The Premier League is back in full swing, with the transfer window still open for another month. Here are the top 10 clubs so far this summer so far.
The latest confirmed – football transfers is a blog that discusses the transfer windows of the top 10 teams in Europe.
Soccer is never-ending. Now that Euro 2020 and the Copa America have passed, the soccer world has returned to its second-favorite subject outside of the game: transfers.
With major names like Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and Robert Lewandowski, among others, the topic of intense innuendo, the next few weeks will be a blur of speculations and possible transfers. But, as we sort through what is and isn’t true in that respect, it may be helpful to take a step back and consider what has already occurred.
While there are still plenty of transfers to be made, these are the ten European clubs who have had the greatest offseasons so far. As the transfer window progresses, we’ll be updating this page.
(Transfermarkt is where the transfer fees are published.)
Key signings include Internazionale’s 22-year-old right-back Achraf Hakimi for $66 million, FC Porto’s 29-year-old defensive midfielder Danilo Pereira for $17.6 million, AC Milan’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Liverpool’s 30-year-old midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, and Real Madrid’s 35-year-old centre-back Sergi
There have been no significant losses.
This transfer window was critical for PSG. As odd as it may sound, France’s wealthiest club does not seem to have as much outstanding talent as it presumably should have in 2020-21. Yes, Mbappe and Neymar had matchup advantages, but against the greatest opponents on the calendar (especially Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals), those were about the only advantages they had. While their Ligue 1 second-place result was a statistical anomaly — their xG differential was much greater than winners Lille’s, and they were unsustainable in zero- and one-score games — poor execution also played a part.
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PSG has landed on their feet so far. Mbappe’s contract situation will continue to dominate the overall storyline — it ends in 2022, and the club must decide whether to retain him for 2021-22 or sell him if it becomes apparent he will not re-sign — but they have made significant team improvements. Wijnaldum and Ramos both won the Champions League last season and produced some of their greatest football in 2019-20 until injuries and the oddities of the season pulled them down. Meanwhile, despite the fact that they didn’t need a new goalkeeper, they saw a chance to bring in the tall and energetic Donnarumma from Milan.
Hakimi may not be the most well-known player, but he is the most significant acquisition. It’s no coincidence that when he moved from Borussia Dortmund to Inter Milan last season, the former went worse and the latter became better. This age is moving more and more toward dynamic wing play, which may reintroduce wing-backs into fashion, and Hakimi is one of the greatest in the world at the position. In the last two seasons, he has 12 goals and 18 assists in league play, as well as Champions League experience. He’s roughly a third of the way to a matchup advantage… at least as long as Mbappe is in the lineup.
Jadon Sancho, a 21-year-old winger from Borussia Dortmund, was brought in for $101 million.
There have been no significant losses.
United are almost likely not through making deals — Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, for example, may come shortly — but the one big transaction they’ve completed so far has been magnificent. Sancho failed to make it off Gareth Southgate’s bench at the Euros, but United’s years-long pursuit of him is evidence that he is on his way to a club that values his contributions. And what kind of production is it?
Sancho averaged 12.3 goals and 13.7 assists in three Bundesliga seasons (he also has five and six goals and assists in 21 career Champions League appearances), and despite a poor start in 2020-21, he was a key factor in BVB’s late-season push back to third place in the Bundesliga. He’s an above-average finisher and one of Europe’s most inventive attackers, and his flexibility (he can play on the right or left wings) will be crucial in a squad that’s currently mired in a logjam up front. How effectively Ole Gunnar Solskjaer distributes minutes among Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, Daniel James, and Anthony Martial (assuming he isn’t traded) will determine how well United compete for the Premier League title with Manchester City and Chelsea.
Patson Daka, a 22-year-old striker from FC Salzburg, was signed for $33 million, and Boubakary Soumare, a 22-year-old defensive midfielder from Lille, was signed for $22 million.
There have been no significant losses.
Leicester City plays the transfer game like a real-life version of Football Manager, letting go of roughly one star each year and investing the money into bringing in new future stars. Despite the financial difficulties of playing in the Premier League when you aren’t one of the country’s six wealthiest teams, the Foxes have came within an eyelash of qualifying for the Champions League for two consecutive seasons.
We don’t know whether they’ll move anybody out this summer, but it hasn’t prevented them from making further improvements. For France’s surprise league winners last season, Soumare generated 13 opportunities, averaged almost seven ball recoveries per 90 minutes, and won 59 percent of his duels and 61 percent of his aerials. In what was already one of the league’s best midfields, he joins Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi.
Meanwhile, in their effort to ultimately replace the 34-year-old Jamie Vardy up front, they signed one of Europe’s most enticing scorers. Daka has 61 goals in all competitions in the last two seasons with Salzburg, despite the fact that he is still in his peak. These are precisely the kinds of movements Leicester has made in the past.
