The summer window has just slammed close and after a slow start, it got very interesting. We’ve seen the two most Premier League arrivals of all time in the midst of a pandemic and with Ronaldo joining Messi in moving on, there is drama left, right and centre. Here is a round-up of the transfer moves this window in the latter stages by league…
Starting with the Premier League window and it has been quite something. Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea and Jack Grealish to Man City are the headliners when it comes to money but there have been some interesting moves up and down the country. Lukaku isn’t the only arrival in London with Arsenal adding Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale to a troubled squad. On the topic of the Gunners and academy product Joe Willock’s temporary stay at St James’ Park has been made permanent after excelling last term. Remaining in the lower echelons of the table and Burnley have broken their transfer record by bringing in Ivorian Maxwell Cornet from Lyon. In a similar position, Brighton have been strongly linked with La Masia graduate Marc Cucurella, a deal that seems likely but hasn’t been confirmed at the time of writing with a few days remaining in the window. West Ham giving Kurt Zouma a permanent home and Wolves loaning on striker Hwang Hee-chan from Leipzig deserve a shoutout too.
Newly promoted teams often make a number of signings in the summer window and after a slow start, Norwich have begun to spend the Emi Buendia cash. USMNT striker Josh Sargent has been brought in, having been relegated with Werder Bremen last season plus Man United’s Brandon Williams arrives on loan and former Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak. Talking of huge departures and along with Buendia, Danny Ings has gone to Villa Park, leaving a big hole on the south coast. The man tasked with replacing Ings is Adam Armstrong who had a prolific 20/21 season in the Championship with Blackburn Rovers. The final two names here are Jannik Vestergaard, the other notable loss for Southampton who has been snapped up by Leicester, and a pricey investment at the back for Tottenham. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen had an imperious partnership but as they age out, Argentinian Cristian Romero being tasked with taking on that mantle and signing a player from Atalanta almost guarantees success.
Deadline day saw the transfer window intensify tenfold, West Ham adding to the signing of Kurt Zouma for example. Following on from Coufal and Soucek, Czech midfielder Alex Kral arrived from Spartak Moscow plus they incredibly managed to snap up Ligue 1 winning wide-man Jonathan Bamba. The Irons may not have acquired an out-and-out striker to back-up Michail Antonio but Bamba along with Nikola Vlasic provide great attacking reinforcements. Three other clubs who have already featured, Spurs, Leicester and Burnley, have made further signings. Tottenham have picked up flying fullback Emerson Royal, one of many Barcelona players on the move, Leicester have given Ademola Lookman another bite of the cherry in the English top-flight and Burnley have added to Swansea’s woes, Conor Roberts one of many players being pillaged from the Welsh club’s ranks. Finally, Palace have furthered their impressive business by welcoming Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard and Will Hughes from Watford too.
Dropping down to the Championship and throughout the EFL, the transfer window is always fascinating. The loss of Arnaut Danjuma for Bournemouth is huge but Morgan Rogers has been loaned in from Man City to counteract this. Rogers’ youth is a stark contrast to the arrival at the back in the form of Premier League and Champions League winning centre-half Gary Cahill. Another team utilising the loan market this window are Blackburn with Ian Poveda joining in search of more regular football. Experience is often cited as instrumental to success in the second tier and that remains the case as Sol Bamba, having thankfully recovered from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, has arrived at Riverside to be reunited with Neil Warnock. Not to mention Onel Hernandez has joined them from the newly promoted Norwich City too. Talking of Norwich and striker Jordan Hugill has dropped back down to the second division as well, he’ll play under Valerien Ismael at West Brom.
