Football Features

From M’Baye Niang to Paco Alcácer: 10 done deals you might have missed this week

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:22, 21 August 2022

Time is of the essence with this summer’s transfer window drawing to a close.

Even with the major leagues already open, clubs are still looking to buy and move players on. This week saw winless Manchester United acquire the services of defensive midfielder par excellence Casemiro from Real Madrid (pending his visa), where he lifted the European Cup on no fewer than five occasions. 

But for every high-profile acquisition, there are some names that go under the radar. Here are five done deals from the week of August 15 that you might have missed.

1. Lys Mousset

From: Sheffield United

To: VfL Bochum

It doesn’t feel that long ago when Lys Mousset was making a name for himself in England’s top division. After spending three uneventful seasons with Bournemouth he came alive during the 2019/20 campaign when he bagged six goals across 30 appearances for then newly-promoted Sheffield United but that proved to be his Premier League zenith. The native of Montivilliers wouldn’t strike at this level again before joining Salernitana on loan. After it became clear his time at Bramall Lane was over, the forward is hoping to enjoy a resurgence at Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum.

2. Marc Bartra

From: Real Betis

To: Trabzonspor

There was a brief moment when many observers felt Marc Bartra could follow in the footsteps of fellow La Masia graduates Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique by establishing himself as Barcelona’s preeminent central defender. However, competition for places coupled with inconsistent form saw him leave for Borussia Dortmund after making fewer than 60 league appearances. Again it didn’t quite work out for him in Germany and he would spend just two years representing BVB, before returning home with Real Betis where he spent the past five seasons prior to leaving for Trabzonspor this summer.

3. M’Baye Niang

From: Bordeaux

To: Auxerre

Big things were expected of M’Baye Niang when he joined AC Milan from boyhood club Caen a decade ago. Things didn’t pan out for the Senegalese marksman, who netted eight goals across 67 league outings. Niang would concurrently enjoy loan spells at Montpellier, Genoa, Watford and Torino before joining the latter on a permanent basis. Niang’s journeyman-like career resumed with Rennes, Al-Ahli and Bordeaux enjoying his services. Auxerre are set to become his 10th different club.

4. Perr Schuurs

From: Ajax

To: Torino

Ajax had seemingly prepared for Matthijs de Ligt’s departure when they signed Perr Schuurs from Fortuna Sittard but the central defender wasn’t able to follow in De Ligt’s footsteps. Instead, he’s embarked on a similar career trajectory: Amsterdam to Turin. But the Nieuwstadt-born defender will not be wearing Juventus’ colours. Instead, he’s set to represent their city rivals Torino.

Next step, TSV 1860 München?

5. Paco Alcácer

From: Villarreal

To: Sharjah FC

Another who stepped out for Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund before returning to play La Liga football. Alcacer produced a nifty 10 goals across 37 league matches for Barça and it was a loan spell at BVB which had many taking notice. During the 2018/19 season, the 19-time Spain international bagged 12 goals in 14 league appearances for the German powerhouse which convinced them of keeping him on a permanent basis. His stay proved to be short with Villarreal enjoying his work between 2019 and this summer.

Alcacer was loaned to six-time UAE champions Sharjah but, incredibly, saw that deal cancelled within 40 hours. Villarreal responded by terminating his contract, allowing Alcacer to join Sharjah on a permanent basis.

6. Tanguy Ndombele

From: Tottenham

To: Napoli

The outspoken Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas once described Tanguy Ndombele as more well-rounded than Paul Pogba and wanted him to join Juventus ahead of interest from the Premier League. His wish didn’t come to fruition as the French midfielder opted for recent Champions League finalists Tottenham in a club-record deal. So much was promised and it’s fair to say Ndombele, for a multitude of reasons, never managed to fulfil those expectations. He would temporarily return to Lyon before agreeing to a similar move with Napoli this summer.

7. Liam Delap

From: Man City

To: Stoke City

Delap and Stoke City go together like fish and chips. Rory, a cult hero at the Staffordshire-based club, will now be able to watch his promising son play for the Potters, who are seeking a Premier League return. Liam, a star pupil of Manchester City’s academy, has already made several appearances under Pep Guardiola but with his attacking options being plentiful, it was decided the younger Delap should go out on loan and continue developing before reassessing his future at the English champions.

8. Thilo Kehrer

From: PSG

To: West Ham

Part of that Schalke 04 squad that rocked Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 all those years ago, Thilo Kehrer is the latest from that side to see what all the Premier League fuss is about. Between leaving Gelsenkirchen and joining West Ham, there was a stint at Paris Saint-Germain where he amassed over 120 appearances in all competitions.

9. Sergio Gomez

From: Anderlecht

To: Man City

Another on the list who came through at Barcelona before enjoying a Borussia Dortmund spell. Sergio Gómez, though, would enjoy just two Bundesliga outings before Anderlecht signed him on a permanent basis. It was there he learned under Vincent Kompany and no doubt heard stories from the Belgian’s illustrious time at Manchester City, which he’ll now get to experience. Being predominantly a left-back, competition at that spot will be fierce considering how much Guardiola likes Joao Cancelo there with Kyle Walker occupying the other flank.

10. Ahmetcan Kaplan

From: Trabzonspor

To: Ajax

Schuurs going on to enjoy the sweet life opens up a spot in Ajax’s defensive reserve which has immediately been filled by promising Turkish centre-back Ahmetcan Kaplan, who has already tasted league success with Trabzonspor where he broke through as a professional. Kaplan also follows in the footsteps of Mustafa Yücedag as the second Turkish player to represent Dutch football’s most successful club.

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