Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marc Cucurella, Joe Bryan? These are the most curious dedications of the summer market

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marc Cucurella, Joe Bryan? These are the most curious dedications of the summer market

The most recent transfer market was filled with broken records. According to the Transfermarkt website, Premier League clubs have invested a colossal sum of 2.24 billion euros, including colossal transactions involving Antony (who joined Manchester United for 95 million euros), Wesley Fofana (80 million euros to Chelsea) and Darwin Nunez (to Liverpool for 75 million euros). For their part, the Italian Serie A (749 M€), the French Ligue 1 (557 M€), the Spanish Liga (505 M€) and the German Bundesliga (484 M€) have between them invested a total of 2 €670 million.

Among all this money changing hands, we saw some really special transactions. Below, ESPN reporters break down the summer signings that confused them the most.

I mean, what is it? Nice fans were right to ask: who is Joe Bryan and what is he doing in a team trying to fight for the Ligue 1 title while contesting the Europa Conference League this season? The 28-year-old left-back arrived on loan from Fulham after wearing shirts for Bristol City, Plymouth and Bath (the last two on loan). It makes no sense for a club the size of Nice, with big money and big ambitions, to sign an average player like him. Bryan probably can’t believe how lucky he is.

In general, most of Nice’s dealings in this recently concluded deal were odd. The club’s obsession with signing British footballers or those who have played in the Premier League is very curious. Besides Bryan, they signed former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey (31, free), Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (35, €1m), former Chelsea Ross Barkley (28, free) and have loaned 27-year-old winger Nicolas Pepe from Arsenal, alongside 23-year-old defender Mads Bech Sorensen from Brentford. As the current holder of 12th place in the Ligue 1 table, after three defeats in seven matches, this suggests that the bet is unlikely to pay off. — Julien Laurens.

Marc Cucurella, from Brighton to Chelsea, £56million

Chelsea were always going to face a difficult task in the summer market due to two key factors: UK government sanctions on former owner Roman Abramovich, which prevented them from holding talks with provisional signings until ‘at the end of the transfer of shares at the end of last May. Moreover, the club’s new owners need time to immerse themselves in the football industry, filling the void left by the departures of key personnel who worked in the transfer industry. However, all that doesn’t entirely absolve them of criticism after paying a £53million bid to sign Brighton left-back Cucurella.

The Spanish defender is a quality player and has the potential to improve. however, Manchester City broke off a potential deal as they were unwilling to pay the required amount, almost £50m. Despite this, Chelsea ended up paying £56m, with £7m in extra consideration, partly simply because they wanted to loan Levi Colwill out rather than allow him to sign for Brighton permanently. As an agent suggested to ESPN, Chelsea did indeed pay their own loan fees.

To add even more surrealism to the case, Cucurella submitted a transfer request when City showed their interest in him, trying to force him to leave a club formed by Graham Potter… to end up at a club now formed. by Graham Potter. — James Olley.

It was not an unusual signing, in the sense that Chelsea had to bring in a recognized scorer, after allowing the departure of Romelu Lukaku (on loan to Inter Milan) and Timo Werner (30 M € at RB Leipzig). However, the rest of the aspects of this negotiation make no sense.

Basically, it was a signing 100% promoted by Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel had an extremely close professional relationship with Aubameyang between 2015 and 2017 at Borussia Dortmund. So despite the former Arsenal striker’s reputation as a difficult player to deal with (the Gunners terminated his contract last February, allowing him to sign for Barcelona on a free deal, as manager Mikel Arteta lost patience with his lack of discipline), Tuchel felt it was worth taking the risk.

However, Tuchel was sacked as Chelsea manager, so why did the board approve a deal for a player that would likely be incompatible with any new manager’s plans? Aubameyang is anything but a collective player. If you don’t score, you don’t contribute. If he’s not playing, he contributes a lot less and brings a lot of drama to the table. How Potter handles that remains to be seen, but it was a curious negotiation. Very curious. — Mark Ogden.

Billy Gilmour, from Chelsea to Brighton, £7.5m

Poor Gilmour. The 21-year-old midfielder wanted to leave Chelsea for Brighton to work under Potter. A few days later, he was to watch Potter leave Brighton to take over the Chelsea bench. Gilmour is a much sought after player but has reached a stage in his career where he needs consistency and a move to Brighton could work. Although the deal raises the question of why Chelsea were willing to let him go knowing that Tuchel was set to be sacked and replaced by Potter.

It is suggested that Chelsea didn’t want to let him go. However, the Scotland international argued that working under Potter was too good an opportunity to pass up. To reiterate, if this is the case and Chelsea knew at the time that Potter would likely end up playing at Stamford Bridge in a matter of days, then Gilmour has every right to feel aggrieved. The only thing he can do now is prove Chelsea wrong and fulfill his potential by wearing a Brighton shirt. –Rob Dawson.

Soler’s departure from Valencia comes as no surprise: the club had revealed they had to release one of their top two players as the €33m payment Tottenham paid for the services of Goncalo Guedes was not not enough to balance the accounts. However, his departure from PSG and the low-key €18million transfer fee for the midfielder aroused suspicion, with barely a year left on his contract. The 25-year-old was one of Valencia’s captains, apart from their creative axis. Now, he’s set to be a mere supporting player at PSG, a side he didn’t even manage to enter the pitch with as a substitute this season.

Another puzzling deal was Valencia’s attempt to defuse fans’ anger over Soler’s departure by signing 35-year-old Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani on a free transfer. Manager Gennaro Gattuso was forced to admit the striker was unable to train to the fullest due to age-related injury risks (having been out of action since leaving Manchester United this summer on a free transfer) and the Uruguayan international has yet to play his first minute with Che. — Alex Kirkland.

De Tomás scored 17 goals for Espanyol last season, only surpassed by Celta Vigo figure Iago Aspas (18) and Real Madrid star Karim Benzema (27). His performances earned him four caps for the Spanish national team and during the recently concluded deal he was the subject of rumors linking him to Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Sevilla and many other clubs who compete in European tournaments. What makes this all the more puzzling is that he ended up signing with his former club, Rayo Vallecano… after the market closed.

Yes, De Tomás completed his move to Rayo this week for the reported figure of €8m, with €3m in bonuses and a five-year deal after his relationship with Espanyol soured for years. non-sporting reasons. However, he won’t be able to play for Rayo until next January due to his inability to register. Any aspiration to feature in Spain’s squad for the World Cup next November appears to have faded

What makes this signing even weirder is that last week Rayo president Martín Presa officially accused one of De Tomás’ agents of headbutting him during the negotiations for the signing of the contract. ‘attacker. However, everything seems to indicate that the two parties succeeded in separating the business from the personnel to finalize the operation. — Sam Marsden

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