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Ravaged by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all La Liga clubs were sceptical about getting new players on their books. The scepticism, alongside the unavailability of top players, resulted in a drab summer transfer window, leaving most fans unsatisfied.
Defending La Liga champions, Real Madrid, were the biggest example of the coronavirus-infused destruction. For the first time in 40 years, Los Blancos did not sign a single player in the summer transfer window — not even on loan. Instead, they sold some players, loaned out a few more, and are now trying to survive on the revenue they generated from player sales.
Barcelona, on the other hand, were already in abysmal financial shape. And now, they’re inching closer and closer to the impending doom. Following last season’s humiliation in the Champions League, they were forced to sign a few players, but none of them are as high-profile as many had hoped.
Subdued or not, it’s upon us to take a brief look at the transactions that took place in the summer and present you the five most expensive arrivals in La Liga this season.
#5 Suso – AC Milan to Sevilla (€24m)
Sevilla have long been a top-four contender in La Liga. They regularly give the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona a run for their money and look on course to up the ante this time around.
Under former Real Madrid boss, Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla have looked sharper than ever, and adding the versatility of Suso would only strengthen their claim.
The natural right-winger spent the second half of the 2019/20 La Liga campaign at Sevilla, joining the Andalusian outfit on loan from AC Milan.
During his short stay, the 26-year-old managed to impress his coach, which eventually led to the summer signing.
#4 Yannick Carrasco – Dalian Professional to Atletico Madrid (€27m)
In 2018, Atletico Madrid regular, Yannick Carrasco, confirmed his shock move to Chinese Super League outfit, Dalian Professional. The player, who nearing the peak of his game, had the chance to make it big at Atletico, but for some reason chose to earn a bigger paycheque.
Atletico allowed the player to move for €10.5m but refused to sever all ties with him.
In January 2020, he returned back to the Spanish capital, on loan, from Dalian Professional. Atletico boss, Diego Simeone, didn’t take much time to incorporate him in the starting XI and gave him the freedom he craved.
Now, after successfully completing his loan spell, the 27-year-old re-signed for the La Liga outfit.
#3 Trincao – SC Braga to Barcelona (€31m)
The 20-year-old Portuguese winger joined Barcelona from SC Braga for quite a handsome fee. Trincao’s quick feet and a knack for goals have earned him a contract with the La Liga giants.
However, to succeed, he’d require another invaluable virtue — patience. With Lionel Messi still reigning supreme, it could be difficult for Trincao to break into the starting XI and play in his favourite position.
Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman rates the player pretty highly and is expected to give him the opportunities he needs to thrive at one of the biggest club in the world.
#2 Alvaro Morata – Chelsea to Atletico Madrid (€56m)
For a club that claims to be a step below the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, Atletico Madrid sure have been busy in the recent transfer window.
Under Diego Simeone, they have emerged as a prominent force in La Liga, and they aren’t afraid to go all out in order to retain their position.
Alvaro Morata joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017. Failing to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard joined Atletico Madrid on a 1.5-year loan deal in January 2019.
Six months later, Atletico made the move permanent — announcing that the player would move to Atletico permanently after the 2019/20 campaign.
Needless to say, the player once again failed to live up to the hype and has been sent to Juventus on loan.
#1 Miralem Pjanic – Juventus to Barcelona (€60m)
Barcelona didn’t pay Juventus €60m, per se, as he was involved in a swap deal, but the valuation of the Bosnia international is believed to be around the stated figure.
At the end of the 2019/20 campaign, Barcelona announced that Arthur Melo would move to Juventus in exchange for Miralem Pjanic and €12m. The move was completed on the first day of the new season.
At 30, Pjanic is hardly a long-term midfield solution but he could definitely fill for the likes of Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong whenever required.
The player has featured for Barcelona this season but is yet to be a part of the starting XI.