In order to find quality transfers, deals valued at €20 million/£15.8 million plus were EXCLUDED.
This list subjectively ranks the transfers on three points:
- Transferred player's ability.
- How big of a transfer steal is the deal?
- Does the transfer have a high chance of a profitable resell?
Here are explanations for notable transfers costing €20 million/£15.8 million or less that were not selected for the primary list.
Jeremy Mathieu | Valencia → Barcelona: €20 million/£15.8 million
Big, physical presence, swift passer, seasoned professional, but not a €20 million defender.
There is no resell value as a 30-year-old.
Before you talk about Jeremy Mathieu's near-flawless game against Elche, it was a total mismatch.
He came up against Jonathas who has scored three league goals in his last three seasons.
Jonathas' career has nose-dived, and at the rate he is going, he will be joining his compatriot Vitor Saba Down Under in the A-League.
Against better opposition in Villarreal, Mathieu was less dominant and at times looked suspect in defence.
Instead of signing Mathieu, Barca should have taken a calculated gamble on a young German centre-back (Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule, Robin Knoche, Tony Jantschke, et al.) which would have complemented Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Thomas Vermaelen | Arsenal → Barcelona: €19 million/£15 million
An exorbitant fee for Barcelona to pay when Thomas Vermaelen was an injury-prone back-up defender at Arsenal.
It is as if Barca signed him only on name recognition.
His nonexistent form and his noted fitness problems were all reasons for Barca not to sign him.
Jan Oblak | Benfica → Atletico Madrid: €15.9 million/£12.6 million
Despite being a once-in-a-generation talent, Atleti attempted to sell Jan Oblak back to Benfica, according to the Portuguese club's president Luis Filipe Vieira.
However, Atleti refuted Vieira's statement.
Luis Aznar and Kike Sampedro at Marca claim the Oblak saga reflected "the animosity stirred up in Lisbon following a summer of wrangling between the two clubs."
When you factor in the lack of chances Josuha Guilavogui and Toby Alderweireld received, there seems to be a disconnect between the front office and Atleti manager Diego Simeone.
If there is a power struggle, then Oblak could be caught in the middle, thus keeping him on the bench.
Xabi Alonso | Real Madrid → Bayern Munich: €6.3 million/£5 million
Gianluca Gaudino, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sebastian Rode provide ample cover in midfield.
Signing Xabi Alonso for €6.3 million/£5 million plus his estimated €6-10 million salary is wasteful.
Gaudino and Hojbjerg are world-class prospects, so they should not have their paths blocked. While Rode's last season was mediocre, he used to be one of the most dominant midfielders in Germany.
Bleacher Report Spanish football writer Guillem Balague speculated that Alonso is preparing for a move into coaching: "In my opinion, Alonso will become a coach in the future, and he wants to learn from the very best—and they don't come any better than [Bayern manager Pep] Guardiola."