It felt like it went on for ages, but the 2020 summer transfer window for overseas purchases has finally ended.
The delayed end to 2019/20 meant that the start of the transfer window was pushed pack, to allow teams to focus on finishing their campaigns. It also meant that teams were starting their 2020/21 campaigns without confirmed squads, sometimes not knowing whether a player will be part of their team.
There has been a fair bit of business over the summer, particularly for teams in Europe’s top five leagues. Some, like Chelsea, went hard in the window and looked to overhaul a large part of their squad, securing big names relatively early, while others cherry-picked from the market for their necessities.
But, on the whole, which teams had the best transfer window?
We’ve had a look across Europe’s top five leagues and narrowed it down to our best 15, picking three from each division.
Ins: Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore, Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ross Barkley (loan)
Outs: Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Matija Sarkic, James Chester, Borja Baston, James Bree, Scott Hogan, Mbwana Samatta (loan), Andre Green, Kelsey Mooney, Indiana Vassilev (loan), Jota, Orjan Nyland
Aston Villa needed change after their fight against Premier League relegation last season, and the Villans have been backed by the board.
Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore and Ross Barkley have all been added to bolster the attack, the latter coming in on loan from Chelsea, and will bring some much needed goals to Villa Park, as witnessed in the recent 7-2 humbling of reigning champions Liverpool.
They have also strengthened at the back with Emiliano Martinez already proving himself in goal and Matty Cash slotting in at right-back.
DONE DEAL: Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Edouard Mendy from Rennes for a reported fee of £22m. pic.twitter.com/YruXRUtJzD
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 24, 2020
Ins: Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva
Outs: Alvaro Morata, Mario Pasalic, Nathan, Davide Zappacosta (loan), Lewis Baker (loan), Pedro, Willian, Danilo Pantic (loan), Jamal Blackman (loan), Jamie Cumming (loan), Ethan Ampadu (loan), Kenedy (loan), Michy Batshuayi (loan), Ross Barkley (loan), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (loan), Tiemoue Bakayoko (loan), Matt Miazga (loan), Jon Russell (loan), Davide Zappacosta (loan), Luke McCormick (loan), Lewis Baker (loan), Conor Gallagher (loan)
Chelsea have been by far the busiest Premier League side in the transfer market, bringing in some massive names. The likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have added to an already talented attack, though the latter is yet to make a competitive appearance through injury.
But they have also added some much-needed reinforcements to a weak defence including left-back Ben Chilwell and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who looks set to be the club’s No.1 going forward. Both put in a strong performance against Crystal Palace over the weekend, keeping a first league clean sheet of the season.
Ins: Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Niels Nkounkou, James Rodriguez, Ben Godfrey, Robin Olsen (loan)
Outs: Morgan Schneiderlin, Kieran Dowell, Maarten Stekelenburg, Luke Garbutt, Oumar Niasse, Cuco Martina, Sandro Ramirez, Theo Walcott (loan), Moise Kean (loan), Lewis Gibson (loan), Fraser Hornby
Everton have done wonders in this summer’s window, with James Rodriguez being a steal on a free transfer from Real Madrid. The Colombian is already pulling the strings in the Premier League, linking up well with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
Completing a new-look midfield for Carlo Ancelotti’s side are Allan and Adboulaye Doucoure, two very different players who perfectly complement each other and Rodriguez. And the Italian was active on deadline day as well, bringing in Norwich defender Ben Godfrey and goalkeeper Robin Olsen on loan from Roma.
Welcome to the 𝘕𝘰𝘶 World. ⚓️ pic.twitter.com/mpPq0OwgGL
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 1, 2020
Ins: Miralem Pjanic, Francisco Trincao, Sergino Dest, Matheus Fernandes, Pedri
Outs: Arthur, Nelson Semedo, Carles Perez, Marc Cucurella, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Moussa Wague (loan), Luis Suarez, Arda Turan, Monchu (loan), Sergio Akieme (loan), Rafinha, Juan Miranda (loan), Jean-Clair Todibo (loan), Ludovit Reis (loan), Jorge Cuenca, Chumi, Monchu (loan), Dani Morer
This was almost a window to forget for Barcelona but Lionel Messi is staying at the Nou Camp, at least for one more season. The Blaugrana already had a pretty solid squad, but looked to bolster their midfield with Miralem Pjanic and add to their attacking threat in Francisco Trincao.
