In these days of inflated transfer fees it is very difficult to judge what constitutes a good deal in the world of football. CIES football observatory have compiled a list of the best sales of the summer, with Napoli’s sale of Gonzalo Higuain heading the list.


The CIES (Centre international d’étude du sport) football observatory in Switzerland have compiled their list of the best sales of summer 2016. They have compared the reported transfer fee to their own algorithm based estimate of the player’s value, with the difference being the amount that the buying club has spent in excess of the value of the player.

Leading the list of best sales is Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, who joined Serie A champions Juventus from bitter rivals Napoli for an estimated €90 million. The 28-year-old’s estimated value is €66.2 million, which means that I Bianconeri have overpaid by €23.8 million.

Second on the list is Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly, who joined the Red Devils from Villarreal for a reported €38.4 million. According to CIES, the Premier League giants paid €23.5 million extra for the Ivorian.

The transfers of striker Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla to Atletico Madrid, winger Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace to Everton and central midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal make up the rest of the top five.

The jury's still out on Higuain. (Photo by Lancia/EPA)

The jury’s still out on Higuain. (Photo by Lancia/EPA)

The biggest transfer of the summer was undoubtedly the world record deal that brought former Juventus man Paul Pogba back to Manchester United. The reported €110 million transfer fee has drawn a collective gasp from the footballing community, but the Pogba deal is down in ninth position on the list of best sales drawn up by the CIES.

The 23-year-old Frenchman is one of the most highly rated young players in the world, with La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona also believed to have been keen on signing him this summer. Pogba’s estimated value is €94.8 million, which means Man United paid €15.2 million extra for the central midfielder.

This implies that Pogba is more of a bargain than Higuain and Xhaka, as well as John Stones who joined Manchester rivals City for €58.5 million. Chelsea made two deadline deal signings as well in David Luiz and Marcos Alonso, who are also worse buys than Pogba according to CIES.

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