My thoughts on this summer’s transfer window
September 13th, 2021 | Football
This summer transfer window has been the most hectic and exciting I and many others have experienced. Top players across Europe have changed clubs and I can’t wait for this season to really get going.
In this article, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the various transfers, the ones I think will have the biggest impact and the best bargains.
Let’s start with two of the best footballers to ever play the game. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi moved clubs. At 36, Ronaldo has made a fairy-tale return to Manchester United and has already shared his ambition of helping the club return to the heights it has previously reached. At 34, Messi has made the move to PSG, whose owners and fans will be hoping he can prove to be the final piece of the jigsaw when it comes to helping the Parisians claim the elusive Champions League trophy.
I think the two moves and their careers previously showcase which of the two are more ambitious. At 36, an age a lot of footballers are already retired, Cristiano Ronaldo has come to the biggest, best and most difficult league in the world while Lionel Messi, two years younger, has moved to a league outside the top five leagues in Europe. While I understand Messi’s wages are difficult for many clubs to pay and PSG may have been one of the only moves available, I think his ambition when compared to Ronaldo is non-comparable. Cristiano has never been afraid to challenge himself in different leagues. He’s proven himself in England, Spain and Italy and instead of accepting an easier challenge when he would have had options to do so, he’s returned to Manchester United and the Premier League. I look forward to another season watching these two brilliant players and will treasure it as it’s difficult to know how many more there will be.
While I’m mainly focused on the Premier League in terms of the transfer market, I’ve kept an eye on other leagues around the world. Atletico Madrid have done well to bring back Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona, which I think with the proven Suarez and talented Joao Felix in attack, along with their solid midfield and defence, will help the Spanish club do well in the Champions League. Simeone’s style of play suits cup competitions like the Champions League so I think they’re one to look out for. PSG have had a very good window. They’ve brought in serial winner Sergio Ramos who like Messi will hoping to help the French club succeed on the European stage. Hakimi is a very impressive talent, Wijnaldum is a box-to-box player and Donnarumma is a talented young goalkeeper. I also believe the lads they’ve brought in have good characters which will go a long way in helping PSG in the Champions League. I feel, at times, they have let their frustration get the better of them, losing their heads when things aren’t going their way. It looks like, at times, they believe they are entitled to win a game of football even before a ball has been kicked.
In regards to the Premier League, there’s been lots of business done. Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea is a brilliant signing. The number of clear chances they missed last season cost them a lot of goals, so Lukaku seems like a top signing for the blues. The signing of Saul Niguez is also a good one. Being a loan it’s low risk and I think he offers Chelsea the depth in central midfield perhaps they lacked last season. Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen to Everton for what’s believed to be for only 1.7 million pounds is looking like a bargain after early signs of promise.
Brandon Williams is a good signing on loan to Norwich from Manchester United. Joe Willock will hopefully pick up where he left off for Newcastle United’s sake.
Ben White will definitely improve Arsenal defensively and it’s good that they managed to bring in Takehiro Tomiyasu who can play at right-back, a position Arsenal have needed to strengthen for a while.
Jack Grealish to Manchester City is a very good signing but could be unnecessary in my opinion. With all the flair players they’ve got and the lack of a recognised centre-forward, albeit Ferran Torres has done well there and Gabriel Jesus can be deployed as a no.9, but has featured out wide on the right of late. I just feel the money could have been better spent buying someone like Harry Kane, someone they were interested in and I believe could have signed with an improved offer. I watch City sometimes and think if they had an out-and-out centre-forward, just as an option, it would make them a better team. However, as I said the signing of Grealish is still a good one. He’s marketable, English and a brilliant footballer.
Tottenham Hotspur made a few signings, but none that jump out to me as impressive or decisive. I like Tanganga, but feel his future is at centre-back and that’s where I feel Tottenham should play him. I think Hugo Lloris is overrated, declining, indecisive and scatty. Before the window I thought Tottenham needed to sign a centre-back, right-back and goalkeeper. I haven’t seen much of Emerson, the new recruit from Barcelona, but he seems like a fighter and improvement on Serge Aurier, who I always felt didn’t like defending and had poor concentration which could prove costly at times. The centre-back Romero is again someone I haven’t seen much of, but I did feel Tottenham needed a centre-back, so it’s good for their fans that they have brought one in. They’ve also signed Pierluigi Gollini from Atalanta who I can’t comment on as I haven’t seen too much of him, but it’s good they’ve brought in a younger goalkeeper who can push Hugo Lloris. Overall the singings Tottenham will improve the side but I am not sure they will take them to the level they need to get back in the Champions League. There appears to be a lack of depth in their squad. Tottenham’s best piece of business this summer was probably keeping Harry Kane.
Manchester United have had a brilliant window. I felt the red devils needed to strengthen at centre-back and right-wing, and they did. Raphael Varane is a world-class player in his prime and Jadon Sancho is one of the best young talents in world football. The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo was unexpected but incredible. To bring, in my opinion, the best striker in the world with a winning mentality to the club is worth every penny. The three signings improve United, give them depth and an improved winning mentality from Varane and Ronaldo. I know a lot of Manchester United fans felt defensive-midfield was a position that need strengthening, but I believe Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred, when in form, are capable of playing in this role. With Varane at the back, there’s nowhere near as much need for both of the midfield double-pivot to sit back and protect the back-four. I highly rate McTominay and think he’s the best option at the club at the moment. I also think James Garner can play that role in the next couple of years. I really do believe the signings the red devils have made will give them a real chance of challenging for major honours this season…
Signing of the summer: I think Lukaku is the missing piece for Chelsea in terms of taking them from fourth to challenging for the Premier League title. Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho are both brilliant signings, I believe Ronaldo will hit the ground running, whereas I think Sancho will take a little bit longer to adapt. But my signing of the summer is Raphael Varane. For me it was close between Ronaldo and Varane, but I feel as though Varane changes the way Manchester United play and elevate them on the pitch, whereas Cristiano gives more of an elevation off the pitch. Both are brilliant but I feel a prime Raphael Varane is a vital signing and will take United to the next level of challenging for major honours. The fact he only cost a reported £34 million pounds also makes him a bargain.
Please note: The football articles that feature on this site are being written by Jack Dixon as part of his work experience. He is a teenager and looking for work experience within the football industry. He is currently studying for his media and art A-levels.