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Analysis of the 2021 Summer Transfer Window

Tue 05 October 2021 | 17:30

The 2021 summer transfer window was indeed one of the most exciting and extraordinary transfer windows in football history. Let's take a look at it and investigate some hidden factors of the past frenzy transfer window.

The 2021 summer transfer window was assumed to be very active but what actually happened was beyond the expectations. Even if we leave

Ronaldo

and

Messi

transfer aside, there are still many strange aspects that require more reflection. One of the reasons for a busy transfer window is major international tournaments. The next important reason is the major changes in the club management policies.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected football's economy and many big clubs had to consider changes for compatibility with the current situation. With the return of the fans to the stadiums, a new spirit is breathed into football. Some of the biggest football clubs found themselves under heavy debt while some were extravagant. From a statistical and analytical point of view, it is possible to have a more accurate understanding of the curious case of the 2021 summer transfer window.

Read on to find out more about the analysis of the 2021 summer transfer window:

To have a better point of view, we need to look at the

football summer transfer window

from different angles.

Most Expensive Signings 

Surprisingly, neither Leonel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo is among the most expensive signings in the 2021 summer transfer window. Messi moved to

PSG

on a free transfer so obviously he couldn't be on the list.

Manchester United

paid only a $16.5 million transfer fee to Juventus for Ronaldo and there is no way either of the two great players gets somewhere near the list, but it doesn’t mean that they are cheap players. Ronaldo is the highest paid player in the Premier League because his salary is approximately $37 and it costs as much as a big signing. Let's check the most expensive list of signings in the 2021 summer transfer window.

10. Rodrigo de Paul/ Martin Ødegaard - €35 million

The biggest transfer of the La Liga champion in terms of price was

Rodrigo de Paul

. The Argentinian midfielder was one of the best players in Serie A while he was playing for Udinese. He even became the team’s captain in his last season. De Paul joined Atletico right after the 2021 Copa America championship. His playing style seems to be a perfect match with Diego Simeone’s team. 

The other player sharing 10th place of the most expensive signings in the

2021 summer transfer window

is

Martin Odegaard

. He is considered one of the most promising talents since joining Real Madrid in 2015. Despite his young age, Ødegaard is experienced due to regularly playing on loan. Followed by his good performance in Real Sociedad he went to Arsenal where he did great and it’s the reason he became a permanent Gunner.

9. Danny Ings - €35.2 million

Danny Ings

failed to compete with Liverpool’s attacking trio but in a smart move didn’t hesitate long and left for Southampton. Ings was a crucial player for the Saints and scored 41 goals in 91 Premier League games. Followed by the departure of Jack Grealish, he joined Aston Villa to replace him.

8. Emiliano Buendia - €38.4 million

Another one of

Aston Villa

signings, is

Emiliano Buendia

. he is one of the ten most expensive signings of the Premier League but he came from the Championship. Buendia was named the Championship Player of the 2020-21 Season and helped Norwich to win the league’s title and promotion to Premier League. He scored 15 goals and registered 16 meaning that he was directly involved in more than 40% of Norwich’s goals.

7. Raphaël Varane/ Tammy Abraham/ Ibrahima Konate - €40 million

Raphael Varane

and

Sergio Ramos

left Real Madrid and the Spanish team made some room for their younger and newer players. Varane is one of the most decorated players. He has won at least one of all the possible titles with Real Madrid. The 2018 World Cup winner went to Manchester United where the defense is an Achilles heel.

Benching a brilliant player like

Tammy Abraham

is not good, even because of Lukaku. Abraham did the same thing as Lukaku did; leaving Chelsea to play. His transfer to Roma could be a turning point in his career. In a string of domino transfers, Abraham joined Mourinho’s Roma to replace Lukaku’s replacement. Roma is a suitable place for Abraham to develop his grade.

After Liverpool’s catastrophic situation that none of their best defenders were available for

Jurgen Klopp

for the majority of the 2020-21 season, it was inevitable for the Reds to buy a new defender. In the matter of playstyle, Ibrahima Konate is a clone of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk. The French defender had 66 Bundesliga caps for RB Leipzig. Given how injury prone Liverpool players are, he has a high chance to play. 

6. Dayot Upamecano - €42.5 million

Signing

Dayot Upamecano

for 42.5 million was an unorthodox move from Bayern Munich. The Bavarians hardly pay big fees in the transfer market, but when they do, they make sure that’s the player they want.

