The transfer window is always exciting as movements from one club to the other are most times witnessed on the path of the players and some clubs. And as expected, the 2020/2021 summer transfer has come and gone with a whole lot of surprising moves.
As it was in the past, after every transfer windows, some clubs would look back and see how they’ve faired in the market and be proud of the fantastic approach given to it; while some other clubs could look and still be trying to make up for the uninteresting and a frustrating transfer business they’ve done.
Despite the impact of Covid-19, questions are being asked if truly, the contagion had an effect on the financial stability of football clubs across Europe – did it?
But it’s certain that the frenzy, apprehensiveness, and nervosity that comes with every transfer window is at least put on hold till next year.
That said, it’s about time to reflect on the down and sorted transfer window we just had.
Cheapgoals brings to you the winners and losers of the 2020/2021 summer transfer window.
- The Biggest Winners
It must be stated that when clubs splash a huge amount on a particular player doesn’t automatically make the club a major winner in the transfer market.
It’s mostly not about how much the clubs spend, but the quality of players they’ve brought on board, and the manner with which negotiations were made for players sold is what really matters.
Chelsea’s Push For The Title Is As A Result Of Winning The Transfer Market
Chelsea somehow emerges as this summer’s biggest winner having spent a total of £222m on signings made, and also recovered an amount of £66.2m on players they let go.
This was a club that was clamped with a transfer ban last season but they’ve somehow come back in style this window having overhauled Frank Lampard’s tutored side with exciting signings.
In a coronavirus ravaged football year, signing players is expected to be extremely difficult for clubs but Chelsea has had an easy campaign in the transfer market.
In a rapid and not much of media attention manner, the West London club added Kai Havertz (£71m), Ben Chilwell (£45m), and Edouard Mendy (£22m) to the likes of Timo Werner (£48m), and Hakim Ziyech (£36m) that had been around before the end of last season.
Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr also joined on free transfers while the biggest fee received were the £50m from Atletico Madrid for Alvaro Morata. If there’s one thing Chelsea football club enjoys the most, it has to be how they go about their transfers at every transfer window.
- Real Madrid Bidding Goodbyes To Their Outcasts
The Los Blancos has been the quietest side of all the European top clubs as far as the signing of players is concerned but the fact that they’ve been able to part ways with some players that apparently are unwanted by Zinedine Zidane makes their transfer dealings a commendable one.
The LaLiga champions have raked in over £73m through the sales of academy graduates Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Reguilon, and Oscar Rodriguez.
But the dealings that confirmed Real Madrid as one of the winners is the departure of their two previous big-money signings – Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.
Both Rodriguez and Bale haven’t been fancied by Zidane long enough and as such, became free to find new clubs as Madrid also looked to let themselves off the hook of the pair’s massive wages.
Gareth Bale completed a loan back to Tottenham Hotspur while Rodriguez once again reunited with his long-term admiring manager at Everton, Carlo Ancelotti.
With just four games into the Premier League season, James Rodriguez is already flourishing for the unbeaten Toffees while Bale is yet to taste action after his return to the New White Hart Lane stadium.
- Aston Villa’s Transformation
Aston Villa sealed their stay in the Premier League this season with a draw against Westham at the London Stadium on the final day of last season. Seeing how the club toiled after securing promotion to the Premier League last season, the club owner has now backed Dean Smith in an ambitious fashion and it looks as it’s paying off already.
Their success in the transfer window began when the Club Captain, Jack Grealish who was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford signed a five-year contract – this implies that it’s not only the intakes that made the Villains one of the biggest winners in the market but how they retained their most important player in Grealish too.
Their biggest signing (Ollie Watkins) was secured from Brentford for a record fee of £28m. Watkins who has been long admired by Smith since his days as Brentford manager notched 25 goals for the Griffin Park last season and has already made his mark with a brilliant hat-trick in Sunday’s unbelievable 7-2 win over Liverpool that continued Villa’s perfect start to the season.
Another set of players that have contributed immensely to the Aston Villa’s early scintillating performance are former Arsenal goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, and Ross Barkley. The Argentine goaltender has undoubtedly injected stability and confidence into Aston Villa’s goalpost following his arrival from the Emirates.
Not to forget the surprise loan deal for Chelsea’s Ross Barkley, who offers real threat and chances creation in midfield alongside Grealish. He’s also made a mark in the annihilation of Liverpool last Sunday.
With just three games off the season, Aston Villa are unbeaten and have conceded the lowest number of goals (2) which came in the match against Liverpool – Interesting times for the Aston Villa family.
- Tottenham Strengthens
Gareth Bale seems to be the highlight of Spurs’ dealings in the market but a holistic look at the club’s summer signings would bring to light other juicy and sensational signings of Jose Mourinho.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg joining from Southampton is a perfect fit. In him, Jose has got the player that would bring out the leadership quality and doggedness to Tottenham’s midfield.
Also, the signings of Matt Doherty from Wolves and Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid would make switching between a back four and a back three an easy decision for Jose because the pair are fantastic attacking wing-backs.
Finally, with the arrival of Carlos Vinicius from Benfica, Mourinho’s reliance on Kane would be eased in the central striking position. The Brazilian joined Spurs on loan with a £36m option to buy having averaged a goal every 101 minutes for Benfica last season.
By and large, Jose and Spurs can see the window as a brilliant one.
