The Winners and Losers of an Absurd 2021 Summer Transfer Window
To say that this transfer window left me in awe is an understatement. The number of moves, the various stars in new places and the amount of Fabrizio Romano tweets was second to none. With the dust settled, here are the winners and losers of the 2021 summer transfer window.
Winner: Paris Saint-Germain
If this Paris Saint-Germain team does not win the Champions League this year, the season was a failure. This starting XI is the best in Europe. The club, for better or worse, kept Kylian Mbappé in Paris this season. In the transfer window they secured the talents of Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Nuno Mendes, and of course, Lionel Messi. What a summer!
Loser: Harry Kane
The best of the worst in the winners and losers of this 2021 summer transfer window. Kane said he wanted out, Daniel Levy rejected all offers. The 28-year-old will play this season with Tottenham Hotspur, but will it be his last? Nobody knows for certain. In an interview on Tuesday, Kane said that his “conscious is clear.” While it is wonderful that he has moved past the move and is focused on another season for the North London club, the Englishman wanted out and is one of several losers this offseason.
Chelsea had a fairly cheap window – in relative terms of course. Still, it was a very successful summer for the Blues. The signing of Romelu Lukaku was the most important move for the club this window. The team needed a striker and got one of the most prolific goal scorers in Europe. Then, with the clock nearing midnight on deadline day, club director Marina Granovskaia answered the questions surrounding midfield depth by signing Atletico Madrid swiss army knife Saúl Ñíguez. And to top it all off, the club had a net spend of a mere £3.1 million. The summer sales of Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma helped balance the finances, while also giving them fresh opportunities to succeed. Will Chelsea buy them back in a few years for more than they sold them for? Probably. Regardless, it was a solid summer window.
Loser: Manchester City
You could have had Lionel Messi. You could have had Harry Kane. You could have had Cristiano Ronaldo. And the answer to your striker problems is an English winger? Okay, Man City, you lost this window. In no way am I discrediting the significance and talent of Jack Grealish, either. He will ball out for them on that left wing, but was he an apparent need, especially at the £100 million price tag? They have loads of attacking talent, including Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Ferran Torres and more. Manchester City lost Sergio Aguero to Barcelona and Pep Guardiola clearly doesn’t rate Gabriel Jesus, so the need for a clinical No. 9 was apparent. Yet you walked away with nothing in that regard.
Loser: Jose Bartomeu
This man is responsible for so many of Barcelona’s failures this summer. He is public enemy No. 1 upon news that the club’s greatest player had to leave the club. The Spanish giants were handicapped by the former president’s mismanagement of finances, highlighted by his tremendous spending of more than €1 billion in just six years. The club’s three most expensive transfers have not had the impact expected of them, with Antoine Griezmann headed back to Atletico Madrid, Ousmane Dembélé struggling with injuries, and Philippe Coutinho also hampered with injuries and a dip in form on-the-field. Bartomeu may be the biggest loser of this transfer window.
Winner: Free Transfers
What a time to be alive if you are a club president or owner and secured multiple free transfers. Here are several notable free transfers this summer: Messi, Donnarumma, Ramos, Memphis Depay and David Alaba. Paris Saint-Germain were exceptional in this regard. Adding the likes of, potentially, the greatest player of all time, the greatest center-back of this generation, along with Italy’s No. 1 for a total transfer fee of €0 is amazing. After Bartomeu’s failures, his successor Joan Laporta wrote some of those wrongs with free transfers including Aguero, Depay and Eric Garcia.
Don’t get me wrong, Ibrahima Konate is a fabulous pick-up for Liverpool. He is 21-years-old and provides depth to a backline that was exposed when hampered with injuries last season. He is one of the more promising center-backs in Europe and starred for RB Leipzig. Still, the club did not do enough this window in comparison to their “Big Six” rivals. Chelsea and Manchester United filled holes in their squads and even Arsenal spent big this summer, so why didn’t Liverpool? Maybe it was because the Lakers and LeBron James were making moves this offseason. Nevertheless, their squad is aging and as their title window closes, they need to be doing more every transfer window.
Winner: Manchester United
On paper, the Red Devils hit it out of the park. The club finally completed the transfer of Jadon Sancho. It felt inevitable that he would end up in red, but it’s certainly a relief for United fans to finally see him on the pitch. The club also snagged Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, in turn giving Harry Maguire a quality center-back partner. And in the waning hours of the transfer window the club brought back legend Cristiano Ronaldo. The Glazers and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer may have survived another season, but now it’s time to deliver some hardware.
Loser: The Kylian Mbappé-PSG-Real Madrid Saga
What was this? The Kylian Mbappé-Real Madrid saga may be the only area PSG failed in this window. I understand that Mbappé is the next generation’s star and he has been crucial for your club’s success over the past four years, but he wants out of Paris and craves a new opportunity in Madrid. At some point I feel like you have to accept that. Real Madrid threw €180 million at you for a player that they can get for free next summer and you refused. I understand that sporting director, Leonardo, believes Mbappé won’t walk away for free, but he’s out the door regardless and you should have cashed in while you had the chance. Oh well, now you have to win the Champions League.
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