Julian Nagelsmann

is the certification for Upamecano’s transfer. The former coach of RB Leipzig brought Upamecano and Sabitzer to Munich. Due to the departure of Boateng and Alaba, the French defender was so vital that Bayern was persuaded to make him the Bundesliga’s biggest signing. 

5. Ben White - €58.5 million

Ben White is a complete defender at the age of 23. He was in the PFA Team of 2019-20 Championship due to his great job while he was on loan at Leeds United. In the 2020-21 season, he returned to Brighton despite Leeds wanting to make his deal permanent.

Arsenal

has suffered a lot from defender’s blunders and it’s justifiable to make a heavy investment to sign a consummate center back.

4. Achraf Hakimi - €60 million

The 2020-21 Serie A campaign was full of drama for Inter. Nerazzurri ended the reign of Juventus and won the scudetto after a decade.

Achraf Hakimi

was one of the most notable players in Inter and his hasty runs by the line were exactly what

Antonio Conte

needed. At the beginning of the summer window, Inter had to sacrifice Hakimi to balance their financial accounts, but they tagged a high price for the Moroccan jewel that only one club, Paris Saint-Germain, was willing to pay. 

3. Jadon Sancho - €85 million

It has been years that Premier League clubs have been yearning to sign

Jadon Sancho

and return him to his homeland. After many fruitless efforts, it was Manchester United that signed the 21 years old winger. Sancho used to play in Manchester City’s academy squads but Dortmund gave him the chance to shine. The German side collected 85 million rewards for their excellent job of upbringing, such a brilliant talent.

2. Romelu Lukaku - €115 million

After a dream season, even the most pessimistic Inter fan did not even think about losing

Lukaku

in the 2021 summer transfer window. The Big Rom regained his self-confidence and crowned the Italian football. Chelsea moved heaven and earth to sign Erling Haaland but they were confronted a firm “no” answer by Dortmund. The UCL champions switched to Lukaku that Inter had absolutely no desire to sell. Chelsea used Inter's financial problems and made an offer that the Serie A champions could not refuse.

1. Jack Grealish - €117.5 million

The most expensive transfer of summer 2021 was

Jack Grealish

. He joined Aston Villa at the age of 6 and except for the 2012-13 season he spent all his career in Villa. In 2012-13 he was loaned to Notts County to play regularly before returning to Villa and playing in the Premier League and later in the Championship.

Followed by the promotion to the top tier, he was the team’s key player and everyone noticed his extraordinary talent. After 20 years in Aston Villa, Grealish went to

Manchester City

in a deal making him the most expensive English player of all time as well as the most expensive signing by a Premier League club. 

Analysis

All the players on the list above are 21 to 29 years old and they have an average of 24 years old. Spending big fees on the younger players could be a risky lottery. The older players are usually on the decline of their physical form and demand higher wages, so it's not reasonable to pay a high price. They are more likely to get injuries.

There are five defenders on the list, which is remarkable because they don't get credit as much as the forward players. Today’s football requires more involvement from defenders and their price tag is rising. Grealish, Lukaku, White, Buendia, and de Paul are now the most expensive departures of their previous clubs. 

Most Valuable Transfers

The most valuable transfers are those that take place at the right time or else there's a chance the club gets an overpriced player. The player's performance on and off the field can have a direct impact on the price tag, just like aging. The other highly effective matter is the contract length of the player with the current club before transfer.

The closer the expiration date gets, the price tag reduces faster. That's why Paris Saint-Germain signed Messi on a free transfer. The ranking is based on the transfer value of the player at the time the transfer was made; relative to the fee the second club paid. The stats are from transfermarkt.com. The following list is in the order of the market value minus the transfer fee, which in this part of the article, is called transfer points.

10. Andre Silva to Leipzig

Bundesliga's second top goal scorer joined the second team of its second team in the standings.

André Silva

recovered his form in Bundesliga and scored 40 goals in 57 matches for

Eintracht Frankfurt

. In the next step, the Portuguese striker joined Leipzig on a five year long contract for a €23 million fee. His transfer value at the time of the transfer was 45 and the transfer collected 22 points. 

