With the long-awaited return of fans, the 2021/22 LaLiga season will play host to one of the most open competitions in the recent history of Spanish football following the departures of a little Argentine magician and one of Spain’s most iconic captains. The summer that oversaw said departures has also allowed the many clubs of LaLiga Santander to strengthen their respective squads. From the additions of sublime shot-stoppers to fearsome forwards and everything in between, there have been many great acquisitions, so here, in no particular order, is a collection that are bound to be influential.
LaLiga Summer Transfers – 5 of the Best Signings
Javi Galán | Huesca to Celta Vigo | €4m
Javi Galán is a 26-year-old left-back from Badajoz, Spain and in July, he moved from Huesca to Celta for a reported fee of 4 million Euros. The Galicians will have his services until June 2026 and despite Huesca’s relegation to the Segunda, Galán shone throughout last season.
His 5’6 frame allows him to combine speed and skill at ease and Galán is best used in an offensive system, which is why Celta are perfect for him. Huesca didn’t create too many chances during the 2020/21 season and conceded many opportunities to the opposition, but he still managed to output impressive numbers when pitted against players in LaLiga that shared the same position.
|Pass Completion %||78.2%||51|
|Touches (Att Pen)||0.82||23|
Upon seeing the data, it is clear that Galán is talented when it comes to progressively moving up the pitch and making smart passes. While analysing his stats, it’s important to note that the directness and positional-based tactics of Pacheta’s Huesca interfered with the strengths of Galán, but he still managed to produce some impressive numbers.
Now, this is a great signing for Celta because Coudet enjoys getting in the faces of his opponents with numbers in the offensive positions. Chacho’s 4-1-3-2 system employs five attacking players, so having a full-back that is progressively-sound and fairly defensively able adds stability out wide and another creative option, along with the added depth of course.
Rodrigo de Paul | Udinese to Atlético Madrid | €35m
This 27-year-old midfielder from Buenos Aires made perfect sense for the Spanish champions and his 35 million Euro price tag looks to be worth every penny. The tigerish midfielder fits his new boss Cholo Simeone like a glove as De Paul is purely about hard work, speaking the same language as Diego when it comes to football (as well as linguistically obviously).
He is powerful going forward, contributing almost 20 goal contributions from midfield for Udinese in the previous instalment of Serie A which will be a welcome addition to a team that won the title scoring twenty less goals than a Barcelona side that finished in third. His vision is elite too, providing 120 passes into the final third last season while his dogged mentality, everlasting stamina, and willingness to provide also allowed him to attain nearly 8,000 yards of progressive distance.
Boulaye Dia | Stade de Reims to Villarreal | €12m
Dia is a French-born, Senegalese forward that has been acquired by the Europa League champions. With the mutual agreement for Carlos Bacca’s contract termination and subsequent move to Granada, Dia will slot perfectly into Emery’s collection of attackers and hopefully have multiple positive effects.
The 24-year-old was one of Reims’ most progressive ball carriers last season and enjoyed the prospect of hunting for possession as he made the fifth-highest volume of pressures for the French outfit last term. These numbers along with the fact that he scored 14 league goals last season only compliments Emery’s current offensive assemblage, but his introduction will also hopefully push Paco Alcácer and Fernando Niño to fight for their places in the starting eleven as Bacca was ahead of them in the pecking order before he left.
Dia’s link-up and eventual assist for Gerard Moreno in the UEFA Super Cup were perfect examples of what we can expect from the forward as we head into the 21/22 season.
David Alaba | Bayern Munich to Real Madrid | FREE
Instantly picking up the number 4 shirt that was vacated by Ramos’ egress days before Alaba’s inception as a Real Madrid player would ordinarily mount a shedload of pressure upon the 29-year-old Austrian’s shoulders, but I’m afraid that’s not the case.
The veteran defender is as versatile as they come and he is capable of playing everywhere across the backline and was one of the most consistent performers in world football across his 13-year stint at German supergiant Bayern Munich.
Arriving on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Bayern, Alaba will provide the experience and winning mentality at the back that Ramos also upheld before leaving for Paris. Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping for great things from Alaba as he is superb with the ball at his feet and tenacious without it. There’s almost nothing David can’t do on the pitch.
Memphis Depay | Olympique Lyonnais to Barcelona | FREE
Despite their financial situation and failure to maintain the services of the greatest player of all time, Barcelona have been among the most active Spanish clubs throughout the transfer window. Barring the capture of Emerson Royale, they’ve gone for free agents with Depay one of the standout summer arrivals in LaLiga.
After an eye-opening spell at Manchester United for a young Memphis, he managed to rediscover his talents at Lyon and in fine fashion too. Ronald Koeman has a close relationship with the forward from his time at the helm of the Dutch national side, so this was a move that was personally pushed by him.
Additionally, Depay’s dribbling ability, pace, technical excellence and finishing should add a different dimension to Koeman’s attack, and as we saw in his performance against Real Sociedad, he’s certainly settling in well. With the small loss of a certain Argentine forward, the 27-year-old Dutchman will add some much-needed freshness to an aging Blaugrana squad.