With the calendar year drawing to a close and the January transfer window set to open, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the best deals that went down in 2018.
Similar to Hoek en Blok, some clubs were able to identify smart investments and play the market to their own advantage, setting themselves up well for 2019 like this innovative company can do for you. Transfer records were smashed for players in all sorts of positions in 2018, but big fees don’t always indicate a good deal. Here are our top 5 transfer deals on the year, in no particular order…
The arrival of this Serbian international back in the Eredivisie was a big statement from the division and from Ajax, the club who landed Dušan Tadić.
The move showed that both Ajax and the Dutch top flight can still attract top talent in their peak, as Tadić left the Premier League to help the Amsterdam side in their quest to take back the title after four years without it. But more so, the impact that Tadić in the Champions League has been huge, as the Serbian, playing as a false 9, has excelled in Europe and played a huge role in helping Ajax qualify for the last 16.
All of that for just 11.4 million euros.
Announced as early as last season, this German midfielder’s move from Schalke 04 to Bayern Munich was far from the most headline-making move of 2018.
Transferring to the Bundesliga champions on a free, the deal was always likely to be a smart piece of business and is proving to be just that. In Goretzka, Bayern have a 23-year-old versatile midfielder with lots of experience and he’s a player who has been one of few positives in a difficult end to 2018 for the Bavarian giants.
Moving on Arturo Vidal to accommodate him, financially the deal made sense and so far, it has on the pitch, too. Smart business as ever from Bayern Munich.
Virgil Van Dijk
When Liverpool broke the transfer record for a fee paid for a defender in January 2018, not many would have expected the sum of money handed over for Van Dijk to be a bargain.
But it has been just that, as each and every one of the 75 million pounds for the Dutch national team captain has looked worth it, so far. He has helped to fix what was an infamously leaky defence and since joining, no club in the Premier League has conceded less than Liverpool.
The Reds reached a Champions League final in May with their still new centre-back in the side and sit unbeaten on top of the Premier League at the moment, following their best ever start to a PL season. Good business.
Simarly to Van Dijk, this man’s transfer made some serious headlines – but then again, CR7 wasn’t going to move quietly, was he?
Ronaldo announced that he would be leaving Real Madrid this summer, following his fourth Champions League win with Los Blancos. His destination? Surely any club in the world would take him, but it was Serie A and Juventus that he chose.
112 million euros took him from Madrid to Turin but, even only half a season into his time at Juve, we can tell this is a good deal. A smart move in a marketing sense and a footballing one, having Ronaldo on your teams increases the chance of trophies and making profits. Shirt sales for Juventus have skyrocketed and the Old Lady now has one of the two most spoken about, idolised athletes in world football.
If they win the Champions League this season, too, then 112 million euros will feel like pocket change.
Finally, where one legend joined Juventus, another one left, as Gigi Buffon, the safest hands in football, left for PSG.
The Paris club have probably made the biggest climb up the world football ladder in 2018, as in terms of marketing and popular culture, no club has been more prominent than PSG. And, part of that, is signing big-name players.
To go with the flair of Neymar Jr and the youthful fearlessness of Kylian Mpabbe, PSG landed the veteran Italian goalkeeper, Buffon. He joined PSG off the back of a summer off following Italy’s absence in Russia and another failed attempt at winning the Champions League with Juve, adding further to PSG’s own narrative.
The club is desperate to win the biggest competition in Europe and so is Buffon who, at aged 40 and with a trophy haul that includes the World Cup and much more, has never won the Champions League. A perfect match.
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