- Ancelotti’s Presence Has Brought About Everton’s Remarkable Turnaround
The Toffees have gotten four wins in their opening four matches this season. All thanks to Ancelotti’s transfer ingenuity and his tactical proficiency. Indeed, their summer signings have played a vital role in their bright start to the season.
But the truth is Everton’s transfer policy since Farhad Moshiri started bankrolling the club in 2016 has been an enviable one for every manager that has handled the affairs of the Merseyside outfit.
Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, and Marco Silva along with directors of football Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands all did a commendable job as far as Everton’s transfer is concerned.
But with Ancelotti in charge now, Everton now attracts players that naturally under normal circumstances, would not even consider joining the club – talk of Ancelotti’s presence.
The arrival of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid as well as the outstanding Brazil midfield man Allan from Ancelotti’s former club (Napoli) and Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure at Goodison Park has shown the pulling power of Carlo Ancelotti – The Midfield.
Ancelotti has also brought in two highly promising young talents in left-back Niels Nkounkou from Marseille and Norwich City’s England under-21 central defender Ben Godfrey in a £25m deal.
There is even reason for optimism at the back as he has also added Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen from Roma on loan to put pressure on error-prone England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The beauty of it all is that Everton was able to offload high earner Theo Walcott to Southampton and Moise Kean‘s unproductive spell has ended with a loan move to Paris St-Germain.
- Antonio Conte And Inter Milan
Antonio Conte has once again shown that he’s more than ready to put a halt to Juventus’ hegemony in the Italian Serie A with the signings he’s made this summer.
Their decision not to let go of their prolific goalscorer (Lautaro Martinez) has made Conte’s side looked balanced and ready for competition.
Following the arrival of Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid, the Nerazurri added some set of decent footballers to the squad. Nicola Barella from Cagliari, Arturo Vidal, Matteo Darmian, Stefano Sensi from Sassuolo, Darian Males and Aleksandar Kolarov.
The squad is now far more in Conte’s image, and it has been further boosted after Barcelona failed to raise the cash required to activate Lautaro Martinez’s release clause.
Inter have also brought in Alexis Sanchez on a permanent deal so it’s fair to say that Inter is backing Antonio Conte after dodging a parting of ways in the summer.
The Biggest Losers
- Lionel Messi
It’s crystal clear that Messi’s failure to leave Camp Nou this summer has made him the biggest loser in this summer’s window. Truly, he wanted to leave Barca this summer but some rules ensured that his exit was delayed till 2021.
The Argentine legend remains in Barcelona simply because he avoided a legal battle with the club with which he’s won almost everything in football. As if being unable to leave was not enough, Messi has been frustrated the more as Barca have made moves in the transfer market that almost seem planned to upset the six-time Ballon d’Or winner even further.
Seeing his close friend in Luis Suarez sold to Atletico Madrid would’ve saddened the Argentine playmaker more; according to him, Luis Suarez was “thrown out” at Barca.
While Arthur Melo being traded for Miralem Pjanic is a deal that, on paper at least, seems to favor Juventus.
Following the exit of Portuguese right-back, Nelson Semedo, the club has added talented U.S. national team full-back Sergio Dest to the team but can he be described as a major catalyst for positivity for Ronald Koeman’s side? This will be known in the fullness of time.
As things stand, the summer of 2020 might be Messi’s last as a Barcelona player. It could not have gone much worse.
- Manchester United’s Vanity Purchase
While other top six clubs were busy strengthening their squads, Manchester United was once again in shambles and a dip look at the current squad would only amount to nothing but blindness to the eyes looking.
Considering the endless clamor by United fans all through last season on the United hierarchy to acquire new signings in the defense and attack, one would think some significant signings would be made but unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Same old story, Panic buy here and there and the seemingly endless pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho has made United end up with a business activity that does not make them look any closer to a title challenge than they were last season.
Neither Ole Gunnar Solskjaer nor the club Vice-Chairman, Ed Woodward has given an articulate explanation as to the rationale behind the addition of former Ajax midfielder, Donny Van De Beek for £35m to the midfield that’s already filled with quality.
United ostensibly needed an upgrade in the heart of the defense, none was gotten.
However, the fans can derive solace from the signing of Alex Telles from Porto and the homing in on Veteran Uruguayan striker, Edinson Cavani along with teenager Facundo Pellistri from Uruguayan side Penarol, while Amad Diallo from Atalanta, will join in the future.
Manchester United’s transfer engagements reek of an agonizing 2020/2021 season for the fans. The 6 – 1 mauling from Tottenham at Old Trafford last Sunday is already a testament to the fact that pain is looming for the United fanbase this season.
Valencia has been financially crippled by the effect of Covid-19 and this has made it pretty difficult for the manager (Javi Garcia) to spend in the window and also had to let go of some of their prized assets in order to avoid economic meltdown.
News has been flying around that the former Watford manager may exit Los Che in a couple of days. The reason is not farfetched, their inability to make some key signings, and having to rely on young players from the club’s academy to plug gaps in his squad.
Out the door went attacking talisman Rodrigo Moreno to Leeds United, star academy graduate Ferran Torres to Manchester City, and key midfield duo Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin to Villarreal.
In a normal market, Valencia should be making an amount around £100m on the four players that exited the club but in reality, Valencia’s situation meant that the club banked barely half that.
A miserable summer window it has been for the Mestalla outfit.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.