Antony, Fofana, Casemiro: The most overpriced XI of the summer transfer window

Man Utd unveil Casemiro.

The 2022 summer transfer window has officially slammed shut.

It’s been a head-spinning few months which has seen Premier League clubs spend well over £1 billion on the likes of Casemiro, Erling Haaland, Gabriel Jesus, Christian Eriksen and countless others.

And one of the biggest themes that has pervaded these cash-rich weeks has been the fact that more than a few English clubs have paid over the odds to get the player they wanted.

A summer of crazy spending

You know what we mean, right? We’ve all seen a couple of purchases this summer that have made us go: ‘now, that’s a really, really good signing, but for how much?!’

To an extent, it’s the way of the world and you only have to look at instances such as Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool and Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City to see that paying more than the player’s market value can be worth every penny in the long run.

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Lionel Messi on Argentina duty

Lionel Messi made his professional football debut for which club?

And that’s what we’re assessing here at GIVEMESPORT because now that Deadline Day has been neatly wrapped up in a bow, we wanted to take a look at which summer moves were the most overpriced.

To do so, we’ve called upon the data gurus over at Transfermarkt who work out how overpriced or not a transfer might be by comparing the fee they moved for with their calculated market value at the time.

In other words, if Lionel Messi was to move to Barnsley tomorrow for £80 million, but his transfer market value was only £30 million, then he’d have been £50 million overpriced.

UNITED WIN 3 IN A ROW! Leicester City 1-0 Manchester United Match Highlights (Football Terrace)

Most overpriced XI of the summer

Got it? Right then, from there, we’ve made sure that every position has been represented by building the most overpriced XI in a 4-3-3 formation.

The choices are completely informed by the statistics, so don’t look at us, look at your club’s boardroom if you happen to think that your side is being targeted in any way.

However, enough with the scene-setting because we’ve got some transfers to delve into and you can check out what statistics say are the most overpriced of the summer down below:

GK: Gavin Bazunu (Manchester City to Southampton) – £8.10 million difference

Transfer fee: £12.60 million

Market value at the time: £4.50 million

At the end of the day, it’s hard to put a price on a new number one goalkeeper who could thrive in the position for years and £12.60 million is still ultimately a snip for Bazunu, 20, who hitherto represents a huge upgrade on Alex McCarthy.

Bazunu warms up for Southampton.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Southampton v Chelsea – St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, Britain – August 30, 2022 Southampton’s Gavin Bazunu during the warm up before the match REUTERS/David Klein EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

RB: Neco Williams (Liverpool to Nottingham Forest) – £10.80 million difference

Transfer fee: £18.00 million

Market value at the time: £7.20 million

A pretty big mark up, this, with Williams proving that Liverpool love to drive a hard bargain by selling him for more double his transfer value, but we know and Forest know that this is one of the summer’s most underrated buys.

CB: Wesley Fofana (Leicester City to Chelsea) – £36.36 million difference

Transfer fee: £72.36 million

Market value at the time: £36.00 million

We know Chelsea overpaid, you know Chelsea overpaid, your dog probably knows that Chelsea overpaid, but Leicester are always a nightmare to negotiate with and the Blues were in dire need of new centre-back recruits having lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Fofana in his final Leicester game.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Arsenal v Leicester City – Emirates Stadium, London, Britain – August 13, 2022 Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana clashes with Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

CB: Lisandro Martinez (Ajax to Manchester United) – £22.83 million difference

Transfer fee: £51.63 million

Market value at the time: £28.80 million

Well, this has aged a lot better since the Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester games, let’s put it like that. By no means the biggest overpayment of the bunch and if Martinez can maintain his current form, then United will be dancing.

LB: Marc Cucurella (Brighton & Hove Albion to Chelsea) – £33.57 million difference

Transfer fee: £58.77 million

Market value at the time: £25.20 million

Brighton were laughing all the way to the bank when they teased a hell of a lot of money out of Todd Boehly’s bank account and call us pessimists, but we did pick Cucurella in our XI of Premier League signings that we fear will flop in 2022/23.

