the loan-in of wonderkid Tiago Dantas, Bayern now have enough quality midfield depth to the point where they could let go of Cuisance on loan for game time. The signing of Tanguy from PSG represents another insanely smart grab of one of Europe’s talented defender wonderkids for no fee at all. With backup loan-ins for Choupo Moting and Costa, the Bavarians seem to have made a Champions League winning squad seem stronger than before – all for a modest net spend of £36m. Announce them as the champions of the 2020 transfer window as well, please!


(Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

4. Villareal

Ins:

Name Age Pos From Fee
Pervis Estupinan 22 LB Watford £14.76m
Francis Coquelin 29 DM Valencia £5.85m
Geronimo Rulli 28 GK Real Sociedad £4.50m
Jorge Cuenca 20 CB FC Barcelona B £2.25m
Takefuso Kubo 19 RW Real Madrid Loan
Mario Gonzalez 24 LW Clermont Foot Free
Dani Parejo 31 CM Valencia Free
Juan Foyth 22 CB Spurs Loan

Sum: £29.61m

Outs:

Name Age  Pos To Fee
Karl Toko Ekambi 27 ST Olympique Lyon £10.35m
Enes Unal 23 ST Getafe £8.10m
Alvaro Gonzalez 30 CB Marseille £3.60m
Akram Afif 23 LW Al-Sadd SC Free
Javi Ontiveros 23 LW SD Huesca Loan
Andres Fernandez 33 GK SD Huesca Free
Santi Cazorla 35 CM Al-Sadd SC Free
Jorge Cuenca 20 CB UD Almeria Loan
Zambo Anguissa 24 DM Fulham End of loan
Bruno Soriano 36 DM Retired

Sum: £23.99m

Net Spend: £5.6m

It has been a tougher period for La Liga teams compared to the others in the top 5 leagues. Put together, La Liga clubs spent €411.80m in the window which is lesser than what Serie A and Ligue 1 clubs spent and less than 1/3rd of the Premier League clubs. They were also the only league in the top 5 to close with a positive net spend (€82.45m profit) showing how there just wasn’t enough money to spend for Spanish teams this summer. But, in crisis comes opportunity and the yellow submarine danced around the pitfalls of the summer window impressively. They had to bid goodbye to the ageing midfield duo of Cazorla and Bruno but picked up highly impressive replacements in Coquelin and Parejo. Taking advantage of the turmoil at Valencia, Villareal acquired one of Europe’s best playmakers for free. Coupled with the very smart loan-ins of Foyth and Kubo and high-value sales of Ekambi, Unal and Gonzalez, Villareal were able to round up their window with just a £5.6m net spend while improving a squad that finished 5th last season. Finance students,take notes!


(Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

5. RB Leipzig

Ins:

Name Age Pos From Fee
Alexander Sorloth 24 ST Crystal Palace £18.00m
Hee-chan Hwang 24 ST RB Salzburg £8.10m
Josep Martinez 22 GK UD Las Palmas £2.25m
Justin Kluivert 21 LW AS Roma Loan
Lazar Samardzic 18 AM Hertha BSC U19 Free
Benjamin Henrichs 23 RB AS Monaco Loan

Sum: £29.70m

Outs:

Name Age Pos To Fee
Timo Werner 24 ST Chelsea £47.70m
Adeomola Lookman 22 LW Fulham Loan
Hannes Wolf 21 AM Monchengladbach Loan
Jean-Kevin Augustin 23 ST FC Nantes Free
Yvon Mvogo 26 GK PSV Eindhoven Loan
Ethan Ampadu 19 CB Chelsea End of loan
Patrik Schick 24 ST AS Roma End of loan

Sum: £50.85m

Net Spend: -£21.15m (Profit)

RB Leipzig are the only club in this list to churn out a negative spend i.e. profit based on their summer activity. Bundesliga clubs have had it rough due to COVID and together spent the least among the top 5 leagues with a total spend of €323.20 million. They sold for almost the same amount, roughly breaking even for the window. In such conditions, RBL were able to generate immense revenue from their most valuable asset in Timo Werner who was the 7th most expensive transfer of the 2020 summer window. Losing Timo and Schick upfront meant a need for firepower and RBL delivered replacements in the form of Sorloth who comes from the back of a strong goal-scoring season and the highly-rated duo of Hwang and Kluivert. With the rest comprising loan deals, they have managed to generate an important £21.15m without letting the team quality suffer. The club has started strong this season, already racing to the top of the table, and look on course to finish close to their previous season’s strong 3rd palace finish. A profitable window without letting squad quality suffer – now that’s business!


(Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)