As usual, many of Europe’s biggest moves happened weeks ago. Transfer season began with Willian leaving Chelsea for Arsenal. Later, Gareth Bale returned to Tottenham from Real Madrid, which also sold James Rodriguez to Everton.
Chelsea lured Timo Werner and Kai Havertz from the German Bundesliga. Philippe Coutinho headed back to Barcelona after winning the Champions League while on loan at Bayern Munich, while young Americans Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest traded Ajax and Schalke, respectively, for Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus and Lionel Messi’s Barcelona. And as usual, there are far too many pre-deadline deals to mention.
But also as usual, many clubs waited until the 11th hour — in England, the deadline was literally 11 p.m. local time — to push major, multi-million euro/pound/dollar transfers through before the window slammed shut across the continent.
Here’s a look at the biggest Deadline Day signings.
Manchester United sign Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles
United had been chasing Uruguayan striker Cavani for weeks, yet even though the 33-year-old has been a free agent since his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired over the summer, his Old Trafford arrival wasn’t made official until about an hour before the cutoff.
Cavani wasn’t the only big fish the Red Devils lured on Monday; United also acquired left back Alex Telles from Porto for a fee that could reach $20 million depending on how Telles fares with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. Cavani will get the headlines, and he’ll step right in up top with Anthony Martial facing a three-match ban after being sent off in Sunday’s humiliating loss to Spurs. Meantime, Telles, who is expected to replace the veteran Luke Shaw in Solskjaer’s starting 11, should be a needed defensive improvement. The question is, will it be enough?
The Red Devils also reached a $48 million agreement with Serie A’s Atalanta for ballyhooed 18-year-old winger Amad Diallo, who will remain with Italian side until January.
Premier League-leading Everton lands Ben Godfrey, loans Theo Walcott
“Premier League-leading Everton.” That’s fun to write. Anyway, the Toffees are off to a perfect 4-0 start this season thanks in large part to Rodriguez, who has opened up so much space for fellow frontrunner Dominic Calvert-Lewin that the latter is tied for the Prem lead with six goals.
Now they have a bona fide defensive stud to go with their all-star strike force in the form of 22-year-old center back Ben Godfrey. The highly-rated Godfrey didn’t come cheap; with incentives, his move from second-tier Norwich could rise to over $30 million.
To help balance the books, Everton sent one of its senior players out the door by loaning Theo Walcott to Southampton, the club with whom the 31-year-old Walcott began his professional career back in 2005.
Arsenal apparently juuust gets Thomas Partey release over the line
We knew Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wanted Partey, Atletico Madrid’s 27-year-old central midfield workhorse. We didn’t know if Arsenal’s brass would be willing to meet the Ghanaian’s $58 million release clause.
After all, earlier Monday, the Stan Kroenke-owned club fired the team’s mascot to save money. In they end, though, Arteta has seemingly got his man in Partey, as the La Liga club officially announced his departure with just minutes to spare. Partey should bring some much-needed poise and steel to the Gunners sometimes-suspect spine.
Chelsea loans Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Fulham
Ruben Loftus-Cheek wanted more playing time than he was getting from Frank Lampard at Chelsea. He’ll get it without having to leave London.
Chelsea sent the 24-year-old attack-minded midfielder on loan to fellow Premier Leaguers Fulham on Monday, a day after it nixed Bayern Munich’s attempted loan move for another youngster in Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Juventus splurges on Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa
The biggest deal outside of England undoubtedly was Juve’s move for the speedy Italian national team winger. Chiesa didn’t come cheap for the Turin giants; his fee was reported to be $59 million.
Chiesa’s transfer, officially a two-year loan, will become permanent when Juve pays the Viola the final $47 million it owes in 2022.
Busy Bayern brings Douglas Costa back from Juve
With Chiesa headed to Juventus, there was no room for 30-year-old Brazilian Costa, who returned to former employers Bayern Munich on loan.
Bayern didn’t stop there. In a surprise move, Europe’s champs brought in striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on a free after the 31-year-old left PSG.
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