March 22, 2023

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All recent transfers more than 100 million are failures. Looks like it’s time for us to change our attitude towards them.

Another transfer window has closed. An interesting fact: there was a transfer for more than 100 million euros. Although there is no more interesting in this fact now than in the championship race of France. Almost all recent MOTs can boast of such an “achievement”.

In total, there were 13 such transitions in the history of such transitions (I will please the internal numerologist and emphasize that exactly 13). Not so much, mind you. But this figure will increase significantly if we take into account that all these transitions took place in the last 10 years, and the vast majority – in the last 5. And this is only taking into account “real” transitions for 100 million or more, excluding bonuses and the rest. With bonuses, even the transfers of Mudrik and Anthony reach the coveted cost. Let’s remember all these 13 cherished transitions.


– In 2013, Bale moved to Real Madrid for 101 million;

– in 2016 Pogba moved to Manchester United for 105 million (taking into account the fact that then Paul returned to Juve for free, this can be called a loan for 6 years)

– in 2017, Neymar shook the universe and went to PSG for 222 million;

– in the same 2017, PSG also took Mbappe for 180 million;

– the crazy summer of 2017 ended with the following: Barca took Dembele instead of Neymar and decided to pay about the same money for him – 125 million;

– in the winter of 2018, Barca bought Coutinho for 135 million;

– in the summer of 2018, Ronaldo moved to Juve for 117 million;

– a year later, in 2019, Hazard first moves to Real Madrid for 115 million;

– then Griezmann decides to become Messi’s lieutenant at Barca, for 120 million;

– and Atletico take Joao Felix from Benfica with the proceeds + change (127 million);

– in 2020, for some reason, top clubs did not spend so much, but already in 2021, those who remained afloat decided to flex their muscles; Chelsea take Lukaku for 113m

– and then City bought Grealish for 117 million;

– and now, in 2023, just a few days ago, Chelsea took Enzo Fernandez on the flag for 121 million euros.

Let’s look at this list again. How should we treat these transfers? 100 million euros is a lot of money. If we evaluate these transitions as all other transfers, then the picture is very, very disappointing. Only 1 unconditionally successful transfer (Mbappe), a couple of controversial ones (Ronaldo and Neymar), and all the rest are failures. Alaba to Real Madrid, Chiesa to Juve, Mahrez to City – these transfers are immediately remembered, which is called offhand, and are hardly among the best in recent times. But at the same time, all three transfers brought more benefits to the clubs than almost everyone who is more expensive than 100 million. At the same time, we do not take into account Enzo, because very little time has passed ( although in the match with Fulham he was already the best on the field ).

How then to treat such transitions? It’s impossible to treat all of them the same way, so let’s divide the transitions into two categories.

Category 1: transfers of the best players in the world


year 2009. The current owner of the Golden Ball, champion of England and Champions League finalist Cristiano Ronaldo moves to Real Madrid for almost 100 million, breaking the transfer record. After 4 years, Real buys the best player in the Premier League, Bale, for a full 101 million. Then Manchester United take almost the best player in Serie A, a talented contender for the 3M Pogba. PSG, a year later, poached the most talented young player in the world, who had already managed to get into the top three for the Golden Ball. All these transitions line up in one line. To them, you can add the transfer of Hazard to Real Madrid, Lukaku to Chelsea and, of course, Ronaldo to Juventus. The first before the transfer dragged his club to third place in the Premier League, the second became the best in Italy, and the third was generally the best in the world at the time of the transition.Such players should become those around whom the team is built.

Or rather, they should have : the last decade has shown all the mistakes of this approach. Neymar was an absolute genius in his spells at PSG and almost led the team to victory in the 2020 Champions League. But on the other side of the scale are constant conflicts, injuries, a failed last season, etc. This transfer is controversial to say the least. But at the same time, he is almost the most successful in this category! Ronaldo was the leader and the best in Juventus, but at the same time he lost the goalscoring race to Quagliarella and Immobile, jumped in the wall against Porto, because of which the team flew out of the Champions League, and in the last season he could not even win Serie A. Also not the most straightforward transition.


The rest are generally failures: Pogba turned out to be too unstable for the team leader, and as a result, the 50 millionth Bruno began to play this role brilliantly. Bale at the end of his career at Real Madrid has slipped so much that he has essentially ceased to be a player outside the Wales national team. Hazard is now repeating his fate. And the transitions of Griezmann and Coutinho to Barça look especially crazy, which should also be attributed here, in this category. Let’s start with the fact that Coutinho was terribly overpaid. Even at the time of the transition, he was not so cool as to be worth that kind of money. But what else is the problem: he moved to a team where, in fact, there was already a system-forming player – Messi. Both Griezmann and Coutinho were bought by a team that already had a player with similar characteristics (this applies to Coutinho to a greater extent, to Griezmann to a lesser extent). “Barcelona”What to say: Bartomeu. At the same time, it cannot be considered that the same Griezmann absolutely duplicated Messi on the field. He is versatile enough to fill other roles. The problem is that he is not as good in these roles, so the transfer should be considered a failure. Remember him in France at the 22 World Cup: he led the team’s attacks there, he was a real playmaker and in this role he was wonderful. But why such a player when you have Messi?