9. Eduardo Camavinga to Real Madrid

The 18 years old was surprisingly the biggest Real Madrid signing in the 2021 summer window. Following the disapproval of

Kylian Mbappé

by Paris Saint-Germain, Camavinga was the only remaining transfer target.

Camavinga

was only 16 years old when he made his debut for Rennes in Ligue 1. Before turning 18 he had become the club's crucial player. Camavinga moved to Madrid where Modric cannot play full time all season. His market value was €55 million while Real paid €31 million so he got 24 points. 

8. Marcel Sabitzer to Bayern Munich

Having a versatile player in the squad is a blessing for the manager. The most versatile player for Julian Nagelsmann is of course

Marcel Sabitzer

. The former coach of Leipzig brought his captain to Munich with him. Sabitzer has been one of the best Bundesliga players in the past few years and Bayern are going to be a traditional challenge in Germany. The Austria midfielder was hired for a €15 million fee while his value was €42 at the time. Another smart move from Bayern, collecting 27 points with Sabi's transfer. 

7. Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United

The situation of the Portuguese superstar was very complicated during the summer. Despite his contradictory state, Juventus were apparently supporting him to feel secure under manager

Massimiliano Allegri

. The Italian manager was known for opposing Ronaldo for his individualistic manners and when Serie A began he refused to start with Ronaldo. The one thing Ronaldo can't stand is being benched.

In the middle of the rumors connecting Ronaldo to Manchester City, Sir

Alex Ferguson

suggested him to United and soon the glorious return of CR7 back to Red Devils was everywhere. United paid Juventus €15 million while Ronaldo's market value was €45 and the transfer got 30 points.

6. Raphael Varane to Manchester United

After a long time serving Real Madrid and winning various titles Raphael Varane finally left them for Manchester United. His move went under the shadow of Jadon Sancho's sing-in, and later Ronaldo came and stole all the thunder. Despite the media's attention on the exciting strikers, Varane might have been the most vital transfer United had in the 2021 summer transfer window because even the record breaking

Harry MaGuire

didn't solve their defensive problems. Varane had €77 million but United brought him to Old Trafford for a €44 million fee, so it's a 31 points transfer.

5. Hakan Calhanoglu to Inter Milan

Hakan Calhanoglu was right on track in the past two years and helped Milan qualify for the Champions League after a long wait. The number 10 Rossoneri didn't reach an agreement with Milan to extend his contract. He postponed the negotiation until the end of Euro 2020. During the Euro competition, a tragic problem happened to

Christian Eriksen

and the cross city rival had to find a replacement for him.

Given the refusal of an extension by Turkish midfielder Inter considered Hakan and right after Euro 2020 he officially joined Inter on a free transfer. Another masterpiece by Giuseppe Marotta hiring a €35 million valued player for free from a classic rival. 

4. Memphis Depay to Barcelona

Memphis Depay

is the player to watch in the post-Messi Barcelona. The Dutch striker once came to United as the Eredivisie top scorer. The number 7 of the Red Devils wasn't lucky for Depay and he joined Lyon after a season at Manchester. In Lyon, he showed his true color again in Lyon and now he is facing the heavy burden of being the next Barcelona star after Messi's departure. The return of Sergio Aguero from injury could ease the burden for Depay.

Just like Aguero, Depay joined Barcelona on a free transfer, which is the only possible way for Barcelona given their dismal economic situation. Depay had €45 million at the time of his move to his childhood dream club.

3. David Alaba to Real Madrid

The Austrian defender was set to leave

Bayern

way before the end of last season.  spent 13 years with the Bavarians during which they dominated German football as well as continental competitions. He made his debut for Bayern as an alternative for the left-back role and even as a midfielder, but as a left back, he became a key player for Bayern. Alaba converted to a center back in late 2019 and he owned the new role real quick.

The conversion lets Bayern unveil their new left-back

Alphonso Davies

, who shares the same qualities as Alaba but he's younger. After it was clear that Alaba would be free at the end of 2020-21, many big clubs wanted him, but it was Real Madrid that offered him to replace Sergio Ramos. Alaba accepted the bid and Real Madrid got a top level defender valued at €60 million for free.

2. Gianluigi Donnarumma to Paris Saint-Germain

One of the most shocking transfers of the 2021 summer window was the departure of

Gianluigi Donnarumma

from AC Milan. The club's executive board had a long time battle with Donnarumma's super agent, Mino Raiola. Milan fans expected the 22 year old goalkeeper to be royal because, without the support of the club and its fans, Donnarumma could not have achieved so much.

