Some of these players could turn out to be value for money in the 2021-22 season.
The summer transfer window of 2021 has undoubtedly seen some of the most exciting transfers in recent times. The two greats of the game of the 21st century, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been subject to transfers in the market this summer. Several other top players like Romelu Lukaku, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho also switched clubs.
With the prominent names in European football making moves, several good players, who transferred to different clubs went unnoticed. There has been a massive influx of talent in the Premier League from all across Europe while many stars also moved to the Serie A and La Liga. They expected to play big roles in their new clubs.
Khel Now takes a look at the top 10 transfers which went under the radar in the summer window of 2021.
10. Mike Maignan (Lille to AC Milan)
One of the earliest transfers in this list, Mike Maignan joined AC Milan from French champions Lille OSC. The Frenchman was a crucial figure in Lille’s Ligue 1 triumph over giants PSG. Maignan kept 21 clean sheets in 38 appearances, five more than Keylor Navas who kept the second-most clean sheets in the league. It was a phenomenal season for the 25-year-old.
His new club AC Milan had a scintillating 2020 – losing just twice in the entire calendar year. Gianluigi Donnarumma was fundamental to the Rossoneri’s solidity at the back. Donnarumma then went onto win the Euro 2021 with Italy and was also named the player of the tournament, before moving to PSG as free agent.
9. Bryan Gil (Sevilla to Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham’s biggest achievement in this transfer window has been keeping talismanic striker Harry Kane at the club. However, they have also made some valuable additions. Alongside the new manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, Tottenham also acquired a new Managing Director of Football, Fabio Paratici.
Paratici has been a fundamental figure in Spurs’ transfer business and smart spending. Unlike previous windows, Spurs have shelled out more money on transfers than expected. However, it is the manner of their spending that was impressive.
Youngster Bryan Gil is one such prodigal talent. The Spaniard already has an assist to his name after featuring in the UEFA Conference League playoffs. Gil is one of the brightest young talents and has impressed for the Spanish Youth National Team as well. His acquisition was a piece of shrewd business from Tottenham – much unlike what we see usually.
8. Boubakary Soumare (Lille to Leicester City)
Leicester have been one of the smartest recruiters in Premier League over the past few years. They have developed stars like N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Harry Maguire and so on. This transfers in the summer window has been no different for the Foxes. They once again went into the market and recruited very smartly. Amongst a host of signings, French midfielder Boubakary Soumare stands out.
Soumare is a potential long-term replacement for defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi. The Nigerian midfielder is linked with several top clubs and Soumare would be an ideal replacement for him in the squad. Their manager Brendan Rodgers has a long history of working with young players with great potential and such a relationship would help to get the best out of the Frenchman.
While Soumare may not play as many games this season, he is certainly one to keep your eyes on.
7. Donyell Malen (PSV to Borussia Dortmund)
One of the brightest prospects from Euro 2020, Donyell Malen’s move to Borussia Dortmund is one of the most underrated transfers of the summer. Bought from PSV Eindhoven, Malen is potentially a replacement for Jadon Sancho.
The 22-year-old is a versatile attacker and can play anywhere in the final third. Under Marco Rose, the Dutchman could become a real menace. BVB have produced some of the best attacking talents in Europe over the last decade and Malen has the potential to deliver big in Germany.
With Erling Haaland’s future also uncertain, a chunk of the responsibility will fall upon Donyell Malen to continue delivering results and win trophies for the outfit.
6. Emerson Royal (FC Barcelona to Tottenham Hotspur)
After securing a move to Barcelona from Real Betis for a reported €9 million, things looked good for the Brazilian. He had already made three appearances under manager Ronald Koeman and his performance was promising.
However, Tottenham swooped in for the 22-year-old’s signature with a €30m offer on deadline day. This deal was another example of Tottenham’s shrewd transfers this window, while it also highlighted Barcelona’s lunacy. To have to sell a player, who has just joined the club, even for a slight profit, is not an ideal situation for the club. Selling Emerson when players like Miralem Pjanic, Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti are still at the club is where the problem lies.
Moreover, Real Betis will receive 20% of the transfer fee paid by Tottenham due to a sell-on clause.
