Photo By: Vienna Reyes from Unsplash
The 2021 summer transfer window closed on Aug. 31 and saw some of the biggest names in Europe on its headlines.
Paris Saint Germain F.C. (PSG) arguably had the best window out of all. Nuno Mendes, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, and none other than Lionel Messi joined the team.
The pressure is on for their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, who is looking to regain the title in Ligue 1 after losing it to Lille the previous season. Apart from winning the league, we know PSG’s ambition lies in lifting the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Of course, one of the biggest shocks came from Messi’s departure from Barcelona, the club that he represented for 21 years. Now we see him embark on a new challenge and reunite with Neymar, who also left Barcelona back in 2017.
Real Madrid failed to sign Kylian Mbappe from PSG this summer. Their last bid, close to £200 million, was rejected by the French team who now risk losing him as a free agent next summer since he has made it very clear that he wants to leave.
Real Madrid still got their hands on some big-name players after losing both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane this window. David Alaba, the experienced defender, alongside Eduardo Camavinga, the young midfield prospect, joined the Spanish side.
Deadline day drama saw Antoine Griezmann return to Atletico Madrid after an underwhelming stint at Barcelona. The French attacker failed to live up to high expectations and now returns to the team where he played his best five years with.
Chelsea F.C., the reigning European champions, reinforced their attack with the return of Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker scored 24 league goals last season, and with the team that their manager Thomas Tuchel has built, Chelsea will likely prove a very competitive side this season.
After years of speculation, Jadon Sancho, one of the most exciting young prospects in football, has joined Manchester United on a five-year deal. Their second signing, the 28-year-old Raphael Varane, four-time Champions League winner and World Cup champion, makes a very needed addition to their defensive line.
Another big surprise came with Cristiano Ronaldo returning to where it all began. After almost joining Manchester United’s rivals, Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford 12 years after his initial departure.
Ronaldo originally arrived at Manchester United when he was 17 from Sporting Lisbon, and it was these six years with United that started off his career. He won the Premier League, Champions League, his first Ballon D’or, and other titles under manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
His unexpected return was welcomed by United fans, who are still waiting to get their hands on some silverware after losing the Europa League final last season against Villarreal.
Manchester City failed on promising signings, but still managed to bring Jack Grealish to their side. The English attacking midfielder broke the British transfer record, costing Manchester City £100 million on a six-year contract deal.
These transfers are lining up to result in a highly competitive season in the Premier League as well as the Champions League. Only time will tell how successful these deals turn out to be, but never before have we seen the two biggest names in soccer switch teams in the same transfer window, so at the very least it will be one to remember.