As the economical situation of La Liga continues to force teams to work on reduced budgets, the clubs have become more aware of how to sign the right players without taking a big financial risk. Just like last season, the clubs have had to sell many of their best players to finance the new season, in our blog we take a look at how they coped well to maintain their league’s status as one of the best leagues in the world.
Champions Atletico Madrid were able to reduce the wage bill significantly by letting David Villa leave to the MLS; in addition, Diego Costa and Luis Filipe were sold to Chelsea, Adrian left to Porto and Diego was offloaded to Fenerbahçe bringing in around €60 million to the club. The money raised was invested in the right players, Antoine Griezmann, a player who knows the league very well and has shown his ability to play at the highest levels as he lead Real Sociedad to Champions League and Europa League football in the past two seasons. Mario Mandzukic also joined the Frenchman up front and he was crucial to grab the winner against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup. Jesus Gamez and Cristian Ansaldi were also among the names who were brought to maintain a solid defense, Moya replaced Courtois in the goal and Oblak arrived to be his deputy. Angel Correa and Raul Jimenez were brought in to keep the club among Spain’s best.
Barcelona had to let go of Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez and a few other names to be able to sign Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Thomas Vermaelen, Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez. Real Madrid lost Angel Di Maria who was their best player last season as well as Alvaro Morata.
The big three spent more than they earned from sales, though the fact that they were forced to sell a few names or let them go for free reflects how their budgets were slightly reduced from previous seasons to this one. As for the chasing pack in La Liga, things were slightly different. Real Sociedad gave up Antoine Griezmann, Harris Seferovic and Claudio Bravo, Athletic Bilbao let Ander Herrera join Manchester United, Sevilla cashed in on Ivan Rakitic and Alberto Moreno, Valencia profited from Jeremy Mathieau’s sale, Villarreal let go of De Guzman and the list goes on.
Despite earning more than what they spent La Liga’s teams continue to be competitive as opposed to common belief. At the time when Premier League teams are spending huge sums, La Liga teams were operating wisely, choosing the right players carefully and opting for loans, or signing the players through installments. The focus shifted towards technical young players who can bring something to the table at little cost. The local youth players are now finding more chances to play in Spain’s top flight as opposed to previous seasons. Last season the clubs were in terrible conditions yet we saw Spanish clubs dominate Champions League and Europa League football. This season is not different than the previous one; Spain’s clubs are not letting the crisis get the better of them like what happened with Italy’s Serie A. The Spanish league continues to produce top quality football despite the trouble.
There is no doubt that this season will be an unpredictable one, three teams are playing for the league title, five others are playing for the fourth spot and several teams have a chance to win a Europa League spot while the relegation spots will force a big fight between the league’s small teams. There is no doubt that this season will be an exceptional one filled with many surprises.
Do you think La Liga clubs will compete with the teams from other Leagues? Can they win the Champions League or the Europa League? Share with us your opinion in the comments below