The summer transfer window leading to the 2021/22 season will go down as one of the craziest, by the profiles of players who moved, and the amounts spent in the process. These moves, which included top transfer fees in some situations, were definitely made within and across the big leagues.
A number of top players made moves back to their previous homes and there were also key reunions between former managers and players they once handled. The dust has settled now, and here we get to sample some of the top ones.
Cristiano Ronaldo: This name was one of the highlights on transfer deadline day. The Portuguese made the shock switch from Juventus to Manchester United after a few hours of frenzy, within which he was rumored to be heading to Manchester City. After six seasons and 84 league goals, Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009 for Real Madrid, where he’d spend nine seasons, and three more at Juventus. He is back at United and is already firing and inspiring title talk at the team. With the Ronaldo effect, football predictions here will mostly tip Manchester United as favorites. Among other previews on Wincomparator, the team is already backed to win the third round League Cup tie against West Ham United for example.
Romelu Lukaku: One of the heroes for Inter Milan last season, Romelu Lukaku was also a shock acquisition, by Chelsea. After two great seasons in Italy, it was expected the forward would stick with the team after troubled times in England. He was however on the forefront asking the Italian giants to accept a bid from Chelsea. He joined the Blues for his first stint in 2011 and could only score two goals, and was loaned to West Brom and Everton before sealing a permanent deal with Everton and later would join Manchester United. It didn’t work and he landed at Inter with a point to prove. He proved it, and Chelsea went back for him and he is already firing.
Antoine Griezmann: After two underwhelming seasons with Barcelona, Frenchman Antoine Griezmann is back at Atletico Madrid, where he spent five seasons. The forward, whose journey in Spain started in the second tier, had a wonderful run in five seasons with Atletico has missed the two league titles the team has won between 2014 and now. Last season he scored 13 goals for Barcelona, a four-goal improvement of the previous season but overwhelmed by financial issues, the Catalans had to allow him to go back to Atletico.
A number of players and managers also found their former mates at their new work stations, the most notable, a reunion of Lionel Messi and Neymar at PSG, the two having played together at Barcelona.
A former Real Madrid legion of Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos and Kaylor Navas also reunited at PSG after a busy transfer period for the French giants. Hakimi, coming from Inter and Ramos from Real, found Navas already established at the Parisian giants.
There was also a small Manchester United – Chelsea reunion at AS Roma, with new manager Jose Mourinho engineering the signing of Tammy Abraham, whom he worked with at Chelsea. The manager also found in the team former Manchester United duo of Henrikh Mikitaryan and Chris Smalling, who were his players at Manchester United.