Raiola's demands for the contract extension were so high that Milan decided to let the official best player of Euro 2020 walk away. He went to Paris Saint-Germain where they simply agreed to pay €12 million in annual wages, which is twice the amount Milan used to pay him. Paris Saint-Germain got 66 points from this free transfer, but given the commission Mino Raiola gets, it may not be so free after all.

1. Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain made the most out of the catastrophic financial situation of some giant clubs. They hired Donnarumma and Hakimi from Milanese teams who couldn't afford to keep these players. They hired the displeased captain of Real Madrid for free, but the biggest bomb was

Barcelona

's captain.

Messi

's departure was predictable because of the last time he extended reluctantly with Barcelona.

His destination was predictable, too, because only a couple of clubs were wealthy enough to hire Messi. He gets €110 million as his wage in three years at Paris, but PSG didn't pay any transfer fees to Barcelona. Messi was worth €88 million at the time he left Barcelona, so PSG gets 88 points. The only question that arises in this regard is how

Mauricio Pochettino

is going to pick three of Neymar, Mbappé, Icardi, and Messi.

Analysis

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the biggest football clubs harder and they faced structural problems. Some of them, like Barcelona, could not afford the extreme salaries of players like Messi and Griezmann and they were forced to release their precious players. Salaries are growing thanks to the efforts of super agents like Mino Raiola and Jorge Mendes. The top five valuable transfers are all free, but normally big clubs won't let their players go on free.

The reason for the many big name free transfers is that some clubs had to release their highest paid players to afford the salaries of the rest of the team. Typically forwards are the most expensive players, but in the list of most valuables, there are two defenders and one goalkeeper. It is because in today's football every team member is important to win and there is hardly any room for individualists. Forwards had to participate in the team's pressing and defense, as well as defenders, were involved in playmaking and even scoring.

Most Profitable Transfers

In this part, we will find out which clubs have profited the most by selling their players. The transfer market is one of the most common types of monetization in football. Benfica is an example of a best seller football club. They rarely pay €20 million or a bit higher for their arrivals while they have received more than one billion Euro for selling their players in the past decade. In the most valuable transfers, we somehow sorted out the best arrivals from buyers’ points of view. But in this list of most profitable transfers, we will see which are the best transfers for the seller clubs.

10. Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea 

The 23 years old defender progressed through Chelsea's academy system and finally, after multiple loans, left the club for Milan. Chelsea has taken the transfer market seriously and they're doing a great job.

Tomori

joined Chelsea's senior team and due to several loans they let other clubs pay his wages for a long time and in his last loan season at Milan finally settled in. Since Chelsea has not paid any fee for Tomori, they collected €29.2 million by his departure. 

9. Joe Willock from Arsenal

Just like Tomori,

Joe Willock

was another academy player who left London in the 2021 summer transfer window. Willock played for Arsenal and came through the academy but unlike Tomori, Willock was given the chance to play in the first team instead of sending him on a string of loans. He only went on loan once and that was Newcastle United loaning him in January 2021 and now he's permanently a Newcastle player. Arsenal made €29.4 million from Willock's move to Newcastle.

8. Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes

Real Madrid's most expensive signing of summer 2021 came from Rennes. Eduardo Camavinga joined Rennes when he was only 11 years old. Since 2018 he became a professional player and the youngest ever player of the club. Camavinga played 3 seasons in Ligue 1 before joining Real Madrid on a €31 million transfer. Next to

Ousmane Dembélé

he's the second biggest departure from Rennes.

7. Emi Buendia from Norwich

Emiliano Buendia left Norwich City to join Aston Villa for €38.4 million. It is simultaneously both Aston Villa's record arrival and Norwich City's record sale. Buendia was Getafe's academy player until 2018 when he was moved to Norwich on a €1.5 million deal. Followed by Jack Grealish's departure from Aston Villa, they replaced him with Buendia. Norwich collected a €36.9 million profit from Buendia.

6. Ibrahima Konaté from Leipzig

RB Leipzig has done incredible scouting through the past few years. Liverpool bought

Naby Keita

from Leipzig for €60 million, which is the biggest departure for Leipzig in 2018-18. The Reds signed Ibrahima Konaté for €40 million, making him the 4th departure from the German club. In 2017, Leipzig hired Konaté from Sochaux on a free transfer so they made a €40 million profit.

