October 21

The 2020 summer transfer window was always guaranteed to be different than previous windows because of Covid-19. The spread of the pandemic not only halted day-to-day business, but football business as well.  Suddenly football clubs – big or small – had to change their transfer plans and work on subsidized budgets in order to usher in new signings.

However, as any summer transfer window, 2020 didn’t also fail to disappoint. Many impressive moves took place (of which, we have already covered the top 10 transfers in Part 1.), a lot of money was paid and some deals that fans thought would not happen, became a reality.

Chelsea has been the most notable mover and shaker in this year’s summer transfer window. The Blues have spent $258 million on a total of six new players, including Germany duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, and Ajax play maker Hakim Ziyech. But while the Londoners may have grabbed the headlines, there has still been plenty of action elsewhere, with European clubs having already spent a total of over $2.5 billion combined.

With the summer window now finally shut, in part 2 of the Summer Transfers series, we take a look at another set of major transfers to come from it:

  1. Achraf Hakimi to Inter Milan

Forget Trent Alexander-Arnold, it was Achraf Hakimi who was the world’s finest right back last term.

On-loan at Borussia Dortmund, the Moroccan scored a quite remarkable nine goals and produced an equally impressive 10 assists as Lucien Favre’s young side finished second in the Bundesliga and won the German Super Cup.

He also made the sixth most crosses, dribbled past the sixth most players, and carried the ball forward the second highest distance in the division.

Not only is Hakimi a huge coup for Inter, but he’s also a perfect fit for head coach Antonio Conte, who loves to utilize his fullbacks’ attacking power by playing with three centre backs.

  1. Victor Osimhen to Napoli

Three games, six goals. That’s how Victor Osimhen has fared so far in his first pre-season campaign with Napoli following his $81 million move from Lille.

The Nigerian striker got off to the perfect start on his debut, scoring a hat-trick within just eight minutes against fourth division L’Aquila, before scoring three again the following week in a 4-0 win over Teramo.

Though he didn’t score in Napoli’s penultimate pre-season game against Pescara, he again troubled with his razor-sharp movement and potent aerial threat.

“He is a forward with a great prospect,” Napoli icon Diego Maradona told Gonfialarete of the 21-year-old. “He has hallucinating room for improvement. If put in the right conditions, he can become a 30-goal striker.”

  1. David Silva to Real Sociedad

Silva’s powers didn’t wane at all during his decade long spell at Manchester City. In-fact, two of his last three seasons at the Etihad were among his best ever in terms of combined goals and assists – which is all the more impressive given he was often rotated in-and-out of Pep Guardiola’s inordinately strong midfield.

He was also named in the PFA’s (Professional Footballers’ Association) Premier League Team of the Season last term.

Sociedad lost its best player from last season this summer in the form of loanee Martin Odegaard, who returned to Real Madrid, however Silva, 34, is a (much) more than adequate replacement, regardless of his age.

  1. Ante Rebic to AC Milan

AC Milan’s decision to sign Ante Rebic on a permanent deal this summer was a wise one. The Croatian forward shone while on-loan at the San Siro last term, scoring 12 goals and providing four assists. He was particularly impressive after the appointment of Stefano Pioli as head coach in October, who moved the him in to a more central role rather than out wide.

The 26-year-old also bagged vital goals for the Rossoneri in memorable victories over AS Roma, Lazio, and Juventus.

  1. Takefusa Kubo to Villarreal

Takefusa Kubo enjoyed a superb breakthrough season in La Liga with RCD Mallorca in 2019/20, despite the club’s relegation. This term, it is Villarreal which has the pleasure of having Real Madrid lend it the “Japanese Messi.”

“I’m very happy to be part of this team,” Kubo said after signing a one-year loan deal at the Estadio de la Ceramica. “Hopefully I can have a good season. I want to grow here and help that Villarreal to become an even bigger club.”

  1. Sandro Tonali to AC Milan

After a breakthrough season in the Serie A with relegation battlers Brescia, Sandro Tonali proved himself as the next big thing of Italian football. Replicating the grace of Andrea Pirlo, the hard-working nature of Gennaro Gattuso and unique creative flair, Tonali quickly became a hot prospect.

Several European elite clubs wanted to sign him, before AC Milan pulled off a real coup in the summer transfer window. Tonali joined Milan for just €10m, a bargain for someone with his potential – with the Rossoneri now ready to reap the rewards of their new midfield general for many years.

  1. Jude Bellingham to Borussia Dortmund

Another hot young prospect that raised a lot of eyebrows in the summer was young Englishman Jude Bellingham, who was a regular for Birmingham City in the Championship at merely 17-year-old. More so, he was the focal point of the team, with Bellingham’s creativity, passing range and overall gameplay making him the perfect midfielder for the club.

Manchester United did everything possible to sign him, but Borussia Dortmund stole him from under the rug. He joined them for around £20m and already looks a perfect fit to BVB.

  1. Arthur Melo to Juventus

Barcelona and Juventus organized what was probably the most bizarre swap deals in recent history when they decided to swap Arthur Melo for Miralem Pjanic. Effectively it saw one rising young midfielder swapped with someone entering the final years of his career.

It was a win-win for Juve and rather confusing one from Barca. Nonetheless, the Bianconeri have received a creative, proactive midfielder who should thrive under Andrea Pirlo’s system and learn so much from the manager. Knowing Arthur’s potential and quality, he should take big strides at Juventus and take them to new heights in the coming years.

  1. Sergino Dest to FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona’s activities in the summer transfer window was rather quiet because of the losses they had suffered due to the Covid-19 lockdown period. They made a rather bizarre signing in Miralem Pjanic, but somewhat redeemed themselves by making a stellar addition to their right-back spot. After selling an error-prone Nelson Semedo, Barcelona notched up promising Ajax right-back Sergino Dest.

They managed to oust Bayern Munich for his signing, with the exciting defender guaranteed to improve their backline, who joined them for around €21m. The American’s attacking firepower and defensive sturdiness makes him a huge upgrade over Semedo and Barca’s best signing in the window.

  1. Federico Chiesa to Juventus

Just when it seemed like Juventus couldn’t pack their squad enough, they went for a huge scoop on deadline day of the summer transfer window by securing the signing of one of the best wingers in Italy – Federico Chiesa from Fiorentina. The 22-year-old has performed consistently in Serie A for the past few seasons, scoring 10 and assisting six in the last term.

Chiesa’s ability to dribble past bodies, create chances and deft finishing ability gives Juve a more refined attacking options from down the wings. Juve have struck a two-year deal with the obligation to buy for €40m, but maybe a few years later, that amount will seem like peanuts.

  1. Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich

When Bayern Munich won the Champions League, it didn’t really look like they needed many reinforcements to their attack. But being the elite winners they are, Bayern ended up securing the signing of Leroy Sane from Manchester City nonetheless. It cost the Bavarians around €50m to sign him but they’ve received an absolute incredibly good fit to their style.

Sane scored and assisted goals in loads at City and arguably with even better help around, he’ll transform into a defender’s nightmare. Considering that he seems in line to become the best winger in the world soon and is already flying high at Bayern, he could easily be the window’s best deal.

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