REVEALED: Transfers across Europe’s major leagues fell by HALF in 2020-21 with spending in Spain dropping by 70 per cent as Covid-19 hits cashflow… but the Premier League sees the smallest decrease in signings, according to KPMG study
- Football clubs across Europe have been hit in the pocket by Covid-19 outbreak
- But Spain seems to have been hit hardest, especially when it comes to transfers
- There was a small rise in players being promoted from academies in the last year
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a major shift in the approach to major transfers across Europe, with clubs forced to readjust how they go about signing players.
With the January window having passed, a KPMG study has shown how there were 265 less transfers completed in the summer window prior to the 2020-21 campaign and the one just gone, compared to the 2019-20 season before.
And it is Spain’s LaLiga that feels the pinch the most, with an astonishing 70 per cent reduction in permanent transfers this season
Chelsea were notable spenders last summer with signings of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner
Liverpool bought Thiago Alcantara as the Premier League spending dipped only narrowly amid the ongoing outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, which has hit clubs financially
Manchester United signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax in a £40million transfer
The value of players has also decreased, while clubs have tended to turn to loan deals and free transfers were possible as they look to balance the books amid a period of global uncertainty.
Ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, Real Madrid splashed out mega money on players such as Eden Hazard in a £150m deal from Chelsea, the biggest deal of the window, and Ferland Mendy, a left-back from Lyon costing £49m.
But last summer, Chelsea were the biggest spenders with the most notable fees being paid to sign Germany midfielder Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen for £89m and his international team-mate, forward Timo Werner for £53m from RB Leipzig.
Other notable Premier League moves included Liverpool’s £25m deal for Thiago Alcantara and Manchester United’s £40m move to bring Donny van de Beek to Old Trafford from Ajax.
Clubs in Spain such have Barcelona have been hit particularly hard in the pocked by Covid-19
In the summer of 2019-20, Real Madrid were big spenders and signed Eden Hazard for £150m
Beyond the headline-grabbing deals, there were only small drops in loan deals and moves for free transfers.
Loan moves fell narrowly, from 318 to 288, and contracts in place for free agents dropped to 158 from 186.
There was good news for the promotion of youth players, however. There were 201 players who stepped up from academy level into the first team in the 2020-21 season, a rise of five from the previous year.