We take a look at all of the biggest transfer deals that have taken place across the major European leagues!
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Ajax to Chelsea
Frank Lampard and Chelsea got busy early into the window, snapping up Ajax’s Moroccan sensation, Hakim Ziyech. The winger has impressed over the last few seasons, with his performances in the 2019/20 Champions League attracting the attention of Europe’s elite clubs.
The 26-year-old has bagged 29 goals and a staggering 45 assists in all competitions over the last two seasons. That said, Eredivisie form often translates poorly to the ultra-competitive Premier League. Time will tell if he will have the same sort of impact at Chelsea. For now, just take the time to enjoy his delicious cross-field pinger from 2018 against Bayern below – more of that in the Premier League, please!
Inter Milan to PSG
Not really too much of a surprise here as the Parisians opted to make Mauro Icardi’s loan deal permanent. With Romelu Lukaku now very much the focal point of Inter’s attack, the Italians would have struggled to fit him into their 3-5-2 system.
The eight-cap Argetinain international will have plenty of competition on his hands at PSG, though. With Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and his compatriot Angel Di Maria all fighting for three spots atop Thomas Tuchel’s 4-3-3, competition for places will be fierce. He has hit the ground running domestically, bagging 12 goals and three assists in Ligue 1, however, the value of his big-money move will be measured by his performances in the Champions League.
RB Leipzig to Chelsea
Having spent the better part of the last two seasons flirting with Liverpool, Timo Werner eventually secured a move to the Premier League, albeit to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. This came after the Reds refused to meet the Germans’ evaluation of the striker.
Werner will add some much-needed verve to a Chelsea frontline that saw only Tammy Abraham hit double figures in all competitions.
Juventus to Barcelona
Barcelona to Juventus
You can’t speak about Miralem Pjanic’s move from Juventus to Barcelona without mentioning Arthur who goes in the opposite direction. Pjanic heads to Barcelona and will slot into the midfield position that Ivan Rakatic vacated following his cut-price move to Sevilla. The Bosnian joins the Catalan giants who are very much in transition, with rumours that Lionel Messi could depart following their shock 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final.
Arthur comes into a Juventus side who will have a new-look midfield following the departures of Pjanic as well as Blaise Matuidi who joined Inter Miami. Emre Can also made his loan move to Borussia Dortmund permanent after failing to settle in Turin. Juve have gambled somewhat on the Brazillian who spent large portions of last season on the treatment table.
Manchester City – Bayern Munich
You sensed there was some real resentment from Sané last season when his move to Bayern fell through following his injury in the community shield against Liverpool – a game he specifically wanted no part of in case it jeopardised his move to Bavaria.
The move has now matiralised, and with the emergence of Phil Foden as well as Riyad Mahrez finding his feet at City, Guardiola has used his funds to rebuild his defence, with Nathan Ake having signed already amid rumours that Kalidou Koulibaly could soon follow.
Lille – Napoli
Napoli have taken a massive gamble paying a premium fee for Victor Oshimen who has only played two seasons of top-flight football in his young career. He has, however, impressed for both Charleroi in Belgium and Lille in France.
He’ll be under huge pressure, arriving comfortably the most expensive player Napoli have ever signed. Replicating the form that saw him score 18 goals in all competitions for Lille last season will help counteract the pressure that came with his fee in front of fans who have been truly spoilt over the last few decades, watching the likes of Diego Maradona, Edidnson Cavani, Gonzalo Higuin and Dries Mertens over the years.
Valencia to Manchester City
With the likes of Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Riyad Marez on the books at City, the signing of Valencia’s 20-year-old Ferran Torres seems like a bit of a luxury purchase. Needless to say, the young forward was attracting attention from around Europe with only one year left on his contract.
Torres certainly won’t walk straight into the starting XI but will certainly feature with City generally going deep into England’s domestic cup competitions as well as the Champions League. He’s a tricky winger who isn’t afraid to take on defenders. It’ll be interesting to see how he deals with the physical demands of the English game.