Junior Hoilett and once highly touted wonderkid Alen Halilovic are now Reading players, the Royals having lost Michael Olise to Crystal Palace. Not to mention that experienced defender Scott Dann has been added to the ranks at the Madejski too. Romaine Sawyers was a superb player for both Brentford and West Brom in the Championship and with the pair now playing in the top-flight, the Saint Kitts and Nevis midfielder has joined Stoke on loan. A similar scenario has taken place at the City Ground, Chris Hughton acquiring Philip Zinckernagel from Watford for the season. Sticking on the topic of relegation and Fulham are intent on making and swift return. Losing Scott Parker is a blow but Marco Silva is just as exciting and after splashing out on Harry Wilson, they have spent eight million euros on Rodrigo Muniz from Brazilian side Flamengo. The final name for the Championship is a new face in Peterborough, with the young London-born Kwame Poku joining the Posh on a free from Colchester. It may not be most explosive move of the window but Darren Ferguson seems confident that Poku can cut his teeth at this level. Shoutout to Troy Deeney to Birmingham City too!
Deadline day is always a whirlwind up and down the EFL and this year, even off the back of a pandemic, was no different. As previously mentioned, Swansea have had a rough time of it but a loan move for Tarique Fosu from Brentford is a slight silver lining. It does get worse before it gets better though, Bournemouth’s action-packed window gets better at their expense with Jamal Lowe arriving from the Swans as well as Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie following Edouard out of the door. Going back to Swansea and a former player of theirs, Bersant Celina, has joined League One Sheffield Wednesday who are building quite the squad at Hillsborough, Saido Berahino to Ipswich being another third-tier transfer worth mentioning. Following their promotion, Watford have said goodbye to a couple of senior forwards, Andre Gray joining Mark Warburton’s QPR on loan whilst Troy Deeney is back on familiar territory, with Birmingham City. Sheffield United have started very poorly this season but they have bolstered their squad with a trio in midfield; the experienced Conor Hourihane, U17 World Cup winner with England Morgan Gibbs-White and La Masia graduate Alex Collado.
Going abroad now to France and this section will be very brief in truth. PSG and their mind-blowing business, from Messi to Ramos, is quite the outlier. The TV deal issues have left a lot of clubs struggling financially and that of course comes on top of covid, meaning top-tier signings are few and far between. There are only a few moves this window that has me really excited though, the first having featured in my article regarding players deserving of a move after the Euros after all. Xherdan Shaqiri has always been a main-man or a role player and nowhere in between which isn’t an ideal dynamic. That is no longer the case though as the Swiss international departs Liverpool for Lyon. A move to a Europa League club well he’ll rack up a good amount of minutes is what I wanted for Shaqiri and that is exactly what he got! Amine Harit is next, having endured a torrid time with now-relegated Schalke, the Moroccan has joined an exciting Marseille side under the enigmatic Jorge Sampaoli. Nice are another team with a new manager and not only did they steal Christophe Galtier from title-winning Lille, they have also snatched forward Andy Delort away from Montpellier, which hasn’t gone down well in truth.
Next to Spain and whilst the bulk of their clubs may not be spending big, there are some intriguing arrivals this window nonetheless. Rodrigo de Paul to Atleti was far and away the most notable and the defending La Liga champions are once again, not resting on their laurels. Simeone has brought in Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha, an Olympic gold medallist perfectly capable of the sublime. Sticking in the attacking third and there is a bit of a domino effect. Loren has gone to Espanyol, Willian Jose has then gone to Betis and Leipzig man Alexander Sorloth has replaced Jose at Real Sociedad. Romanian Florin Andone, has gone out on another loan move away from Brighton with Cadiz as the destination, plus Dario Benedetto is now an Elche player. The latter seems odd given that he was scoring at a good rate for Marseille so to now go to a team like Elche raises a few eyebrows. The Argentine can bring goals and personality to the league in abundance though that’s for sure!
