8 interesting transfers from the summer of 2023 you might have missed
This summer’s transfer window has been as busy as ever and with so much focus on the futures of players like Sofyan Amrabat and Ryan Gravenberch, it’s all too easy to have missed more low-key transfers.
Former Manchester United, Barcelona, Newcastle and West Ham players are among those to have moved clubs with relatively little fanfare in the month of August.
We’ve identified eight transfers that have gone somewhat under the radar in recent weeks.
One of Jose Mourinho’s most trusted lieutenants, the Portuguese coach signed Matic for Chelsea, Manchester United and Roma – and sure enough, he was a near ever-present for the Giallorossi finished sixth and runners-up in the Europa League.
But according to reports out of Italy, their relationship broke down this summer. Matic tabled a transfer request two weeks before the 2023-24 campaign got underway, leading to Mourinho “feeling betrayed”.
Sure enough, the 35-year-old Serbia international got his move. He signed a two-year contract with Rennes, who finished fourth in Ligue 1 last term.
Still going at the age of 39, Iniesta spent the last five years playing out in Japan with Vissel Kobe.
One of the most cultured midfielders of his generation was strongly tipped to join up with old pals Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets and sign for Inter Miami – but instead he’s followed in the footsteps of his old partner Xavi Hernandez with a well-paid swansong out in the Middle East.
After being released by Vissel Kobe, he joined UAE Pro League outfit Emirates Club.
A strong shout to be the captain of any self-respecting ‘streets won’t forget’ XI, West Ham cult hero Dimitri Payet left his beloved Marseille for a second time this summer.
Never one to do things conventionally, the French playmaker joined Brazilian side Vasco da Gama – where he was welcomed with rapturous applause.
European veterans turning up in South America is a path less trodden but we’re absolutely here for it.
One of the standout figures last season as Burnley romped home to promotion with 100 points, Tella evidently didn’t fancy another season in the Championship after returning to parent club Southampton.
Vincent Kompany’s Clarets didn’t end up signing the talented winger permanently. Instead, he joined Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, a side tipped to be Bayern Munich’s closest challengers in the Bundesliga this season.
Easy to confuse with fellow Argentinian attacker Angel Correa, the slightly older Joaquin has had a half-decent career in Europe, having represented Sampdoria, Sevilla, Lazio and Inter.
But he’s never quite caught fire, never once hitting double figures for goals or assists in a European league campaign. Correa only played a peripheral role in Inter’s run to the Champions League final last term and was deemed surplus to requirements by Simone Inzaghi.
The 29-year-old continues his well-travelled career in 2023-24 with a loan to Marseille, a deal that becomes permanent if they qualify for the Champions League.
What, you didn’t watch Luton’s Carabao Cup second-round victory over Gillingham?
Veteran Dutch goalkeeper Krul made his debut for the Hatters in midweek after completing his switch from Norwich City.
He was named on the bench for Luton in last Friday’s 3-0 defeat at Chelsea and it remains to be seen whether he’ll usurp Thomas Kaminski as Rob Edwards’ first-choice ‘keeper.
“The story of Luton Town speaks for itself, the last nine years has been an amazing journey and I’m excited to join that journey,” Krul said after joining.
“It’s been a whirlwind for the club; I spoke to Carlton Morris and he spoke very highly about what’s happening at this club.”
— Tim Krul (@TimKrul) August 30, 2023
The Spanish winger returns to his homeland a decade after leaving Barcelona’s La Masia academy to continue his development in Liverpool’s youth set-up.
Canos never broke through at Anfield but he became something of a cult hero at Brentford, making over 200 appearances across two stints with the club – a vital player for Thomas Frank’s Bees as they achieved promotion and consolidated their place in the Premier League.
As Brentford grew, he faded out of the first-team picture and spent the latter half of last season out on loan at Olympiacos. He’s since joined beleaguered La Liga side Valencia for an undisclosed fee.
One of so many forgettable faces at Chelsea in recent years, Zakaria only made five Premier League starts during his loan from Juventus last season and a permanent move to Stamford Bridge never really looked on the cards.
The Swiss midfielder never really settled at his parent club and has been sold to Monaco after just 18 months on the Old Lady’s books.