March 27, 2023

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“Spartak” spent the most, Portugal, Belarus and Serbia are the centers of purchase, from RPL to Europe – only one sale

Analysis of winter transfers from Ilya Vasiliev.

Against the background of the transfer bustle of the last year, this window turned out to be extremely calm. After February 24, a year ago, the players massively suspended contracts (Krasnodar, Rostov and Rubin were especially affected), in the summer the clubs released the players again due to FIFA’s decision. In addition, there were problems with international transfers: Lokomotiv waited a long time for money from Nice for Alexis Bek-Bek, nothing came for old transfers (the clearest example is the story of CSKA and Nikola Vlasic), Dynamo did not sell Arsen Zakharyan to Chelsea.

How did the RPL clubs conduct the winter transfer campaign?

Note: Only transfers for cash compensation are discussed in the text.

Spent more than during the pandemic and crisis of 2014-2015

The summer market 2022 was decimated by the consequences of February – in modern history, they spent less only in a pandemic (the whole world sank in the 2020/21 season) and in the crisis years of 2014-15 (an RPL anti-record).

In winter, clubs usually spend much less – the cost of the entire league exceeded 25-30 million euros if the tops required an urgent increase.

The latest example is the winter of 2022, when Zenit was looking for a replacement for Serdar Azmun and bought out Yuri Alberto (25 million euros according to Transfermarkt), Krasnodar – Junior Alonso and Eric Butheim (15.5 million for two), and Spartak – Shamar Nicholson (8 million).

This happened before: in the winter of 2019, Zenit sold Leandro Paredes, and spent the money received on Serdar Azmun, Vilmar Barrios and Yaroslav Rakitsky (37 million out of almost 60 million of the entire RPL), Spartak and Zenit in 2017- m arranged a purchase in Amkar (George Jikia and Alexander Selikhov), Ufa (Andrey Lunev) and Wings (Ioan Mollo and Ibragim Tsallagov), even Petersburgers mastered the Brazilian market through the connections of Mircea Lucescu – so the giants spent 24.3 million out of 33.3, Krasnodar and Zenit in 2014 came out for Pavel Mamaev, Ragnar Sigurdsson and Salomon Rondon (27.3 out of 39.2).

Clubs have spent just over €28m this winter. This is not the worst result in modern history: in 2015, shortly after a sharp increase in the exchange rate, they bought only 6 million. Petar Shkuletich became the largest signing then – Lokomotiv paid 3.2 million for him.

Spartak is the leader in terms of transfer costs. How did it happen?

Spartak is the RPL leader in winter spending (6 million euros). In the summer, they failed with Miha Mevlei: the former Zenit defender did not help at all, they broke up with him in the winter, and the club had to look for a replacement, so Alexis Duarte appeared. The signing of Tomas Tavares is the wish of Guillermo Abascal, who worked with him at Basel. Tavares can close both flanks – a useful quality in terms of using non-core defenders Daniil Khlusevich and Daniil Denisov.

Lokomotiv is second (5.4 million). They bought Sergey Pinyaev, Maxim Glushenkov (they closed the departure of Girano Kerk and the uncertainty with Wilzon Isidore) and Ilya Lantratov (Guilherme is recovering from another injury – they did not want to stay with Daniil Khudyakov alone).

Krylya Sovetov used Lokomotiv’s money and made one of the largest purchases in recent years: they signed Vladimir Pisarsky (formerly Sychevoi, the top scorer of the RPL, has already scored Dynamo in the Cup), Argentine winger Benjamin Garre and bought out Vladislav Shitov at Spartak.

The main news for Krasnodar is the return of central defender Junior Alonso after the suspension of the contract. Also, the club of Sergei Galitsky acquired Kadi Borges from Qarabag and Mozes from the Slovak Podbrezovy.

The transfer activity of Zenit is again associated with Yuri Alberto. In the summer, Corinthians, in exchange for Alberto, sent midfielder Gustavo Mantuan and goalkeeper Ivan Cuarezma to St. Petersburg ( 20% body fat was remembered ), now central defender Robert Renan has arrived in Russia (they wrote that Real Madrid is watching him), and midfielder Du will arrive in summer Queiroz. The only transfer for money is the redemption of the previously rented Nuraly Alip for 2 million euros.

