The end of August is on the horizon which means the European transfer window is almost closed for Europe's top 5 leagues. This summer has been jam-packed with huge money moves, some surprising departures, and a rebuild for others. Rather than looking at the best teams buying all the best players to strengthen their already dominant squads, we have created a list of the top 5 most underrated transfer windows this summer (so far).
The first club on our list and coming in our 5th spot is Sevilla FC. The Spanish club which finished fourth in La Liga last season has had quite the window concerning the number of funds that are coming in rather than the money spent.
Spending only $30.8 million this summer, the Spanish side has brought in 20-year-old French defender Tanguy Nianzou from Bayern Munich for $17.6 million as one of their two center backs which are arriving. To pair alongside Nianzou, Sevilla also signed Marcao from Galatasaray for $13.2 million and Alex Telles from Manchester United on a free transfer to fill up the gaps of their two largest departures this season.
The departures in question are Jules Kounde ($55 million) to FC Barcelona and Diego Carlos ($34.1 million) to Aston Villa made up a significant portion of the money that is coming into the club. Alongside the center-back duo, Sevilla has also let go of Luuk de Jong, Alejandro Pozo, and Augustinsson as well.
The income from the departures adds up to around $96.25 million which, when added to their expenditures, concludes their transfer record at a staggering $64.45 million. Although they have lost their 2 main center halves, they have replaced their defence with one already reliable defender, as well as one for the future in Nianzou.
On top of their defensive rearrangements, they have also acquired Isco from Real Madrid on a free transfer, another attacking option, who at 30-years-old has the experience and skillful attributes to help them push for another top four finish this season.
4. Nottingham Forest
Arriving at the number four spot is newly promoted Nottingham Forest who are finally back in the Premier League after 23 years. The only newly promoted club on this list, Nottingham has had an unbelievable transfer window as they have acquired 16 new players and have spent $162.86 million so far.
To start, the English club has brought in plenty of Premier League-proven players to boost the depth of their team. Just the players who have arrived on free transfers, they have acquired Wayne Hennessey, Cheikhou Kouyate, Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson (on a loan). Lingard being the standout name after his spell at West Ham two seasons ago as well as Dean Henderson who has been sitting on Manchester United’s bench behind David De Gea.
Furthermore, Nottingham has improved in all other areas on the pitch, in the defence with Moussa Niakhate ($11 million) from Mainz 04, young left-back Neco Williams ($22 million) from Liverpool, Omar Richards ($9.35 million) from Bayern Munich and right back Giulian Biancone ($11 million) from Troyes. They have also been rumoured to sign Atletico Madrid left-back Renan Lodi in the coming days, which would be an impressive acquisition for Forest.
They have also brought in Morgan Gibbs-White ($32.45 million) from Wolverhampton Wolves to bolster up their midfield with Orel Mangala ($14.3 million) from VfB Stuttgart as well as Remo Freuler ($9.9 million) from Atalanta. Lastly, up top in the attack, they’ve acquired Taiwo Awoniyi ($22.5 million) from Union Berlin and Emmanuel Dennis ($16.3 million) from relegated Watford FC.
Having so many new players in a club may be difficult to adjust to at first, but with the number of great deals they have gotten from players who know the Premier League and/or are internationally experienced, they have the firepower to stay up. The only issue is that the amount of players that have left the club only amounts to $5.5 million, leaving a negative transfer record of $-157.36 million, an insane number for a club that has not been in England’s top flight for two decades.
3. RB Leipzig
It would be the obvious choice to pick Bayern Munich as the Bundesliga’s best club for this summer’s transfer window but RB Leipzig has had a particularly interesting window of their own. After finishing fourth last season in Germany, Leipzig had been underwhelming especially with some of their signings such as Andre Silva, Brian Brobbey and permanently signing Angelino.
This summer, Leipzig has made a significant profit all while signing some strong players to push them further up the table this upcoming season. First of those is a heartfelt homecoming of Timo Werner ($22 million) from Chelsea FC on a permanent deal after selling the striker a few years back for $58 million. Alexander Sørloth also is back to Leipzig after his loan to Real Sociedad, two striker options which will help bolster the attack which already has Bundesliga 2021/2022 player of the year Christopher Nkunku.
Leipzig has also acquired German left-back David Raum ($28.6 million) from Hoffenheim after they loaned Angelino to Hoffenheim this summer, a swap that Leipzig will most certainly benefit from. David Raum was one of the best Bundesliga defenders last season and by pairing him with arguably the best defender in Germany, Josip Gvardiol, they have truly created a wall at the back.
