The 10 most expensive players to leave PL in 2021 & how they’ve fared
It always seems like players join the Premier League rather than leave it, but every summer there are a number of players that head to other leagues, to rebuild their careers and play regular football again.
As well as a handful of high-profile moves, there were a number of players leaving under the radar who you might have missed.
These are the 10 most expensive players who left the Premier League this summer, according to the fees reported on Transfermarkt.
With the arrival of Lukaku from Inter Milan, Abraham became surplus to requirements at Chelsea and made a £34million switch to Roma.
After providing two assists on his Serie A debut, the striker scored his first goal in Italy during a 4–0 win against Salernitana. He’s gone to notch 5 goals in 17 matches as he adapts to living abroad and working under Jose Mourinho.
“Jose has told me just to be a monster!” Abraham said in a recent interview.
“I think one of the things he said was that I was too much of a nice player and that you have to show that aggressiveness as a striker as you’re getting older.
“It’s not always about being nice on the pitch. You need that character, you need that presence to frighten defenders and I think that’s something I’m learning and getting better at.”
Tomori shone on loan at AC Milan last season, winning praise from greats like Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini.
But it was still a surprise that Chelsea chose to let him leave permanently, even more so that there was no buy-back clause inserted into the £25.9million deal.
The Blues aren’t exactly struggling defensively but they may still come to regret letting the defender leave so easily. Tomori has carried on where he left off in Milan, making 16 appearances in all competitions and helping the club make a fast start to the Serie A season.
Tomori has also played his way back into the England squad and made a substitute appearance against Andorra in October.
“It is not that he killed me as a player”, Angelino has said about Pep Guardiola. “He made me the player that I am. It is just that I didn’t play.
“That is why I said he killed my confidence. I didn’t get much game time.”
After making 12 appearances in the 2019-20 season, the City full-back was sent on loan at RB Leipzig and impressed enough for the German side to make his stay a permanent one for a significant £16.2million in February 2021.
Leipzig have made a stuttering start to the season and are currently outside of the European places in the Bundesliga. Angelino’s own form mirrors that of his employers, as he’s found himself in and out of the team.
The East German side have also been eliminated from the Champions League after suffering heavy defeats to PSG and Manchester City.
Another player whose loan deal was made permanent, Foyth swapped Tottenham for Villarreal in the summer for a £13.5million fee.
The defender played an important role in the club’s Europa League triumph last season but Unai Emery’s side have been unable to replicate that form this time around and are currently in the bottom half of the La Liga table.
Foyth has also struggled with a hamstring problem and faces competition for his place from another former Spurs player – Serge Aurier.
A stalwart at the heart of the Tottenham defence for six seasons, Alderweireld surprised many people with his decision to join Qatar-based outfit Al-Duhail for £11.7million in the summer transfer window.
“People thought it was strange I went to Qatar,” the Belgium international told Het Laaste Nieuws. “But I can take my children to school and pick them up. That’s a luxury I’ve never had before.”
“Never say never but the chance I’ll return to a top European club isn’t nil – but very small.”
He also admitted to following a vigorous training regime in order to maintain fitness for next year’s World Cup.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Wilson left Liverpool years ago but it was only this summer that the Wales international made the permanent move away from Anfield.
Championship side Fulham splashed out a reported £12.6million for Wilson’s services and have been repaid handsomely.
With six goals and seven assists to his name, Wilson has established himself as arguably the best player in the division and it’d be a shock if he wasn’t playing Premier League football again before long.
What a strike!! 🎯
Sensational from Harry Wilson who gets his Fulham debut underway in sensational fashion 👇 pic.twitter.com/07cggMfUs6
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) August 8, 2021
One of the many forgotten men at Stamford Bridge, Zappacosta moved back to his native Italy with Atalanta for £8.1million over the summer.
Having already enjoyed two spells with the club, both parties certainly knew what they were getting and Zappacosta hasn’t let them down. The full-back has been quietly excellent for the Serie A side, making 15 appearances domestically and in Europe.
The 29-year-old was also called into the Italy squad to face Northern Ireland in November, although he didn’t make it onto the pitch.
But this has definitely been a success story to date and perhaps a cautionary tale for others – the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.
There was always an element of ‘too good to be true’ about Rodriguez’s fast start at Everton and the sceptics were eventually proved right last season.
The Colombia international faded as the campaign went on and became marginalised under Carlo Ancelotti. Replacement boss Benitez held the same view and it became clear Rodiguez had no future at Goodison Park.
He switched to Qatari side Al-Rayyan in September 2021 for a reported £7.2million but has only made three appearances for his new club – and was sent off in one of them for a furious outburst at the referee.
🟥🤯 James Rodríguez recibe esta criminal entrada… ¡Y lo expulsan por protestarla!
👀 (La expulsión, en el siguiente tweet)
— Carrusel Deportivo (@carrusel) October 30, 2021
Nmecha came through the ranks at Manchester City but, like many before him, found it difficult to break into the first team under Pep Guardiola.
The striker was loaned out four times by City and he joined one of those teams – Wolfsburg – on a permanent,£7.2million deal over the summer.
He scored the winning goal on his Bundesliga debut for the club, in a come-from-behind 2–1 victory over Hertha Berlin, and has added a further four since – including two in European competition.
Nmecha also made his debut the Germany national side in a World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein in November and it seems like the sky is the limit for the 22-year-old.
Awoniyi spent six years registered as a Liverpool player without ever having a sniff of the first team – but has thrived since a £5.85million move to Union Berlin this summer.
The striker has notched nine goals in 13 appearances and seems to have found a home from home in the German capital.
“I think that feeling appreciated is the most important thing: you feel good, you don’t feel far from home and you feel welcomed,” Awoniyi told ESPN.
“That’s the key. That’s what’s helping me keep going.”
Another special occasion this season was the moment Awoniyi made his debut for the Nigeria national side in a World Cup qualifier against the Central African Republic – he will hope to appear in the World Cup next year.