It’s just a couple of weeks until the biggest European football leagues kick off once more. Clubs in La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 have been spending plenty of money over the past few months to ensure that they can compete at the highest level.
There’s still plenty of rumours about highly anticipated future deals regarding the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Gareth Bale. But with most European transfer windows closing in less than a month, it’s clear that time is of the essence. So as well as a look at some of the big Premier League signings, here are the most important European football transfers of the past few months.
Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid from Benfica – £113 million
Joao Felix has come from nowhere to become the world’s most exciting football player. The 19-year old Portuguese star was in exceptional form in helping Benfica claim the league title last season. Known as being highly flexible as a midfielder or a striker, there’s little wondering why Atletico Madrid would snap up Felix for an astonishing £113 million in an attempt to fill the hole left by Antoine Griezmann.
Felix initially shone in Atletico Madrid’s pre-season friendly against Numancia, but had to leave the pitch after just 30 minutes after receiving an injury to his hip. However, this looks to be a suitably cautious decision that’s been made to ensure that Felix makes the most of what promises to be a dazzling future career.
Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona from Atletico Madrid – £108 million
Since arriving at Atletico Madrid in 2014, Antoine Griezmann quickly became known as being one of Europe’s best players. But it seems as though Atletico Madrid wasn’t big enough for the 28-year old, and Barcelona swooped in to buy Griezmann for £108 million as part of the joint-fourth most expensive football transfer.
The deal was one of the longest-running transfer sagas with both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona contesting the fee of the release clause. But the deal was settled on 12 July, and Griezmann will add plenty more firepower to an already phenomenally powerful Barcelona team. But where Griezmann will fit in alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho remains to be seen.
Eden Hazard to Real Madrid from Chelsea – £88 million
For most of the 2018/19 season, Chelsea fans knew that Eden Hazard was thinking of leaving Stamford Bridge. In the end it was Real Madrid who stumped up the £88 million fee for the Belgium star. Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left the Spanish club to join Juventus, there had been big question marks about who could fill his boots, and Hazard looks like a good fit for the challenge.
Real Madrid had a fairly barren 2018/19 season with ever-changing cast of managers, and inconsistency from players like Gareth Bale. But with Zinedine Zidane back in the head coach role, and the outrageous talent of Eden Hazard, Los Blancos are looking good to rediscover their former glories.
Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich from Atletico Madrid – £80 million
Atletico Madrid fans haven’t just had to suffer the loss of Antoine Griezmann, as Lucas Hernandez has also left Diego Simeone’s team. It was a well known fact that Bayern Munich were keen to sign the French defender for many months, and the £68 million fee makes Hernandez the most expensive signing in Bundesliga history.
Hernandez usually plays in a left-back or central defensive role, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how he teams up with his French team-mate, Benjamin Pavard, in the back four. Plus with ongoing rumours that Bayern Munich are close to signing Leroy Sane from Manchester City or even Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, it seems as though this legendary German team will be on course for picking up their eighth successive Bundesliga title.
Matthijs De Ligt to Juventus from Ajax – £67 million
Anybody who saw Tottenham’s Champions League clashes against Ajax will know what a quality player Matthijs De Ligt is. The towering Dutch defender had been the kingpin of the Ajax team, and so it wasn’t long until one of Europe’s biggest teams came along.
After months of rumours, it was Juventus who put in the highest offer and De Ligt was eventually bought for £67.5 million. Alongside the huge appeal of playing alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, De Ligt was also keen to state that Juventus’ new manager, Maurizio Sarri, was a big reason as to why he decided to join the Italian team. Whilst there are already claims that Juventus is just a stepping stone to joining the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, it’s clear that De Ligt and Juventus are going to be a formidable package.
Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona from Ajax – £65 million
Not only have Ajax fans had to see De Ligt leaving the side, but the Dutch team have also lost the hugely promising midfielder Frenkie de Jong. Barcelona signed the 22-year old star in January, but Barca fans will only get to see how De Jong fits in the side when their La Liga campaign kicks off against Athletic Bilbao on 16 August.
