With the European leagues inching closer with each passing day, the club’s are back to the drawing boards to fabricate strategies for a delightful summer transfer window. The first transfer window usually shapes the campaign for clubs with the managers’ looking for solutions to their constant headaches. If the rosters undergo the smartest transfers in the summer window, clubs could accomplish their aspirations of bagging silverware.
Outfits like PSG and Manchester City could be seen splashing big bucks before the season kicks off, while Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have diminished wealth. From free and smartest transfers to expensive money moves, we at FootTheBall discover who have been the smartest transfers for their team this summer.
While Real Madrid and Florentino Perz parted ways with yet another club legend, PSG pounced on a defensive leader looking to regain his authority in Europe. Los Blancos’ ex-captain, Sergio Ramos turned out to be the latest addition to a star-studded Paris roster. The Parisians have been on a shopping spree this summer without splashing millions of bucks. Ramos’ glittering CV includes a decade full of prestigious silverware, personal milestones, and magnificent memories at Santiago Bernabeu.
After Thiago Silva’s departure to Chelsea, the Parisians were hungry for a defensive leader to prevent their backline from succumbing to the pressure. Pochettino’s defensive structure stumbled whenever the rivals threatened PSG’s goal, and Ramos could re-build that when he dons the glorious purple outfit. Not to forget, Ramos is looking to revamp his depleted career. Missing out on the Euros, being questioned by Los Blancos’ authorities, the Spaniard has to silence a few haters with his exploits at Parc Des Princes. While the Parisians love splashing money, Ramos’ addition is a smart move in the transfer window.
Imagine the ecstasy after adding the ‘Euro Player of the Tournament’ to your shopping basket and not paying a penny for the player. PSG’s authorities must be licking their lips after Donnarumma put pen to paper, crossing out the Italian’s name from PSG’s shopping catalogue. While Keylor Navas has enjoyed a significant campaign with the Parisians, the Italian shot-stopper is a class apart.
The 22-year-old inspired the Azzurri’s to the European title after his penalty heroics denied the Three Lions’ a taste of silverware. The Costa Rican goalkeeper has already crossed his thirties, and Donnarumma’s presence could nullify the oppositions’ goal-scoring threat. Donnarumma rarely commits horrific mistakes and is nothing short of a brick wall guarding the Parisian frame. The Italian is a long-term solution for PSG, who would want Donnarumma to leave as a club legend.
La Oranje’s top-scorer in the European carnival, the Dutch lion’s summer at the Camp Nou could be nothing short of jaw-dropping. The Blaugranas under Josep Bartomeu splashed billions of pounds to find a replacement for the departing Neymar in the last few years. But unfortunately, all the money has gone down the drain, with all the veterans failing to unlock their potential in Spain. But Depay’s introduction to the reviving Catalan squad could land the La Liga trophy back to Camp Nou.
Galloping in from the right flank, Depay is a constant headache for rival defenders and could sneak in from different pockets of spaces exploiting the leverage. The Dutch international faltered with the Red Devils but resurrected his promising career with Olympique Lyon after enjoying glittering campaigns in France. 63 stunning strikes and 45 magnificent assists in his tenure at Lyon, Memphis could chip in with sneaky assists while frequently rattling the roof of the net, all that without spending a single penny. Joan Laporta definitely understands the meaning of the term ‘ smartest Transfers.’
RODRIGO DE PAUL
The engine behind Messi’s dazzling smile after finally lifting an international piece of silverware, Rodrigo De Paul is a name knocking on world football’s revelation list. Balancing his goals and assists tally in Italy, De Paul’s signature bolsters the Spanish champions. The Copa America winner has enough potential to impress Simeone and walk into Atletico’s starting eleven without trouble. De Paul’s vision is exemplary, something he displayed in the aerial ball to Di Maria who comfortably chipped it over the steaming Ederson in the South American showdown.
¡EL MOTOR DE LA FINAL!@rodridepaul se quedó con la medalla 🥇, la red 🥅 y la copa 🏆🤣
¡A disfrutar el logro con @Argentina!#VibraElContinente #CopaAmérica pic.twitter.com/bxY2TL1T0s
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 14, 2021
A muscular figure leading Simeone’s squad, De Paul isn’t scared to physically take on a brawl. While the attacking flair the Argentine adds often goes unnoticed because of his contributions both while charging and while defending. Lastly, Atletico Madrid’s disciplined servant Saul Niguez has been linked to a shift to Spanish neighbours Barcelona. If the Spaniard finds shelter somewhere else, De Paul could perfectly balance Simeone’s tactics along with Spanish captain Koke.
Reportedly rejecting an offer from Emirates to join hands with the Claret and Blues, Emiliano Buendia is following the footsteps of his Argentine teammate Emiliano Martinez. While Martinez inspired La Albiceleste to the South American title, Buendia could land trophies to Villa Park with his presence on the pitch. With an electrifying summer in England’s second division, Buendia departed from Norwich with a Championship gold medal hanging around his neck.
