By Preye Campbell
While we know that this year’s transfer window will never be the same, no thanks to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, some exciting deals are still happening across Europe’s top five leagues.
The transfer window this year has been scattered, in part to the different ending dates of the major leagues. France’s Ligue 1 transfer window has been open for weeks now after the league was cancelled back in April. This is in contrast to other leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A that ended in July.
Revenue is down and many clubs are treading carefully on their transfer wages. This perhaps explains why some of the proposed major moves in European football- noticeably Borussia Dortmund ace Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester United- are yet to happen.
Despite the shortcomings, some clubs have benefitted from the situation and smart moves have been made. Highlighted below are the top 5 transfer deals ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Leroy Sane – Manchester City to Bayern Munich ($49.50 million)
Before his capture, Sane had been on the German champions radar for the last two seasons. The German winger was in explosive form for English giants Manchester City, helping them win the EPL title in the 2017-18 season and 2018-19 season after joining from Schalke 04. Injuries hampered his 2019-20 campaign and in 2020, he revealed he wanted to leave City. That gave Bayern the opening they needed and at the end of the season, they swooped in for Sane in a deal that is nearly 50 percent less than his $88 million market value.
Timo Werner- RB Leipzig to Chelsea ($58.30 million)
Chelsea have been the front liners in this year’s transfer window. The Blues got a transfer ban at the beginning of last season and as such, no transfer was made until January when the club agreed to terms with Moroccan forward Hakim Ziyech from Dutch champions Ajax Amsterdam. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was able to save up from last season and armed the club with their transfer war chest. That was enough to purchase the highly-rated attacker Timo Werner from Leipzig. Werner scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga this year, a tally second to only Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski. He also scored four times in the UEFA Champions League.
Nathan Ake- Bournemouth to Manchester City ($52 million)
City snapped up England defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth in early August for $52 million. City had been in the market for a new defender for a while after coming up short in that area in the 2019-20 season. A deal was eventually put in place for the 25-year-old former Chelsea player Ake, who joined from relegated Bournemouth.
Victor Osimhen- LOSC Lille Metropole to Napoli ($87 million)
Victor Osimhen made history with his move to Serie A side Napoli from Ligue 1 club Lille. The 21-year-old Nigerian forward was highly sought after this transfer window after shining in his debut season in France. Osimhen was tipped to a move to English sides Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool before eventually joining the Partenopei side. The move beats Nicolas Pepe to transfer to Arsenal last year to become the most expensive fee for an African player.
Ben Chilwell- Leicester City to Chelsea ($59 million)
Chelsea continue to flex their financial muscle in the wake of a pandemic and recently captured England left-back Ben Chilwell from Leicester City. Chelsea have long been linked with Chilwell as Frank Lampard seeks to work on a deficient left side of his defence. Chilwell’s move becomes the third out of four signings for the Blues after completing deals for Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Malang Sarr.