But perhaps the most exciting signing is the recent one, Sergino Dest, an attacking full-back who could solve Barcelona’s problems on the right side of their defence.
They have also shed some of their older players whose places in the squad were becoming more detrimental than good, including Luis Suarez.
Ins: Pervis Estupinan, Francis Coquelin, Gero Rulli, Takefusa Kubo (loan), Jorge Cuenca, Dani Parejo, Mario Gonzalez, Juan Antonio Ros, Kevin Soni (loan), Haissem Hassan, Juan Foyth (loan)
Outs: Karl Toko Ekambi, Enes Unal, Alvaro Gonzalez, Akram Afif, Javi Ontiveros (loan), Andres Fernandez, Santi Cazorla, Andrei Ratiu (loan), Simon Moreno (loan), Sergio Lozano (loan), Ivan Martin (loan), Xavi Quintilla (loan), Miguelon (loan), Enric Franquesa (loan), Manu Morlanes (loan), Miguel Leal (loan), Jorge Cuenca (loan), Mariano Barbosa, Javi Ontiveros
Valencia were in turmoil over the summer and their rivals Villarreal have fully profited. They have signed Francis Coquelin and Dani Parejo from Los Che, bolstering their midfield, particularly with the experience of the latter.
But they have also brought in the likes of exciting Japanese winger Takefusa Kubo on loan from Real Madrid, and Watford full-back Pervis Estupinan to secure the defence alongside goalkeeper Gero Rulli. Promising 18-year-old Haissem Hassan has also come in from Chateauroux and Juan Foyth on loan from Tottenham.
Ins: Suso, Oscar Rodriguez, Marcos Acuna, Bono, Ivan Rakitic, Oussama Idrissi, Karim Rekik
Outs: Sergio Rico, Simon Kjaer, Ever Banega, Giorgi Aburjania, Rony Lopes (loan), Juan Berrocal (loan), Marc Gual, Jose Lara (loan), Juan Soriano (loan), Ibrahim Amadou (loan), Roque Mesa, Bryan Gil (loan), Alejandro Pozo (loan), Nolito, Pejino
One of the teams to benefit from Barcelona’s makeover is Sevilla, with the Europa League holders seeing a return for Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian has automatically become an important part of Sevilla’s midfield, scoring a goal and recording an assist in four games so far.
Also joining Sevilla are left-back Marcos Acuna and attacking midfielder Oscar Rodriguez, with Suso making his loan move from AC Milan permanent, though that was already agreed. A couple of deadline day swoops completed Sevilla’s summer of activity, with electric winger Oussama Idrissi joining from AZ, and former Man City defender Karim Rekik relocating from Hertha Berlin.
Ins: Marius Bulter, Sebastian Griesbeck, Niko Gießelmann, Robin Knoche, Andreas Luthe, Loris Karius (loan), Taiwo Awoniyi (loan), Cedric Teuchert, Nico Sclotterbeck (loan), Keita Endo (loan), Joel Pohjanpalo (loan), Max Kruse
Outs: Sebastian Andersson, Felix Kroos, Rafal Gikiewicz, Leo Oppermann, Sebastian Polter, Ken Reichel, Neven Subotic, Nicolai Rapp (loan), Suleiman Abdullahi (loan), Florian Flecker, Lennard Maloney, Julius Kade, Laurenz Dehl (loan), Maurice Opfermann Arcones, Manuel Schmiedebach
There’s a lot of names above, but Union Berlin have struck somewhat of a balance between their incomings and outgoings.
Looking to become a mainstay in the Bundesliga, the capital club have signed Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius on loan for the season, and he is joined by teammate Taiwo Awoniyi who was at Mainz in 2019/20. Union have also spread their reinforcements across the pitch from defender Robin Knoche to veteran striker Max Kruse.
