Despite the allure of the deadline day, some clubs prefer to do their business early, even before the official opening of the transfer window. Here’s a list of some transfer deals that have gone under the radar.
The left-back was an impressive performer for Reading as they fell just short of making the play-offs, which earned him links to the likes of Leeds United. He failed to register a goal or an assist in 41 Championship appearances in 2020-21, but that didn’t put off Bayern Munich.
The perennial Bundesliga champions saw an opportunity in the transfer market, signing the 23-year-old on a free and handing him a four-year contract.
A diligent defender, Richards ought to provide adequate cover for Alphonso Davies if not quite offering the same explosive qualities going forward as the Canada international.
Once much-hyped, Kakuta needed to get off Chelsea’s loan carousel – six clubs in six years – to produce his best football.
After a two-year stint with Hebei China Fortune, the winger is back in Europe and produced his best campaign yet, back on loan at his boyhood club Lens. Not yet 30, he’s represented 12 different clubs already, but perhaps he never should have left where it all started.
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11 goals and five assists in 35 appearances in 2020-21 was enough for Kakuta to be named Ligue 1’s African Footballer of the Year, and to earn a permanent €5million move away from parent club Amiens.
Gianluigi Donnarumma is still only 22 years old but somehow has already made 250 appearances for AC Milan. In spite of helping them qualify for the Champions League for the first time in his fledgling career, the goalkeeper couldn’t be convinced to sign a new deal.
He’s now a free agent, and Juventus appear the obvious candidate to take advantage (as usual).
Still, the Rossoneri deserve praise for acting swiftly to fill the vacancy. France international Mike Maignan played a starring role in Lille’s fairytale title win and has already made the switch to the San Siro for a bargain €15million.
The newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions are facing financial difficulties, so expect to see others follow Maignan and coach Christophe Galtier out of the exit door in the coming weeks.
Proud possessor of one of the Premier League’s most outlandish hairstyles, Gervinho is still going strong at the age of 34 having left Arsenal eight years ago.
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The Ivorian has had more than a few impressive moments in Serie A with Roma, and subsequently Parma, with a stint in between at Hebei China Fortune – where he played alongside Kakuta.
He’s now signed with Trabzonspor on a free transfer. We’re amazed it’s taken him this long to arrive in the Super Lig, joining esteemed Premier League alumni such as Hugo Rodallega, Mame Biram Diouf, Max Gradel and Enner Valencia.
Brazilian center-back Ramalho has won six Austrian Bundesliga titles across two spells with Red Bull Salzburg.
He struggled to impress last time he left, going on to turn out for Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz, and will hope the grass is greener this time, having signed for Eredivisie giants PSV.
Victor Moses had a strange nine years on Chelsea’s books. He was loaned out to six different clubs, but was briefly a vital player for Antonio Conte’s title-winners in 2016-17, fitting the Italian coach’s wing-back brief perfectly.
A reunion with Conte at Inter failed to yield the same results, and Moses was then sent out to Spartak Moscow during the 2020-21 season. Former Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco has spoken highly of his contributions, and the Russian club have now signed him permanently.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to have Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip fit and available to play much more of a prominent role in 2021-22, but Liverpool appear to have learned their lesson and won’t be taking any chances.
Having rejected the chance to turn Ozan Kabak’s loan into a permanent deal, the Reds have still kept their eye on the Bundesliga, and have reportedly activated RB Leipzig centre-half Konate’s £36million release clause.
Getting their business done nice and early – the first big Premier League signing of 2021. He looks the real deal.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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