Many top players from these teams moved to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Football is one of the most loved sports in the world and often produces memorable instances to leave us stunned. These moments play a huge role in attracting fans to the sport. And though these fairy-tale moments have made a significant contribution to football’s rising popularity, the businesses that go on behind the scenes are just as important, especially when it involves a player moving from one club to another. With finances taking a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many clubs focused most on outgoing transfers rather than incomings.
Transfer windows generate a huge buzz among fans. The focus of the football community turns to clubs looking to spend huge amounts to make new additions and strengthen their squad. However, the arrival of the new stars often coincides with teams offloading players to stay within the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, which are kept in place by the governing bodies.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 European clubs with the most outgoing transfers in 2021.
10. NK Osijek (Croatia) – 29
Nogometni klub Osijek play in Croatia’s top football division and are one of the biggest clubs in the country. The Bijelo -plavi are among the four clubs who have never been relegated from first division football. NK Osijek saw 29 outgoing transfers in 2021 as several players moved on from the club with many joining teams in Europe’s top-five leagues. One of the biggest departures was full-back Igor Silva, who currently plays for FC Lorient in Ligue 1.
9. Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) – 29
Another Croatian club in the list with the most outgoings transfers in 2021 are record first-division champions Dinamo Zagreb. The Purgeri are the most successful club in Croatian top flight, with 22 league titles, 16 cups and six Super Cups. Despite their history and success, the club saw 29 departures in 2021. Several stars moved on to compete at the highest level of European football.
8. FK Spartaks Jurmala (Latvia) – 29
FK Spartaks Jurmala play in the top division of Latvia and have won the league twice (2016, 2017). The Jurmala-based club saw a total of 29 players depart in 2021. With the club being in one of the lowest-ranked European domestic competitions, several of their players moved on to leagues of similar stature.
7. AS Monaco (France) – 29
French giants and eight-time Ligue 1 champions, AS Monaco also saw 29 players depart from the club in 2021. The Monaco-based club last won the title in the 2016-17 season and in search of that glory, have been one of the country’s highest spenders in the past two years. They have signed high-profile players such as Kevin Volland and Alex Nubel among others. In order to register the new stars, the club parted ways with several players including the likes of Stevan Jovetic and Keita Balde.
6. Wolverhampton Wanderers (England) – 30
The Premier League outfit has been one of the most consistent teams in the competition since being promoted in the 2018-19 season. Wolves have regularly managed to finish inside the top 10 while producing top-quality players, which has seen many of their stars leave the club for better opportunities. The West Midlands team saw 30 players depart in 2021, which included mainstays such as Rui Patricio, Rafa Mir and Patrick Cutrone (on loan).
5. SL Benfica (Portugal) – 32
Record Portuguese champions, SL Benfica, are next on the list as 32 players left the club in 2021. The Primeira Liga outfit have always been a selling club and 2021 was no different. Many of their stars moved on either to a bigger European club or in an attempt to revive their career. Some of the major departures include Nuno Tavares and Pedrinho, who joined Arsenal and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively.
4. RSC Anderlecht (Belgium) – 32
The Belgium giants saw 32 departures in 2021. Anderlecht has been home to some of the best footballers in the world as the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Vincent Kompany have played for the club before securing a move to one of Europe’s top competitions. A similar suit was followed in 2021 as up-and-coming talents such as Jeremy Doku, Alexis Saelemaekers and Albert Lokonga moved on to superior leagues.
3. Celtic FC (Scotland) – 32
The record Scottish champions saw their nine-year supremacy come to an end last season as rivals Rangers won their first championship in over a decade and in a dominant fashion. This saw the club make huge changes in the squad in their bid to regain the league title. A total of 32 players left the club to facilitate the arrival of new stars.
2. Portimonense SC (Portugal) – 34
Portimonense play in the Primeira Liga and saw a total of 34 players leave the club in 2021. Most of the departures in the previous year were either free transfers or a loan deal. However, the club lost one of their stars as Bruno Costa joined league rivals FC Porto at the start of the 2021-22 season.
1. Manchester City (England) – 41
Manchester City have dominated English football in recent years, winning three Premier League titles in the past four years. In order to maintain their supremacy at the top, the Pep Guardiola-led side have made a number of high-profile transfers which has resulted in 41 players moving on in order to get regular game time. Some of the big-name departures include Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, who joined FC Barcelona.