Key signings include Andre Silva, a 25-year-old striker from Eintracht Frankfurt, Josko Gvardiol, a 19-year-old centre-back from Dinamo Zagreb, Mohamed Simakan, a 21-year-old centre-back from Strasbourg, and Benjamin Henrichs, a 24-year-old right-back from AS Monaco.
* Although the Gvardiol trade was completed in the autumn of 2018, he was loaned back to Dinamo for the 2020-21 season.
Dayot Upamecano, a 22-year-old centre-back from Bayern Munich, was sold for $46.8 million, while Ibrahima Konate, a 22-year-old centre-back from Liverpool, was sold for $44 million.
We’ve become used to watching stars leave Red Bull Arena, only to be replaced with surefire future stars, as we have with Leicester. RB Leipzig adheres to their strategy so meticulously and effectively that the club can lose two top defenders while still having a profitable summer.
One of the summer’s biggest acquisitions may be Achraf Hakimi, who will join Paris Saint-Germain. PSG/PSG via Getty Images Aurelien Meunier
Both Bayern Munich and Liverpool turned to Leipzig to improve their respective defenses, and although Upamecano is a star, Konate may become one if he stays injury-free for a long time. But RBL moved swiftly to replace them, bringing in Simakan from France and formally signing Gvardiol, one of Dinamo Zagreb’s key players during their run to the Europa League quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, adding Silva for that price might be the offseason’s biggest coup. Silva scored 40 goals in 57 league games for Eintracht Frankfurt, and he provides the pure scoring potential that RBL needed at times last season due to Timo Werner’s absence. The fact that they also signed Ajax youngster Brian Brobbey (six goals in 332 minutes in Eredivisie and Europa League play last season) on a free transfer and exciting 18-year-old American Caden Clark for just $2 million (before loaning him back to the New York Red Bulls for the rest of the MLS season) clinched the fact that no one improved their overall attacking potential for a lower price than Rijkaard.
Emerson Royal, a 22-year-old right-back from Real Betis, was signed for $9.9 million; Sergio Aguero, a 33-year-old forward from Manchester City, Memphis Depay, a 27-year-old forward from Lyon, and 20-year-old centre-back Eric Garcia, a 20-year-old centre-back from Manchester City, were all signed on free transfers; and 18-year-old attacking midfielder Yusuf Demir, a loan
Junior Firpo, a 24-year-old left-back from Leeds United, was sold for $16.5 million, while Francisco Trincao, a 21-year-old winger from Wolverhampton Wanderers, was loaned out.
Actually, there’s one more important acquisition that Barcelona is making: Lionel Messi. After his Barca contract ended this summer, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was theoretically a free agent, but it seems he has re-signed at a substantial discount.
The reduction was crucial since Barcelona is still in financial trouble, and bringing Messi back into the fold would not help. In the next weeks, the Blaugrana will continue to seek to offload some high-priced players. Nonetheless, with virtually little transfer money, they have done as well as could be expected in terms of acquiring raw talent. With a plethora of skill on the flanks, Aguero and Depay provide a lot of center scoring, while Royal is a muscular full-back with a lot of tactical fouling ability. Garcia may be an improvement in the backfield, while Demir is arguably Austria’s finest under-19 player.
Leeds United is ranked sixth in the Championship.
Junior Firpo, a 24-year-old left-back from Barcelona, was signed for $16.5 million, while winger Jack Harrison, a 24-year-old from Manchester City, was signed for $14.1 million.
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There have been no significant losses.
Leeds have had great success under manager Marcelo Bielsa and director of football Victor Orta in the last three seasons. Bielsa makes them fit and installs the Bielsa Football Encyclopedia into their individual brains after Orta discovers interesting and (mainly) youthful components. Leeds United have risen from 13th in the English Championship to third, then first, then ninth in the Premier League after promotion. This offseason, they haven’t lost any important players and have made two crucial acquisitions.
First, they signed Harrison permanently following three seasons on loan from City; after scoring six goals and assisting eight in Leeds’ last season in the Championship, he improved those figures to eight and eight in his Premier League debut, although playing 1,000 less minutes.
The second significant step met a requirement. Firpo comes to replace the out-of-contract Ezgjan Alioski at left-back, after getting lost in the bustle at Barcelona. He’s a capable passer and defender, and a few years at the Bielsa Football Academy may help him reach his full potential.
Rodrigo De Paul, a 27-year-old midfielder from Udinese, was signed for $38.5 million, while Marcos Paulo, a 20-year-old winger from Fluminense, was signed on a free transfer.
There have been no significant losses.
So far, Atletico’s ongoing modernization efforts have yielded a veteran and a tantalizing project. First, the latter: Paulo combined seven goals with 50 opportunities created from the left flank in 2,605 minutes in two seasons in Brazil’s Serie A. He’s only a few months away from turning 21, and if manager Diego Simeone can help him realize his immediate potential, he might be a bargain.
