This year, Manchester City made two high-profile acquisitions: it signed Spanish player Rodrigo Hernández Cascante (Rodri) for £63 million and Portuguese player João Cancelo for £27.4m plus Danilo (around £60 million in total). These may be among the last high-profile transfers we see for a while, though because the rules are changing. On one hand, the UK is set to leave the European Union this October, on the other, the FA wants to cap the number of internationals playing in the Premier League. Football is the most popular sport in England, and it’s one of the most popular sports in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales so there shouldn’t be a shortage of talented players to fill the teams’ rosters. Still, the Premier League may lose part of its prestige in Europe in the long run due to these limitations – just like Italy’s Serie A did before. What league could fill the potential gap the Premier League may leave in European football? Well, it may be one of the ones below.
At one time, Italy’s Serie A was what the Premier League is today: the definition of high-profile European football. Since losing its top spot to the English top-tier league, though, it has become increasingly dull – not to mention the many scandals eroding its prestige, ranging from financial issues and corruption. In the last few years, though, Italian clubs have started to pick up the pieces and regroup to offer their fans quality games they can be proud of. Inter Milan recently signed Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, and Juventus strengthened its ranks with high-profile players like Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt and Portuguese wonder boy Cristiano Ronaldo.
Germany’s Bundesliga is the European football league with probably the most devoted fans and the biggest attendance of the matches. Its games are action-packed and filled with goals – most Bundesliga clubs score at least 20 goals each season. It has teams with considerable star power, too – clubs like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, to name just a few. With its growing exposure (having sold the TV rights worldwide), the Bundesliga may increase its prestige in the coming years.
Spain’s La Liga has some of the most visible clubs today (and with pretty deep pockets as well): Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid, clubs that have signed talented players like Félix, Antoine Griezmann, and Eden Hazard this year. Not to mention Messi, perhaps the best-known footballer in this day and age.
The absolute international star of Ligue 1 is currently Paris Saint Germain, the club that seems to have a bottomless purse, considering how much money it has paid for two major names in just two years (for Neymar in 2017 and Mbappé in 2018). Although PSG constantly steals the show, there are many other prominent teams in Ligue 1. There’s definitely potential there – and with the right investors, the French league can grow fast in the coming years.
While the possibility of the Premier League to lose part of its prestige after Brexit, things could also turn out good for England’s top division. According to some sources, the new rules to be apploed to the movement of workforce (players, in this case) may even level the playing field for players from all over the world. Until now, many clubs preferred players from Europe (the EU) but after the UK’s exit from the EU, the same rules will (likely) apply to any player from anywhere in the world, making it more convenient for the clubs to sign talent no matter their country of origin. In the long run, this – along with the accent on growing local talent – can turn the Premier League into an even more exciting and lucrative football league.