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Signed in the 13th hour

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The deadline day for the summer transfer window 2023 ended with a bang, with several clubs getting deals over the line. Going into the final day, several clubs were looking to fill in the gaps in their squad. However, not every club managed to get their star player. German champion’s deal for Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha fell through even after the player had completed two medicals with the club. It was because Fulham failed to find a replacement for him in time.

However, other clubs managed to get deals through in the dying minutes of the transfer window. And now, with the transfer window closed, the focus will shift to football as these signings will now be judged on the pitch.

So, here are the top deadline day signings of the 2023-24 season,

Ryan Gravenberch- Bayern Munich to Liverpool

Liverpool had only one objective throughout the transfer window: revamping their midfield. The pressure was only further increased after the departure of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to the Saudi Pro League. The club started strongly after signing Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, but they encountered failure after failure in their pursuit of a number six.

Jude Bellingham went to Real Madrid, Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia went to Chelsea, which frustrated the club. Ultimately, they turned their attention to Ryan Gravenberch, who they had missed out on signing in the previous season.

A deal with Bayern Munich was struck, who themselves wanted to get Palhinha. In the end, Bayern managed to sell him for €40 million. It is a good deal for the youngster who will get more minutes, considering that Liverpool only have Wataru Endo and him in the position.

Sofyan Amrabat- Fiorentina to Manchester United 

Like their rivals Liverpool, Manchester United were also looking to add a midfielder to their ranks. Over the summer, they added Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana, Mason Mount, and Johnny Evans. However, they still needed an alternative for Casemiro. However, with Jude Bellingham, Caicedo, and Lavia out of reach, United shifted their focus to Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat.

 

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However, the transfer was not without its complications. Fiorentina were adamant that the midfielder would only leave if they got an adequate replacement for him to fill his shoes. And the club only gave the green light when they signed Maxime Lopez from Sassuolo.

United, though, were looking for a loan for a fee with an option to buy later. It is here that the two clubs were locked in intense negotiations. The breakthrough was only reached in the final hours of the transfer window as Amrabat joined for a loan fee of €11 million with an option to buy for €25 million.

Randal Kolo Muani- Eintracht Frankfurt to Paris Saint Germain 

Paris Saint Germain lost Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. and thus were looking for two signings to improve their attack. They signed Ousmane Dembele early in the window. Still, they needed a strong presence on the right wing, and this was when their attention turned to Randal Kolo Muani, who had a stellar Bundesliga season and played superbly in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final.

The club had made it clear that the Frenchman was the only player they considered for the role and the future of the PSG project. In the end, a deal was struck for €90 million. This includes a payment of €75 million plus €15 million performances linked add-ons.

Kolo Muani scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists in the previous Bundesliga season. He also completed the most successful dribbles and drew the third most fouls from the opponent.

Signing Kolo Muani is a new strategy deployed by PSG. They are targeting young players with the talent to make them superstars rather than paying excessive money to sign the best player on the market.

Ibrahim Sangare- PSV Eindhoven to Nottingham Forest 

Ever since achieving promotion back to the Premier League, Nottingham Forest have made it pretty clear that they are not here just to make the numbers. Last season, the club went on a shopping spree, signing as many as 19 players to improve their quality. This did help them avoid relegation, and this year, they have looked to further enhance by signing the talented Ibrahim Sangare.

The Ivorian defensive midfielder has been one of the finest talents to come out of the Dutch league in recent times. His acquisition proves that Nottingham Forest are not in the Premier League to survive but to thrive.

Sangare will not only bring in new steel in the middle of the park but also give them an elite player who is more than adept at playing long balls, allowing Forest to play a more expansive style of football.

Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid) and Joao Cancelo (Manchester City) to Barcelona 

It seems a long time since Barcelona had to activate several economic levers just to get their transfer over the line. While the club is in a far better position financially, it still cannot be spent as freely as the other top clubs. However, such is the allure of the club that they managed to sign Joao Felix and Joao Felix.

Cancelo, one of the best full-backs in the world, lowered his salary for Barcelona to complete the transfer move. Furthermore, both Felix and Cancelo have joined on a season-long loan with no option to buy at the end.

 

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Felix and Cancelo offer Barcelona strength in two positions where they have massively struggled. Ever since the departure of Dani Alves, Barcelona have struggled to find an adequate replacement at the right-back spot. Cancelo fills the gap and is perhaps the perfect player for a football system like Barcelona.

Felix, meanwhile, will give an elite world-class partner for Robert Lewandowski something they have sorely lacked. Felix had rejected offers from the Saudi Pro League to join Barcelona. With the addition of the duo, Barcelona also looks like a serious Champions League contender.

*This article is sponsored by Tech Mahindra’s sports vertical. India’s only Formula E Championship participant, Mahindra Racing has appointed the IT consultation and business services provider, Tech Mahindra as the digital transformation partner of the greenest racing brand in the tournament on the opening day of Formula E – Season 8.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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