Follow @EM10Buendia on his first day at Aston Villa! ✨
It's great to have you with us, Emi. 👊
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 13, 2021
The Argentine’s introduction in the Premier League could bombard the tournament with spectacular rockets and dazzling deliveries. While Aston Villa already has a veteran in the name of Jack Grealish, Buendia could perfectly support the protagonist in Villa’s chronicle. Although Villa had to dish out a club-record fee for Buendia, the youngster could rejuvenate Villa’s fairytale with his darting runs, breathtaking passing ability, and the ability to sniff out a goal-scoring opportunity for his squad. And all these abilities make Buendia fall in the category of Top-10 smartest transfers of the summer.
Considered a wonderkid, the 19-year-old is usually dissecting defences with his trickery and magnificent passes. Belonging to the Reading roster, Michael Olise has made his leap to the Premier League with Crystal Palace signing the Frenchman for a dirt-cheap price of 8 million pounds. A perfect secondary to Wilfried Zaha, Olise loves operating behind the striker making those nerve-wracking gallops as the confused defenders are left star-struck on the pitch.
Crystal Palace’s new signing dissects in from the right-flank races towards the goal and whips a deadly shot to find the top corner. Although Olise isn’t renowned for scoring goals, his knack for scoring crucial goals makes him a crucial prospect for the Eagles. Olise has a strong potential and is still a very malleable character in terms of positioning. The towering forward is 5’10” tall, but he plays a marvellously fluid contest from a broader role- pivot on a dime, has excellent dribbling ability in tight spaces, and lifts out his torso to make some gorgeous deliveries and shoots with his right foot.
He’s a fearless and pivotal defender who routinely steps out of the defensive line to challenge attackers and win the ball back higher up the field. Upamecano is successful in gaining territory or compel rivals into reverse deliveries by putting himself in a dominant posture through his tenacity and commitment. Upamecano’s passing skill is an additional aspect of his glorious style of play that could be crucial to the Bavarians success if they want to prevent themselves from an upset.
Julian Nagelsmann, Upamecano’s manager at Leipzig will once again lead the muscular centre-back at the Bavarians after Hansi Flick’s departure. Nagelsmann is well aware of the Frenchman’s capabilities and why he could be the perfect substitute to experienced campaigners David Alaba and Jerome Boateng who have parted ways with Bayern Munich after enjoying an illustrious career at Allianz Arena. Bayern Munich would surely be elated with the Upamecano’s signing from this summer transfer window.
David Alaba might soon be reaching the twilight of his career but for Los Blancos, the Austrian captain is the last piece to solve their jigsaw puzzle and the low cost associated with him makes him one of the smartest transfers of Real Madrid. A trophyless campaign for Real Madrid hinted at a squandering summer transfer window for the Spanish giants. But the club’s drained pockets meant Real Madrid were looking to pick up free items.
I leave a special club for another special club. I am really happy and honored to join Real Madrid. After so many years in Munich I will face a new challenge and I will give my best to continue the club's special history. @realmadrid pic.twitter.com/1qyo1wMcy1
— David Alaba (@David_Alaba) May 28, 2021
While David Alaba might not be a long-term solution, Perez and Ancelotti believe that the centre-back could fill in the hole caused at Bernabeu. Ramos has left for PSG while French defender Varane is linked to a move to England. The other options in Los Blancos’ arsenal are youngsters who are still looking to establish a footing in Spain. This opened the gates for Alaba’s introduction as the Austrian can sniff out danger and could don the captains’ armband if Ancelotti is hunting for leaders. Alaba might be on the wrong side of age but his experience and dexterous defensive capabilities explain why Perez was excited to capture the centre-back that too for free.
André Silva lacks the massive muscular frame of a classic forward, but this is a mirage about the Portuguese who possesses the courage and authority of a decent vintage striker. Without a doubt, it’s Silva’s diversified attributes that convert him into a contemporary forward. Leipzig’s latest signing is capable of maintaining custody of the ball, assisting in the construction of an attack, keeping a steady high-pressing response if the team’s pick-pocketed, and creating mouth-watering opportunities for his forwards’ partners to pounce on.
Silva is an aerial-beast who’s known for racking up headers and goals under his belt. Although the Portuguese rarely appeared for his nation outfit in the Euros, he showed glimpses of greatness in the few minutes he participated. A revelation from a benchwarmer to a survivor, it’ll be crucial to see where Silva’s roller-coaster journey turns next summer. A threatening force, Silva surely makes the catalogue of smartest transfers.
The conqueror of the 2017 Under-20 African Cup of Nations, Patson Daka is prepared to land in England for his contract with Leicester City. Brendan Rodgers in his tenure at Liverpool and Leicester has groomed numerous names in world football. With the 22-year-old budding Zamibian arriving in Europe’s biggest league, the road to glory could be difficult yet worthy. Patson Daka’s approach has several distinguishing features. His mobility and explosiveness top the list. Daka’s quickness can be lethal over small distances, bursting past apparently flat-footed opponents with elegance in his lengthy dashes.
Daka possesses a unique mix of muscular characteristics and his ability to accelerate is just one of many. Daka is exceptionally talented and isn’t afraid to thunder the frame with acrobatic attempts. While the Foxes already have veteran Jamie Vardy and a revamped Iheancho leading their forward-lines, Daka could be the perfect secondary sitting behind the two maestros. If given a shot by Rodgers, the Zambian could make the English league defenders dance on his flamboyant tunes.