13 European transfers you might have missed: Suarez, Harper, Embolo & more
The transfer window may still be open in a number of Europe’s major leagues, but a number of intriguing transfers how gone under the radar in recent weeks.
While all the attention in England has been on a frantic end to transfer window for Premier League and Football League clubs, teams in wider Europe have quietly gone about their business.
We’ve rounded up 13 interesting deals that might have passed you by in the meantime.
For a player with Manchester City, Barcelona and Arsenal on his CV of clubs, it’s very easy to forget about Suarez. Indeed, the Gunners seemed to quickly forget they signed the midfielder on loan last January, affording him just 67 minutes of Premier League football before being sent back to the Camp Nou.
With his future prospects at Barca looking pretty gloomy, Suarez has returned to boyhood club Celta Vigo in a €16million deal.
The 25-year-old started his career with Celta, where he initially began to attract attention from the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, who he ultimately joined.
Harper’s name will ring a bell with lots of fans in Britain, with the Scotland youth international having earned a glowing reputation while on the books as Real Madrid throughout his teenage years.
A move to Brighton was disrupted by injuries, and Harper has returned to Spain to rebuild his reputation with Malaga. After impressing in the second tier last term, the 23-year-old has now made the step up to La Liga by joining Getafe.
The hero of Russia’s surprisingly successful World Cup campaign, Cheryshev’s career path is starting to get a bit daft.
The winger spent a season on loan at Villarreal in 2014-15 before being loaned to Valencia the following year. He then returned to Villarreal permanently ahead of 2016-17, only to be loaned back out to Valencia last season.
Cheryshev has now joined Valencia permanently for the first time in a €6million, and we can’t wait for him to move back to Villarreal on loan in January.
Luuk de Jong
Newcastle fans will probably find it difficult to believe De Jong, who failed to score in 12 appearances on loan at St James’ Park in 2014, has been sold for around €15million this summer.
But after scoring 112 goals in 204 appearances for PSV Eindhoven, Sevilla have decided to part with the cash to sign the striker.
While the majority of transfer talk around PSG has focused on the future of Neymar, the French champions have bolstered their squad with a number of intriguing moves for far more unassuming characters.
Out of contract at Sevilla in 2020, Sarabia was available for around €20million and is coming off the back of a season in which he produced double figures for goals and assists in La Liga.
Given Borussia Dortmund’s reputation for developing some of Europe’s finest young talents, it’s somewhat surprising to see them allow Isak to join Real Sociedad permanently.
The 19-year-old has often been compared to a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his home country of Sweden but has struggled to break into Dortmund’s first team since joining from AIK in 2017.
Yet the striker netted 14 times in 18 appearances on loan at Willem II in the second half of last season, and Sociedad hope he can replicate that form in La Liga.
Honestly, you do remember him. Anyway, what we’re trying to say is: he’s left Real Mallorca on a free transfer to join Marbella FC, who sound like a football team made up of the cast of The Only Way Is Essex.
Despite being linked with Manchester United this summer, Nainggolan has made a romantic return to Cagliari, where he initially made his name in Serie A, on a season-long loan deal.
“I am happy, there is great enthusiasm,” the 31-year-old said upon the deal’s completion.
“I always wanted to return but I did not think the return would come this year, but I am happy that is has happened. It was not hard to choose Cagliari although I did have other offers.”
Another perennial Premier League target, after five years at Roma, Manolas moved to Napoli this summer in a €34million, having also been linked with Juventus, Milan and Arsenal.
If he can get even close to recreating a moment like his Champions League quarter-final winner against Barcelona, he’ll have done alright.
Tottenham’s favourite Irish reserve goalkeeper, Paul O’Pez (copyright: Football365’s Matt Stead), failed to make a single appearance on loan at Spurs in 2016-17.
This summer he’s just joined Roma for €23.5million, and we can’t quite believe it.
Another eye-catching signing made by PSG amid all the furore surrounding Neymar, Diallo has arrived from Borussia Dortmund after impressing in his debut campaign at BVB.
The centre-back has returned to France, where he started his career at Monaco, and will be hoping the chance to shine in Ligue 1 will help him graduate to a senior international.
Once one of the most sought-after prospects in Europe, Embolo’s progress stalled after suffering a horrific injury shortly into his Schalke career.
The striker, now 22, has remained in Bundesliga by joining Borussia Monchengladbach on a four-year deal.
“He’s had a lot of misfortune with injuries in recent years and obviously we had to take a really close look at his physical condition,” said Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl.
“We’re in no doubt we can offer him a fresh start and that he’ll bring us a lot of joy. He’s quick, strong and a goal threat – and is a great fit for our squad.”
Best known for his celebration for Boca Juniors in last year’s Copa Libertadores final, at the age 29, Benedetto has finally made the switch to Europe by joining Marseille for €14million.
The striker will fill the void left by the departure of Mario Balotelli, taking over the No.9 shirt from the Italian, and Benedetto himself has acknowledged: “This is a very important challenge for me personally and in my career. I hope I’m up to the task.”
— Laurie Hanna (@LaurieHanna) December 9, 2018