La Liga Transfer News: 10 Biggest Transfers in Spain's Primera Division

Michael CernaCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2012

La Liga Transfer News: 10 Biggest Transfers in Spain's Primera Division

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    La Liga's transfer window opened July 1, but some clubs have already made a few signings.

    Real Madrid and Barcelona have been relatively quiet on the transfer front thus far, but many other teams have been very active.

    This article will look at the biggest moves made in La Liga up to July 10. I will list the transfer and analyze the impact of these signings going into the 2012-2013 La Liga season.

    Feel free to comment with other stories or leads that you have seen, and I will be happy to discuss those. I am sure many of you can unearth something that I have overlooked.

    Read on to see La Liga's 10 biggest signings so far this summer.

Smaller Moves

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    Before getting into the list, let's first look at a few other, smaller moves.

    Bryan Rabello to Sevilla

    The Chilean wonderkid was being sought by some major European clubs, but Sevilla won out. He may start on the youth squad, but the potential is very high. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

    Javi Venta returns to Villarreal

    The fullback decided to forgo the Europa League to try and help his former team back to La Liga.

    Mehmet Topal leaves for Turkey

    Topal moved back home to Fenerbahçe with Emre Belözoğlu swapping leagues en route to Atletico Madrid.

    Frederic Kanoute goes to Beijing

    Sevilla lost one of their greatest ever players when the Frenchman became the next veteran star to play in China.

Honorable Mention: Maduro to Replace Medel?

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    Story

    Sevilla continued its dealings by signing Hedwiges Maduro from Valencia on a three-year deal (via goal.com).

    Hedwiges Maduro—who left on a Bosman transfer—will hope to get back into the Dutch national team by getting more consistent playing time after not consistently featuring last term.

    Impact

    Right now, the impact of this deal is rather low.

    But if it means Gary Medel is leaving Sevilla, it is one of the biggest that will happen all summer in La Liga.

    Maduro is a versatile defender who can play at midfield. The implications of this move are worrying for fans since he could be replacing Gary Medel, arguably the club's most important player.

    While Sevilla is one of the better-positioned Spanish clubs in terms of finances, they will still need to make some sales in order to match their needs this summer.

    That means Medel—along with Negredo and Perotti—could be sold since he holds a lot of transfer value.

Liga Adelante

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    Story

    This is not technically a La Liga transfer, but the team it impacts is in the first division.

    Real Madrid Castilla right back and highly touted prospect Dani Carvajal has now moved to Germany to play for Bayer Leverkusn instead of aiming for Real Madrid's Primera squad (via goal.com).

    There may be a buy-back clause included, but that is not conclusive at this point.

    Impact

    All the hopeful fans who saw Carvajal excel at Castilla and wanted the right back to replace Alvaro Arbeloa will be disappointed, at least next season.

    It was thought that Real Madrid would forgo making a big, expensive defensive signing by promoting Carvajal to the first team.

    Now they will most likely try for a top right back instead of going for youth. If they fail, and it seems they will, a big center-back signing will be made with Sergio Ramos moving back out right.

    Even more, it does not show the many talented youth players at Castilla that Real Madrid is willing to take a chance on them.

10. Seydou Keita to China

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    Story

    Following in the footsteps of long-time supporter Pep Guardiola, Seydou Keita left Barcelona to play in China (via BBC Sport).

    He and Frederic Kanoute are La Liga's representatives in a newly ambitious league.

    Impact

    Keita moving on opens a lot of doors for Barcelona.

    There have been many rumors stating that Ibrahim Afellay and Adriano could both be sold this summer. Those sales would earn back the €15 million lost on Jordi Alba.

    That could mean the arrival of Javi Martinez to play in central defense and also as an option in midfield now that Keita has left a spot on the roster. 

    I would not count on Martinez coming given his transfer fee and content at Bilbao.

    Beyond transfers, Keita leaving opens the door for a youth player to join the squad full time. Jonathan dos Santos could be the player to take Keita's place, but he may be sent to Real Betis on loan.

    Sergi Roberto is another young midfielder who could get a shot.

    Either way, someone will be brought in to replace Seydou Keita.

9. Granada Taking Udinese on Loan

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    Story

    Sharing ownership with a talented, foreign club has its benefits.

    Udinese sent midfielder Gabriel Torje and Antonio Floro Flores on loan to the Spanish side (via tribalfootball.com).

    Impact

    Granada has now filled two key pieces due to its relationship with the Italian side—who share the same owner.

    Flores especially will fill a big need for the club. Henique looks like a promising young forward but needs to be shown the way.

    The best part about these moves is that they are free of transfer fees.

8. Diego Lopez Signs for Sevilla

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    Story

    Diego Lopez was the first player to leave Villarreal after the Yellow Submarine was relegated at the end of last season when he signed with Sevilla (via goal.com). His arrival also pushed Javi Varas to leave on loan for Celta Vigo. 

    This was just the first of what should be six signings this summer.

    Impact

    With all due respect to Javi Varas, who is a solid keeper himself, this is a big upgrade for Sevilla.