5. Tammy Abraham from Chelsea

Abraham was another homegrown Chelsea player who left the club in the last transfer window. Tammy Abraham was a part of Chelsea since he was 8 and

Guus Hiddink

invited him to make his debut against Liverpool. The Blues included a buyback clause which is available after two seasons with Roma. The Italian side paid a €40 million fee for Abraham, while the buyback clause is twice that. 

4. Romelu Lukaku from Inter

Despite the good form and notable performance by Abraham, Chelsea had to make space for Romelu Lukaku. The "Big Rome" did great in Italy and earned his place as one of the top strikers in the world. Lukaku is Inter's both signing record and the club's sale record. Inter bought Lukaku for €74 million from Manchester United and in the last window, Chelsea brought him back with €117.5 million. It's Chelsea's most expensive signing ever, too!

3. Ben White from Brighton

In 2014 Ben White joined Brighton’s Under-18 squad from Southampton Academy for free. After seven years the defender became one of the most interesting prospects in the Premier League. Arsenal hired Ben White on a €58.5 million transfer making him the third most expensive Arsenal signing ever. Brighton's previous record sale was in the 2020 summer when

Anthony Knockaert

went to Fulham on an €11.7 million deal. 

2. Jadon Sancho from Dortmund

In 2015, Jadon Sancho joined Manchester City for much less than €1 million while he was 14 years old. He didn't stay in Manchester and left for Dortmund in 2017 on an €8 million deal. The reason Sancho was eager to leave was that Dortmund included him in the first-team squad immediately after the transfer. In the second season at Dortmund, he was phenomenal and in the third season, Sancho had become one of the world's most wanted players. He finally returned to Manchester but to play for the Reds and Dortmund earned a €77 million profit from the €85 million transfer fee.

1. Jack Grealish from Aston Villa

The record breaking transfer of Jack Grealish completely changed the status of his former club Aston Villa. The first and only £100 million signing of a British club helped Aston Villa buy some top quality players like Buendia, Ings, and Leon Bailey. Grealish was a member of Villa's youth squad before getting into the first squad. Except for the 2013-14 season, Grealish spent all his professional career at Villa and the €117.5 million fee Manchester City paid for him was all profit. Thanks to the most profitable transfer of the summer of 2021 Aston Villa was one of the most active European clubs on the transfer market. 

Analysis

It depends on the club's transfer policy that either they invest in young prospects or they pay the price for the known stars. There are some teams that their fans expect titles from every year. In clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Juventus, if they don't win a trophy at the end of the season, it doesn't count as a successful season. These types of football teams avoid risky transfers and are willing to pay the high price for a proven player.

Most of the profitable players are not from title winning clubs or they are from a big club, but they don't receive much time to play. Chelsea has two players on the top list because the club owns many young talents and every year they often go on loan or leave permanently. All of the players above were initially low cost players so that their improvement raised their prices. There is only one exception, Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku is the only one that his initial fee was also big, but his incredible form in the past season has soared his price.

Top Spending Clubs

The pandemic caused a lot of trouble for the football clubs and the financial damage was obvious in the transfer market. Here are the top 10 spending clubs and followed by them we'll have the top selling ones.

10. Atlético Madrid €75 Million

La Liga champions were the top spender Spanish team. Rodrigo de Paul and

Matheus Cunha

were the biggest purchases by Atlético. The overall cost is €65 million and the €10 million loan fee for

Antoine Griezmann

covers the rest of €75 million.

9. Stade Rennais €79.5 Million

Thanks to the big sale of Camavinga to Real Madrid, we have a special guest among the top spenders for the 2021 summer transfer window.

Stade Rennais

have added 7 new players to their squad.

Loïc Badé

, with €20 million is their most expensive arrival.

8. Paris Saint-Germain €83 Million

Despite the wealthy Parisian club hired 4 famous veterans on free contracts, but yet they spent enough money to make it to our list. The signing of Achraf Hakimi for €60 million did the most part and the next expensive arrival for PSG was the €16 million

Danilo Pereira

.

