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Summer 2021 Transfer Window: Five Defining Trends

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September 21, 2021
Written by: Rana Ghosal


The Summer 2021 transfer window will be remembered for years to come. It was an unusual market that saw numerous high profile players make important moves, most notably Leo Messi to PSG and Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United. 

Now that the market is closed we have taken time to reflect and analyze five key trends from this summer's transfer window. You will find them highlighted below:

 

(I) Transfer Spends in the Top 5 Leagues

A total of €3.03 billion were spent in the transfer signings. English Premier League had the lion share of 44.3% (€1.34 B) of the total amount spent followed by the Italian Serie A with 18.7% share (€568.6 M). Spain's LaLiga was the most austere in terms of spending with a mere 10.0% (€303 M) of the spends pie. French Ligue 1 with 13.2% (€400.2 M) rounding up the Big 5 leagues in Europe.

 

 

 

(II) Historical Reference - Transfer Spends

The effect of Covid-19 was felt across the leagues and transfer spends reduced drastically. The graphic below highlights how all major leagues suffered in the total transfer spends since the beginning of the pandemic. 

 

 

 

(III) Net Earnings

Analyzing 98 clubs of the Big 5 Leagues, 56 clubs had a net outflow with a total of €1.59 B and 40 clubs had positive earnings, with a total of €775 M.

The biggest spending clubs were Arsenal with €165.5 M, Manchester United with €140.0 M and Manchester City with €127.5 M.

The highest earning clubs were Inter Milan with €197.1 M, Aston Villa with €127 M and Chelsea with €122.4 M.

 

 

 

(IV) Club-wise Spends / Earnings Break-up

Almost 56.1% of the clubs spent less than €20 M for their entire transfers. Only 5% of the clubs spent more than €100 M in transfers.

Similarly, 61 clubs earned less than €20 M and 5 clubs earned over €100 M.

 

 

 

(V) League-wise Top 3 Highest Spending Clubs

The graphic below shows the top spending clubs for each of the top 5 leagues in Europe. Interesting to see that neither FC Barcelona nor Real Madrid made the list in Spain. Also of note is the absence of Juventus in Italy and the presence of Atalanta. 

 

 

A transfer window like no other, with interesting conclusions once we analyze the numbers. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share your feedback with me at rana.ghosal@sbibarcelona.com. Looking forward to hearing back from you. 

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