Thibaut Courtois' move from Chelsea to Real Madrid was the best football transfer of the summer window 2018. That is according to the CIES Football Observatory in their first post of the 2018/19 season.
Courtois: money sense
The list published on the CIES website puts Los Blancos' new goalkeeper at the top although the standings are not based on an analysis of what he actually brings to the team on the field. It looks at each transfer between clubs from an economic perspective and states, based on its exclusive algorithm, that Courtois moved to the Spanish capital for significantly less than the estimated fair price, a difference of just under 23 million euros.
Another player moving home to Madrid was rated as the second most profitable using this calculation. Rodri Hernández swapped Villarreal for Atlético for a reported transfer fee of 25 million euros. A fair price seen for a player of his stature was estimated at almost 47 million. Rodri, just like Lenglet who comes in at fifth on the list, was aided by a release clause in his contract.
Kepa not value for money
At the other end of the CIES algorithm lies the goalkeeper that replaced Courtois at Chelsea, Kepa Arrizabalaga. What was seen by the analysts as a fair price of around 35 million euros was blown out of the water by the London club who handed over 80 million.
Riyad Mahrez was another seen in the same light with Man City splashing a reported 85 million euros for him. Barcelona recouped well over the odds for defender Yerry Mina when Everton came calling, based on the report while PSG were also willing to pay what it took to get Kehrer on their books.
Clearly the true value of any player is what they do on the pitch. Time, as always, will tell...