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How the top 5 transfers by league turned out in 2016-17

Saturday 20th May 2017
Last summer's transfer market lit up with European clubs spending billions on reinforcements. Let's take a look at the performance of the most expensive players from Europe's top 5 transfers in 2016-17.

Most top clubs feel too much urgency to groom immensely talented young players. Recruiting gifted, experienced superstars who cost an arm and a leg is viewed as more expedient. So, clubs cough up staggering sums to buy and pay footballers who can produce consistent performances. Some expensive players do not end up delivering. Often, pressure brought on by such astronomical figures does them in. Inflation has hit football and the enormous price tags being slapped on these players has a way of weighing heavily. Here's how five of the biggest transfers reacted.

#1. Paul Pogba

The young Frenchman's transfer from Juventus to Manchester United was the summer's most discussed move. It cost Manchester United £89 million to re-sign a player it had previously let go for free.

So far, Pogba has by no means measured up to the form that saw him win four consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus. The Frenchman has come under heavy criticism from British media who think the former Le Havre youth player is both overrated and overpriced.

Perhaps owing to Manchester United's inconsistent form, it's almost laughable to watch a hapless £89 million Paul Pogba do next to nothing for the Red Devils. Cesc Fabregas, Christian Ericksen, and Kevin De Bruyne have all contributed more goals and assists than the former Juve midfielder.

Pogba has scored four Premier League goals in 29 Premier League games this season; he also has four assists. He has scored seven goals in all competitions.

#2. Andre Gomes

Another 23-year-old midfielder who commanded a high fee. This time, it was Catalan giant Barcelona doing the spending. Gomes joined the 2015 Champions League winners for an initial £29.75 million. That fee made the Euro 2016 winner the most expensive La Liga signing for 2016-17.

On his arrival, Gomes claimed the team was so good, he could play for Barca “with his eyes closed." Someone should have whispered to Gomes that the grass always looks greener on the other side.

The former Valencia midfielder has been lacklustre, so much so, he was booed by Blaugrana supporters prior to his introduction as a substitute in Barcelona's historic 6-1 reversal against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League knockout stage.

The Portuguese has played 42 games for Barcelona this season but scored only three goals, all in La Liga.

#3. Gonzalo Higuain

Serie A's most expensive player for 2016-17. A season after the Argentine won the Capocannoniere (Serie A's golden boot) with 36 goals, Juventus priced him away from Napoli, much to owner Aurelio De Laurentiis' disgust. Although, it's doubtful the Agnelli family's money coming the other way is what disgusts him.

Higuain joined Juventus for a staggering £75.3 million. The former Real Madrid striker has not been poor for Juventus so far. He's done the one thing he was brought in to do: score.

Although he won't reach the 36 goals he notched for Napoli last term, having to share the spoils with Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, his 24 league goals put him three behind Roma's Edin Dzeko in the race for another golden shoe.

With Higuain's help, the Old Lady has won the Coppa Italia, is one win from bagging a 33rd Scudetto, and will play Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

#4. Julian Draxler

Considering his immense talent, Julian Draxler has always been expected to play in a big European team, perhaps Arsenal. However, when he left Wolfsburg only a year after joining, his career trajectory carried him to Paris, where he would become Ligue 1's most expensive signing for the 2016-17 season, rather than London.

Paris Saint-Germain paid €42 million for his services. The 23-year-old World Cup winner can be said to have had a respectable season with PSG, considering it's his first outing in a new country.

Draxler has played just 16 times for the defending Ligue 1 Champions. However, he's scored 11 goals in all competitions.

#5. Mats Hummels

Dortmund fans are still feeling hard done by his departure but the German defender could care less. He's with Germany's biggest club, one of the world's biggest, and, to be fair, the same team where he began his career.

Hummels became the Bundesliga's most expensive signing for the season when Bayern Munich paid £30 million to Borussia Dortmund for the 28-year-old's signature.

The 2014 World Cup winner has played 42 times for Bayern this season. For the most part, he's replicated the form that saw him rated among the best defenders in Germany, during his time at Dortmund.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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