Overpriced transfers in the summer of 2018

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As many football fans already know, the transfer window has a huge importance in the direction where the club is headed especially when they are able to sign their targets an strengthen their teams.

In the recently-concluded window, there were many players who moved from one team to another especially in big European leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

And in a recent article, we already addressed those players who are considered as quality transfers given the fact that the team paid much lower than their market value in world football.

This time, we turn our attentions to the other end of the spectrum and look at the players who were bought for such a big amount of money as compared to their value in the transfer market.

Like the previous article, this is based off the difference between their market value and reported transfer fee during the time they were signed.

Here are the top five on the list.

RIYAD MAHREZ (Leicester City to Manchester City; €17.8 million)

In the Premier League, Manchester City looked nearly invincible last season en route to a title triumph. With a team already stacked with talent, they seemingly did not need many players coming in during the summer but Pep Guardiola still managed to land one of Leicester City’s best players in Riyad Mahrez.

With a market value of around €50 million, Guardiola and the City management managed to snag the star for a reported fee of around €67.8 million which is an inflated amount for a team that already have a number of attack-minded stars all ready for their disposal in various matches outside of the Premier League.

He certainly has the talent and the work rate to strive in the team and in the tough, physical play in the Premier League but he might have a tough time justifying the price tag if he won’t be able to make it regularly in the starting XI.

However, if City end up winning the league and, more importantly, European titles thanks to his addition then the money spent will easily be worth it for a club with huge financial power.

THILO KEHRER (Schalke 04 to Paris Saint-Germain; €19 million)

Another club who seemingly have an endless well when it comes to the financial aspect are Paris Saint-Germain who make the list with signing of Thilo Kehrer during the summer.

It should also be noted, that if this list was made longer, the Ligue 1 champions could appear more than once with lucrative signings like with Kylian Mbappe.

With Kehrer, he was picked up by the French giants from Schalke 04. PSG were very impressed with what the 21-year-old had to offer that they paid an enormous fee of €38 million which is easily double his market value of €18 million.

Now, spotting and securing young stars when they are relatively cheaper should always be entertained in football but paying a fee may require him being considered as a regular for the team’s starting XI. With Kehrer still failing to make a real mark within the team, their investment may take a few years to finally pay off.

JEFFERSON LERMA (Levante to AFC Bournemouth; €26 million)

Despite not being considered as one of the big teams in the Premier League, AFC Bournemouth make the list after acquiring the services of Jefferson Lerma during the summer.

Previously plying his trade with Spanish club Levante, Lerma was a decent player and was relatively reliable as a defender. Market value reflected that and rated Lerma to be worth around €2 million for his services.

However, Bournemouth had to shell out well over his worth, paying €28 million for his services which is €26 million over what the market rated him to be.

While it is over-priced, Premier League teams seemingly have the knack to shoot up fees for their targets to secure their services which just shows how competitive the nature of the Premier League actually is.

Given that he is 23 years old, the defender may still have time to grow within the club and possibly drive his market value up to what was actually paid.

FRED (Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester United; €27 million)

Manchester United were in a lot of transfer talks during the summer as manager Jose Mourinho wished for new players to come in to Old Trafford for the coming season.

The wish list included defenders and other players, but the Red Devils’ most notable signing is Fred who enjoyed his time in Ukraine playing with Shakhtar Donetsk. The Brazilian was easily one of the best players in the country, resulting in his market value rocketing to €32 million.

With their desire to sign the Brazilian, United paid 59 million for his services which is €27 million over his market value. Given that United already have players like Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira available, many believed that the money could have been spread around to pick up new signings.

However, Fred has been decent in his early showings for Mourinho and United. He has been active and present especially in their attack but he must be able to make enough of a difference for the Red Devil’s to challenge for titles again this season or else risk being criticised for his exorbitant transfer fee.

KEPA ARRIZABALAGA (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea; €60 million)

In the article of best value transfers, Chelsea were mentioned atop the list, but not for the business they hoped for as they sold then-goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a much lower fee than the market valued him for.

Now, the Blues find themselves last in this list but because of the price they paid for their replacement keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Previously with Athletic Bilbao, the La Liga club had a huge release clause for their keeper and many were surprised when the Premier League outfit paid the fee to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea picked up the 23-year-old for 80 million, which is €60 million more than his market value of €20 million which made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.

The Chelsea brass immediately put him in between the sticks for the Premier League and the Spaniard has done relatively well for himself, but he must be able to maintain elite status for years to come just to justify the amount paid to him for a team looking for glory every year.