La Liga Transfer Business

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The Spanish football transfer window recently closed until the summer. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has naturally been a relatively quiet period of La Liga transfer business. The loan market has proven to be the most viable and productive source of recruitment.

La Liga Transfer Recap

La Liga Transfer Business: The Analysis

According to a study by Spanish based newspaper, Diario AS, there were only 32 signings produced in Spain’s top flight. Meanwhile, clubs in La Liga spent collectively just £23 million. This is considerably shorter than the £135 million spent in January 2020. This represents an 84.34 per cent decrease in spending than a year ago.

In turn, it is the least financial outlay spent on footballing transfers since the 2012/13 season when £15 million was spent. Only five teams spent money on players through La Liga transfer business. These were Villarreal, Sevilla, Getafe, Atlético de Madrid and Celta de Vigo. The remaining purchases were free transfers or loan deals.

La Liga Transfer Watch

The highlight player movements include leaders Atlético Madrid’s acquisition of Lyon striker Moussa Dembélé. It was a loan deal until the end of the season with a view to a permanent switch. The loan fee reportedly cost €1.5 million with a €33.5 million optional transfer fee with variables included. The highly converted Frenchman scored 24 goals last season in Ligue 1. He will provide cover for fellow striker Diego Costa after the Brazilian left the league leaders on a free transfer in search of more game time.

No Incomings for El Clásico Duo

Real Madrid gave the green light to let go two of their pearls. Firstly, Serbian striker Luka Jović returned to Eintracht Frankfurt and had a second debut to remember. He came off the bench in the second half and scored twice in the final 30 minutes. That meant he scored the same amount of goals in half an hour than in his entire 18-month spell in La Liga.

As the transfer window drew closer to completion, Real Madrid also agreed to loan out their Norwegian starlet Martin Ødegaard to Arsenal until the end of the season. Real Sociedad, where he started last season on loan, were the early favourites to secure his signature for a second time. But the player’s preference to play in the Premier League was the decisive factor. The midfield maestro will look to kick-start his season having appeared in just 233 minutes of football in La Liga this season.

The other title contenders saw no changes as Barcelona neither produced any incomings nor outgoings. The figure of Lionel Messi looms large at Camp Nou with a potential exit from the club but that soap opera will be set to screen this summer.

Elsewhere in La Liga

In other pieces of transfers news, Getafe signed Japanese winger Takefusa Kubo on loan for the second half of the season from Real Madrid via Villarreal. At El Madrigal, he failed to make an impact, unlike his productive spell at Real Mallorca last season. Getafe also signed Barcelona midfielder Carles Aleña on loan – his second loan in a year, after playing for Real Betis Balompié in early 2020.

Valencia signed forward Patrick Cutrone on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season after a brief spell with his parent club. The Italian had been also on loan to Fiorentina in the first half of the season. This was originally an 18-month loan deal, which was cut short originally due to the injury of Raúl Jiménez.

That injury would trigger a domino effect as striker Carlos Fernández swapped Sevilla for Real Sociedad for €10 million plus a further €2 million in variables. This was the most expensive La Liga purchase. It was a deal looking to replace Willian José, who departed for Wolverhampton Wanderers as Jiménez’s replacement. Fernández arrives in San Sebastián on the back of a successful loan spell at Granada last season. He scored ten goals in 34 appearances in La Liga to fire the Andalusians to European football for the first time in their history. Meanwhile, he scored three goals in six games in the Copa del Rey. He is yet to receive a cap for the Spanish national side, but he has played three games for the Spanish U21 team.

Champions League Hopefuls Sevilla and Villarreal Dip into the Market

That domino effect continued with Sevilla snapping up Atalanta attacker Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gómez on a permanent deal worth €5.5 million plus an extra €3 million in variables. During his time in Bergamo, he racked up 209 appearances and plundered 50 goals, and was a key cog in the recent success story of the Serie A outfit. Capped by Argentina five times and scoring once, he had a highly impressive six-and-a-half-year spell. He has helped transformed Atalanta from relegation battlers to Champions League main stayers.

Meanwhile, Villarreal strengthened their midfield with the signing of Étienne Capoue from Watford for a reported fee worth €2 million.

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