At least 20 teams in world football spent more than Liverpool in 2020 but those figures don’t take into account Thiago Alcantara’s “huge” wage.
That is according to football finance expert and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after FIFA released their annual Global Transfer Market Report last Monday.
According to data from TransferMarkt, Liverpool spent £79.15million in 2020 — Diogo Jota (£40M), Thiago (£19.8m), Konstantinos Tsimikas (£11.7m) and Takumi Minamino (£7.65m).
They won a long-heralded league title last year, yet their annual outlay was not enough to see them reach even the top 20 spenders in 2020, according to world football’s governing body.
However, Maguire believes the figures — which only take into account transfer fees and not wage expenditure — are slightly deceptive.
“Liverpool must have been just outside the top 20,” he told Football Insider.
“They had just won the Premier League. If you’re bringing in players, they’ve got to improve the squad. They must have felt that with Jota and Thiago they had done that and didn’t need to spend further.
“Thiago cost next to nothing but he will be on a huge wage.
“They looked at the total cost in terms of wages plus amortisation and what they saved on a huge transfer fee for Thiago has effectively gone on into topping up his wages.
“I guess that they felt the squad was so good that it didn’t need changing. That doesn’t look like it’s working out at the moment, but any club is going to struggle when they lose a player with the quality of Van Dijk.
“Who could you possibly sign that’s going to be as good as him?”
While Liverpool were nowhere to be seen, there was a significant Premier League presence in FIFA’s spending figures.
Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Leeds, Tottenham, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester were all in the top 20.