Club football is back. It was no surprise that teams would go bonkers to rope in players who would seal the deal for the upcoming seasons. With fat purses and heads full of dreams, teams went all out to bolster their squads with additions that would certainly answer in the years to come. Thankfully, with football getting the hopeful rhythm back and pieces fitting rightly, this summer window was testimony to the extents to which a club personnel would go to seal a deal. And with currencies raining down on the camps, it was all or nothing for clubs across the globe. As the new European season kicks start tonight, t2 looks back at teams with maximum spends, tectonic shifts and transfers that shook the crazy window which is to define the gameplan of the clubs for the packed season ahead.
Is there anything more Pep Guardiola could have done to taste the flavour of Champions League glory with City? This summer had an emphatic answer. With all pieces fitting correctly, Pep knew all he had to do was get a relentless attacking line that would not care about any condition whatsoever. When City locks their sight on a player, one knows there is not another way around it. And, in a blink of an eye, the most sought-after centre forward, Erling Haaland found his place in the cyan camp, with an addition of Argentine prodigy Julian Alvarez. Mapping it together, De Bryune, Mahrez, Grealish and the extremely talented Kalvin Phillips feeding it to the attacking line might just be the answer to the question teasing Pep for a long time. Boasting of a squad that has all the answers in place, Manchester City should certainly be proud of their well-planned-out summer transfer window.
Activating economic levers and with new sponsorship deals, Joan Laporta and Mateu Alemany made sure Barcelona was back on the market and with good force. Under Xavi, with tactical permutations, the squad has been revamped to an extent, which might make the side a solid contender for titles again, after a long-drawn low. Proving to be the cherry on the pie, Robert Lewandowski was roped in to bolster the attacking lineup, along with the addition of the skilful Rapinha on right. In midfield, with the additions of Franck Kessie and Pablo Torre, Xavi can experiment with combinations more fluidly. To tick off the boxes, the defence line now has the sturdy duo of Andreas Christensen and Frenchman Jules Kounde to anchor the team. With nobody better than Xavi to get Barcelona back to its flair, this impressive transfer window could have just been the perfect trigger.
When Bayern come-a-calling, there’s almost never a negative answer. And this transfer window was testimony again to the hold the club has over the transfer currents. With the departure of Lewandowski, the club needed to make sure the void was filled by someone who could be headlines through the season. And thus came in the talismanic Sadio Mane. With him running the wings with profound pace and skill, and the addition of 17-year-old forward Mathys Tel and central midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, Bayern have little to worry when it comes to the upper half of the squad. With Julian Nagelsmann’s vision, Hasan Salihamidzic and Oliver Kahn just needed to piece it all together and lock in on their targets. Beefing up the defense line, Matthijs de Ligt at the centre and Moroccan full-back Noussair Mazraoui holding the right flank, Bayern look to keep their moxie unfazed for the tricky season ahead.
Following a heart-breaking stretch of the final matchdays which saw them losing out on a dearly awaited Champions League spot, Arsenal knew this season had turn the tide. Mikel Arteta left no stone unturned as Arsenal sealed some fine deals over the summer. To get over the woes of the absence of a clinical finisher, Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus joined the Gunners camp to spearhead an attacking line comprising Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah and newest addition, 19-year-old Marquinhos. Portuguese attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira joined the camp from Porto. Along with Smith Rowe, Saka and new captain Ødegaard feeding the balls and orchestrating the play, Arsenal looked solid in their pre-season displays with striking link-up and top-notch finishing. And with the final addition of experienced, nimble-footed fullback Oleksandr Zinchenko, it has been a window that might just be able to get Arsenal back on track.
When Antonio Conte took up the reins, it was known there would be considerable changes inside the Spurs camp, and a shift in their approach on the field. Sealing a Champions League spot, Spurs looked to beef up the squad with strategic additions. Sought-after Brazilian centre forward Richarlison, along with the experienced Ivan Perisic, were the headlining deals that were locked in. To add to that, midfielder Yves Bissouma, French centre-half Clement Lenglet and 21-year-old fullback Djed Spence, have been roped in to bring some much-needed depth into the squad. Conte has his plans in place and if things go the planned route, Spurs fans are in for a treat.
Other Significant Transfers:
Angel Di Maria
Juventus: Angel Di Maria (from PSG); Paul Pogba (from MU)
Real Madrid: Antonio Rudiger (from Chelsea), Aurélien Tchouaméni (from Monaco)
Chelsea: Kalidou Koulibaly (from Napoli); Raheem Sterling (from MC)
Manchester United: Christian Eriksen (from Brentford); Lisandro Martinez (from Ajax)
PSG: Vitinha (from Sporting CP), Nordi Mukiele (from RB Leipzig)
Liverpool: Darwin Nunez (from Benfica)
Roma: Pablo Dybala (from Juventus); Nemanja Matic (from MU)
Dortmund: Sebastian Haller (from Ajax); Karim Adeyemi (from RB Salzburg)