7. Roma €97.75 Million

The only Italian team among the top 10 summer transfer expenditures is Roma. The Romans achieved almost all of Jose Mourinho’s objectives on the transfer market. Signing Tammy Abraham as the most expensive Serie A purchase of the 2021 summer window was a bold move.

6. Aston Villa €99.82 Million

Due to the huge sale of Jack Grealish, Aston Villa took the chance to have a lavish transfer window. Three Aston Villa purchases are among the top four record arrivals for the club. Besides expensive signings, Villa had a notable free transfer and that was the honorable return of

Ashley Young

after ten years.

5. RB Leipzig €107.62 Million

Leipzig is known for smart economical transfers. The German team makes reasonable purchases and after players’ improvement, they feel no regret about selling them because the club earns enough money to build a new squad. Bundesliga’s second top scorer Andre Silva is the most notable signing they have made in the past transfer window.

4. Chelsea €120 Million

The European champions needed to sign a top striker because in 2020-21 their strikers scored fewer goals than Jorginho. After failing to bring Erling Haaland to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea turned to Romelu Lukaku. Despite the reluctant position by Inter, Lukaku’s consent in the move to London made Chelsea raise the bid enough to satisfy the Italian side.

3. Manchester City €127.5 Million

The citizens are the regular guests of every sumptuous party. Manchester City won the Premier League title by a tremendous lead but lost the Champions League final to Chelsea. In the 2021 summer transfer window, they made only one big purchase. Grealish was big enough to make Manchester City one of the top 3 clubs with the most expenditures.

2. Manchester United €140 Million

Just like their cross-city rivals, Manchester United usually has prodigal transfers, but in the 2021 transfer window, United outperformed Manchester City. The return of Cristiano Ronaldo overshadowed almost all the transfer market, even huge signings like Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.  

1. Arsenal €165.6 Million

The unexpected leader in expenditures is Arsenal. Despite the Gunners failing to qualify for European competitions, they dared to make heavy investments in the transfer market. It might be a risk because Arsenal didn’t make big money on selling, and in case the newcomers don’t work out, it will question the executives’ decisions.

Best Selling Clubs

After the clubs with the biggest expenditures, it's the turn of the teams that collected a big amount of money in the 2021 summer transfer window. Many of the giant European clubs have decided to slow down their signings but accelerate sales. 

10. Brighton €62.5 Million

Ben White

's move to Arsenal significantly boosted Brighton's financial account. The €58.5 million fee made Ben White the fifth most expensive English player of all time. White is more than five times expensive than the previous record holder.

9. Barcelona €63.5 Million

Barcelona had to reduce the expense in every possible way and the transfer market was a good opportunity. Despite Barcelona lowering costs and making €63.5 million from the transfers, their fans are not satisfied. Barca has lost their most important players on low fee deals and it's one of the reasons fans are furious. 

8. Udinese €63.8 Million

Udinese is known for enhancing talented players and making big stars out of them. Rodrigo de Paul and

Juan Musso

are their latest triumphs. Both were among the best players in Serie A in the past few years. Rodrigo de Paul is Udinese's record sale left for La Liga champions Atlético Madrid. Musso became the sixth record departure by the club since the €20 million move to Atalanta.

7. Red Bull Salzburg €66.85 Million

Red Bull is dominating the Austrian Bundesliga and has won 12 league titles since 2005. They have introduced promising talents like Naby Keïta,

Sadio Mané

, and Erling Haaland, but Patson Daka surpassed them all and became the most expensive departure from Salzburg. Daka joined Leicester on a €30 million deal. The transfer of Enock Mwepu to Brighton is the other notable transfer they have made. 

6. Real Madrid €78 Million

Real Madrid tried hard for Kylian Mbappé but Paris Saint-Germain denied the transfer. Despite their purchase targets not being achieved, they were successful in selling players. Varane to Manchester United was their biggest sale. The other big sale Real had was Martin Ødegaard who joined Arsenal.

Brahim Diaz

left for Milan but it is still a loan deal unless Milan turns it into permanent at the end of the season.

5. Dortmund €107.75 Million

As expected, Dortmund is one of the best sellers of the 2021 summer transfer window. Dortmund is an expert at working with young, talented players. They have a brilliant scouting project and they often hit the jackpot. In the late window, they sold one of their aces. Chelsea pushed hard for Haaland but Dortmund resisted but Manchester United managed to bring Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford on a €85 million deal. The Sancho move itself was enough for Dortmund to make it to the best sellings of the football summer transfer window.