Bournemouth – Manchester City
Nathan Aké was always bound for bigger things than finishing lower-mid table with Bournemouth. Unfortunately for the Cherries, their surprise relegation from the Premier League has expedited his departure from the south coast club.
He heads to Manchester City as a player who is likely to walk into the first team to line up alongside Aymeric Laporte. It’s no secret that City were well below par defensively last season as Liverpool stormed to their first league title in 30 years. Whether or not Aké will bring the solidity required for a full turnaround remains to be seen.
Olympiakos – Liverpool
It’s no secret that the absence of any real playmaker in Liverpool’s midfield means that the burden of creativity often falls at the feet of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. A fit and firing Naby Keita may have something to say about that, but whether or not he can stay injury-free for any extended period of time is a different topic entirely. This has meant that Jurgen Klopp has been scouring Europe for cover in these positions.
Kostas Tsmikas has been on Liverpool’s radar for a number of years now, and they have finally landed their man. The 24-year-old is the ideal fit for Liverpool’s system. He’s quick, tricky and delivers well into the box from wide areas. He’ll play understudy to Robertson but should see plenty of game time as Klopp will look to rest his bigger names in what will be a busy season.
Chelsea – Arsenal
Mikel Arteta’s shrewd acquisition of Willian from Chelsea could prove to be a masterstroke. The Brazilian winger had a fine season for Chelsea last term, bagging 11 goals and nine assists across all competitions. The 32-year-old may be getting on in years, he still offers plenty of threat going forward and will bolster Arsenal’s already deadly spread of frontmen.
Manchester City – Real Sociedad
David Silva’s move to Lazio seemed to be done and dusted until the Basque club swooped in at the 11th hour to secure to the signature of the Manchester City legend. Silva’s technical ability, coupled with the fact that he will have far more time on the ball in Spain makes his acquisition by Sociedad one of the better moves of the window.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the little maestro in the Europa League, too.
Leicester – Chelsea
Did Chelsea pay over the odds for Chilwell? Maybe. There is no denying the former Leicester man’s quality though. It’ll be interesting to see how he deals with the pressures that come with being an expensive English player in the Premier League. It seems insane that Leicester were initially looking for somewhere in the region of £60 – £70 million for the player before missing out on the Champions
Stranger yet is that Chelsea are pretty well-stocked a left-back, albeit with Emerson and Marcos Alonso who both lack the all-round ability that Chilwell possesses. Managing the sky-high expectations on the Englishman’s shoulders will be concern number 1 for Frank Lampard who will simply want Chilwell to pick up where he left off at Leicester: playing in the same marauding fashion as Andy Robertson.
Bayer Leverkusen – Chelsea
If Lionel Messi stays put at Barcelona, this will likely be the biggest signing of the window. Havertz – prior to his Chelsea move – was being courted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The London club would eventually win out and get their man for a club-record fee.
The German was outstanding for Leverkusen last season and was particularly impressive in the period after lockdown. He bagged 18 goals and nine assists across 45 matches in all competitions last season. There is no doubt that it will take him some time to settle in at Chelsea, however, if he kicks on, the Blues will have one of the deadliest frontlines in Europe with Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham all fighting it out for three spots.
Donny van de Beek
Ajax – Manchester United
The young Dutch sensation joins United at a bargain-bin price point due to the financial constraints clubs are facing following COVID-19. Still, van de Beek may well find starting opportunities hard to come by with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba both guaranteed starters. This leaves the ever-improving Fred, Scott McTominay and van de Beek to fight it out for the last midfield position.
You worry for United where the protection from midfield will come from should the Dutchman start alongside Pogba in the deeper-lying midfield positions. Both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof struggled at times last season and almost require a Fabinho or Kante-type player to screen for them. That said, van de Beek is a top-quality player with a wealth of top-level experience under his belt from his time at Ajax. Expect him to go on and become a success at United over the next few seasons.
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