How to spend it
When deciding how to improve our squad over the summer, we often have to choose between prioritising defence and attack. In the last four years, clubs have spent just over 75% of transfer fees on midfielders and attackers, which suggests that at the very least clubs are prepared to pay more for attacking talent (perhaps justifiably so, according to our research).
That said, not all teams are close to the average; the chart above allows us to compare the strategies of teams with similar budgets. Manchester United and Real Madrid, for example, have long histories of attacking football, and have focused their attentions on buying players that can uphold these traditions. Meanwhile, nouveau riche clubs Manchester City and PSG have been more inclined to keep funds available for defensive players, and what Liverpool may have to do in order to sign Virgil van Dijk.
That even the richest clubs don’t settle on a common strategy shows the trade-offs and challenges we face. If, for example, the biggest and most obvious improvements are required in defence, then we need to think smartly about spending in attack, and vice versa. One way clubs can do this is through our new Acquisition module in Evolution, which establishes whether we would be paying above or below the market rate for potential signings. By assigning market values to our transfer targets and identifying undervalued talent, Acquisition mitigates risk and enables us to be more targeted and efficient in terms of the management of our transfer resources.
Each club has its own unique set of circumstances, but having a clear approach to the allocation of our transfer budget – and knowing the expected benefit of each dollar spent – will ensure we maximise our chances of success during the window.