While some seemed content with their clubs’ transfer business, others believe they could’ve done a bit better in a market witnessing billions spent in transactions. From Lionel Messi to Karim Benzema, a number of notable names have embraced their new employers.
takes a look at the top ten most expensive deals of the 2023 summer transfer window:
Defensive midfielder Declan Rice left West Ham United after winning the UEFA Europa Conference League with the Hammers last season. Despite garnering interest from all the top clubs in the Premier League, Rice decided to join Arsenal, who shelled out a club-record transfer fee of €116.6 million to land the defensive midfielder.
The lack of reliable defensive bodies in the midfield department led the Gunners to lure the 24-year-old Englishman, who has already racked up one goal, a special one against arch-rivals Manchester United.
2. Moisés Caicedo to
Moisés Caicedo (Reuters Photo)
With the highest spending purse, Chelsea registered another flamboyant summer transfer window for their fans, with Mauricio Pochettino securing the services of Moisés Caicedo for a British record fee of €116 million. Leaving Brighton and Hove Albion to join the Londoners, Caicedo has been identified as a key member of Chelsea’s midfield by the former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain boss.
While critics have raised questions over Chelsea’s valuation of the deal, the 21-year-old Ecuadorian has featured in only two Premier League games so far and it’s far too early perhaps to make that call. Since he has penned a contract with the Blues till June 2031, it is likely that he will be given enough time to prove his mettle at Stamford Bridge.
Midfielders have certainly moved on to greener pastures for big money this summer. Real Madrid were quick to launch an attack on swashbuckling prodigy Jude Bellingham, who joined Los Blancos for a gigantic transfer fee of €103 million at the very early stage of the window. This after Liverpool pulled out of the race, despite reports that the Reds were keen on making Bellingham the face of their new-look midfield.
From Borussia Dortmund to the capital of Spain, it was supposed to be a nervous spell for the player as so many have so often failed to deal with the herculean pressure. But those with rock-solid determination have always thrived under the brightest lights of Santiago Bernabeu. And Bellingham is reflecting the same aura with five goals and one assist in four La Liga appearances so far. At the end of the fourth game week, he remains atop La Liga’s goalscoring charts.
The Harry Kane transfer saga finally drew to an end, with the Englishman securing a move to Bayern Munich for a club-record deal of 100 million Euros. Bayern had been on the lookout for a striker since Robert Lewandowski’s switch to Barcelona.
Daniel Levy, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, got his asking price for the sharpshooter and his wish of keeping Kane away from the Premier League’s top six contenders. Kane has settled in pretty well at his new club. The 30-year-old has already scored three goals and has one assist from three Bundesliga appearances for the defending champions.
Losing mammoth names such as Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. in the same summer transfer window, Paris Saint-Germain required a big shot in the arm in their attack. With the team shifting its paradigm under the guidance of veteran coach Luis Enrique, a new-looking Parisien side made a last-minute swoop for Randal Kolo Muani on the transfer deadline day.
The transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt cost the French Ligue 1 side a transfer fee of €95 million. A noted marksman in the Bundesliga, the 24-year-old Frenchman amassed 26 goals and 17 assists in 50 games for his previous employers.
Treble winners last season, Manchester City made Josko Gvardiol their most expensive summer acquisition this time. Aged 21, Gvardiol is a highly-touted prospect in Europe. With Aymeric Laporte leaving the club in the summer transfer window, Man City needed a left-footed centre-back to support Nathan Aké.
As per the need of the hour, the Cityzens broke the bank for the defender, who can also ply his trade as a left-back. The Premier League 2023/24 season has already seen the Dutchman making three appearances for his new club, with Pep Guardiola providing him with some much-needed time before integrating the defender into the first team.
After failing to lead Paris Saint-Germain to the coveted Champions League glory, Neymar finally bid farewell, parting ways with Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and co. after six seasons in the French capital.
Neymar, now 31, has signed a contract with Al Hilal until 2025 following his big-money transfer worth €90 million. With 295 goals from 498 appearances, Neymar has already won every trophy at European club level. Perhaps it is his time to conquer Saudi Arabia and Asia.
His stint at Bayer Leverkusen provided Kai Havertz a plethora of plaudits, some anticipated attention, and a transfer to Chelsea at a time when Roman Abramovich held a monumental stake at the London club. Changes in management strategy in the Todd Boehly era resulted in a sharp decline in game-time for the German attacker.
A revolutionary summer transfer window for Arsenal saw Mikel Arteta embracing Havertz with open arms. And since making the €75 million move, the 24-year-old wily player has made five appearances, including one in the FA Community Shield, where Arsenal ended on top after beating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on penalties to lift the English season’s first silverware.
Going into a significant 2023/24 season, Manchester United desperately felt the need for a prolific striker— and more precisely a centre-forward. The club has been devoid of one since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved to Saudi club Al Nassr in the last January transfer window.
With Frenchman Anthony Martial failing to prove his worth amid his injury-laden spell at the Mancunian club, Erik ten Hag brought in Rasmus Højlund for a transfer fee of around €75 million. The 20-year-old is seen as a long-term solution to United’s goalscoring woes. After missing the first three games in the Premier League, Højlund finally made his debut, coming off the bench in the second half of United’s 3-1 away defeat to Arsenal. Many feel the 20-year-old is on the same mould as City’s prolific scorer Erling Haaland.
Szoboszlai appeared on the radar of multiple European heavyweights when he was plying his trade for Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. Following his move to German side RB Leipzig, his stock witnessed a sharp rise, with his awe-inspiring performances for the Bundesliga outlet convincing Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to make a winning bid for him.
Lacking in creativity last season, the Reds splashed a transfer fee of €70 million to secure the signature of the Hungarian. Since joining the club, the 22-year-old has showcased his ability to influence games, notching up his first goal in his fourth Premier League appearance against Aston Villa. The dependability on the playmaker will only increase should he hold onto his majestic form. The Reds have given him a 5-year contract which runs till 2028.