Ins: Alexander Nubel, Tanguy Kouassi, Leroy Sane, Marc Roca, Douglas Costa (loan), Bouna Sarr, Nicolas Kuhn, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Outs: Thiago Alcantara, Flavius Daniliuc, Franck Evina, Lukas Mai (loan), Sarpreet Singh (loan), Paul Will, Oliver Batista Meier (loan), Sven Ulreich, Michael Cuisance (loan)
The European champions have not be messing about this summer. Free transfers Alexander Nubel, Tanguy Kouassi and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting all represent tidy business, particularly the former two, who have both been signed with an eye for the future.
The double swoop for wingers Leroy Sane and Douglas Costa will bring a new dimension to the attack, with the former Man City player already helping himself to a goal and two assists in only two Bundesliga matches so far. Costa has rejoined the club on loan from Juventus, completing a ferocious wide frontline that already boasts Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman.
Finally Marc Roca, an archetypal Spanish deep-lying playmaker, has joined to replace Thiago, while the experience of Bouna Sarr adds further depth to the flanks — not that they were needed.
The 24-year-old has signed a 5-year contract and will wear the number 1️⃣9️⃣ shirt 🤝
Read more: https://t.co/OdN2htE2oK 🗞️
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) September 22, 2020
Ins: Alexander Sorloth, Hwang Hee-chan, Josep Martinez, Lazar Samardzic, Benjamin Henrichs (loan), Justin Kluivert (loan)
Outs: Timo Werner, Ademola Lookman (loan), Hannes Wolf (loan), Frederik Jakel (loan), Mads Bidstrup, Tom Krauss (loan), Yvon Mvogo (loan), Malik Talabidi
Obviously the standout name on the list of RB Leipzig’s transfer business is the departure of Timo Werner, but they have spent the money they received well.
Exciting South Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan and Alexander Sorloth are the two men drafted in to replace the German, with both having fine campaigns last season. Hwang, alongside Erling Haaland for part of the campaign, was directly involved in 23 goals for Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga, helping them to the league title. Meanwhile Sorloth, who spent last season on loan at Trabzonspor from Crystal Palace, scored 33 goals in 49 games.
Justin Kluivert was also snapped up on deadline day, with the Roma winger coming in on loan to try and recapture his Ajax days and force a way back into the Netherlands squad.
Ins: Marko Rog, Giovanni Simeone, Alessandro Tripaldelli, Zito Luvumbo, Diego Godin, Razvan Marin (loan), Gabriele Zappa (loan), Riccardo Sottil (loan), Matteo Tramoni, Adam Ounas (loan)
Outs: Nicolo Barella, Filippo Romagna, Lucas Castro, Artur Ionita, Senna Miangue (loan), Luca Cigarini, Rafael, Giovanni Pinna (loan), Luca Gagliano (loan), Alessandro Deiola (loan), Diego Farias (loan), Kiril Despodov (loan)
Now, a couple of these signings were permanent moves following loan deals, such as Marko Rog and Giovanni Simeone, but they are still big signings.
Simeone was a big player for Cagliari last season, scoring 12 goals and recording four assists and he is already off the mark for the new campaign. But perhaps their biggest deal was the free transfer of experienced defender Diego Godin who will not only add quality to their defence but also provide valuable teaching for those around him.
Achraf Hakimi is the only full-back/wing-back in Europe's top five leagues + Eredivisie + Primeira Liga to reach double figures for open play assists so far this season.
❍ 33 games
❍ 10 assists
❍ 5 goals
Antonio Conte has just signed the perfect player. 😍 pic.twitter.com/tVkyV6rjW1
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 2, 2020
Ins: Achraf Hakimi, Nicolo Barella, Stefano Sensi, Darian Males, Aleksandar Kolarov, Georgios Vagiannidis, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Matteo Darmian (loan)
Outs: Mauro Icardi, Yann Karamoh, Andrea Palazzi, Valentino Lazaro (loan), Felice D’Amico, Matteo Rover, Lorenzo Gavioli (loan), Diego Godin, Borja Valero, Antonio Candreva (loan), Sebastiano Esposito (loan), Eddie Salcedo (loan), Dalbert (loan), Andreaw Gravillon (loan), Darian Males (loan)
Godin was one of Inter’s departures but they have more than made up for his exit with their incomings.
Their backline was improved by Aleksandar Kolarov, who has slotted in at centre-back with Antonio Conte favouring his three-man defence. But they have also added exciting wing-back Achraf Hakimi who was on fire in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund last season.
Like Cagliari, Inter have also secured the permanent moves of Nicolo Barella and Alexis Sanchez following loan spells, without any big outgoings.
Adding to the experience, Arturo Vidal and Matteo Darmian were also picked up by Conte, who will be eyeing up a Serie A title charge this term.
Ins: Jordan Veretout, Chris Smalling, Gianluca Mancini, Carles Perez, Marash Kumbulla (loan), Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pedro, Borja Mayoral (loan),
Outs: Patrik Schick, Gregoire Defrel, Maxime Gonalons, Cengiz Under (loan), Aleksandar Kolarov, Alessandro Florenzi (loan), Diego Perotti, Robin Olsen (loan), Justin Kluivert (loan), Ante Coric (loan),
Despite finishing fifth, Roma were some away off the top four and they have not messed about in trying to shorten the gap. Carles Perez and Pedro have been added to the attack, the latter bringing experience and a winning know-how back to the club.
They also won the battle for highly sought-after centre-back Marash Kumbulla, at first on loan from Hellas Verona, though it will be made permanent next summer. Defensively, Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling have also been added to Paulo Fonseca’s squad after loan spells last term.
🔴 Jonathan David to LOSC: done deal !
— LOSC Lille EN (@LOSC_EN) August 11, 2020
Ins: Jonathan David, Sven Botman, Orestis Karnezis, Isaac Lihadji, Angel Gomes, Burak Yilmaz, Eugenio Pizzuto, Mustafa Kapi
Outs: Victor Osimhen, Gabriel, Junior Alonso, Nico Gaitan, Herve Koffi (loan), Saad Agouzoul (loan), Kouadio-Yves Dabila (loan), Loic Remy, Romingue Kouame (loan), Angel Gomes (loan), Leo Jardim (loan), Show (loan)
Lille had a big outgoing in Victor Osimhen over the summer and also sold Gabriel to Arsenal, giving them a fair bit of money to work with.
Rather than spending it all on one player, Lille have spread the love across their positions, but that doesn’t mean Osimhen hasn’t been replaced. Exciting Canadian prospect Jonathan David has been added to the attack alongside the experience of Burak Yilmaz, while Sven Botman is one of the Gabriel replacements.
Ins: Robson Bambu, Flavius Daniliuc, Morgan Schneiderlin, Hassane Kamara, Amine Gouiri, Rony Lopes (loan), Jordan Lotomba, Lucas Da Cunha, Jeff Reine-Adelaide (loan)
Outs: Gautier Lloris, Ibrahim Cisse (loan), Ignatius Ganago, Yanis Hamache, Christophe Herelle, Malang Sarr, Adrien Tameze, Ihsan Sacko (loan), Patrick Burner, Lucas Da Cunha (loan), Jean-Victor Makengo, Wylan Cyprien (loan)
Another team that has done a lot of business spread across the pitch is Nice, who have been busy to build on their fifth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season.
There has been a big focus on youth too, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Hassane Kamara being the only two players signed over the age of 25. One signing that has caught the eye is Amine Gouiri who was tipped for greatness, albeit on the virtual world of Football Manager. But Nice will be hoping his potential does carry over.
Ins: Luis Henrique, Alvaro Gonzalo, Leonardo Balerdi (loan), Pape Gueye, Yuto Nagatomo, Michael Cuisance (loan)
Outs: Abdallah Ali Mohamed (loan), Gregory Sertic, Bouna Sarr, Maxime Lopez (loan)
Marseille may have finished second in Ligue 1 last season and secured their return to the Champions League, but Andre Villas-Boas’ side clearly weren’t happy with their squad.
They kicked their business off with the permanent move of Alvaro Gonzalez, who had spent 2019/20 on loan from Villarreal with a mandatory purchase included. But they added to their defence with Leonardo Balerdi on loan from Borussia Dortmund and the experienced Yuto Nagatomo who has started two of their four games so far.
Marseille also won the battle for the highly-rated young defensive midfielder Pape Gueye, who had appeared to be on the way to Watford earlier in the window, though he has had to make do with five substitute appearances. Luis Henrique also joined but is yet to make his debut, while Michael Cuisance made a deadline day switch on loan for the season from Bayern Munich.