As we enter the summer months, business in the transfer market is picking up with Barcelona already making some high-profile acquisitions.
The Catalan giants snapped up free agent Sergio Aguero before obtaining the services of his former Manchester City teammate Eric Garcia also on a ‘Bosman’.
But for every headline-grabbing transfer, plenty go under the radar. Here are the biggest done deals you might have missed this month.
1. Emerson Royal
✍ Toutes les infos sur la 3ème recrue du Barça, @Emerson_Royal22 ! 🇧🇷
— FC Barcelona (@fcbarcelona_fra) June 2, 2021
From: Real Betis
With Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero in the bag, and Gini Wijnaldum possibly to follow, Barcelona further strengthened by bringing full-back Emerson Royal from Real Betis.
Emerson initially joined the Blaugrana from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro in January 2019 and as part of the deal, the 22-year-old moved to Betis on loan with financial responsibilities shared.
But after two strong seasons with Betis, Emerson will now be expected to hit the ground running quickly at the Camp Nou as Barca look to wrestle La Liga control back from the two Madrid giants.
2. Emiliano Buendia
Aston Villa and Norwich City have reached an agreement for the transfer of Emiliano Buendía.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) June 7, 2021
From: Norwich City
To: Aston Villa
Jack Grealish is often linked with a move away from Aston Villa but whether or not that transpires after this summer’s European Championships, Dean Smith has another serious talented playmaker on his hands in Emi Buendia. The Argentine has agreed a move from Norwich City for a reported £35m and although that fee may seem very high, Buendia has created a massive 213 chances for the Canaries over the past two league seasons, leading to 28 assists while scoring 23 goals.
3. Pierre Ekwah Elimby
We are delighted to announce the signing of promising French midfielder Pierre Ekwah.
Welcome to the Club, Pierre! ⚒
— West Ham United (@WestHam) June 9, 2021
To: West Ham United
A young Chelsea midfielder making the switch to West Ham, you say? Following the path of Declan Rice, Pierre Ekwah Elimby sealed his move to the London Stadium for an undisclosed fee this week, with the 19-year-old now continuing his development in east London.
According to West Ham’s official statement, Elimbay is a “powerful defensive midfielder, also capable of dropping into the back line”. The Frenchman himself said of the move:
“I feel really good signing for West Ham. I want to thank the Club for the opportunity they have given me. It’s a big achievement for me.”
He added: “Loads of young players have reached the first team: Declan Rice has been captain, and he’s so young and playing so well. Mark Noble is an unbelievable player who’s been there and done the same. I just want to do similarly to them.
“When West Ham gave me the opportunity to come in for two weeks, I took it, saw how the Club worked, and I just enjoyed it. They gave me the opportunity to sign and I said ‘Yeah, I’m taking this shirt away!'”
4. Maurizio Sarri
Maurizio Sarri è il nuovo allenatore de #LaPrimaSquadraDellaCapitale ⚪️🔵
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) June 9, 2021
After a year on the sidelines, Maurizio Sarri is back in the dugout taking over at Rome giants Lazio, who have just lost Simone Inzaghi to Serie A champions Inter Milan.
Lazio were rather creative with their teasing of his arrival, using cigarette and bank emojis in honour of his smoking habit and background in finances.
— S.S.Lazio (@OfficialSSLazio) June 9, 2021
Sarri’s two-year deal will reportedly earn him a whopping £2.6m per season, so he’d better get to work on making Lazio worthy of a return to the Champions League after only managing a sixth-place finish last season.
5. Youssouf Sabaly
— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis_en) June 8, 2021
To: Real Betis
With Aissa Mandi moving to Villarreal, Real Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini had a hole to fill at centre-back. After a strong four years in France with Bordeaux, Senegal international Youssouf Sabaly has arrived to shore up Los Verdiblancos‘ defence. Sabaly will finalise his free transfer on July 1st, when his Bordeaux contract expires.
6. Ante Budimir
— C. A. OSASUNA (@caosasuna_en) June 7, 2021
Not only did Ante Budimir’s 11-goal La Liga season for Osasuna in 2020/21 earn him a place in Croatia’s Euro 2020 squad, but it also ensured his loan move in Pamplona was made permanent. Osasuna have parted with a club-record fee just shy of £7m to secure Budimir’s long-term services from Mallorca. The 29-year-old will once again use his aerial prowess and high work-rate to spearhead the Osasuna attack and guide the club to another comfortable, mid-table finish in 2021/22.
7. Christian Fuchs
Are you ready to party!? 🍻 pic.twitter.com/I7cW1LPG3q
— Charlotte FC (@CharlotteFC) June 8, 2021
From: Leicester City
To: Charlotte FC
Though they don’t actually start playing until next year, MLS expansion side Charlotte FC have been really busy. Their latest recruit is former Premier League champion Christian Fuchs, who joins on a free transfer from Leicester City.
