The European Transfer Window is now closed, some interesting moves happened on deadline day and I will be reviewing them, along with the biggest deals and the ones that didn’t get completed from across Europe.
Alexis Sanchez’s nightmare at Manchester United has come to end with the forward making a loan move to Inter Milan.
Interestingly, it is reported that United will pay 6 million towards Sanchez’s wages and the deal does not include an option to buy, which means, if Sanchez were to rediscover his form in Italy, United could demand a bigger fee for the Chile international at the end of his loan.
Sanchez arrived at United on big wages (the best-paid player in the Premier League) and big expectation but the spell couldn’t have gone worse. At Arsenal he was outstanding, being the player that made things happen for the gunners, he departs united having scored only three goals.
Supporters had long accepted that this was a move that just didn’t work but there is still confusion as to why. Sanchez got more goals than assists in each of his seasons at Arsenal but that statistic was reversed in both of his campaigns with United.
At Arsenal, he had a shot more often than he created a chance for a team-mate. At United, he created a chance for a team-mate more often than he had a shot.
Last season, Sanchez actually lost possession less often than ever before. In part, that’s because he stopped dribbling. It was an inversion of what had made him such a good player and goes some way to explain why there was such a dramatic change in his from.
Sanchez moved to United in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January 2018.
However, Mkhitaryan has now also moved on – in perhaps one of the more surprising departures as he joins Roma on a season loan.
During his time at the Emirates, Mkhitaryan has scored nine goals in 56 games, he was always a good option for Arsenal but now it appears they are preferring to bring through youth prospects like Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock.
Roma also added several other players to their squad during a busy summer window, including the loan signings of Davide Zappacosta from Chelsea and Chris Smalling from Manchester United.
They also signed Atletico Madrid’s former Blackburn forward Nikola Kalinic on loan for the season.
Smalling’s departure from United is a strange decision for me as I rate him higher than United defenders Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, who can never stay injury-free.
United also waved a permanent farewell to Matteo Darmian, who signed for Parma on a four-year contract. United are expected to receive £3.6m from the deal and have inserted a sell-on clause.
Another Premier League departure saw Javier Hernandez leave West Ham to join Sevilla in a deal worth close to £8m, with the Mexican signing a three-year contract.
I am a fan of Hernandez and thought he should’ve got more playing time, but he would be the second choice again this season and he clearly wants more game time. It does leave the Hammers slightly short upfront.
Although Fernando Llorente’s contract expired earlier this summer, the Spaniard said goodbye to Tottenham after it was confirmed the striker joined Napoli on a two-year deal.
Southampton’s, Mario Lemina and Brighton’s, Florian Andone joined Galatasaray.
Chelsea’s, Kenedy headed to Getafe, and Leicester winger, Rachid Ghezzal moved to Fiorentina.
North of the Border
Rangers re-signed Ryan Kent, on a permanent deal, having impressed on loan from Liverpool last season.
The £7.5m deal, sees him become the second most expensive signing in the club’s history after Tore Andre Flo, in my eyes is money well spent.
Celtic completed a move for Kilmarnock left-back, Greg Taylor, who joined for an undisclosed fee, as well as signing Manchester City defender, Jeremie Frimpong on a four-year deal and Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender, Lee O’Connor from Manchester United.
And finally on a domestic front, the busiest club of them all…
After successfully negotiating the sale of the club and remaining in the EFL, there was more good news for Bolton Wanderers as they made NINE signings on deadline day alone.
Winger, Thibaud Verlinden and midfielder, Liam Bridcutt joined on loan from Stoke and Nottingham Forest respectively. Will Buckley rejoined the club as a free agent after initially leaving at the end of last season.
Other free transfers saw Chris O’Grady join from Oldham, Ali Crawford from Doncaster, Josh Emmanuel from Ipswich, Daryl Murphy from Nottingham Forest, Joe Bunney from Northampton, while veteran defender Jake Wright signed on loan from Sheffield United.
Having lost the No 1 battle at Real Madrid to Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas upped sticks and joined Paris Saint-Germain for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year contract with the Ligue 1 champions. The deal also saw Alphonse Areola move the other way on a season-long loan with the option to buy.
Another major move saw Mauro Icardi sign a new three-year deal with Inter Milan but also join Paris Saint-Germain on a season-long loan. According to Sky in Italy, PSG will pay the Serie A side an initial loan fee of 5m euros and will have the option to make the move permanent next summer for 65m euros.
Other eye-catching transfers saw Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic join Azerbaijan club side Qarabag on loan until January and Arvin Appiah left Nottingham Forest to join Almeria, the Segunda Division side tweeting ‘Sorry Man Utd’ when announcing the signature. As a Forest Fan I am happy that we have gained £8 million for the deal, for a player that only recently made his full debut, and continue to make significant money from the youth academy following the sales of Oliver Burke (£12m) Ben Brereton (£8m) and this summer Ben Osborn for an undisclosed fee believed to be around 3-4 million.
The Deals that didn’t happen
After an intense summer of speculation, Neymar is staying at PSG. It was widely expected he would return to La Liga with either former club Barcelona or bitter rivals Real Madrid.
However, talks over a sensational return to Barcelona broke down, while Real Madrid failed to agree on terms for the Brazilian.
Neymar was so keen to move he was even reportedly willing to pay £17.7m (€20m) towards securing a deal, as a consequence he has not played a minute for PSG so far this season and how the fans react should he play – having booed him earlier this season – will certainly be one to watch out for later this month.
Besides Neymar, there were several other big-name moves which failed to materialise this summer, with Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes and Ivan Rakitic all remaining at their respective clubs.
Pogba had been linked with Real Madrid as well as a return to Juventus, but the midfielder is staying at Old Trafford, while Eriksen – who admitted in July he would “like to try something new” – remains a Spurs player amid reported interest from Real and PSG.
Sporting captain, Fernandes was wanted by both United and Spurs, Rakitic, meanwhile was attracting interest from Juventus.
Juventus ran out of time in their bid to sign Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, while Dejan Lovren remains a Liverpool player amid interest from Italian clubs.