With clubs preparing to spend money in the transfer market once more, Goal takes a look back at some of the best deals from last season
When clubs delve into the transfer market in search for new players, more often than not they take huge gambles. It is difficult to predict how a player will perform and sometimes individuals can wilt under the pressure of a price tag.
However, some clubs manage to get it right and their acquisitions justify the fee their services commanded, while others unearth bargains who go on to take their league by storm.
Janssen, Gomes & the worst transfers of the season
Here, Goal takes a look at some of the best transfers of the 2016-17 season. Let us know what you think – are there any players you would have included?
15. BAS DOST (Wolfsburg to Sporting, €10 million)
Sporting landed themselves one of the deals of the season when they brought Dutch striker Bas Dost to Portugal from the Bundesliga. The 28-year-old bagged an amazing 34 goals in 31 league appearances and was narrowly pipped to the European Golden Shoe by Lionel Messi. Dost’s form in the Primeira Liga has led to interest from the Premier League, with a number of clubs said to be keen on the forward.
14. DJIBRIL SIDIBE (Lille to Monaco, €15 million)
Monaco’s attacking prowess this season was one of the main reasons why they won Ligue 1 and progressed so far in the Champions League. While Kylian Mbappe and Falcao may have hogged the headlines, that swashbuckling style was made possible by the likes of flying full-back Djibril Sidibe, who formed part of a strong defence, but also contributed going forward. chipping in with his fair share of assists. In hindsight, €15 million is a relative steal.
13. NABY KEITA (RB Salzburg to RB Leipzig, €12.75m)
RB Leipzig played the role of rowdy upstarts in the Bundesliga this season and one of their key men was 22-year-old midfielder Naby Keita, who was brought in from Salzburg. The Guinea international scored eight goals and provided seven assists as Leipzig finished second to Bayern Munich. His industrious displays have unsurprisingly earned plenty of admirers, with Liverpool among the clubs looking to secure his services.
12. GONZALO HIGUAIN (Napoli to Juventus, €90 million)
Despite virtually guaranteeing goals wherever he goes, the Argentina international still has plenty of detractors and eyebrows were raised when Juventus paid an eye-watering €90 million to Napoli for him. However, he has come up with the goods, scoring 24 times in Serie A and hitting a crucial double to help propel the Bianconeri into the Champions League final.
11. SADIO MANE (Southampton to Liverpool, €41.2 million)
Liverpool opened the chequebook to land the Senegal international from Southampton and he quickly established himself as an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s team as they secured Champions League football for next season. Mane was involved in 18 league goals – nearly a quarter of their total tally – and his worth was made abundantly clear when the team slumped in his absence.
10. OUSMANE DEMBELE (Rennes to Borussia Dortmund, €15 million)
With 12 assists and six goals in his first season in the Bundesliga, the 20-year-old has forced Europe to sit up and take notice. Brought to the Signal-Iduna Park for just €15 million from Rennes, the midfielder was a key component as BVB won the DFB Pokal, scoring the winner in the semi-final against Bayern Munich and hitting the opener in the final against Eintracht Frankfurt.
9. VICTOR WANYAMA (Southampton to Tottenham, €14.4 million)
Mauricio Pochettino’s side may be able to lay claim to the title of England’s most exciting team, but, while Dele Alli, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane hog the limelight, Wanyama quietly does the proverbial dirty work. The Kenya international featured in the majority of Spurs’ games and scored four goals, including one against Manchester United in the final game at White Hart Lane.
8. HENRIKH MKHITARYAN (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, €42 million)
His Manchester United career got off to a slow start, but Mkhitaryan gradually evolved into one of Jose Mourinho’s most reliable performers. The 28-year-old’s impact was felt most in the successful Europa League campaign, in which he scored six goals in 11 games, including one in the final against Ajax.
7. DAVID LUIZ (PSG to Chelsea, €35 million)
There were groans of apprehension when Chelsea splashed out to bring the Brazil international back to the club from Paris Saint-Germain after an error-strewn maiden stint, but it proved to be a shrewd move in the end. The 30-year-old was the rock upon which Antonio Conte built a watertight, league-winning defence. “I think he’s one of many players who has been a key player for us,” said Conte. “When we changed and started to play with him in the middle of the three centre-backs, this choice was very good. I think this suited him perfectly.”
6. MIRALEM PJANIC (Roma to Juventus, €32 million)
Juventus sold Paul Pogba to Manchester United for a world-record fee and his departure was barely felt as they brought Pjanic in from Roma for a fraction of the price. The Bosnian wasted no time settling in to his new surroundings and was instrumental in their Serie A title win as well as their run to the Champions League final. The 27-year-old set up nine league goals for the Bianconeri and bagged eight for himself in all competitions.
5. EDIN DZEKO (Manchester City to Roma, €11 million)
Having spent last year on loan at Roma from Manchester City, Dzeko made his move permanent at the start of this season and it resulted in his best ever campaign. The 31-year-old scored 39 goals in all competitions and chipped in with plenty of assists while he was at it. Dzeko’s remarkable improvement on his first year in the Eternal City was one of the chief reasons Roma ran Juventus so close for the Serie A title this term.
4. BENJAMIN MENDY (Marseille to Monaco, €13 million)
Like Djibril Sidibe on the right, Mendy performed an admirable role on the left flank for Monaco as they swept to Ligue 1 glory and the Champions League semi-final. The 22-year-old full back did well going forward, contributing a total of eight assists, including three in the Champions League. Unsurprisingly, his form has attracted attention from a host of big clubs, with Manchester City and Liverpool among those vying for his signature.
3. DANI ALVES (Barcelona to Juventus, Free transfer)
Barcelona were made to rue the loss of the Brazilian full back on a free as he cruised past them into the final of the Champions League. As Barca contend with chronic right-back issues, the 34-year-old showed he still has plenty to offer with two assists and a thumping volleyed goal in the semi-final tie against Monaco.
2. ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC (PSG to Manchester United, Free transfer)
Despite everything he has achieved in the game, Ibrahimovic arrived in the Premier League with no shortage of doubters, but he quickly set about proving his critics wrong. The 35-year-old hit 28 goals in all competitions before succumbing to a knee injury. While there may be concerns over his capacity to come back from that blow, the former Barcelona and Juventus striker certainly represented one of the best transfers of the season.
1. N’GOLO KANTE (Leicester to Chelsea, €35.8 million)
After playing a crucial part in Leicester’s fairytale Premier League title triumph, the France international reprised that role with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea this season. The 26-year-old doesn’t score or set up many goals, but his positional awareness helps to break up opposition attacks while instigating counters. A haul of individual awards accompanied his second successive league-winners medal, showing just how effective an acquisition he was