The whole EFL has been done, as has Ligue 1 and the Premier League. The new La Liga season is just days away now and so it is their turn. What has lacked in terms of signings has been atoned for in gallons and gallons of drama. There have been just a few big money moves but in response, there are a number of loans and free transfers. Here we go…
Rodrigo de Paul to Atletico Madrid
Starting in alphabetical order and the first move to get us kicked off comes with the biggest price-tag. The failure of Lucas Torreira’s loan move along with Thomas Partey’s departure has left Atleti with a lack of depth in midfield. On top of that Saul is rumoured to be leaving, but a £30 million man has arrived at the Wanda Metropolitano to operate centrally. Rodrigo de Paul has regularly been linked with a move away from Serie A side Udinese, as their man, but it has only just come to fruition. The Argentinian’s return to La Liga comes with a lot of anticipation and Simeone defending the title whilst Real and Barca are struggling presents a great opportunity for player and team alike.
Memphis to Barcelona
Next then to Barcelona and the last week has been the worst in the recent history of the Catalan giants. Watching Lionel Messi in tears has captured the world of football but Barcelona have to move on or risk being left behind. Under Laporta, the club remain in a financial crisis brought on by Bartomeu’s regime and this could mean that the new signings can’t be officially registered. Sergio Aguero is a legendary striker but has injury woes, Eric Garcia is yet to play much first team football and that leaves Memphis. The Dutch forward is often billed as a Man United failure but since departing Old Trafford he has been sensational for Lyon in Ligue 1. There is no doubt that he can transfer his skillset and potency in front of goal over to La Liga but Barcelona truly is a poison chalice at the moment.
David Alaba to Real Madrid
From one headline-hitting free transfer to another as Real Madrid are fighting to survive now that Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane have moved on. Not only have Los Blancos lost their two starting centre-backs but Zidane is gone now too, Carlo Ancelotti returning to the helm. Austrian David Alaba can play in the middle or as a fullback but has surely been brought in to do the latter given the departing duo as well as the presence of Ferland Mendy and Marcelo. Alaba brings that star-power as well as much needed experience, also Carlo has managed him previously. That being said, it remains to be seen how the team in general will fare in the absence of the iconic Sergio Ramos.
Erik Lamela to Sevilla
Sevilla are the closest contenders to break into the big three and this year could be a big chance for them. The departure of young Bryan Gil is a loss but it comes with a silver lining. Whilst Gil has gone to Tottenham, Argentinian Erik Lamela has gone the other way and will play in La Liga this season coming. Lamela was never a nailed on starter in North London and this opportunity represents a fresh start for him. He plays with a lot of flair and a notable point is that there are similarities there between him and new Sevilla teammates Suso and Lucas Ocampos. Neither of the two have been able to replace the consistent output that Pablo Sarabia brought to the table and so Lamela could maybe help with that.
Boulaye Dia to Villarreal
There were only a handful of transfers that exceeded £10 million and two of them were made by Villarreal. Whilst Juan Foyth’s stay with the club has been made permanent, Boulaye Dia is a new arrival altogether. The Senegalese centre forward arrives from Ligue 1 outfit Stade Reims having returned a rough average of a goal every three games in France. He is still young and this is his first move of note on a financial basis. Carlos Bacca has departed Villarreal but he was more of a role player and so it will be intriguing to see if Dia can dovetail with the prolific Gerard Moreno.
Juan Miranda to Real Betis
As previously mentioned, so Barcelona can meet the required financial rules there has been an exodus of players considered non-essential. A lot of those included are youngsters who were yet to make an impact and that goes for Juan Miranda in all honesty. The defender spent last season on loan with Real Betis and he has now permanently joined the Seville-based club amidst the Blaugrana’s meltdown. Fullback Emerson has gone the other way so the relationship between the two clubs is clearly still alive and well.
Carlos Bacca to Granada
As previously mentioned, Carlos Bacca is now considered surplus to requirements at Villarreal and thus has made a move. He joins a Granada side who had the likes of Domingos Quina and Kenedy on loan last season but are yet to replace them. Former Spurs man Roberto Soldado has also been moved on and Bacca fits into a similar striker mould. The 34 year-old has scored goals at a number of clubs and along with Luis Suarez, Darwin Machis and Jorge Molina, Granada should have what it takes to stay in La Liga once again.
Franco Cervi to Celta Vigo
Celta Vigo have long since been reliant on Iago Aspas to score the goals and keep them in the division but that can’t last forever. Aspas isn’t getting any younger and whilst the likes of Emre Mor, Santi Mina and Nolito have been able to chip in, there needs to be a finer balance. The man for the job could be Franco Cervi who arrives from Benfica having won a few trophies in Portugal. Cervi is primarily a winger and whilst the goal output isn’t worth shouting from the rooftops, Celta are in the limbo between mid-table and a relegation battle so the Argentine could help to tip the scales towards the former.
Kike Garcia to Osasuna
Remaining in the attacking third and another popular name on Spanish shores has made a move inside La Liga. Kike Garcia was the primary source of goals for Eibar in the top division for a couple of years until they were relegated this summer. He has remained in La Liga though, the thirty-one-year-old being brought in by Osasuna. Along with Garcia, Ante Budimir has been acquired- the Croat was on loan at the club last season and his stay has been made permanently now. He is signed from Mallorca for £7 million after scoring eleven goals for them, four more than Roberto Torres, his closest teammate.
Carles Alena to Getafe
Talking of loan moves being made permanent and the Barcelona exodus continues. Carles Alena was rated very highly at the Camp Nou when he graduated from the La Masia academy, but it just never worked for him like it has for others. There is no denying Pedri’s quality but given that they brought him in from Las Palmas, that was a tell-tie sign regarding Alena’s future. £4.5 million for someone so comfortable on the ball is a great move for Getafe and he may well fetch a much higher fee if he succeeds.
Johan Mojica to Elche
The final two names on this list are fullbacks, first, Johan Mojica. The Colombian has had a variety of clubs recently with no fluidity available to him but he can now hopefully establish himself at Elche. He arrives for just £1 million to a club that avoided relegation by a narrow margin and he is one of a number of signings. He has thirteen national team caps to his name and his pace could help bring another dimension to his new team.
Pablo Maffeo to Mallorca
Mallorca are one of the newly promoted teams and their swift return brings with it a few new faces. The sale of Budimir brings in some spending money but the man to focus on is only a loan signing. Pablo Maffeo was never really offered a route into the set-up at the Etihad under Pep and so first went on loan to Girona, a member of the City Group. He now returns to La Liga but to Mallorca instead and it remains to be seen if he can hit the heights once expected of him. Maffeo is still young but has bounced around a number of clubs without making any noteworthy impact.