Farmers League No More: Record Transfer Window for Ligue 1

Ligue 1 is often dismissed as a “Farmers League” for the perceived lack of quality but as anyone who actually watches the league with regularity will tell you, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Known as the “League of Talents,” Ligue 1 is where future European superstars are found. Eden Hazard, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pépé, and N’Golo Kanté are just a few players who got their start in Ligue 1 and moved on to become world-class talents. The exporting of talent is still prevalent in Ligue 1 but things might be starting to change.

According to Ligue 1’s official website, €1.33 billion Euros was spent on transfers this past summer in French football. Ligue 1 clubs spent €445 million Euros to sign players from abroad, which is up 57 percent over the previous year, and 16 of those players arrived at a cost of €10 million or more.

Paris Saint-Germain contributed to those numbers in a big way but they weren’t alone. Transfermarkt lists the summer signings for every club in Ligue 1 and some of the priciest signings belong to PSG, including Abdou Diallo for €32 million, Idrissa Gueye for €30 million, Pablo Sarabia for €18 million, and Keylor Navas for €15 million. Lille OSC signed Renato Sanches for €20 million and Yusuf Yazici for €16.5 million. Olympique Lyonnais signed Jeff Reine-Adélaïde for €25 million. Believe it or not, AS Monaco spent the most on one single player when they signed Wissam Ben Yedder for €40 million from Sevilla FC.

“It was a more quality-laden and homogenous transfer window,” Emilie Marcheval, head of legal services at LFP, said. “Unlike in previous years, there hasn’t been a drain towards abroad. There’s a relative balance between the departures and arrivals. Ligue 1 is less a championship that supplies players to our rivals.”

If Ligue 1 can hold onto their young talent and make smart signings in the transfer window, not only will other teams start to compete with Paris Saint-Germain, but the league as a whole will garner more respect around Europe and compete in continental tournaments. From this report, it sounds like Ligue 1 clubs are headed in the right direction.

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Tags Abdou Diallo AS Monaco Idrissa Gueye Keylor Navas Ligue 1 N'Golo Kante Olympique Lyonnais Pablo Sarabia PSG Mercato Wissam Ben Yedder
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