The departures, although many, should not affect Leipzig’s squad depth as they already have a decent squad to begin with. They sold Tyler Adams ($18.7 million) to Leeds United but have replaced him with Xaver Schlager ($13.2 million) from Wolfsburg. Leipzig has additionally offloaded other names like Hee-Chan Hwang to Wolves, Brian Brobbey to Ajax, and Ademola Lookman to Atalanta.
Overall spending $63.8 million on new signings and gaining $81.42 from players who were either replaced or simply did not make that great of an impact. Other than Nordi Mukiele ($13.2 million) being sold to Paris Saint Germain, their squad looks to have significantly improved this summer all while gaining a profit of $17.62 million from their transfers and looking strong for this upcoming season.
2. Olympique Marseille
Moving over to France, after PSG’s incredible transfer window last season, this summer has been relatively quiet for the Parisians which has allowed other clubs to benefit wherever they can. Olympique Marseille has been one of those clubs, strengthening their side after coming in second place in Ligue 1 last season.
Marseille has had more improvements than losses this window as they have acquired names in all areas of the pitch. First off, permanently signing players who were on loan last season, Matteo Guendouzi ($12.1 million) from Arsenal FC, Cengiz Under ($9.24 million) and Pau Lopez ($13.2 million) from AS Roma.
On top of that, Marseille has signed some younger players who have lots of potential to thrive in France. Right back Issa Kabore (loan) from Manchester City, left-back Nuno Tavares (loan) from Arsenal and center half Isaak Toure (6.05 million) from AC Le Havre. Marseille has had its fair share of younger players flourishing so there is a lot to expect from these three.
As for the bigger signings, Colombian striker Luis Suarez ($11 million) from Grenada, Jonathan Clauss ($8.25 million) from Lens, Alexis Sanchez (free) from Inter and Chancel Mbemba (free) from FC Porto are all starters who can make a difference. Not to mention, another Roma player in Jordan Veretout who can fill the defensive midfield role with Guendouzi. All big stars who can play important roles in a team fighting for the title.
The departures of Steve Mandanda, Boubacar Kamara, William Saliba and Luan Peres may be missed, but all those positions have now been replaced along with even more depth going forward as Marseille has Champions League football this season. With a staggering $80.74 million in signings after an excellent season in France, Marseille will be looking to improve and make big waves in France and Europe this season.
Taking the number one spot for the most underrated transfer window is the Italian club, Napoli. The club from Naples finished third last season in Serie A, qualifying for the Champions League and tying Italian Champions AC Milan for least goals conceded (31).
This summer for Napoli has had its positives and negatives, losing one of their best players but capitalizing by bringing in a lot of great players for considerably reasonable price tags. The player in question is Kalidou Koulibaly, arguably one of the best defenders in the Serie A leaving Naples for Chelsea for $41.8 million.
In addition, Napoli had also sold Arkadiusz Milik ($8.8 million) to Marseille (which has now transferred to Juventus) and lost a ton of players on free transfers. Lorenzo Insigne had left for Toronto FC, David Ospina to Al-Nassr FC, Dries Mertens to Galatasaray, and the termination of wingbacks Faouzi Ghoulam and Kevin Malcuit.
That being said, Napoli, this summer has recovered brilliantly, starting with their most expensive arrival in South Korean defender Min-jae Kim ($19.86 million) from Fenerbahce. An under-the-radar transfer but the Korean will surely make an impact bringing an impressive aerial presence and quick defensive decision making him one of the brightest stars leaving Turkey this summer. In addition, Napoli has acquired Spanish left-back Mathias Olivera ($12.10 million) from Getafe to fill a starting wingback position.
In the attack, however, Napoli has brought in some big-name signings such as Georgian talent Khvicha Kvaratskhelia ($11 million) who at 21 years old is already making waves from his first few appearances. At the striker position, two loanees in Giovanni Simeone ($3.85 million loan fee) and Giacomo Raspadori ($5.5 million loan fee) are excellent players to bring in who together, scored 27 goals in the Serie A last season.
To round off the rest of the signings this summer, Napoli also acquired Andre Zambo Anguissa ($16.5 million) from Fulham, young center-back Leo Ostigard ($5.5 million) from Brighton, Tanguy Ndombele ($550,000 loan fee) from Spurs, and veteran Salvatore Sirigu (free transfer) as a backup goalkeeping option from Genoa.
From who Napoli has lost compared to who they have acquired, it is safe to say the Italian club has benefitted from the surprising losses they’ve had this season. In all positions, they have brought in young talent to help build their depth and strengthen their starting eleven as they find themselves in a good position in the league, but also in the UEFA Champions League which they will hope for positive results.