The 2021 summer transfer window saw plenty of major moves, with some huge transfer fees attached to them.
Two of world football’s biggest names found new homes as Lionel Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United after a 12-year absence.
The Premier League, in particular, saw some staggering sums of money change hands. Manchester City broke the British transfer record when they paid Aston Villa £100m for playmaker Jack Grealish. Chelsea weren’t far behind later in the window when they splashed out a similar figure to re-sign Romelu Lukaku from Inter.
Not every deal in the window, though, involved such massive numbers. In fact, there were some pretty decent bargains picked up. Here, per The Guardian, are 10 of the best value for money deals done during that time period.
Denzel Dumfries, PSV to Inter (£10.6m)
Issues at boardroom level mean that Inter have had to part with a number of first-team players this summer – Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi being among those to move on to pastures new in recent months. Dutch wing-back Dumfries was brought in from PSV to strengthen a depleted squad off the back of a stellar run of personal performances at Euro 2020 – and for a very reasonable price too.
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Milan to PSG (free)
Italy’s hero in the Euro 2020 final, Donnarumma has quickly become one of the top goalkeepers on the planet. When his contract at AC Milan expired at the end of last season, PSG swooped quickly to land him on a free transfer. Transfermarkt currently puts the 22-year-old’s market value at a whopping £58.5m – proving what a sensational piece of business the Parisian giants have managed to pull off.
Eduardo Camavinga, Rennes to Real Madrid (£26.6m)
Eyed as the long-term replacement for Luka Modric, Real Madrid have been tracking the 18-year-old France midfielder for some time. At £26.6m, Camavinga is the most expensive entry on this list. However, his reputation is such that his fee will likely still turn out to be a bargain.
Tino Livramento, Chelsea to Southampton (£5m)
Such is the squad depth available to Blues boss Thomas Tuchel that Livramento was going to struggle massively to get a game at Stamford Bridge. That’s not the case at Southampton, where the 18-year-old has already won himself a place in the hearts of the locals on the south coast. The Saints must also be pretty happy with his price tag of just £5m.
Jesper Lindstrom, Brondby to Frankfurt (£6m)
A key member of the squad that helped Brondby to the Danish title last season, Lindstrom has made the switch to the Bundesliga and slotted straight into Frankfurt’s starting XI. If he can match his 10 goals and 10 assists for his former club last season, then the German outfit will have no complaints about their £6m outlay.
Demarai Gray, Leverkusen to Everton (£1.7m)
With more than 130 Premier League games under his belt for Leicester, it might surprise some that 25-year-old Gray was available so cheaply. However, he has struggled badly for playing time in recent years, something that might understandably have put off would-be purchasers.
Rafa Benitez’s Everton took the plunge – and have been rewarded handsomely so far, with a return of two goals in three league games.
Aster Vranckx, Mechelen to Wolfsburg (£6.9m)
The latest in a highly talented crop of young Belgian internationals, Vranckx received rave reviews for his performances at Mechelen last season, earning himself a move to Champions League side Wolfsburg this summer. At under £7m, there’s every chance that Mark van Bommel’s men will recoup that transfer fee several times over when they come to part with Vranckx.
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Lazar Samardzic, Leipzig to Udinese (£2.6m)
Udinese parted with just £2.6m to sign 19-year-old playmaker Samardzic. Things didn’t work out for him at Leipzig, but the man who was once so highly rated that he attracted interest from Chelsea, Barcelona and Juventus now has a fresh start in Serie A.
Calvin Stengs, AZ Alkmaar to Nice (£8.5m)
A man who already has seven caps to his name for the Dutch national side, Stengs made the move from his homeland to Ligue 1 outfit Nice this summer. A tricky winger who can also play in-field, the 22-year-old has the sort of potential that makes his £8.5m transfer fee look like a snip.
Matthew Hoppe, Schalke to Mallorca (£2.6m)
The 20-year-old USA frontman will forever hold a place in Schalke history after scoring a hat-trick against Hoffenheim to end their record 30-game winless run at the turn of the year.
Nothing, however, could be done to save Schalke from relegation – after which Hoppe opted to make the move to La Liga with Mallorca. Standing well over six-foot, the striker carries an imposing presence that is likely to give trouble to many a defender in the Spanish top-flight this term. At just £2.6m, the youngster could turn out to be one of the bargains of the season for his new side.
Arteta OUT Show (Via The Football Terrace)