With another transfer window closed it is again time for our transfer window review. In this review, we will look at the major transfers from the 20/21 summer window by considering the most and least efficient player purchases across Europe’s top seven leagues. Before this, however, the transfer dealings of the most and least efficient clubs will be analysed. Finally, we will compare all the considered leagues in terms of transfer variance before presenting our league efficiency tables for the second season.
Least efficient: Chelsea
Perhaps unsurprisingly, following their near £250m summer spending spree, Chelsea are found to be the least efficient club in Europe’s top seven leagues over the 2020 summer transfer window.
Of the club’s eight completed transfers (excluding free transfers), only two produced a positive variance; the purchase of Timo Werner and the sale of Nathan. Our calculations valued Timo Werner at £65.52m but thanks to a release clause in the player’s contract, Chelsea were able to bring the German to Stamford Bridge for £47.70m. The departure of Nathan made little impact on the club’s overall transfer variance. Valued at £2.66m, the attacking midfielder returned to his native Brazil with Atletico Mineiro for a fee of £2.70m.
Further to this, Chelsea also made the least efficient player purchase of any club in Europe’s top seven leagues, their move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz. This will be examined in detail later in the article but due to the German’s limited international experience so far in his career and Leverkusen’s failure to qualify for the Champions League, our calculations value the youngster at £26.39m. Despite this, the Blues shelled out £72m for the services of Havertz, equalling Kepa as the club’s most expensive signing of all time.
Most efficient: Inter
In contrast, Inter are likely to be an unexpected feature as the most efficient club in Europe’s top seven leagues over the 2020 summer transfer window.
Excluding free transfers, the Nerazzurri completed 11 transfers before the October 5th deadline. Aleksandar Kolarov and Darian Males both arrived for fees below their estimated market values whilst Nicolo Barella’s pre-arranged purchase from Cagliari for £22.50m proved to be a shrewd acquisition, with the Italian midfielder now valued at £33.50m. However, Inter’s intelligent transfer dealings are best highlighted with their negotiations with Genoa to bring Andrea Pinamonti back to the San Siro.
At the start of the 19/20 season, Genoa agreed to take the Italian forward on loan from Inter, with a mandatory purchase at the end of the season for €19.5m (£17.55m). Despite an informal agreement being rumoured to have been agreed for Inter to then purchase the player back for €20m (£18m), which essentially placed a €500k loan fee on the move, the Milan-based club decided against taking the player back due to their limited finances following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Whilst Pinamonti featured in 34 of Genoa’s 41 games last season, the club only narrowly escaped relegation, causing Davide Nicola to become their third managerial casualty of the 19/20 season following Aurelio Andreazzoli and Thiago Motta. Rolando Maran arrived to take charge at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris for the upcoming season and didn’t see Pinamonti as part of his plans, asking the club to cash-in on the young forward to re-invest in their playing squad. With a lack of potential suitors, Genoa and Inter did eventually agree on a deal for Pinamonti to return to the San Siro for just £7.20m. Our calculations valued the forward at £18.16m, meaning that Inter generated a positive variance of £10.35m by selling and re-purchasing their player.
Most efficient purchase: Andre Silva
The most efficient club in the transfer market last season, Eintracht Frankfurt, (as seen in our 19/20 Complete Transfer Window Review) again conducted very efficient business over the 2020 summer transfer window, topping the Bundesliga transfer efficiency table. This is largely thanks to their purchase of Andre Silva from AC Milan, which generated a positive transfer variance of £39.78m.
The Portuguese forward was one of the most sought-after strikers in world football when he moved to AC Milan. During his first and only season in Porto’s first team, Silva made 40 appearances in the Liga NOS and Champions League, scoring 20 goals and assisting a further eight. This was sufficient for the Rossoneri to shell out £34.20m on the player.