4. RB Leipzig €112 Million

Leipzig had a busy summer transfer window due to their managerial change. Nagelsmann took Upamecano and Sabitzer to Bayern with himself and Ibrahima Konaté went to Liverpool. As you know, Leipzig was one of the top spenders too, so they should not worry about the upcoming season.

Hannes Wolf

to Borussia Monchengladbach was the other notable sale for Leipzig.

3. Chelsea €122.35 Million

Despite having one of the biggest football signings ever, Chelsea significantly has a positive financial balance due to their great sales. Abraham, Zouma, Tomori, Zappacosta, and Giroud all together covered Lukaku's massive transfer fee and Victor Moses joining Spartak Moscow was enough to cover for Saúl Ñíguez. Chelsea is the only top Premier League team with a positive transfer balance.

2. Aston Villa €127 Million

Thanks to one of the biggest football transfers of all time, Aston Villa is the second club among the best selling teams. Jack Grealish alone would make Aston Villa rank third on the list. It topped the club's previous record sales by €70 million. Aston Villa should be careful about spending Grealish transfer money because they might not receive such a fee in years.

1. Inter €197.5 Million

The Italian champions pretended to be bankrupt on the transfer market. They lost 4 of their key elements to winning the Scudetto. Coach Antonio Conte left because the club had to sell his favorite players. Apparently, Inter had to sell Hakimi but Lukaku's transfer was because of the tempting offer fee from Chelsea. Inter used only a small proportion of the money to reinforce their squad and save the most of it.

Conclusion

In one of the rarest transfer windows of all time, so many great names were involved. Many jaw dropping moves were made and many records were broken. The emotional departure of Lionel Messi and the glorious return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester were the most discussed transfers of the 2021 summer. Besides the popular duo, the transfers of Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku were the biggest moves of the transfer window.

Grealish joined the Premier League champions and Lukaku returned to Chelsea to defend their Champions League title. Like Messi, there were many big free transfers and superstars including Ramos, Aguero, Alaba, Donnarumma, Wijnaldum, and Depay. Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have hired the most free agent players. Because of the economic difficulties, Barcelona was forced to do free transfers while Paris Saint-Germain was looking for high end options.

One important reason for the numerous free transfers is the massive salary superstars demand that even some of the biggest football clubs could not afford. The financial situation affected non Premier League clubs the most. The top four spenders of the summer are all English teams and Aston Villa spent more money than any non Premier League club except for Leipzig. The gap between Premier League clubs and the rest of the world is getting bigger.

Only Paris Saint-Germain could steal their thunder on the transfer market. They freely hired their desired targets and denied Mbappé's departure. Real Madrid and Barcelona had an awful summer and Barcelona's status is worse than Real's. Antoine Griezmann left for Atlético Madrid, recalling Suarez's move last year. In the Bundesliga, everything was pretty normal. Bayern Munich patiently and continuously is strengthening their squad. Meanwhile, the other teams are hoping for their prospects to shine. 

Regardless of the upcoming season's results, the Premier League clubs have won the transfer market battle and it is hard to imagine their reign wearing down. It is one of the reasons why they pulled off from the Super League project soon. It is the same reason Real, Barcelona, and Juventus are not backing off no matter what happens. 

The winners of the 2021 summer transfer window are super agents. They control the transfer market and they often have the media on their side. It is not hard to put pressure on a club for a super agent while there is a $100 million client in the club's squad. 

The best transfer window performance of summer 2021 in the Premier League is for Chelsea and Manchester United. Chelsea hired one of the best players in the world and yet had a positive financial balance and Manchester United had a summer just like fantasy football. Liverpool took the German way and avoided sensational transfers to gain more stability.

In Italy, Inter had the best situation. Despite losing Lukaku, Hakimi, and probably Eriksen, they somehow managed to restore the team's strength with the least amount of money. The replacements of Lukaku and Eriksen came for free and Dumfries and Correa didn't cost much for the Serie A champions. 

Ligue 1 clubs have no chance to compete with PSG in the transfer market, while the league has dropped below the Portuguese Primeira Liga in the UEFA coefficient rankings. Given Lille's championship win in the last season, Parisians should have learned that they can't have everything with money.

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