This window has been pretty catastrophic for Barcelona and Real Madrid too, depending on the Mbappe situation, leaving the El Clasico pair in the lurch. Not only are Atleti title favourites but many, me included, are tipping the big three to be breached. Real Sociedad are one team who could finish above Koeman’s Barca, another two being Villarreal and Sevilla. In Unai Emery and Julen Lopetegui respectively, the pair have two great managers and have made good signings too. Villarreal added Boulaye Dia earlier in the window and now the tricky Arnaut Danjuma has been signed from Bournemouth. Sevilla on the other hand have signed Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney on the cheap from Dortmund as well as physical, yet technical striker Rafa Mir, formerly of Las Palmas and Huesca. Eduardo Camavinga is one of many sensational Rennes youngsters and Real Madrid have won the race for his signature. Mallorca on their return to the top-flight have not only snapped up Valencia outcast Kang-In Lee but due to their American ownership links potentially, they have loaned in USMNT striker Matthew Hoppe from Schalke. Ruben Rochina and Santiago Arias to Granada from Levante and Atleti respectively, plus Jakub Jankto from Sampdoria to Getafe are a few other new arrivals worth keeping an eye on. Plus Hector Bellerin replacing the departed Emerson at Real Betis.
Italy’s summer window has been more dominated by managerial changes than the transferring of players, the biggest fees actually being the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi leaving as opposed to arriving. Inter have replaced these names though, the iconic Edin Dzeko scoring on his league debut for the Nerazzurri being an example. Argentine Joaquin Correa from Lazio is another fascinating signing for Inter in the attacking third, he of course follows manager Simone Inzaghi over from the Eternal city. The final of three being Dutchman Denzel Dumfries who displayed his prowess going both ways under De Boer at the Euros this summer. From Inter to Fiorentina and although Dusan Vlahovic and Milenkovic are the subject of huge interest, there have been some moves made. Matija Nastasic who won the Premier League with Man City, Champions League winner Alvaro Odriozola and Lucas Torreira on loan from Arsenal are all very exciting for the season ahead under new manager Vincenzo Italiano.
These are the only major powers in Italian football welcoming new names. Ronaldo may leave Juventus but midfielder Manuel Locatelli has made the inevitable move over from Sassuolo. Milan, who are one of the few sides to have the same man in the technical area, have added to the arrivals of Fikayo Tomori and Mike Maignan to name a couple. The experience and elegance of Olivier Giroud, fullback Alessandro Florenzi and up-and-coming striker Pietro Pellegri having signed recently. Tomori and Giroud aren’t the only Chelsea boys switching London for Italy as Tammy Abraham signs for Jose Mourinho’s Roma- he contributed two assists on his impressive league debut. Unique striker Eldor Shomurodov from Genoa also arrives at the Stadio Olimpico. Two other ex-Chelsea players signing for Serie A sides are Pedro, who departs Roma for their bitter rivals Lazio plus Davide Zappacosta is now an Atalanta player. Isaas Success to Udinese and Giovanni Simeone to Hellas Verona on loan, both Dennis Praet and Josip Brekalo to Torino, Ethan Ampadu to newly-promoted Venezia and Zambo-Anguissa to Spalletti’s Napoli are a few final moves I’m excited to follow this campaign.
Finishing things off in Germany and they, like Italy, have experienced a bit of a managerial merry-go-round. The Bundesliga has lacked many major new signings from a players’ point of view but the window has ended with a few to keep an eye on. Firstly, experienced Dutch defender Jetro Willems is now a player for newly promoted side Furth. He was a highly rated youngster and was a key player for both PSV and Eintracht Frankfurt, so hopefully he can bounce back after a tough time with Newcastle. Next, midfielder Max Eggestein has only ever known Werder Bremen but following their relegation, he is on the move, joining Freiburg. The final man is a German returning home after a season with Benfica. Luca Waldschmidt has seven national team caps to his name and it will be interesting to see how well he dovetails with the prolific Wout Weghorst up front for Wolfsburg! USMNT defender Chris Richards returning on loan to Hoffenheim from Bayern is particularly exciting, as is Barcelona wantaway Ilaix Moriba being snapped up by Leipzig to replace the outgoing Marcel Sabitzer who is of course Bayern-bound. A final move that has peaked my interest being former Watford man Dodi Lukebakio switching Hertha Berlin for Van Bommel’s Wolfsburg.