The first CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post of the 2018/19 season looked at the transfers that took place over the summer and identified who the bargains were. What players were purchased below their fair market values? They also identified the players that teams overpaid the most for.
According to the report, the bargain of the summer was Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who moved to Real Madrid for €40m, a €22.6m discount on his real market value of €62.6m.
Another player moving home to Madrid was rated as the second most profitable using this calculation. Rodri Hernández swapped Villarreal for Atlético for a reported transfer fee of €25 million. A fair price seen for a player of his stature was estimated at almost €47 million. Rodri, just like Lenglet who comes in at fifth on the list, was aided by a release clause in his contract.
At the other end of the CIES algorithm lies the goalkeeper that replaced Courtois at Chelsea, Kepa Arrizabalaga. What was seen by the analysts as a fair price of around €35 million was blown out of the water by the London club who handed over €80 million, a €45m overpayment!
From an Inter perspective, the signing of Radja Nainggolan for €40m was the sixth best deal of the summer, as his market value was €52.9m, meaning Inter paid €12.9m less for the midfielder than they should have!
Barcelona recouped well over the odds for defender Yerry Mina when Everton came calling, based on the report while PSG were also willing to pay what it took to get Kehrer on their books.
Paying less than a player’s fair market value is becoming more difficulty as the correlation between fees estimated and reported for players transferred for money from big-5 league teams during last transfer window was 75%. That means that 75% of the team, the transfer fee equaled the fair market value of the player.