Despite performing well in the Europa League in Milan with eight goals and an assist in 14 appearances, Silva struggled to adapt to Italian football, scoring just twice in 24 Serie A appearances. Therefore, it was decided that a loan spell may be beneficial for the young forward and so Silva spent the 18/19 season with Sevilla. This season proved to be okay for Andre Silva. With nine goals and two assists and 27 league appearances, the striker proved to be a reliable performer in La Liga. However, these performances were not enough to convince Sevilla to push for a permanent deal or AC Milan to offer Silva another shot at first-team football in Serie A.
This left Silva in a similar position before his season in Spain, albeit with his stock slightly higher. The next step was then another loan move, this time to Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt for the 19/20 season. This season proved to be a slight improvement for Silva, accumulating 12 goals and assisting four in 25 Bundesliga appearances as Frankfurt fell slightly short of retaining Europa League football. Overall, AC Milan hadn’t seen the development they had hoped when they brought the forward to Italy although this time, Frankfurt decided to pursue a permanent deal and agreed an £8.10m fee for Silva.
Whilst Andre Silva’s club career has proved to be relatively turbulent since leaving Portugal, he has enjoyed the most successful spells of his career so far with the national team and it is his international performances that provide the bulk of Silva’s estimated value. Since making his debut in September 2016, the striker has scored 16 goals and assisted four in 37 appearances. These appearances include participating at the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup before lifting the first-ever UEFA Nations League trophy.
These factors produced an estimated market valuation for Andre Silva of £47.88m. Only time will tell if AC Milan were right to cut their losses on Andre Silva after just one season in Italy although after making a flying start to the 20/21 Bundesliga season with three goals and an assist in four games, Rossoneri fans may soon look back at this move and wonder what could have been.
Least efficient purchase: Kai Havertz
As mentioned previously, Kai Havertz was identified as the least efficient purchase of the 2020 summer transfer window.
Havertz spent time with Alemannia Mariadorf and Alemannia Aachen as a youth player before signing for Leverkusen as an 11-year-old. The German excelled for both Leverkusen and Germany at youth level before making his debut in October 2016, becoming the club’s youngest-ever Bundesliga player. Four months later, he also became Leverkusen’s youngest-ever goalscorer in the Bundesliga. In total, Havertz made 150 appearances for die Werkself, scoring 46 goals and assisting 31, also becoming the youngest player in Bundesliga history to make 50 league appearances.
At still only 21 years of age, Havertz is already vastly experienced in European football but has only made eight appearances in Europe’s elite competition, the Champions League. Leverkusen’s failure to qualify for the Champions League in Havertz’s final season for the club negatively impacted the player’s valuation.
Further to this, Havertz had made only seven senior international appearances before moving to Stamford Bridge. Whilst it could be argued that this figure would almost certainly be higher for any other national side in world football, the fact remains that the player’s experience at the highest level of international football is currently limited.
Therefore, our calculations value Havertz at £26.39m, £45.61m short of the £72m that Chelsea paid to acquire the young German. Whilst Havertz still has plenty of time to prove he was worthy of the record-equalling fee paid by the Blues, further experience at the highest levels of the European and international game will be required to ensure he develops as the Chelsea hierarchy predict.
|Position||League||Transfer Variance (m)||Percentage of Variance|
|1||Russian Premier League||£17.72||12.28%|
For the second time in three seasons, the Premier League is found to be the least efficient European league in the transfer market. In terms of variance, Premier League clubs are over 12% or £300m less efficient than La Liga clubs, the sixth-placed league.
The only other league returning a negative variance was the Liga NOS, although, with a variance of just -£0.19m or -0.06%, this is negligible.
Last season’s least efficient league, the Russian Premier League, is currently the most efficient over the 20/21 season.
When considering major European leagues, the Bundesliga is the most efficient although there is little to separate the Germans from Ligue 1. Serie A also returned a positive variance for the 20/21 season.
For a full breakdown of every club within Europe’s top seven leagues, look at our league efficiency tables below.
|13||Pacos de Ferreira||£0.00*|