BY KIERAN RUANE
This year’s summer transfer window was recorded as the most expensive window of all time, and included some of the most blockbuster deals in recent history. With a total of $1,343,010,293 (£870 million) spent over the course of the three-month break, let’s break down this record-breaking summer and focus in on ten of the most significant arrivals across the globe.
1. Steven Gerrard – Liverpool to L.A. Galaxy – $6 million
The most high-profile name to move this summer, Steven Gerrard is a living legend of the game of soccer. His move from Liverpool, his hometown club with whom he played for since he was seven, was fueled by a desire to continuing playing at a high level even at his age of 35, and it is an opportunity that is already proving to be a success for the former Liverpool and England captain.
2. Frank Lampard – Manchester City to New York City F.C. – Free
As Chelsea’s greatest goal scorer of all time, Lampard agreed to make the switch to brand-new MLS expansion side New York City F.C. in the summer of 2014, but controversy in his agreement with NYCFC’s owners delayed his move until this past summer. Finally set up with his new squad this past June, Lampard will play a vital role as his team looks to establish themselves as a dominant club in MLS.
3. Andrea Pirlo – Juventus to New York City F.C. – Free
The man who is dubbed by the world of soccer as “The Maestro” also completed a move to NYCFC this summer, following a Champions League final defeat at the hands of Barcelona. For years Pirlo has graced the field with his elegant play-style, and though his career is winding down, he has already shown in MLS play that he is not finished up just yet.
4. Bastian Schweinsteiger – Bayern Munich to Manchester United – $9 million
What do you do when you have won nearly everything there is to win at one of the world’s greatest clubs? You change scenery, perhaps at another one of the world’s greatest clubs. Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup, Champions League and eight-time Bundesliga champion, did just that this summer as he completed his move from Bayern Munich to Manchester United. This switch to life in England will see him compete for a starting job with a very talented midfield corps at Manchester United, and his vast experience of success is sure to be welcomed within the red devil’s dressing room.
5. Petr Cech – Chelsea to Arsenal – $16.8 million
It seems as though Petr Cech has always been an overarching symbol of any Chelsea team of recent times. No matter what manager, what opponent, or what match, Cech was always between the sticks for the Blues. Last season, however, Cech fell out of favor with manager Jose Mourinho, and was replaced by young Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. With Courtois solidifying a starting spot for years to come with his magnificent performances in 2014, and Cech’s desire to finish his career as a starting keeper, Arsenal saw an opportunity to repair their goalkeeping woes by signing the Czech Republic international.
6. Iker Casillas – Real Madrid to F.C. Porto – Undisclosed Fee
Iker Casillas is often considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. One of Spain’s most decorated players for club and country, Casillas has won a World Cup and two European championships with Spain, as well as five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues with Madrid. As he grew older, however, Madrid were forced to part ways with their famed number one in favor of a younger talent. His move to Porto signifies his drive and ability to continue his career at the highest level.
7. Didier Drogba – Chelsea to Montreal Impact – Free
One of the most prolific goal scorers in Premier League history, Didier Drogba’s move to MLS side Montreal has already been a huge hit. Coming in on a free transfer at the age of 37, Drogba made an immediate impact upon his arrival in Montreal, scoring a hat trick in his first ever MLS match. Having experience playing with some of the world’s most successful clubs, he is sure to bring his new side to heights never seen before as he adjusts to life state-side.
8. Raheem Sterling – Liverpool to Manchester City – $75.6 million
Raheem Sterling has long been tipped to become one of the world’s best players ever since he made his senior debut for Liverpool at just 15 years old in 2010. This summer, as he rose from potential star to a truly proven talent, he became the most expensive English player in history when Manchester City swooped him up. His hefty price tag has left many speculating over his true value as a player, however he has already gotten off to a strong enough start in 2015 to quell some of the noise made by his doubters.
9. Pedro – Barcelona to Chelsea – $32.4 million
In arguably one of the most surprising transfer sagas of the summer, Pedro completed the move from his boyhood club Barcelona to reigning Premier League champions Chelsea after looking almost certain to sign for Manchester United. The gifted left winger who continuously saw his playing time hampered by extremely talented players at Barcelona, got off to a strong start with a goal and an assist in his first game as a Chelsea player, and already looks to be enjoying life in the Premier League.
10. Kevin De Bruyne – Wolfsburg to Manchester City – $84.9 million
As the most expensive player in this summer’s window, there will surely be a lot asked of Belgian international Kevin De Bruyne. Once a young prospect of Chelsea’s, De Bruyne’s move to Manchester marks his permanent return to the Premier League after stints at German clubs Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg. His skill and goal-scoring prowess, along with his ability to play in multiple attacking positions will surely have him competing for a spot in the starting eleven as City look to build on their strong start in 2015.