Skip to main content

Champions League 2021/22 favourites: Who has the best squad in Europe?

Achraf Hakimi
(Image credit: Getty)

We were told there would be a toll with the pandemic. That footballers would not longer sell for quite as much as they did before. 

Well, that might be true - but it certainly doesn't like like they're short of money in the French capital. Paris Saint-Germain have not only whacked £60m on Achraf Hakimi's head, they've brought in Gini Wijnaldum and Sergio Ramos for free, capitalising on Liverpool and Real Madrid not offering the pair new deals, respectively.

And there's the small deal of Gianluigi Donnarumma that they're about to tie up. Talk about depth.

So we thought we'd compare how PSG stack up to the rest of Europe, by comparing the squad depth across the eight most valuable sides on the continent. Not every player in every squad will be part of their manager's plans - some may leave in the coming weeks - but if you had the choice to take over one of these sides, who would you choose?

Paris Saint-Germain


(Image credit: Future)

Keylor Navas has been one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the world in the past few years - and PSG are about to bring in the keeper that just won Player of the Tournament at Euro 2020. Not to mention the fact that Alphonse Areola is also quality. And that's just in goal.

There are leaders across the pitch here, with the obvious standouts of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in attack. Pablo Sarabia was great for Spain at the Euros; Julian Draxler is still a good player - and both, arguably, are nowhere near PSG's first team.

It's likely too that the spending isn't quite done. PSG had Moise Kean on loan last season and might dip into the market for another striker. The wealth of options in midfield is unbelievable too, with pretty much every profile you could need.



(Image credit: Future)

The European champions are not content with their lot: they're going after Erling Haaland.

Chelsea famously stockpile talent but even by their standards, their current crop is eye-watering. The options in attack are outrageous, while the likes of Ethan Ampadu, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gilmour are all good enough for other Premier League sides but not currently part of Thomas Tuchel's thinking.

The Blues looked a little weak at the back under Frank Lampard and they look a bit staccato in attack sometimes under Tuchel. Still, you wouldn't bet against them spending £150m in those two positions this summer. The mad thing? They probably don't even need to.

Bayern Munich


(Image credit: Future)

Bayern have lost David Alaba and Jerome Boateng already this window - and it barely dents the defence. 

Pinching the league's biggest stars certainly has its benefits for Bayern Munich, who brought in Benjamin Pavard, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and most recently Dayot Upamecano from rivals. But another strength is the youth that Die Roten have. Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies have established themselves after coming through the ranks.

As a result as being the supreme force in Germany, Bayern have by far the best young prospects, the pick of German players and shrewd buys that they've bought before the player matured. It's an impressively-assembled squad and it's packed with quality and competition. 

Manchester United


(Image credit: Future)

They're still in the market for a defender and a defensive midfielder this summer but Manchester United's squad, on paper, is the strongest it's been since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.

United's big names across the pitch really catch the eye: the not-quite-yet-confirmed Jadon Sancho will join Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford as the standouts but there are still some phenomenal squad players in there, too. Alex Telles is an excellent backup full-back, Donny van de Beek would get in most Premier League sides and the depth of goalkeepers is great.

United are another team, however, with a superb academy. When you can bring the likes of Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay into the side, you're always going to have a strong squad. 



(Image credit: Future)

Barcelona are trying to convince half of this squad to leave so that they can register the other half and tie Lionel Messi down to a new deal. But for the moment: what a group of players. 

The experience across the pitch is incredible, with Barca able to field so many title winners and international captains, while there are a number of quality youngsters coming through, too. While the club don't have much variety in terms of profiles, they have the ability to bring in similar players to do similar jobs - whatever side they pick from this lot, they could pass you to death.

You can see why they're keen to offload many of these guys. They could look even better this time next year.



(Image credit: Future)

You can forget how good Liverpool's squad actually is. Injuries ripped through it last campaign, depleting them to the bare bones, and there isn't exactly a raft of talent competing for the front three spots, like a lot of Champions League-chasing sides.

Ironically, the depth in defence is now insane, having adding Ibrahima Konate and got the likes of Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez back. Liverpool are stacked in midfield even without Wijnaldum, too - if everyone's fit from that bunch, it's a tough choice of who Jurgen Klopp fields.

And there's the attack, which aside from the iconic front three, has Diogo Jota competing for a spot, Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and potentially Harvey Elliott who tore up the Championship for fun last season. Maybe we're all underrating this Reds side...

NEWS Liverpool defensive duo ‘look really good’ as they build towards comebacks

Real Madrid


(Image credit: Future)

They've lost Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane could well go too... and yet David Alaba, another world-class footballer just slots in perfectly.

Martin Odegaard, Dani Ceballos and Gareth Bale return from loans at Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, where they were regular starters last season – but probably don't even get into Real Madrid's side. There are excellent loanees, exciting options in attack and progressive midfielders a-plenty.

No wonder they haven't signed anyone for a fee since January last year. With this set of players, why would you need to?

Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get a FREE England Euro 96 shirt!


RICHARD JOLLY Can England become the new Germany at major tournaments?

TRANSFER NEWS Chelsea preparing huge offer for Erling Haaland

RACISM ROW Tyrone Mings calls out Priti Patel over claim she’s ‘disgusted’ at racist abuse