Gab Marcotti responds to Atletico Madrid’s bid for Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul, a Copa America champion.
However, De Paul is the biggest offseason prize for the reigning La Liga champions. In recent seasons, he’s done nearly everything for a poor Udinese, averaging 8.3 goals, 7.7 assists, and 85.3 total chances created each season, with 200-plus ball recoveries per season and a dual success rate of 60% in 2020-21. In the Copa America, he also scored a goal and provided the tournament-winning assist (to Angel Di Maria in the final versus Brazil). He’s towards the end of his prime, and investing almost $40 million for a guy like him is a bit of a gamble, but he’s a great midfield facilitator who attracts a lot of attention.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are ranked number eight in the Premier League.
Rayan Ait Nouri, a 20-year-old left-back from Angers, was signed for $12.2 million, Yerson Mosquera, a 20-year-old centre-back from Atletico Nacional, was signed for $5.7 million, and 21-year-old winger Francisco Trincao (Barcelona) was signed on a loan-to-buy agreement.
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio (AS Roma) was sold for $12.7 million.
Wolves were in desperate need of a makeover after finishing 13th in the Premier League previous season. They fired manager Nuno Espirito Santo (who went to Tottenham Hotspur), replacing him with former Benfica boss Bruno Lage, and have since added a couple of fun, new pieces while keeping most of their core roster: wingers Adama Traore and Pedro Neto, midfielders Ruben Neves (for now) and Leander Dendoncker, and so on.
Neto is expected to return to play in October after suffering a kneecap injury in April, while striker Raul Jimenez is close to returning after suffering a frightening broken skull in November. That alone could help Wolves this season, but they’ve bolstered their depth with the permanent signing of Ait Nouri (who played 1,400 league minutes on loan for Wolves last season) and the additions of both the 6-foot-2 Mosquera and the intriguing Trincao, who scored eight goals and added six assists for Braga in 2019-20 but saw his minutes limited at Barca last season. In Neto’s absence, he will be expected to deliver.
In transfer speculations, Neves has been connected with Arsenal, and if he leaves, Wolves may struggle to maintain their position on this list. (In reality, Arsenal may dethrone them.) But, for the time being, the window has been kind to them.
Key signings include 24-year-old midfielder Gerson (Flamengo) for $27.5 million, 22-year-old centre-back Leonardo Balerdi (Borussia Dortmund) for $12.1 million, 19-year-old winger Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona) for $3.3 million, 22-year-old midfielder Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal), 20-year-old centre-back William Saliba (Arsen
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Hiroki Sakai, a 31-year-old right-back from Urawa Red Diamonds, was sold for $1.7 million, while Florian Thauvin, a 28-year-old winger from Tigres, and 31-year-old midfielder Kevin Strootman, a 31-year-old midfielder from Cagliari, were released on free transfers.
The Stade Velodrome’s 2020-21 season was very unpredictable. In their first Champions League appearance since 2013-14, OM finished last in their group, fifth in Ligue 1 — 18 points out of Champions League qualification — and the month of February saw the resignation of popular manager Andre Villas-Boas, a fan-led storming of team facilities, and, eventually, the resignation of club president Jacque-Henri Eyraud.
The club, on the other hand, has reacted well to Jorge Sampaoli’s hiring as manager in the spring, and the roster has received a much-needed renewal during this transfer window. Since Dimitri Payet, Gerson has been their most talked-about acquisition, while Balerdi and de la Fuente are low-risk, high-reward signings who got lost in the mix at larger clubs, and OM is bringing in a slew of loanees from Arsenal and Roma. This is a significant amount of change for a club in dire need of it.
Hamed Junior Traore, a 21-year-old offensive midfielder from Empoli, was signed for $17.6 million, Jeremy Toljan, a 26-year-old right-back from Borussia Dortmund, was signed for $3.9 million, and Maxime Lopez, a 23-year-old midfielder from Marseille, was signed for $2.2 million.
Marlon (Shakhtar Donetsk), a 26-year-old centre-back, was sold for $13.2 million.
Even before signings, the immensely entertaining Sassuolo had a successful summer, as midfielder Manuel Locatelli and winger Domenico Berardi both played important roles in Italy’s title effort at the Euros. We’ll see if the club can keep either or both players, but even if they don’t, their transfer fees are likely to have increased significantly after their performances this summer.
Sassuolo’s greatest accomplishment this summer, apart from raising its reputation, has been converting successful tryouts into permanent transfers. During two-year loans, Traore and Toljan both fit in well, while Lopez showed enough promise in a one-year loan that the club decided to make his transfer permanent as well. Following back-to-back eighth-place finishes in Serie A, Sassuolo are clearly looking for more consistency.
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