It has been the craziest summer transfer window ever and we will probably still be talking about it years from now.
Here’s our ranking of the best signings of summer 2021.
10. Eduardo Camavinga – Rennes to Real Madrid, €31m
Real Madrid were forced to admit defeat in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappé in the hours of the window. Never mind, there’s always summer.
But their disappointment was pretty short-lived when they swooped for Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga on deadline day.
The 18-year-old midfielder still has some developing to do but he has all the raw materials to be a superstar, and Madrid’s capture of his signature could look like a steal in the not-too-distant future.
9. Jack Grealish – Aston Villa to Manchester City, €117.5m
Manchester City went out to buy a new Ferrari this summer but on the way, they got distracted by a shiny Rolex watch in a shop window and by the time they got to the car showroom, it had closed and they had to walk home in the rain.
The Ferrari in this analogy is Harry Kane and the Rolex is Jack Grealish, who ended up being City’s only signing this summer and one they probably didn’t need as much as Kane, if the truth be told.
But Grealish is still an exceptional player who will make Pep Guardiola’s side even more fun to watch this season. If you can afford a Rolex, why not buy one?
8. David Alaba – Bayern Munich to Real Madrid, free
It’s been such an insane transfer window that it’s almost hard to believe this deal actually went through this summer.
Many clubs will have been keen on landing Alaba on a free transfer when his Bayern Munich contract expired at the end of last season, but it was Real Madrid who ultimately won the race.
And now they’ve got an experienced and versatile defender who will play a vital role in their quest to regain the LaLiga title and challenge for the Champions League this season.
7. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid to PSG, free
Alaba will have huge shoes to fill at the Santiago Bernabéu because this was also the summer, Los Blancos had to say an emotional farewell to their inspirational captain Sergio Ramos.
The 35-year-old’s contract expired at the end of last season and after he was unable to agree on a new deal with the club, he ended up swapping for Madrid for the Paris Globetrotters.
Ramos is past his peak but he still has plenty to offer both as a player as well as a leader, and he’ll be hoping to lift the fifth Champions League of his career come, the end of the season.
6. Memphis Depay – Lyon to Barcelona, free
Memphis isn’t the only player who joined Barça this summer with the expectation he would be playing alongside Lionel Messi, only for circumstances to change quite dramatically.
And now, with Messi out of the picture, the Dutchman has been given the unenviable task of leading the Blaugrana through a tumultuous time in the club’s history.
So far he looks like he has what it takes to do exactly that, with two goals in his first three LaLiga games for the club and some dazzling performances. If there’s one thing he’s not short of, it’s confidence.
5. Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, €85m
It took a year longer than planned but Sancho finally completed his long-awaited move to United this summer, and it’s been a very exciting transfer window for the Old Trafford faithful.
The 21-year-old winger lit up the Bundesliga during his time at Dortmund and though he’s made a slow start to life at United, it’s surely only a matter of time before he finds his feet in the Premier League and starts terrorising opposing defenders.
4. Raphaël Varane – Real Madrid to Manchester United, €40m
Manchester United needed two things this summer: Sancho and a reliable centre-back partner for Harry Maguire.
They got both (and then some) and the signing of Varane from Real Madrid could prove to be the best bit of business they’ve done in years.
The French international defender oozes class, has bags of experience and having won the World Cup and four Champions Leagues, he should help take Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to another level.
For a 28-year-old with his CV, €40m is a bargain.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus to Manchester United, €15m
A bit like Manchester City with their Rolex watch, United didn’t necessarily need Ronaldo this summer but when he became available for a nominal fee late in the window, they essentially had no choice but to do a deal.
Ronaldo – who won three league titles, the Champions League, and a wealth of individual awards during his first spell in the Premier League – has described his return as a ‘dream come true’ after expressing his ‘never ending love’ for the club in a social media post.
At 36, he is nearing the end of his career, but he will undoubtedly score goals, the younger players will learn a lot from him and his return brings a massive feel-good factor back to Old Trafford. It was a no brainer.
2. Romelu Lukaku – Inter to Chelsea, €115m
Chelsea won the Champions League last season thanks to Thomas Tuchel quickly instilling well-drilled defensive organisation at Stamford Bridge.
But in terms of their chances of winning more trophies this season, it felt like the jigsaw was missing a piece.
Enter Romelu Lukaku, who returned to the club he first joined as a teenager with a sense of unfinished business and has already hit the ground running back in the Premier League.
1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona to PSG, free
Who could have predicted at the start of the summer that by the end of the transfer window, Messi and Ronaldo would both have moved clubs.
Yet here we are and while we aren’t saying Messi is a better player than Ronaldo (so don’t write in), we do think the Argentine’s transfer will prove to be the more impactful of the two.
The Ligue 1 title race should probably be considered a foregone conclusion already but it’s in the Champions League where PSG will be judged this season, and Messi could well be the man to finally deliver that elusive trophy to the French capital.
The 34-year-old still has plenty left in the tank, He has sold millions of shirts already and the prospect of him playing alongside Neymar and Mbappé is the stuff football dreams are made of.
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