The transfer window remains ajar in the UK and across the continent, yet it’s never too early to judge the deals that have already transpired. Here’s a look at the winners and losers of the summer shopping period across Europe’s top-five leagues so far.
Winners: Stop the presses, Tottenham have signed a player, and what an addition it is. After two successive windows sans signings, Spurs plucked Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon for a club-record £54 million. The 22-year-old’s diligence and varied skill set will make him an instant favorite.
Southampton have quietly done some tidy business. Making Danny Ings’ loan a permanent move is sage, as is tabling £15 million to land forward Che Adams from Birmingham.
Finally, some love for Aston Villa, who’ve dumped some big wages in letting 10 players 27-or-over walk, while wisely adding former Dean Smith pupils Jota and Ezri Konsa. Tyrone Mings’ permanent move should also boost the Villans’ hopes of staying up.
Losers: Chelsea make the list courtesy of a two-window transfer ban that has inconveniently coincided with Eden Hazard’s exit. There’s big pressure on Christian Pulisic and his opulent fee, and on a handful of oft-loaned academy products who are likely to get first-team minutes out of necessity.
Arsenal get the nod as well amid a period of necessary squad turnover, highlighted by the signing of unknown Brazilian teen Gabriel Martinelli. Also, how is Shkodran Mustafi still on the team?
Might as well mention Newcastle, who’ve lost beloved gaffer Rafa Benitez, have yet to make a signing, and are slated to gift Sheffield a club-record sale Wednesday by paying a reported £4 million to pry Steve Bruce from his Owls terms. The Championship beckons for the Magpies.
Winners: Sure, Real Madrid have spent a lot, but in adding Hazard (€100M) and Luka Jovic (€60M) to pair with Vinicius Jr., they’ve rejigged their attack for years to come. Ferland Mendy (€48M) and Eder Militao (€50M) serve a similar forward-looking purpose in defense.
Similarly, Barcelona splashed the GDP of a Polynesian island on Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, which is permissible when you’re one of the biggest clubs in the world. Is Neymar next?
Elsewhere, Real Betis made Giovani Lo Celso’s loan from PSG permanent for a laughable €22 million and could easily fetch twice that for the Argentine, and somehow made €24 million on Pau Lopez.
Lucas Perez’s €2-million move to Alaves is a lowkey steal.
Losers: Very little to go on here. Let’s play wait-and-see with Atletico Madrid, who’ve made €115 million in profits despite splashing €126 million on Joao Felix. At first glance, the much-hyped Portuguese youngster seems like a square peg to the round hole that is Diego Simeone’s high-intensity football. Griezmann wasn’t the only Atleti standout who 86’ed the Wanda Metropolitano, and despite nabbing €150 million for Lucas Hernandez and Rodri, the pair will be tough to replace.
Sevilla also require a wait-and-see approach. Their nine additions to date under Monchi are eerily akin to a similar shopping spree that didn’t quite go to plan at Roma. Oliver Torres for €12 million is a steal, however.
Winners: Juventus continued a run of stellar free signings in refreshing Maurizio Sarri’s new midfield by luring Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot to Turin. The Old Lady is also poised to add Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, beating fellow continental behemoths PSG and Barcelona to the punch. They also duped Roma (more below).
Inter merits some love in recruiting Nicolo Barella on initial loan, and center-back bulwark Diego Godin on a free, solidifying a sturdy backline alongside Milan Skriniar. Also, the Nerazzurri are playing hardball with wantaway Mauro Icardi, which is something you absolutely love to see.
Losers: Supporters of the capital city clubs, look away. Let’s start with Roma, who besides having a €24-million bid for Pau Lopez accepted, shipped promising young left-back Luca Pellegrini to Juve while taking 26-year-old left-back Leonardo Spinazzola in return. Roma also shelled out an additional €8 million in the deal for some reason. Spinazzola’s versatility does help cover for the perpetually injured Rick Karsdorp.
Staying in the Eternal City, Lazio, who narrowly missed out on a continental spot last season, have done next to nothing to upgrade their squad. Any guesses at Lazio’s biggest expenditure thus far? Manuel Lazzari for €11 million from SPAL.
Winners: Lyon addressed an area of need at center-back in luring Dane Joachim Andersen from Sampdoria for €24 million. Les Gones have also turned a big profit on Ndombele and Ferland Mendy, replacing them with Thiago Mendes and Youssouf Kone while pocketing €77 million. Sylvinho’s new lot also managed to keep hold of young talents Houssem Aouar, Maxwel Cornet, Martin Terrier, and Bertrand Traore.
Shout outs to Monaco for securing Gelson Martins on a permanent deal and one of the underrated ‘keepers in Europe, Benjamin Lecomte, for combined fees less than was made on Youri Tielemans’ sale. Likewise for Montpellier, who banked a few bucks on the Lecomte sale by recruiting local boy Teji Savanier from Nimes.
Losers: Disregard the fact that getting Ander Herrera on a free is both a wise move and one that helps paper over the cracks of Leandro Paredes’ erratic play, and forget that Abdou Diallo’s addition should help light a fire under Presnel Kimpembe’s stagnant ass; Paris Saint-Germain are getting played by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. His flirtations with Neymar have unsettled PSG, prompting sporting director Leonardo to admit that the Brazilian “can leave PSG if there is an offer made that suits everybody.” Also, how did Les Parisiens not get more than €22 million for Lo Celso.
Elsewhere, Marseille have yet to spend a single euro. Dario Benedetto incoming, apparently.
Winners: Bayern Munich replenished their full-back ranks in dropping €115 million on 23-year-olds Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard. At the other end of the opulence spectrum, the Bundesliga holders signed German teen Jann-Fiete Arp for a scant €3 million from Hamburger. Niko Kovac’s lot have also freed up heaps of wages with the exits of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Rafinha, and Mats Hummels.
Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund got a steal in spending just €25 million on both Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt. Eintracht Frankfurt won’t replicate last season’s successes, but in selling Luka Jovic for €60 million, and reportedly Sebastien Haller to West Ham for €40 million, they can keep the lights on at the Commerzbank-Arena.
Losers: Hertha Berlin were expected to be active in the summer transfer window following Lars Windhorst’s 37.5 percent acquisition of the club through his company Tennor Holding B. V., a €125-million investment that’s the largest single corporate venture in German football. Well, so far they’ve dropped €7 million on Eduard Lowen and got Marko Grujic on loan, again, from Liverpool. Valentino Lazaro’s €22-million pilgrimage to Inter is a decent profit, however.
Similarly, RB Leipzig have underwhelmed despite having Champions League football on the horizon, with just Hannes Wolf and Luan Candido – two players who we assure you are actual people – to show for their summer shopping.