Football Features

Former Premier League-winner on the move: Six transfer deals you might have missed this week

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:15, 31 July 2021

It’s not long to go before the major domestic leagues in Europe open up for business.

However, the summer transfer window remains in full swing with several big names starting a new chapter in their lives, most notably Raphaël Varane who’s set to end a decade-long stay at Real Madrid for Manchester United.

But for every high profile acquisition there’s some that go under the radar. Here are six from this week alone.

1. Viktor Fischer

From: FC Copenhagen
To: Royal Antwerp

A decade ago Viktor Fischer was heralded as being the next big thing from Ajax’s never-ending conveyor belt of talent. There was good reason for that optimism too, as some of his performances at youth level captured the imagination, and once handed an opportunity by then-De Godenzonen boss Frank de Boer it looked as though Fischer was off to the races. However, injuries stunted his development and, when fit, competition for places were fierce.

Unable to get back into the team, Fischer switched to Middlesbrough in 2017 but his fortunes did not change in England and he’d soon be on the move. Returning home, by signing for FC Copenhagen, the 27-year-old forward seemed back to track in Denmark, scoring 24 goals and recording 44 assists in 120 appearances across all competitions. His performances have now prompted Belgian Jupiler Pro League side Royal Antwerp to secure his services this summer.

2. Marc Cardona

From: Osasuna
To: Go Ahead Eagles

Following the godly success of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Carles Puyol, not to mention Gerard Pique, who returned home after occasionally turning out for Manchester United, you start to feel sympathetic towards anyone graduating from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. To say that group raised the bar too high is an understatement.

Over the past decade very few have come through La Masia and staked a regular starting berth, and while that is starting to change under Ronald Koeman’s watch, it no longer applies to 26-year-old striker Marc Cardona who failed to make a single league appearance before ultimately joining Osasuna. His services will not be required there this season as he’s joined newly-promoted Eredivisie club Go Ahead Eagles on loan where former Barça forward Marc Overmars began his illustrious career.

3. Sergi Gómez

From: Sevilla
To: Espanyol

Speaking of homegrown Barça talent, here’s another who never quite made the grade. Sergi Gómez, unlike the aforementioned Cardona, has tasted silverware and recently ended a three-year association with Sevilla where he lifted a Europa League title. After leaving Barcelona, where Gómez made just a single appearance in all competitions, the 29-year-old enjoyed a solid period at Celta Vigo before moving south.

He’s now back on the move, returning to Catalunya, but instead of re-joining his boyhood club Gómez will be plying his trade at city rivals Espanyol who secured promotion to Spain’s top division last season.

4. Pablo Rosario

From: PSV Eindhoven
To: Nice

The powers-that-be at Nice have started to build their own Dutch enclave, recruiting 24-year-old midfielder Pablo Rosario from PSV this summer. He joins compatriots Justin Kluivert and Calvin Stengs who joined the club in recent weeks. Rosario, who spent time at Feyenoord and Ajax before moving to Eindhoven, ultimately saw their midfield becoming congested following the acquisitions of Marco van Ginkel and Davy Pröpper.

So, naturally, with dreams of breaking into the Dutch national team in mind a move away from De Boeren was necessary for Rosario. With Ligue 1 being a few levels above the Eredivisie this makes natural sense and, unlike going to the Premier League, it’s not the biggest leap. The likes of Memphis Depay have shown it’s the ideal next step to further develop away from the Eredivisie.

5. Stevan Jovetic

From: Monaco
To: Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin just about staved off relegation last season when they finished 14th in the Bundesliga and just two points above the drop zone. It’s well known having a serial marksman among the ranks increases your chances of staying away from trouble and Stevan Jovetic could be that man for Hertha.

The 31-year-old Montenegran striker, however, has gone nine seasons since last registering at least 10 goals in a single campaign. He produced those efforts at Fiorentina which earned him a lucrative move to Manchester City but he couldn’t quite dislodge Sergio Aguero and moved onto Inter Milan before settling down at Monaco with a loan spell at Sevilla sandwiched in between.

6. Diego Rico

From: Bournemouth
To: Real Sociedad

Following his move from Leganés in 2018, it looked as though Diego Rico was an astute piece of business for Bournemouth but early promise soon began to fade. After their relegation to English football’s second tier, Rico remained at the Cherries for a single campaign before returning to Spain this summer. Rico, a Real Zaragoza academy graduate, turned pro at his boyhood club before going onto amass over 100 appearances in all competitions. Leganés acquired his services and from there he’d embark on a Premier League adventure.