With the closing of the transfer window, some moves that would likely take place throughout the summer finally materialized. While Frenkie de Jong’s long and public endorsement of Manchester United was the best known, there were other household names that also came as somewhat of a surprise.
There are a variety of reasons why players might not move on: the protagonists themselves might choose to stay and try to kickstart a stalled career; there are also those who may have outgrown their current clubs but whose profile and contribution are too important to leave; and occasionally a failed deal can jeopardize a player’s career in the short term. Here we take a look at a selection of players who, for one reason or another, may have benefited from switching clubs over the summer.
From the possible signing off of his second term at Old Trafford on a relatively high note, as few can dispute with his individual contribution last season, to the ambiguous events surrounding the Portuguese this summer – has he orchestrated a move elsewhere? — may have made some supporters uncertain about his involvement. With Erik ten Hag beginning to make his mark on Manchester United without Ronaldo having played a significant role in the club’s remarkable turnaround since the start of the season, winning their last four games, it’s fair to wonder if the 37- Year-olds could do so remain just a marginal figure under the Dutchman’s leadership. While there’s no obvious reason why the fitness-obsessed Ronaldo shouldn’t continue to be a key influence at the highest level, it’s hard to imagine another project that would appeal to him as much as the club – or vice versa.
After being a regular at the Camp Nou for the first half of the season and making quite a positive contribution, the Netherlands international’s stock had already started to slip by the time Xavi Hernandez took over as head coach. Ending up as a support player was certainly not in the cards when the former Man United striker signed for Barcelona after four stellar seasons in Ligue 1 with Lyon.
Quite surprisingly – despite Chelsea’s reported interest late in the transfer window – Depay opted to remain at Barcelona. Not only does he appear to get even fewer chances from Xavi than he did towards the end of last season (he hasn’t played a league game yet), but Barcelona’s recent signing frenzy has meant that the competition for attacking spots has increased significantly.
Frenkie de Jong, 25, Barcelona
Another Dutchman who ended up staying at Barcelona rather than moving to the Premier League was De Jong’s move to Manchester United (or Chelsea), which was arguably the most talked about non-event of this summer’s transfer window. The story – played out in part in the media – was an ever-changing story, culminating in allegations of broken promises and threats of legal action. To balance the books and juggle their finances to meet LaLiga salary caps, Barcelona have reportedly agreed a €75m fee with Manchester United.
However, with De Jong showing no intention of leaving Catalonia, the standoff prompted a public display of discontent rarely seen between a club and a player. From the outside, at least, it looked like the animosity between the parties was of the kind there’s no turning back, but strangely the Dutch midfielder has featured in Barcelona’s first four league games of the season (despite only starting one). ) Despite this, it is difficult to imagine that the wounds will heal quickly.
While not under the radar, it’s fair to say that Zaha’s influence at Crystal Palace has been somewhat underestimated outside of south-east London in recent seasons. Whether his ill-fated stint at Manchester United – where his Premier League career came off the bench twice – could still bolster the idea that the Ivory Coast international isn’t cut out for a ‘big club’, or whether he was consistently dated Priced out in the market, it can be argued that Zaha has matured into a player who deserves more than carrying a team destined for the middle table or being perceived merely as a counter-attacking presence.
Given his start to the season (four goals from free play in five Premier League games) there has been little sign of the wide striker slowing down, who also has good overtaking when playing through the centre. But with a reported interest from Chelsea last month, not seeing the 29-year-old in the Champions League this season looks like a missed opportunity.
Although the Belgian would likely never move away from the Bernabeu this summer – ostensibly due to his own determination to fight for a first-team spot or because few clubs would offer him a tempting salary package – to see how Hazard would react to the die Role of a key player with additional responsibilities elsewhere is an intriguing thought nonetheless.
With an abundance of attacking options, both wide and deep, in a squad built on power, pace, intensity and agility, it’s hard to imagine this is finally the campaign for Hazard’s long-awaited resurrection – or that one ever will be is likely to happen at Real Madrid. With the World Cup coming up in a few months, the prospect of regular playing time might have come in handy as well.
Still in his mid-20s, the Portuguese is in no desperate rush to move away from the Molineux. However, one could argue that the transfer window that just ended was the summer of opportunity for defensive/sitting midfielders with a consistent passing game (to name a few: Manchester City signed Kalvin Phillips, Manchester United signed Casemiro and Liverpool signed Arthur on loan.)
With two years left on his contract, Wolves’ resolve to retain their influential midfielder could be tested next season. Neves (who made his Champions League debut for FC Porto aged 17) is a footballer of a level to be expected regularly in European competitions, as much as his loyalty to the club he joined in the league is, should be praised .
https://www.espn.com/soccer/memphis-depay/story/4740077/cristiano-ronaldofrenkie-de-jongmemphis-depay-which-players-missed-out-on-summer-transfers Which players missed out on summer transfers?