Leo Messi may have stayed exactly where he was, but there were still some big Argentinean deals this summer – many in one Russian direction
The major European transfer markets closed this week and amid the record breaking money being thrown around, plenty of Argentinians were on the move. Outstanding young players and members of Jorge Sampaoli’s squad are among the list with Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg prominent in the deals. Here are the top ten most expensive transfers of the window.
10 – Juan Foyth
Estudiantes to Tottenham Hotspur – €9 million
If after only a handful of senior appearances Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur are battling for your signature, it’s clear that you have something. 19-year-old centre back Juan Foyth eventually completed his move to Spurs after being personally persuaded by Mauricio Pochettino. One of the top defensive prospects in the country, the elegant, ball-playing defender should provide Tottenham with years of service.
9 – Emiliano Rigoni
Independiente to Zenit St. Petersburg – €9 million
The last of Zenit’s five Argentinians to join, Emiliano Rigoni finally makes the leap to Europe after an outstanding campaign with Independiente. Lightening quick, two-footed and with an eye for goal, Rigoni struck eleven goals for El Rojo last season and aside from attracting the interest of Roberto Mancini has now made it into Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina squad.
8 – Ever Banega
Inter to Sevilla – €9 million
One of the bargains of last summer, Ever Banega’s free transfer to Internever quite worked out and although former club Sevilla paid €9 million to bring the playmaker back, it could prove to be another astute bit of business. A superb passer of the ball, the 29-year-old still has plenty to offer and the Andalusian club and Jorge Sampaoli don’t need convincing of that.
7 – Marcos Acuña
Racing Club to Sporting CP – €9.6 million
Possibly the best player in the Argentinian top flight over the past year, Marcos Acuña has not only played himself into the plans of the national team but is well overdue a move to Europe. Sporting Clube de Portugal parted with €9.6 million to bring the 25-year-old to Lisbon and have added an industrious, creative midfielder with a wand of a left boot to their ranks.
6 – Sebastian Driussi
River Plate to Zenit St. Petersburg – €15 million
Zenit are already reaping the rewards of signing Sebastian Driussi with the 21-year-old scoring twice on his first start for the Russian club. The young striker may have cost upwards of €15 million but after demonstrating his goal scoring talents in Argentina, if Driussi does the same in Europe, that figure may come to look like pocket change.
5 – Giovanni Simeone
Genoa to Fiorentina – €15 million
After years of watching Gabriel Batistuta plunder goals for Fiorentina, supporters in Florence now have a new Argentinian number nine to watch in the form of Giovanni Simeone. The 22-year-old isn’t anywhere near the level of Batigol yet but after an impressive debut season in Serie A, scoring 13 goals in 36 appearances for Genoa, it prompted La Viola to spend €15 million.
4 – Emanuel Mammana
Lyon to Zenit St. Petersburg – €16 million
Tipped for big things since following in the footsteps of Javier Mascherano and making his Argentina debut before his first senior appearance for River Plate, Emanuel Mammana swapped France for Russia this summer. The 21-year-old defender remains a central figure in Argentina’s future and after only one season in Ligue 1 is now looking to cement a place in Jorge Sampaoli’s plans ahead of the World Cup as one of Mancini’s Argentinians.
3 – Lucas Biglia
Lazio to AC Milan – €17 million
AC Milan were the big movers in the Serie A market and among their number of new recruits was Lazio’s Lucas Biglia. The 31-year-old may not be the most exciting transfer of the window but Milan’s supporters are aware of how effective the defensive midfielder can be as a ball winner, efficient passer and captain. The Rossoneri’s ambitious new owners will be aiming to topple Juventus and if they stand a chance, Biglia will be vital.
2 – Mateo Musacchio
Villarreal to AC Milan – €18 million
One of Milan’s first signings, Mateo Musacchio was the first step in the summer of revolution at the San Siro. The 27-year-old has been unfortunate with injuries but when fit established himself with Villarreal as a central defender of the highest calibre. Comfortable on the ball and strong in the tackle, Musacchio will be hoping a strong season in Italy will book his place on the plane for Russia.
1 – Leandro Paredes
Roma to Zenit St. Petersburg – €23 million
While Zenit’s other Argentinian signings were those of future potential, the €23 million transfer of Leandro Paredes was for a midfielder already proven in one of Europe’s top leagues. Few would have expected the 23-year-old’s next step to take him to Russia after impressing for Roma but the classy, deep-lying playmaker proved a significant coup for Roberto Mancini. Already a member of Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina squad the target for this year will be bringing the Russian title back to St. Petersburg and wearing the Albiceleste at next summer’s World Cup.