The 35-year-old has signed a one-year deal which will begin in January 2022, with the option to extend the contract through the 2023 campaign. Their “ZeroFuchsGiven” hashtag on Twitter certainly got a laugh from us!
“I’m impressed with Charlotte FC’s vision for building a successful team,” said Fuchs, who is already Charlotte’s fifth squad addition alongside Sergio Ruiz, Riley McGree, Brandt Bronico and Jan Sobociński.
He added: “This is an extraordinary opportunity to build upon the pillars of progressive, collective and ambitious that are already ingrained in the Queen City. Alongside a diverse staff who make up this club, we can lean on the soccer community from all over the world to create even more of a competitive and hardworking CLTFC family. I look forward to starting from day one to help make Charlotte FC a winning club.”
8. Gregor Kobel
Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Gregor Kobel from VfB Stuttgart on a deal until 2026! ✍️ pic.twitter.com/zwiQfwB48d
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 31, 2021
To: Borussia Dortmund
It’s often said that a goalkeeper doesn’t peak until they hit their 30s. Borussia Dortmund’s current number one Roman Bürki turns 31 this November, though it remains to be seen whether he’s BVB-bound Marco Rose’s first choice by then. And that’s because they’ve signed Bürki’s compatriot Gregor Kobel from Stuttgart where he kept 17 clean sheets across 65 matches in all competitions. Kobel, 23, is understandably a long-term investment but it goes without saying he hasn’t joined BVB to make up the numbers.
9. Phillipp Mwene
— PSV (@PSV) June 1, 2021
From: Mainz 05
To: PSV Eindhoven
Last summer PSV made an inspired transfer by bringing three-time German international Philipp Max from Augsburg and he’s since gone on to create 12 goals in all competitions whilst scoring six himself. Max currently possesses their left-back jersey but he will certainly face competition from his namesake Phillipp Mwene in 2020/21, with the Austrian also being recruited from Germany’s top division. In the 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign, the 27-year-old featured 20 times, scoring once and recording two assists, primarily at wing-back, to keep Mainz safe.
10. Guus Til
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord) June 2, 2021
From: Spartak Moscow
The quality of AZ’s youth academy has been well-documented of late, and their current squad is laced with future Oranje internationals. One that got away, Guus Til, is returning to the Eredivisie, joining Feyenoord on loan from Spartak Moscow. Til, a solid attacking midfielder, scored 23 goals in 76 league games for AZ and Feyenoord will be hoping he can be as productive in their quest to win another championship.
11. Imrân Louza
✍️ We are delighted to confirm the signing of Imrân Louza for an undisclosed fee from FC Nantes!@_AFEX
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) June 1, 2021
Now they’re back in the Premier League, Watford will seek to become top-flight mainstays again. Having a squad rich in depth will help greatly. Their latest recruit, Imrân Louza, managed to score seven goals in Ligue 1 for Nantes last term. Translating such form across leagues can be tricky, but it was only just a few years ago that a central midfielder from France’s top division crossed the English Channel and played an instrumental role in his side winning the whole thing. Chances of Watford ‘doing a Leicester City’ is remote but the Hornets will be hoping Louza becomes just as influential as N’Golo Kanté.
12. Miguel Layún
— Club América (@ClubAmerica) June 3, 2021
Speaking of Watford, a former Vicarage Road inhabitant is on the move. Miguel Layún’s time in England was brief, as he only played a combined 21 times under Slavisa Jokanovic and Quique Sánchez before continuing on a journeyman career. Layún’s latest move sees the 32-year-old return to Club América where he previously spent five years prior to his move to Watford.
13. Charlie Austin
So pleased to finally get this deal done. It’s something that I’ve wanted to happen since arriving back at the club! @QPR mean so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to play in front of the home fans again! 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/WrKMq4nfwj
— Charlie Austin (@chazaustin10) June 2, 2021
From: West Bromwich Albion
To: Queens Park Rangers
After struggling to get any playing time in the Premier League (making just five appearances) Charlie Austin left West Brom and returned to QPR on loan for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign. There weer some initial doubts over the move but Austin ended the Championship season with seven goals in 21 matches. He has now returned to QPR on a permanent deal, signing a two-year contract at the club he previously spent three years between 2013 and 2016.
“I know this is the right move for me and the right move for my family,” he told QPR’s official website of the move.
“Where am I happiest? I was going through a period where I wasn’t enjoying my football – I came here and enjoyed it straight away. I love everything that the club stands for. It’s a family club and one that I’m suited to.
“There is an exciting future ahead.
“What can we achieve next season? We want to take what we did for the second half of last season and look to replicate that for the whole of the coming season.
“I can’t wait to be back on the pitch in front of the fans with a QPR strip on.”