Another transfer deadline day is in the books. Below, we provide quick-hit analysis of the biggest deals – and rumors – from a hectic final day of the summer window.
DONE DEALS: United hire Cavani, Telles, 2 fledglings ✅
- Details: Cavani arrives on free transfer (Read more)
- Details: Telles joins for reported €15-million fee (Read more)
- Details: Traore could reportedly cost up to €41 million (Read more)
- Details: Uruguayan prospect Pellistri signs from Penarol
Many Manchester United supporters are perplexed by the club’s deadline-day business, with some justification.
Edinson Cavani is undoubtedly an asset. The 33-year-old’s clinical work in front of goal should provide short-term gains on the pitch, and his experience could be instrumental for the careers of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, and other young attackers at the club. But he’s not strictly what the team needs.
If it wasn’t obvious already, Sunday’s humiliating 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur threw a spotlight on the defensive flaws in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad. But the United hierarchy has done nothing to address this. Instead, Cavani is joining fellow 11th-hour signings Alex Telles – a left-back known for his attacking prowess – and teenage wingers Amad Diallo Traore and Facundo Pellistri at Old Trafford.
The club also allowed Chris Smalling to join Roma on a permanent basis, leaving captain Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, and Phil Jones as Solskjaer’s primary options in central defense until the January window. Incredibly, forgotten man Marcos Rojo is still on United’s books after his loan at Estudiantes expired at the end of June.
The summer transactions offer one guarantee: With minimal defensive tweaks and more attack-minded players aboard, United will be great viewing for neutrals but an excruciating watch for their fans.
DONE DEAL: Partey time for Arsenal ✅
- Details: Gunners met reported €50-million release clause (Read more)
Having missed out on Lyon star Houssem Aouar, Arsenal turned their attention back to Thomas Partey. The midfielder was long viewed as the alternative to the young Frenchman despite the fact they’re completely different players. Atletico Madrid maintained all summer that the Ghanaian wouldn’t leave unless his €50-million release clause was satisfied; the Gunners triggered it on the final day.
Arsenal certainly need help in the center of the pitch to properly execute Mikel Arteta’s game plan, and Partey has plenty of tactical intelligence. Their measly six shots during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United exposed the lack of creativity in Arteta’s ranks, however, and the 27-year-old defensive midfielder isn’t exactly known for his passing range or inventiveness.
For that reason, it seems like an odd bit of business.
It was a day of wholesale changes for Arsenal’s midfield. Lucas Torreira moved to Atleti for a loan stay until the end of the 2020-21 season, and Matteo Guendouzi completed a season-long loan to Hertha Berlin following some disciplinary issues under Arteta.
Barcelona can’t get anything done
Barcelona’s issues spilled into deadline day as they struggled to raise the funds to bring in Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia.
Lyon’s asking price for Depay was reportedly below £20 million – an affordable rate made possible by the current financial crisis – but Barca were unable to meet that valuation. Manchester City, meanwhile, wanted a reasonable improvement on Barcelona’s £15-million offer for Garcia, but the Spanish club didn’t produce the goods.
The Catalonians’ negotiations would’ve been easier had Manchester United agreed to take Ousmane Dembele on a full-time basis. United viewed the oft-injured and out-of-favor attacker as an alternative to Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho after that transfer chase collapsed, but The Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano noted they only wanted Dembele on a loan deal.
At least Barcelona off-loaded one player: Rafinha moved to Paris Saint-Germain on a three-year contract.
DONE DEAL: Juventus complete Chiesa transfer ✅
- Details: Potential €60-million fee (Read more)
Juventus’ youth movement continued with the signing of Federico Chiesa from Fiorentina. Douglas Costa returned to Bayern Munich on a season-long loan to make way for the Italian winger.
Exactly where Chiesa, 22, will play under Andrea Pirlo is something of a mystery. Naturally a winger, Chiesa has seen time as a wing-back at Fiorentina; perhaps Pirlo, who’s favored using wing-backs and a three-man defense early in his tenure, will stick with that trend? On the surface, it seems like a waste of Chiesa’s most exciting attributes, but perhaps Pirlo has a grand plan in mind for one of Italy’s most intriguing talents.
Chiesa fashioned 10 goals and six assists in the fragmented 2019-20 Serie A term.
Spurs’ defender search still alive
Jose Mourinho isn’t convinced by his side conceding five goals in its opening four matches of the Premier League season, so the Portuguese boss is on the lookout for defensive recruits. However, two of Spurs’ high-profile targets fell short:
Tottenham may be making progress elsewhere, though. The north London club is reportedly in talks to sign Swansea City’s Joe Rodon. The 22-year-old, who’s flourished under the management of Steve Cooper, may join Spurs for around £18 million.
English football’s domestic transfer window shuts on Oct. 16, so the two outfits have plenty of time to reach an agreement.
DONE DEALS: Bayern add Costa, Choupo-Moting ✅
- Details: Costa joins on season-long loan (Read more)
- Details: Choupo-Moting signs one-year contract (Read more)
Bayern Munich, unable to reach an agreement with Chelsea for Callum Hudson-Odoi, moved to ensure they have cover out wide by bringing back a familiar face to Bavaria. Assuming he can stay fit, which has long been an issue, Costa will provide speed and spectacular dribbling ability off the bench for Hansi Flick this season after returning from Juventus.
The move for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting may leave some scratching their heads, but the veteran forward proved last year with PSG he can be a valuable asset in key situations and should allow goalscoring extraordinaire Robert Lewandowski to get a breather every now and again. This season more than ever, that’s crucial.
DONE DEAL: Everton sign Godfrey ✅
- Details: Reported £25-million fee (Read more)
Everton, currently sitting atop the Premier League table, finally got the defender they’ve long coveted by adding Ben Godfrey from Norwich City. The 22-year-old earned praise for his performances in the Premier League with the Canaries last season and was initially valued at roughly £50 million. But Norwich’s relegation, in addition to the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, halved the fee, allowing the Toffees to pounce.
Godfrey will look to supplant either Michael Keane or Yerry Mina in the starting lineup for Carlo Ancelotti, who previously looked at adding the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Gabriel Magalhaes during the window. Though it may take some time to materialize, the move should help Everton in both the immediate future and long-term.
Where will Wilshere end up?
Jack Wilshere left West Ham United three months before his 29th birthday. The former Arsenal prodigy has dealt with injury problems for much of his professional career, leading some onlookers to get creative when pondering which clubs could take a chance on the midfielder: