Football across Europe has been slowly opening for business over the past few weeks.
The upcoming 2020/21 season will be eagerly anticipated for a wide range of reasons, most notably how clubs are going to be constructed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with some understandably reluctant to do much business.
However, as we’ve seen from Chelsea, there’s plenty of room for new additions, acquiring Timo Werner’s signature from Champions League semi-finalists RB Leipzig and being linked with Kai Havertz.
But for every high-profile acquisition there are some that go under the radar, here are 10 from this month alone that you might have missed amid the excitement of the Champions League and Europa League.
1. Lyle Taylor
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) August 15, 2020
From: Charlton Athletic
To: Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest’s wait to return to the Premier League goes on when it looked for a while that 21-year absence would be shattered last season. Sabri Lamouchi’s side missed out on the Championship play-offs by one goal so it’s natural to see them strengthening at both ends of the pitch. Joining the ranks up top is journeyman striker Lyle Taylor, who has made the former European champions his 15th different club. The 30-year-old signs on the back off refusing to play for Charlton ahead of the 2019/20 Championship resumption as he didn’t want to scupper a “life-changing move”.
2. Tahith Chong
Herzlich willkommen in der grün-weißen Familie, Tahith!💚
— SV Werder Bremen (@werderbremen) August 16, 2020
From: Manchester United
To: Werder Bremen
Manchester United looked to have got a gem on their hands when they acquired teenage Dutch forward Tahith Chong from Feyenoord four years ago. He showed enough promise in the club’s youth set-up and was subsequently named their Young Player of the Year, leading to him making 16 appearances for the Red Devils’s first-team, with the bulk of those coming last season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, it seems Chong is not part of the Norwegian tactician’s immediate plans, having been sent to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen on a season-long loan.
3. Albian Ajeti
🤔💭 S̶w̶i̶s̶s̶ ̶b̶l̶i̶s̶s̶ 🇨🇭
🤔💭 H̶e̶ ̶p̶u̶t̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶t̶t̶y̶ 🥅
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 13, 2020
From: West Ham
For the second consecutive year, Swiss striker Albian Ajeti is on the move, with his cumulative transfer fee totalling £13m. Ahead of the 2019/20 season it seemed West Ham had a difference maker on their hands, after signing Ajeti from FC Basel where he bagged 37 goals in 75 games. But despite being proud to sign ‘for such a big, traditional club in the Premier League’, it never really happened for Ajeti as he ultimately made 12 appearances without registering a strike. His new club, Celtic, will be hoping a change of scenery will do Ajeti a world of good.
4. Max Gradel
Demir Grup Sivasspor’umuz, Fildişi Sahilli futbolcu Max Gradel’i renklerine bağladı.
— Demir Grup Sivasspor (@SivassporKulubu) August 16, 2020
The return of Leeds United to the Premier League is one of this summer’s biggest headlines and one of their former stars has also been on the move. However, it’s not a return to English football for Ivorian forward Max Gradel, but instead a move to emerging Turkish power Sivasspor, who ended last season fourth in the Süper Lig, linking up with compatriot Arouna Koné
5. George Friend
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) August 15, 2020
To: Birmingham City
Reunited and it could feel so good. After wandering for much of his early years, George Friend finally settled at Middlesbrough, where he’s since made over 250 league appearances in an eight-year spell. But that relationship came to an end at the conclusion of last season with Championship rivals Birmingham City his new employer, led by former Boro boss Aitor Karanka – under whom he made 139 appearances.
— SL Benfica (@SLBenfica) August 14, 2020
Following the 2019 Copa América, which saw Brazil win their ninth title, it seemed everyone was after tournament leading marksman (on three goals) Everton who had previously guided Grêmio to Copa Libertadores glory. His inevitable move to Europe never transpired, and with each passing month it didn’t look like happening. But that changed recently when Portuguese powerhouse Benfica made him their latest summer signing, joining former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.
7. Bartosz Kapustka
❗️ Long-awaited info ❗️
We are pleased to announce that Bartosz Kapustka has signed a fresh deal with Legia Warsaw!💥
— Legia Warsaw (@LegiaWarsawEN) August 13, 2020
From: Leicester City
To: Legia Warsaw
In the summer of 2016, then newly-crowned Premier League champions Leicester City were building from a position of strength, and by all accounts bagged one of Europe’s promising footballers Bartosz Kapustka after he impressed at Euro 2016, notably in Poland’s win over Northern Ireland. However, a promising career in England never took off, instead the 23-year-old midfielder spent much of his four years on loan away from the King Power Stadium, ultimately making just four league appearances before permanently joining Legia Warsaw.
8. Enes Ünal
OFICIAL | Enes Ünal primer fichaje azulón de la temporada 20-21.
— Getafe C.F. (@GetafeCF) August 12, 2020
A stunning hat-trick for FC Twente in August 2016 against FC Groningen whilst still on Manchester City’s books represented a future that could have been for Enes Ünal who, today, is nothing more than a once-promising academy star who never quite made the grade. Since leaving English football, the 13-time Turkey international has exclusively played in Spain’s top tier, signing for Villarreal he’s enjoyed brief loan spells at Levante and Valladolid, but is now a permanent addition to Getafe’s squad.
9. Oliver Skipp
𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴… 🤩
Oliver Skipp joins the Canaries on a season-long loan from Spurs! 👊
💛 #WelcomeSkipp 💚
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) August 17, 2020
From: Tottenham Hotspur
To: Norwich City
Having made his first-team debut in 2018 under Mauricio Pochettino, Oliver Skipp had a very fleeting role at Tottenham last season, managing just 298 minutes across 11 appearances. Tipped to be the future of Tottenham’s midfield, the 19-year-old will spend the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Championship side Norwich City who will be looking to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
10. John Obi Mikel
John Obi Mikel is Stoke City’s fourth recruit of the summer.#SCFC 🔴⚪️
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) August 17, 2020
From: Free Agent
To: Stoke City
What is it with Stoke and former Champions League players? The Potters’ squad of 2016/17, which saw them relegated from the Premier League, has famously had eight players play in the Champions League semi-finals at some point. And now they’ve added another to their current squad. Champions League winner John Obi Mikel has enjoyed life in England, also winning the Premier League twice, one League Cup, three FA Cups and the Europa League at Chelsea – and returns to represent Stoke in the Championship. Mikel was without a club after leaving Trabzonspor earlier in the year, and will be back to in the Championship after a previous spell with Middlesbrough.