The rest of the clubs spent much less: the newcomers of CSKA, Torpedo, Orenburg, Dynamo cost less than 1.5 million euros, Khimki, Pari NN, Akhmat, Ural – less than 1 million, and Sochi, Rostov (the only club without newcomers) and Fakel managed without transfer costs.

Khimki and Torpedo stood out more than other outsiders.

Spartak Gogniev approved the termination with the majority of the leaders (Ilya Lantratov, Denis Glushakov, Ilya Kukharchuk, 8 players left in total), so that Khimki signed 12 newcomers at once: they made four transfers from Europe (for 1 million euros), found six free agents and rented familiar to the Alania coach David Kobesov and Vladimir Khubulov.

Duarte is the most expensive transfer (only Petar Shkuletich was cheaper among the leaders of the winter!), And the RPL has a bias towards “friendly countries”

The most expensive transfer of winter 2023 is Alexis Duarte to Spartak for 4 million euros. After switching to the autumn-spring system, the RPL clubs paid less for the most expensive newcomer of the winter only once (the same 3.2 million for Petar Shkuletich in the 2014/15 season).

18-year-old defender Milan Majstorović unexpectedly made it into the top 10. Dynamo agreed on the transfer of the Serb back in the summer, but he moved only now – and became the only newcomer to the club in this window.

The main trend is the absence of a large number of transfers from Europe for money. Spartak agreed with Tomas Tavares from Benfica, Khimki – with Leo Andrade from Maritimo, Cristian Tassano from the Portuguese Santa Clara and Lachezar Kotev from the Bulgarian Arda, and Krasnodar – with Moses from Slovak “Podbrezovy”.

Other transfers are partnerships with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Serbia (7 transfers out of 12).

In winter, 12 European players moved to Russia, but they only continue the trends of the summer window – then 7 players from the Serbian Championship and 4 Bosnians immediately ended up in the RPL.

The most unexpected guests are the French Reda Rabei and Mohamed Braimi, rented by Fakel from the Bulgarian Botev (owned by Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich).

Russia has not set an anti-record for sales to Europe. Clubs get rid of unwanted players through loan

This winter, it is as easy as possible to make the top 10 sales, since the RPL clubs have issued only 12 transfers for cash compensation. The only sale to Europe is Dejan Lovren from Zenit to Lyon, and two deals to Brazil are the result of the suspension of contracts in 2022. And both transactions are in the top of the rating.

Only one sale to Europe is not an RPL anti-record. In the winter of 2020, there were none at all.

Spartak and Krasnodar are in the top 3 in terms of sales due to parting with Ayrton and Wanderson (in fact, they happened back in the spring of 2022), and the entry of Lokomotiv allowed Wings to climb into second place.

Zenit and Pari NN entered the top 5 thanks to the sales of central defenders – Lovren and Ilya Agapov .

According to Transfermarkt, Dynamo, Sochi, Rostov, Ural, Torpedo and Fakel did not earn a cent.

Despite the crisis, in the winter of 2023, the RPL clubs received more from transfers than during the covid windows, and did not sink much even compared to the winter of 2022. To maintain this level, it is necessary to sell the remaining top foreigners, but the question is how viable this scheme is.

By the way, Rostov still has legionnaires: formally, Armin Gigovich (went to Midtjylland) and Dennis Hadjikadunich (to Mallorca) are on loan.

Another window trend is an attempt to get rid of bad investments. For example, Adolfo Gaich once again left CSKA (Verona) on loan, and Lokomotiv distributes the legacy of Ralf Rangnik and Thomas Zorn.

RPL clubs have not set an anti-record for sales abroad, but one cannot say that Russian football has overcome isolation and is able to easily sell players further.

We have a special market. Two sales out of three (Ayrton and Wanderson) are a consequence of the departure of legionnaires after February 24 (the lease of Rostov is also connected with this). The main countries for entry transfers are Portugal (3), Belarus (3) and Serbia (2).

Most likely, transfers will sag later. Top clubs are still willing to spend. Maybe not as wide as before.