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La Liga summer transfer roundup

The ‘summer’ transfer window, which was postponed after La Liga finished later than usual, has just ended. There were various uncertainties in terms of finances for clubs because of the negative effect of COVID-19 on business and income all over the world. Teams in La Liga faced a key limitation in that they had to sell players to buy others. In the visualisation below, we will compare the number of arrivals and departures for each club in this transfer window. Arrivals indicate purchases and loaning players in while Departures indicate loaning out and selling players. 

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Arrivals vs Departures in La Liga 2020_21

The team that sold the most were Villarreal, with the Yellow Submarines having 20 departures from their club. Their most expensive signing was Pervis Estupiñán from Watford, with the Ecuadorian coming in for 16.5 million euros. Newly-promoted Cadiz made the most transfers in of all La Liga clubs, flexing their financial muscle to bring in talent to keep them afloat in the Primera Division. Notably, Real Madrid and Valencia did not spend money on buying new players. 

While we found out the number of players that each team brought in, we also have to look at the expenditure and income of the teams from transfers in this window to find the big spenders, as seen in the visualisation below:

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Expenditure made vs Income received from Transfers

The standout team here is FC Barcelona in the top-right corner of the graph. They have the highest expenditure of all the teams in the league, spending big on Miralem Pjanic (swap deal for Arthur with Juventus), Francisco Trincao, Pedri and Sergino Dest. They also sold Arthur to Juventus and Nelson Semedo to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Real Madrid also made some big cuts to their squad, offloading Achraf Hakimi to Inter Milan and Sergio Reguilon to Tottenham Hotspur, while also letting James Rodriguez move to Everton on a free transfer, and loaning Gareth Bale to Spurs for the 2020/21 season. 

This was a relatively quiet window for the Spanish clubs, with most of them making their purchases before the pandemic hit their finances. I expect Real Madrid to splash the cash next season on a high-profile player to compensate for their lack of activity.