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Grading the summer's biggest transfers so far

Grading the summer's biggest transfers so far

The wheeling and dealing is already underway across Europe, financial uncertainty be damned. The coronavirus pandemic should change how clubs think during the transfer market, but it won’t stop teams from making big moves. Here, we’ll grade each of the marquee deals – out of five – made during the summer window, updating the list every time a significant transfer is confirmed.

Achraf Hakimi – Real Madrid ➡️ Inter Milan

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The deal: Permanent transfer (read more)

Fee Age Rating
€40M (plus add-ons) 21 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a deal for Inter. Seemingly out of the blue, the Italian side swooped in to secure Hakimi’s services. He’s quickly developed into one of the best, most explosive full-backs in world football.

Able to play on both the right and left sides, his experience as a wing-back while on loan at Borussia Dortmund over the last two seasons will serve him well under Antonio Conte, who relies heavily on his wing-backs to facilitate play and get involved in the attack.

The 21-year-old Moroccan is an enormous upgrade on Inter’s current crop at the position after delivering 14 Bundesliga assists in his two seasons at Dortmund. It’s a curious move from Real Madrid’s perspective, and a slam dunk for the Nerazzurri.

Arthur – Barcelona ➡️ Juventus

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The deal: Permanent transfer (read more)

Fee Age Rating
€72M (plus add-ons) 23 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Juventus, who’ve acknowledged that creativity in the transfer market is paramount in the current financial climate, took advantage of Barcelona’s mismanagement to upgrade their key weak area.

With the Spanish club in need of a cash injection, Juve pulled off a “swap” deal to land Brazilian midfielder Arthur in exchange for Miralem Pjanic and roughly €12 million up front. The move makes Maurizio Sarri’s squad younger in the immediate future, and it potentially gives the club a focal point to build its midfield around for years to come.

Pjanic never became the tempo-dictating “regista” Sarri envisioned. Arthur, a great possession passer who offers more energy while getting around the pitch, could be that man.

Miralem Pjanic – Juventus ➡️ Barcelona

Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC / Juventus FC / Getty

The deal: Permanent transfer (read more)

Fee Age Rating
€60M (plus bonuses) 30

The reaction from Barcelona fans reveals everything you need to know about this deal from the Catalan club’s perspective.

This isn’t a knock on Pjanic, who may yet be reinvigorated at the Camp Nou after experiencing a slow decline in Turin. Rather, it’s an indictment on Barcelona’s executives, as the club was facing catastrophic financial losses and scrambling for cash. The board of directors would have reportedly been liable for 15% of those losses had it not shipped Arthur out to register his transfer fee this year.

Putting Pjanic’s value as a player aside, this move is symptomatic of the mismanagement crippling Barcelona right now.

Timo Werner – RB Leipzig ➡️ Chelsea

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The deal: Permanent transfer (read more)

Fee Age Rating
€53M 24 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Chelsea aren’t messing around in their bid to return to the Premier League summit. Working with heaps of money helps, of course, but the Blues – unlike in years past, you could argue – are spending it wisely.

In Werner, they get an electrifying, versatile forward who’s still going to improve as his career at Stamford Bridge progresses. At just 24 years old, he’s coming off a Bundesliga campaign in which Werner banged home 28 goals, second only to scoring machine Robert Lewandowski. What’s scarier, though, is that he joins an attack already boasting plenty of young talent.

This is how a club sets itself up for long-term success. The fee, considering Werner’s pedigree, is reasonable, too.

Mauro Icardi – Inter Milan ➡️ Paris Saint-Germain

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The deal: Loan made permanent (read more)

Fee Age Rating
€60M 27 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

With Edinson Cavani on his way out, Paris Saint-Germain needed to replace their all-time leading scorer. Who better than someone already familiar with the inner workings of the club.

Icardi enjoyed a stellar loan campaign in the French capital, scoring 12 league goals in just over 1,200 minutes of action. With more time to adapt to his teammates, those figures should rise next year. The deal, though hefty for someone who won’t hold much resale value once his contract expires, also ensures PSG retain a marquee forward in the event superstar Kylian Mbappe or Neymar – or both – leave the club in the near future.

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