De Jong proved to be a massive hit in Ajax’s excellent Champions League campaign against Real Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham. Plus the Dutch midfielder revealed no shortage of skill in the Netherlands’ successful Nations League victory over England. As a result it’s going to be intriguing to see how De Jong slots in behind the likes of Messi, Griezmann and Suarez in the remarkably gifted Barcelona team.
Luka Jovic to Real Madrid from Eintracht Frankfurt – £58 million
Just in case Eden Hazard doesn’t manage to work his magic at Real Madrid, then Zinedine Zidane should be able to count on Luka Jovic to score plenty of goals. The 21-year old Serbian striker proved to be in outrageous form for Eintracht Frankfurt last season with no less than 17 goals and six assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances, as well as 10 Europa League goals.
If this wasn’t enough, there are wild rumours that stars like Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and even Neymar could be set to join Real Madrid. All of which should make for a fascinating season of Los Blancos football.
Other important signings in La Liga football
The big three of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have already spent a staggering amount on money on transfer fees this summer. In their £250 million spending spree, Real Madrid have also added the Brazilian striker, Rodrygo, as well as the defenders Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao.
Thanks to the sale of Griezmann, Rodri and Lucas Hernandez, Atletico Madrid have been able to add other stars like Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier, as well as Marcos Llorente and Renan Lodi to their ranks. Plus Barcelona have even found the cash to swap goalkeepers with Valencia.
Further down the Spanish league table, Sevilla have been rebuilding their squad with promising forwards like Munas Dabbur and Luuk de Jong, whilst Betis have signed Giovani Lo Celso who once looked like he might join Tottenham.
Keep an eye on Getafe to see how the Scottish striker, Jack Harper, performs in their Europa League campaign, and Alaves have bought Premier League players such as West Ham’s Lucas Perez and Newcastle’s Joselu.
Big transfers in the Bundesliga
With an ageing squad, it was no surprise to find that Bayern Munich would be the Bundesliga’s biggest spenders. But Borussia Dortmund were also keen to spend some cash this summer, with the surprise return of Mats Hummels from Bayern. This was backed up with some decent signings such as the winger Julian Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen and the striker Thorgan Hazard from Borussia Monchengladbach.
Other key signings in the Bundesliga have included Bayer Leverkusen picking up the Paris Saint Germain winger Moussa Diaby, whilst Eintracht Frankfurt have signed the Swiss midfield star Djibril Sow, and RB Leipzig made a deal to add Hannes Wolf to their ranks from Salzburg. Even Bundesliga newcomers Union Berlin have joined in the spending fever with 14 brand new players joining the side.
Significant deals in Serie A football
So who can stop Juventus in their bid to win yet another Serie A title? As well as their big signing of De Ligt, Juventus have also splashed out on the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsay.
Roma have been making some interesting signings with the likes of Leonardo Spinazzola and Amadou Diawara joining Paulo Fonseca’s team, whilst Lazio were quick to sign the Liverpool winger Bobby Adekanye.
AC Milan have finally made Franck Kessie a permanent part of their side and have added the likes of Hernandez from Real Madrid. Their city rivals Inter Milan have also been in the transfer market with the Hertha Berlin winger Valentino Lazaro set to join their ranks.
What Ligue 1 signings have there been this summer?
Paris Saint Germain are famous for their big money signings, but this summer has mostly been about trying to keep hold of their star players. There’s been endless dispute about whether Neymar could be set to leave PSG to rejoin Spanish football, and Kylian Mbappe is another big name who has been linked with many top clubs. However, Thomas Tuchel has found the time to add the Sevilla midfielder Sarabia to their side, as well as the Borussia Dortmund defender Adbou Diallo.
Lyon will be suffering the loss of Tanguy Ndombele to Tottenham, but have bought the talented midfielder Thiago Mendes from Lille, whilst Lille have picked up Tim Weah to boost their attacking forces from Paris Saint Germain.
Whilst Marseille have shown themselves to be strangely reluctant to make any big money signings, we’ve seen Montpellier swooping in to buy Teji Savanier from Nimes, whilst Toulouse have picked up the very promising Greek striker, Efthymois Koulouris. All of which is set to make next season’s Ligue 1 a fascinating prospect for French football.