Cucurella on the ball for Chelsea.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Everton v Chelsea – Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain – August 6, 2022 Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella in action Action Images via Reuters/Molly Darlington EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

CM: Casemiro (Real Madrid to Manchester United) – £27.59 million difference

Transfer fee: £63.59 million

Market value at the time: £36.00 million

Gosh, United really have been taken for a ride this summer, haven’t they? The second of three overpayments by the Red Devils to make the cut, Casemiro is also the least risky as he arrives with an eye-watering five Champions League winners’ medals to his name.

CM: Aurélien Tchouaméni (AS Monaco to Real Madrid) – £18.00 million difference

Transfer fee: £72.00 million

Market value at the time: £54.00 million

If ever there’s a good time to pay over the odds, then it’s for a young player who you think could thrive and improve at the club for years upon years, so there’s the potential for Real beating countless other top European clubs for Tchouaméni to age like a fine wine.

Real's Ancelotti and Tchouaméni.
Soccer Football – LaLiga – Celta Vigo v Real Madrid – Estadio de Balaidos, Vigo, Spain – August 20, 2022 Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti and Aurelien Tchouameni celebrate after the match REUTERS/Isabel Infantes

CM: Vitinha (FC Porto to Paris Saint-Germain) – £10.35 million difference

Transfer fee: £37.35 million

Market value at the time: £27.00 million

The smallest overpayment of any outfield player to make the team, PSG won’t bat an eyelid at having paid slightly more – slightly more in the context of their riches, that is – for Vitinha than the statistics would have recommended.

RW: Antony (Ajax to Manchester United) – £54.00 million difference

Transfer fee: £85.50 million

Market value at the time: £31.50 million

Buy late, buy pricey. It’s hard not to think that Ajax have played United off themselves this summer because as much as Antony looks like an absolute baller ready to tear up the division, everyone knows that he’s not an £85.50-million player.

Antony with a MOTM trophy.
Soccer Football – Champions League – Group C – Borussia Dortmund v Ajax Amsterdam – Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany – November 3, 2021 Ajax Amsterdam’s Antony celebrates with the man of the match trophy after the match REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

ST: Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad to Newcastle United) – £36.00 million difference

Transfer fee: £63.00 million

Market value at the time: £27.00 million

Toon fans must be taking a collective gulp when they see that Isak is actually valued at just £27 million, but the fact of the matter is that Isak is class on his day – note those Liverpool finishes – and the clubs needs striking reinforcements for when Callum Wilson’s inevitable injury woes set in.

LW: Darwin Nunez (Benfica to Liverpool) – £18.00 million difference

Transfer fee: £67.50 million

Market value at the time: £49.50 million

If Nunez performs as he did against Fulham, then his transfer fee will look like a steal, but if he performs as he did against Crystal Palace, then things won’t be so rosy. Even still, though, this is one of the least egregious overpayments on the list.

Nunez holds the Community Shield.
Soccer Football – Community Shield – Liverpool v Manchester City – King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain – July 30, 2022 Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez celebrates with the trophy after winning the Community Shield Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Premier League clubs splashing the cash

Noticed any themes… any patterns… any correlations there? Yup, that’s right, nine of the 11 transfers were made by Premier League clubs.

It’s been a particularly lucrative summer of spending for England’s top-flight as it reasserts itself as the dominant men’s league in the world right now on the back of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leaving La Liga.

And we’d be lying if we said that watching the likes of Isak, Nunez, Casemiro and more trying their hand at the Premier League wasn’t an extremely exciting prospect regardless of the fees.

Plus, like we say, sometimes paying above a player’s market value can be the best thing a club can possibly do because when you know, you know, so getting them onboard by hook or by crook is all good.

Martinez playing for Man Utd.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United heads the ball away from Mohammed Elyounoussi of Southampton during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Friends Provident St. Mary’s Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

However, for every overpriced bargain, there is also the Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea, Harry Maguire to Manchester United and Ousmane Dembele to Barcelonas of this world.

But to find out which category this line-up will fall into, we’ll just have to wait and see…

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