August 25 -The Premier League has continued its high-spending trend in favour of talented youth as it welcomes Belgian talent in Jeremy Doku and Romeo Lavia. The duo were bought for over double their Transfermarkt values despite only expecting to have a rotational role next year at Manchester City and Chelsea respectively.
Belgian Doku joins from France’s Stade Rennais as a direct replacement for the outgoing Riyadh Mahrez and at 21-years-old has plenty of first team and international experience.
In the case of Lavia, also Belgian, joining from Southampton, despite his hefty price tag, the player is only 19-years-old and has Premier League experience. The price spiked due to competition with fellow bidders Liverpool.
The Saudi Pro League’s inflated spending on top European talent has spilled into this week after securing Porto’s Otavio and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (pictured) for a combined €112.6 million – more than €50m above their market value. The acquisition of Brazilian talent Otavio is particularly unusual as it breaks the trend of big money = big stars that has been a staple in SPL transfer strategy thus far. The winger had a mediocre season last term, tallying five goals and seven assists for Porto and has never played in a top five league at the age of 28.
Mitrovic, however, comes off the back of a startling season for Fulham in the Premier League where he netted on 14 occasions. Following his €52 million transfer to Al-Hilal this week, the 28-year-old scored on his debut in his new side’s 4-0 victory over Al-Raed.
Notably, Saudi Arabia are still yet to offer anyone a deal that spans more than 3 years, despite those in Europe, particularly at Stamford Bridge, pinning players down for almost a decade.
This week continues the trend of gathering squad depth before the window closes in a few days time in a minefield-like market inflated by recent activity. Top Premier League teams are eyeing young talent that can grow from the bench, whilst other teams look to patch up holes left by recent vacancies.
The transfer window closes on the 1st of September at 11pm BST.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1701327159labto1701327159ofdlr1701327159owedi1701327159sni@o1701327159fni1701327159