    Lopez has long been one of La Liga's best keepers. He could start for any team besides Real Madrid—maybe Barcelona and Valencia.

    Lopez should help a defense that struggled last season and clearly needed guidance and leadership. He will also keep Sevilla in games where they are unable to score, which happened far too often last season.

7. Aduriz to Return Home

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    Story

    The Basque player and former Bilbao will return to San Mames next season.

    Impact

    This is a big signing for a club that was desperate for attacking depth last season. Having a better sub for Fernando Llorente late last season may have allowed Bilbao to finish with a trophy.

    Athletic Club fans hope he was only bought to back up Llorente, not to replace him. Aduriz will be a great addition to a team fighting in three competitions, but he is not good enough to replicate the output of El Rey Leon.

6. Gonzalo Castro Leaves

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    Story

    Gonzalo Castro elected not to stay under Joaquin Caparros and has moved to Basque side Real Sociedad (via goal.com).

    Impact

    This is a big move for both teams.

    For Mallorca, they are losing their best player of last season.

    Castro scored six goals and assisted in nine more and was the best South American midfielder in the league.

    It also allowed Mallorca to sign some much-needed defensive cover in Javi Marquez.

    Sociedad picks up one of the league’s better and most versatile midfielders. This is a team that will struggle to get near the top 10, so getting someone of Castro’s caliber will go a long way in preventing a relegation battle all season.

5. Valencia Signs Guardado... and Gameiro?

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    Story

    Valencia brought in Andres Guardado from newly promoted Deportivo, but that may or may not have been the only move made up front.

    In late June, goal.com reported that Kevin Gameiro had agreed to terms with Valencia.

    However, neither team has officially announced the deal, and there is some confusion over whether or not the deal has or will actually happen.

    Impact

    Guardado is a solid signing for the club. He will bring speed and width to the wings, which the club has lacked a bit since losing Mata last summer. The Mexican international will fit right in.

    Assuming the Gameiro deal is completed, this is a big move for Valencia.

    In their Copa del Rey tie with Barcelona, we saw how different Valencia is without Roberto Soldado on the pitch. Aduriz is a solid striker, but Valencia clearly needed stronger depth. Gameiro gives them that.

    The club already has one of the league's brightest young strikers in their ranks in Paco Alcacer, but the "New David Villa" will not be ready for consistent first-team action just yet.

    If Valencia had a player of Gameiro's quality last season, they may have won the Copa del Rey or Europa League finals.

4. João Pereira

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    Story

    Valencia hope they filled one of their biggest holes by bringing in Joao Pereira from Sporting Lisbon. The right back impressed at the Euros this summer, but has caused concerns in Portugal.

    Impact

    Pereira is a bit inconsistent and is better going forward than he is on defense. He is a solid passer and links up well with the midfield, but is often reckless and makes bad decisions.

    But for €3.6 million, the risk is rather low for Valencia and the payoff could be huge.

    Defense was the biggest weakness for the club last season and Pereira will improve the side despite his inconsistencies.

3. Atletico Makes a Few Moves

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    Story

    Atletico Madrid made not just one major transfer, but a few great ones.

    Christian Rodriguez was brought over from Porto, Emre arrived from Turkey and Cata Diaz left Getafe to join the Madrid side.

    Impact

    Individually, each player is a great signing for the club, but combined, Atletico has made the best signings of any top-six Spanish side.

    Emre provides great depth and experience in midfield, while Diaz will try and replace Alvaro Dominguez on defense.

    Rodriguez brings pace and creativity to the wings. Atletico has needed someone who can stretch a defense since Juanfran converted to right back, and Rodriguez can do that.

    He may even inspire a conversion back to the 4-3-3. At minimum, he allows Diego Simeone that option.

    Most importantly, Atletico held on to Falcao...so far

2. Alvaro Dominguez Moves to Germany

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    Story

    Not all of La Liga's biggest transfers have been positive for the league. This one is the biggest loss for the league.

    After apparently losing confidence in Atletico's willingness to give him a chance, Alvaro Dominguez opted to move to German side Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Impact

    This is a huge loss for Atletico Madrid and La Liga.

    Dominguez was seen as a potential replacement for Carles Puyol in central defense, and that may still happen, but playing outside of Spain may hurt his chances.

    Atletico needed to make some cash back, but there are few players that would have been missed more than this young defender.

1. Alba to Barcelona

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    Story

    Finally! No drawn-out, yearly transfer saga this time from Barcelona.

    After being converted into one of Europe's best fullbacks at Valencia, Jordi Alba finally made his way back to Barcelona.

    Impact

    This transfer fills Barcelona's biggest need. Their defense was very disappointing last season, especially after the loss of Eric Abidal.

    With the Frenchman now considering full retirement after his latest setback, left back was a huge need for La Blaugrana.

    Jordi Alba comes in hot off of a Euro 2012 victory where he was Spain's best and most consistent defender throughout the tournament.

    Alba can bomb forward in the attack but is also a slightly underrated defender—despite his short stature. He is not at all a defensive liability, and at times, his movement forward is like a veteran fullback.

    His reading, speed and passing ability will greatly improve Barcelona, especially on defense.

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