A number of domestic leagues across Europe have already opened for business, with the rest following shortly, but winning games on the minds of everyone.
The summer transfer market continues unabated with deals being made all over the place with the biggest transfer in football history yet to be completed, as Barcelona’s greatest player and free agent Lionel Messi looks set to join Paris Saint-Germain according to reports.
But here we are dealing with completed moves and, in a week that saw Jack Grealish become a £100m-man, some other notable switches may have gone under the radar.
1. Ravel Morrison
Welcome on board, @morrisonravel! ?
Our new ?????? ?? ?#DCFC
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) August 7, 2021
From: Free Agent
Sir Alex Ferguson once described Ravel Morrison as the most talented Manchester United youngster he’d come across. However, a lack of focus and running with the wrong crowd ended any dream of lighting up Old Trafford. Instead, the once promising midfielder has since embarked on a journeyman career that would make for an interesting movie.
Since leaving his boyhood club, the 28-year-old Mancunian has turned out for no fewer than 10 teams, across five different nations, before linking up with former teammate Wayne Rooney, now the head coach at Derby, who are tipped by some observers as among the favourites to be relegated from the Championship this season. It remains to be seen whether Morrison holds down a regular starting berth as it’s been a few years since he last played more than 10 games in a single campaign.
2. Matheus Pereira
— نادي الهلال السعودي (@Alhilal_FC) August 7, 2021
From: West Brom
While this departure shouldn’t have been surprising to anyone, the destination has certainly raised some eyebrows. The moment West Brom suffered the ignominy of relegation from English football’s top division, chances of them holding onto their most impressive players went down, and Matheus Pereira was the Baggies’ most valuable player so you could understand that he’d be sought after. Across 33 league appearances last term, the 25-year-old Brazilian bagged 11 goals and created six more and remaining in the Premier League this season was certainly a possibility with Leicester City and West Ham reportedly interested. In the end he took his talents to Saudi Professional League outfit Al Hilal where Moussa Marega, Bafétimbi Gomis and André Carrillo are plying their trade and managed by former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim.
3. Amadou Onana
— LOSC (@losclive) August 5, 2021
Onana ultimately sealed his move to Ligue 1 but it’s not wantaway Ajax goalkeeper André, who remains suspended from playing until November; the 25-year-old was heavily associated with a switch to Lyon, but with reported interest from more prestigious clubs he balked. The same cannot be said for his namesake and emerging Belgian midfielder Amadou who swapped second division German side Hamburg for French champions Lille. Across a single 2. Bundesliga season for HSV, Onana played 25 times while scoring twice. It’s hard to see him immediately breaking into Les Dogues’ midfield but you can imagine him wanting to seize whatever opportunities come his way.
4. Myron Boadu
— AS Monaco ?? (@AS_Monaco) August 4, 2021
Following the departure of Calvin Stengs to Nice, former AZ partner in crime Myron Boadu has made the same journey from Alkmaar to France’s top division, but they will not be reunited with Boadu instead being half an hour away in Monaco. The 20-year-old Dutch centre-forward leaves the Cheeseheads after registering 38 goals across 88 appearances in all competitions. His standout performances earned him a first international cap against Estonia in November 2019 a game that saw him score one of Oranje’s goals in a comfortable 5-0 win. He hasn’t represented the Netherlands since and he’ll be hoping to change that with Louis van Gaal back at the helm.
5. Marco Bizot
✍ Le Stade Brestois a le plaisir d’annoncer la signature pour ? ??????? de Marco Bizot. Le gardien international néerlandais débarque du club de l’AZ Alkmaar où il lui restait un an de contrat.
?????? ????? !
— Stade Brestois 29 (@SB29) August 4, 2021
To: Stade Brest
It’s not only the forwards who are leaving AZ, with first-choice goalkeeper Marco Bizot, who spent the summer as Maarten Stekelenburg’s back-up at Euro 2020, also on his way out. The one-time Oranje international had been in Alkmaar since 2017, when he joined from Genk, and has accumulated 164 appearances whilst keeping 72 clean sheets and conceding a goal every 88.9 minutes. Bizot has relocated to Stade Brest who are playing in their third consecutive Ligue 1 season. Last season they finished just above the relegation places, conceding 66 goals, and they’ll be hoping Bizot plays a pivotal role in that area improving.
6. Joshua Zirkzee
— RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) August 3, 2021
From: Bayern Munich
Unflattering headlines were made when Bayern Munich youngster Joshua Zirkzee stood mere centimetres away from the Ajax goal line in a recent pre-season friendly and, for a split second, took his eyes off the prize allowing Perr Schuurs to execute a goal-saving tackle. His boss Julian Nagelsmann wasn’t amused but it’s clear the young Dutch forward is highly thought of, hence being sent out on loan to gain more experience and thus accelerating his development at Belgian powerhouse Anderlecht.
7. Salvatore Sirigu
?❤️? Benvenuto, Salvatore! pic.twitter.com/gc0g5Y3qB1
— Genoa CFC (@GenoaCFC) August 3, 2021
What a summer it was for veteran Italian goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu who lifted his first major international prize. Although he was Gianluigi Donnarumma’s understudy, the 34-year-old came off the bench for a solitary minute against Wales, a gift from manager Roberto Mancini who recalled never playing a second at the 1990 World Cup finals. The former Paris Saint-Germain ‘keeper ended a four-season association with Torino but remains in Serie A by penning a deal with Genoa.