5 Best La Liga Signings from 2014 Summer Transfer Window
The transfer window has elapsed and clubs in Spain will now have to wait until January to add new players to their squads—although in Barcelona’s case, due to FIFA’s transfer ban, they will now have to wait until January of 2016.
Big money has been spent by Real Madrid, Barcelona and even Atletico Madrid, but it is some of the cheaper deals—at least cheap in relation to the inflated market—that have particularly caught the eye over the last few months.
Over the following slides you will find the best five deals which took place among La Liga’s clubs this summer.
Factors considered included the player’s ability in relation to the club he was signing for, value for money and the club’s need for that type of player within their side.
But first, let’s start with those that just missed out on the list…
A hefty price tag and a four-month ban mean Luis Suarez just misses out on the top five, but once he's back he could be the difference between Barca winning or losing La Liga.
Cartabia and Vico (Cordoba)
Two young players going by the name of Fede are both on loan at Albert Ferrer's Cordoba this season and both have bags of attacking talent. Fede Cartabia has arrived from Valencia and has already scored, while Fede Vico has returned from Anderlecht.
Espanyol lost David Lopez to Napoli but did well to replace him with Jose Canas. It didn't work out for the midfielder with Swansea, but if he recaptures his Real Betis form, Los Pericos will be delighted.
Nordin Amrabat excelled on loan at Malaga last season; without him they may have finished much lower than 11th. To bring him back this summer was a clever move.
Navas and James (Real Madrid)
If Keylor Navas displaces Iker Casillas he could go on to be Real Madrid's first choice for the next five seasons. As for James Rodriguez, he too has all the tools to create a legacy for himself in the Spanish capital.
Vidal and Banega (Sevilla)
Sevilla snapped up Aleix Vidal from Almeria and Ever Banega from Valencia. The latter, in particular, could become a star...it's just about coaxing it out of him and keeping him motivated.
Suarez and Deulofeu (Sevilla)
Both Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu arrived in Andalusia from Barcelona this summer and both have the potential to rank among the best players in the league. Sevilla will be happy if just one hits that mark.
Victor Ruiz (Villarreal)
It never quite worked out for Victor Ruiz at Valencia, but already, after just two games, he's looking like being a top defender for Villarreal.
5. Insua and Baptistao (Rayo)
Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano shopped locally to bring in Emiliano Insua and Leo Baptistao from Atletico Madrid on loan deals.
Baptistao had formerly been at the club before Atletico snapped him up for around £4 million last summer, while Insua, a former Liverpool defender, never quite got going at the Vicente Calderon after signing from Sporting Lisbon.
If Rayo can keep Baptistao, 22, fit for the season, they will have a really exciting attacking player on their hands.
Meanwhile Insua, 25, should prove a perfect fit for Paco Jemez's system, which demands plenty of energy from the full-backs.
4. Kroos (Real Madrid)
At the time of his signing, it was questionable whether Toni Kroos was really needed at Real Madrid.
It perhaps shouldn't have been questioned, though. Kroos is a World Cup and Champions League-winning midfielder who is still only 24 and who was available for as little as £20 million.
And with Xabi Alonso and Angel Di Maria gone—plus Sami Khedira injured for a short while—the former Bayern Munich man already feels like an integral part of Carlo Ancelotti's side.
Competitive, good on the ball and a winner, the German, for such a small fee in relation to today's market, was a brilliant buy for Real Madrid.
3. Negredo (Valencia)
If there are doubts about why Manchester City allowed Alvaro Negredo to leave, there are certainly none about why Valencia decided to snap him up.
The former Sevilla striker, who got off to a good start in England before being hindered by injuries, arrives at the Mestalla on loan initially, but there is an enforced option to buy the player next summer.
He's a striker who should feel instantly at home in his new surroundings, given his history in La Liga.
It didn't quite work out for the 29-year-old at Real Madrid as a youngster, but he soon found his shooting boots in spells in Andalusia with Almeria and Sevilla.
In over 250 appearances with the two sides between 2007 and 2013, he averaged just under a goal every other game.
Valencia have got the big signing they wanted.
2. Griezmann (Atletico)
After winning the league and advancing to the Champions League final, many expected Atletico Madrid to be raided for their best players this summer.
They were, but what many didn't bank on was Diego Simeone replacing the players he lost so effectively.
Mario Mandzukic came in for Diego Costa and Guilherme Siqueira took Filipe Luis's place, but it was the signings of intricate attacking players like Antoine Griezmann and Alessio Cerci which really caught the eye.
The 23-year-old was signed from Real Sociedad for around £24 million after several impressive seasons in Basque Country, which culminated with 16 league goals last term.
The French international hasn't yet got started at the Vicente Calderon, although it must surely be a matter of time.
1. Rakitic (Barcelona)
The old saying about a duck to water certainly applies to Barcelona's newest midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Outside the top three in Spain last season there was no better player than the Croatian, who was playing for Sevilla, and now he is inside the top three.
Still just 26 and capped over 60 times for his country—he was born in Switzerland but represents Croatia—Rakitic can be slightly more direct than the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, although he also possesses the technique and passing ability required to fit in at Camp Nou.
And what's best about all that is Barca were able to pick him up for around £15 million.
All factors considered, there have been few deals as shrewd as this one across Europe, let alone Spain, all summer.