10 European transfers you might have missed: Gomez, Khedira, Rugani

Quick Reads

Amid the wider economic picture, the 2020-21 mid-season transfer window was pretty low on glamorous moves and big-money signings across Europe. 

But there have been some interesting developments, and transfers that have somewhat gone under the radar on the continent.

Following the likes of Bas Dost, Moussa Dembele and Carles Alena earlier in the month, here’s our latest round-up of European transfers you might have missed.

Papu Gomez

A cult hero at the heart of one of European football’s most entertaining teams, Gomez’s six-year stint at Atalanta has come to a sad end after reportedly falling out with manager Gian Piero Gasperini.

Sevilla have taken advantage of the situation, snapping up the 32-year-old Argentinian for a fee of just €6million. The reigning Europa League champions have been playing some lovely football under Julen Lopetegui this season, and the latest addition may well see them climb a level higher.

We can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

Bright Osayi-Samuel

Emerging as one to watch at QPR alongside fellow youngsters Ilias Chair and Eberechi Eze, Osayi-Samuel has left the Championship for the Super Lig, signing for current league leaders Fenerbahce.

Born in Nigeria, his family emigrated to Spain before settling in Woolwich when he was 10 years old. Prodigiously talented, the midfielder looks destined to get his first Super Eagles cap in the coming months.

He came up through Blackpool’s academy before going on to catch the eye at Loftus Road.

Patrick Cutrone 

It’s just never quite worked out for the Italian striker at Molineux, having left AC Milan for Wolves in the summer of 2019.

After spending the latter half of 2019-20 on loan at Fiorentina, Cutrone returned to the Serie A club for the first half of this season but struggled for opportunities with all 11 of his appearances in the league coming off the bench.

He made a brief return to his parent club in January, featuring in the FA Cup wins over Crystal Palace and Chorley and off the bench in Premier League defeats to Everton and West Brom, but it’s evidently been decided that he’s not the man to step into Raul Jimenez’s boots.

The 23-year-old has now been sent out on another loan, turning up at Valencia.

Daniele Rugani

A perennial favourite of the gossip columns, Rugani has been linked with leaving Juventus for some big clubs in recent years but has failed to kick on and live up to his reputation as one of the most promising defenders in Italy, five or so years ago.

Pushed to the fringes at Juventus, he was loaned out to Ligue 1 outfit Rennes for the first half of 2020-21, but his time there was limited to a single appearance in the league.

He’ll hope for more minutes in his second loan of the season, with Cagliari.

Jack Harper

The Malaga-born, Scottish forward has had quite the career path to date, most notably with six years developing his skills at Real Madrid’s academy.

After a couple of years on Brighton’s books, Harper returned to Spain and to Malaga in 2017 before moving to Getafe two years on. Unfortunately, he’s never quite made it at the top level, with a series of loans away lower down the pyramid.

His latest move takes him to Villarreal, but he’ll be turning out for their B team in the third tier.

Sami Khedira

Increasingly pushed to the periphery at Juventus in recent years, appearing not once under Andrea Pirlo this season, Khedira is back in Germany after more than a decade away.

Unfortunately for boyhood club Stuttgart, who he helped win an unlikely Bundesliga title with as a teenager back in 2006-07, there’s been no romantic return for the 2014 World Cup-winning local hero. Instead, he’s signed for Hertha Berlin.

READ: A remarkable XI of players sold by Stuttgart since 2010: Gnabry, Werner, Khedira…

Jeremie Frimpong

The Manchester City academy graduate and Netherlands Under-20 international has left something of a sinking ship at Celtic, who look destined to finish behind Rangers for the first time since 2011.

Frimpong hasn’t kicked on this season in a dysfunctional team, but his early performances at right-back were something special. Still just 20 years old, there’s every chance he realises his potential at a better-run club.

Having moved for a reported €11million fee, it will be interesting to track his development alongside Demarai Gray and Timothy Fosu-Mensah at the Bayer Arena, with the Bundesliga outfit targeting young, UK-based players this window.

Celtic, meanwhile, replaced Frimpong with a loan deal for Everton right-back Jonjoe Kenny.

Gerard Deulofeu

The former Everton and Barcelona winger was unlikely to ever turn out in the Championship after Watford’s relegation in the summer, and sure enough he was loaned out to the Hornets’ sister club Udinese in the summer.

That has now been turned into a permanent deal following 12 appearances and one goal in all competitions.

Tiago Ilori

Portuguese centre-back Ilori seems to enjoy the drama of a deadline day transfer, having originally left boyhood club Sporting Lisbon for Liverpool back in 2013.

But it never quite worked out in Merseyside, with his total of three appearances for the Reds all coming in the FA Cup.

Fast forward seven and a half years, and he’s left Sporting for a second time, joining French club Lorient on a loan deal until the end of the season.

READ: The 10 players Liverpool have signed on deadline day and how they fared

Jean-Clair Todibo

Barcelona don’t appear to factor Todibo in their future plans, having given Schalke an option to buy after last season’s loan, which the Bundesliga club eventually rejected.

After being left out in the cold by Benfica boss Jorge Jesus in the first half of the campaign, Todibo is now back in France, joining Nice on a loan deal until the end of the season. They can reportedly sign him permanently for €20million in the summer if it all goes well.


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