Emerson Royal has a promising future ahead of him. Tottenham have taken Serge Aurier off their books and with Emerson alongside Japhet Tanganga on the right side of their defence, they look sorted for a long time.
5. Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese to Atletico Madrid)
Rodrigo De Paul is one of the most complete midfielders in the world at the moment. His statistics are the highest amongst Europe’s top-five leagues. De Paul has 4.65 Shot Creating Actions (SCAs) per 90 mins, which highlights his involvement while attacking. De Paul also has the ability to progress the ball from deep with his passes or dribbles. He has great ball retention and an eye for a key pass.
Atletico Madrid won the 2021 La Liga after a dramatic final-day finish. This season, Simeone looks determined to repeat his feat with Barcelona looking heavily depleted. Real Madrid, though improving, may also lose out to the Colchoneros ultimately.
For Simeone, adding a player of De Paul’s quality to the squad improves the team tremendously. Alongside Leo Messi, De Paul was Argentina’s brightest as they went on to win the Copa America. Despite that, his move to Spain has been one of the most underrate transfers of this window.
4. Demarai Gray (Bayer Leverkusen to Everton)
Demarai Gray’s return to the Premier League has begun in style. Three matches into the league and Gray seems to be flourishing under Rafa Benitez at Everton. His acquisition was shrewd business from the Merseyside outfit as they signed Gray for a bargain, just €2m from Bayer Leverkusen.
Gray’s return to Premier League has gone under the radar tremendously. However, he could prove to be the bargain buy of the summer. His link-up with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin could result in a lethal partnership for Benitez’s side. Gray showed moments of brilliance for Leicester in his previous stint at the Premier League, which speaks of the potential of the 25-year-old.
3. Joachim Andersen (Fulham to Crystal Palace)
Danish centre-back Andersen played for Fulham last season on loan from Lyon. Despite their relegation, the towering 25-year-old centre-back impressed many. He has shown potential to be one for the future and was linked to clubs like Chelsea as well. The defender ended up joining Crystal Palace for a fee believed to be around €20m.
New manager, Patrick Viera has made several summer transfers at Crystal Palace in an attempt to rebuild their ageing squad. The acquisition of Andersen will prove to be a fantastic coup. His towering presence makes him an aerial threat. He was in the top 10 for percentage of aerial duels won in the league in the previous season.
Andersen was also the captain of Fulham last season. At a young age, he has shown great leadership wherever he plays. He could also help bring the best out of Marc Guehi, who is expected to play alongside him. Andersen is a great signing for Palace and will play a crucial role in helping them avoid relegation in the 2020-21 season.
2. Valentino Livramento (Chelsea to Southampton)
One of the brightest prospects from Chelsea’s talented youth academy, Tino Livramento was the Blues’ Academy Player of the Year last season. Despite being tipped for breaking through Chelsea’s first-team, Livramento was sold to Southampton for a bargain price of €5m. While Chelsea included a buy-back clause in the deal, they may regret losing the right-back this season.
The young English full-back has already impressed for Southampton and secured a starting berth for himself. His best performance came against Manchester United as he helped the Saints earn a 1-1 draw against the Red Devils. He was awarded as the man of the match for that game as well.
Livramento has a promising future ahead of him and is proving to be a tremendous addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton.
1. Denzel Dumfries (PSV to Inter)
Just like his Dutch compatriot Malen, Denzel Dumfries also had a terrific Euro 2020 as a right wing-back for the Oranje. Dumfries was an attacking menace for the Netherlands, scoring two goals and providing an assist in the process.
Dumfries had been linked to several clubs after his performances at the Euros. Everton have been long interested in the Dutchman. However, once Serie A title holders, Inter Milan came calling, it proved to be a no-brainer for Dumfries.
Inter Milan suffered a lot in the window due to poor management from the ownership. Players like Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku left the club for big-money deals. However, summer transfers like Dumfries and Dzeko have proved to be a steal for the Italian champions.
Under new manager Simone Inzaghi, Inter Milan have persisted with a back-three shape. This formation will get the best out of Dumfries who has the potential to be a valuable replacement for Achraf Hakimi. Dumfries made eight goal contributions at the Eredivisie last season, which is an impressive return. At Inter, he could truly be prolific from the right.