As mandated by FIFA regulations, the transfer window is the registration period during which clubs can bring in players from other teams and sell off some of their own.
For most major European leagues, there are two such uninterrupted periods – the longer one between the end of a season and the commencement of the next one, and the shorter one in the middle of the season.
Usually, the summer transfer window is a period of busy activity for most European clubs. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic this year, most major European leagues in 2019/20 ended as late as in August, with the new season set to commence this month after a shorter-than-usual turnaround.
The Bundesliga, one of the earliest major European leagues to conclude after the Covid-19 outbreak, reopened its transfer window on 15 July after it opened for a day on 1 July to allow players and clubs to complete registrations.
Ligue 1, which closed prematurely with 10 matchdays remaining, opened its domestic transfer window for a month from 8 June to 9 July before reopening on 15 August.
The Premier League’s summer transfer window opened on 27 July, while the La Liga’s and Serie A’s did so on 4 August and 1 September respectively.
All these five major leagues across Europe will harmoniously close their windows for international player transfers on the 5 of October, with the Premier League to keep theirs open for a further 11 days but only for domestic transfers.
The ongoing 2020-21 summer transfer window has seen a few clubs splurge their cash to bring in new players. On that note, here are the six most expensive signings of this transfer window thus far.
#1 Nicolo Barella – Cagliari to Inter Milan – €25 million
Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella has been signed by Inter Milan for €25 million. The 23-year-old had arrived from Cagliari on loan during the 2019-20 season before the Nerazzurri splashed the cash to make the deal permament this summer.
Barella, touted to be one of the most promising young midfield players in Europe, featured in 41 games for Inter in all competitions last season and scored three goals. The player has earned plaudits from illustrious former Italian footballers like Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Del Piero. Barella, a box-to-box midfielder, is versatile and can operate in a bevvy of roles in the middle third of the pitch, although he prefers to play as a mezzala, offensive-minded central midfielder.
#2 Gabriel Margalhaes – Lille to Arsenal – €26 million
22-year-old Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes helped Lille to a fourth-place finish in the truncated 2019-20 Ligue 1 season before Arsenal beat competition from a number of clubs to secure his services. Magalhaes is a left-footed centre-back who is adept in both a three-man or a four-man defence. Known for his pace despite his relatively diminutive stature, the Brazilian has been lauded for his ball-distribution and aerial prowess.
#3 Donny van de Beek – Ajax to Manchester United – €39 million
23-year-old Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek has arrived at Manchester United after a €39 million transfer from Eredivisie side Ajax. The central midfielder scored at least ten goals for the 2018-19 Champions League semifinalists in each of his last three seasons at the club.
The young Dutchman is a welcome addition to the Man United midfield where the duo of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba formed a formidable partnership last season, especially after the resumption of football after the COVID-19 outbreak.
#4 Achraf Hakimi – Real Madrid to Inter Milan – €40 million
Real Madrid academy product Achraf Hakimi has moved to Italian club Inter Milan after featuring in only nine games across three years at the Spanish capital club. The 21-year-old Hakimi, a full-back who can also operate as a right-back or a winger, had impressed in a two-year loan spell at Borussia Dortmund where he scored seven goals in 54 appearances in all competitions. With clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea also interested in the services of the Moroccan player, it was Inter Milan who had their bid of €40 million for the player accepted by Real Madrid.
#5 Timo Werner – Leipzig to Chelsea – €53 million
After a career-best season with Leipzig, in which he scored 34 goals in all competitions, Timo Werner was swopped up by Chelsea despite long-standing interest from Liverpool.
The Premier League champions had courted the 24-year-old striker for a long time, but their interest in the player cooled owing to their finances being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Chelsea pounded at the opportunity and acquired the services of Timo Werner in a deal worth £47 million (€53 million), offering the player a 5-year contract.
Nicknamed ‘Turbo Werner’ for his explosive pace and acceleration, the former Stuttgart man started off as a winger before transitioning to a centre-forward at Leipzig. In Werner, Chelsea have a proven goal-scorer in their ran, but it remains to be seen how quickly the young striker is able to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
#6 Victor Osimhen – Lille to Napoli – €70 million
Victor Osimhen has been the most expensive signing of the 2020-21 summer transfer window, as on 4th September 2020. The 21-year-old Nigerian striker impressed in the 2019/20 season at Lille, where he scored 18 goals in all competitions. With Premier League clubs Manchester United and Liverpool also seeking Osimhen, it was Napoli who acquired his services by splashing out €70 million to Lille who had spent only €12 million to bring in the player from Charleroi a season before.
With that said, the Don’t Play Play team consisting of Avrrey, Sadat & Vanessa took time to weigh in on the transfer news that affected them the most – this was recorded before Messi decided to stay in Barcelona!
Watch video below: