Summertime Madness in The English Premier League


Josh Klopp

The 2021 Summer Transfer Window in the English Premier League (EPL) had everything a soccer fan could want – storylines and drama from start to finish. Not only did we see the biggest transfer in EPL history, but there was also a constant threat of it being broken again in the same window, not to mention a legend of the game returning to his former English side over a decade later. As per usual, the biggest clubs in England were the ones spending big money.

The summer started off hot for Liverpool as they made the first signing of the window. They brought in Ibrahima Konaté from the Bundesliga of Germany. He cost the Reds a sizable fee of $44 million. Liverpool supporters and fans of the EPL alike thought that this could be a sign of a busy summer for Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, but the exact opposite occurred. Fans clamored for more signings, and Klopp insisted he had the players he needed to compete in both England and Europe. Liverpool did not sign a single other player throughout the summer. They made a few minor sales, but it came out to be an extremely quiet summer.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, we can explore the reasons why the summer of 2021 was one to be remembered. Manchester United decided they would use this summer to take away every excuse they could away from their manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Who’s been heavily criticized and perhaps for good reason. The Red Devils haven’t won the league since 2013. To combat this, they went on a spending spree. It kicked off by agreeing to acquire Jadon Sancho from the Bundesliga. Sancho is seen as one of the most promising young forwards in the world. Manchester United was forced to dish out $93.5 million to get him to Old Trafford. Time will tell, but many analysts think that this whopping sum is actually a bargain. To flip the script and bolster their defense, they bought Raphaël Varane from Real Madrid. The French defender went for a fee of $44 million and will be an elite addition to the squad’s back line. This window ended in Manchester United’s favor. In what could be considered a nightmare turned dream come true, Cristiano Ronaldo rejected a push by Manchester City to rejoin his former club on a steal of a deal. Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as a top 3 player of all time, worked out a deal with the Red Devils to join the club for only $16.5 million. Based on his name value and the bundle of goals he scored since his return, this deal could not have been a bigger win for Manchester United.

Speaking of Manchester City, what an interesting summer they had. It was pretty chill other than making the biggest transfer in EPL history. It is really not that surprising, because Manchester City is the highest spending club in England, but it is still big news. This was done by paying the $129 million release clause for Jack Grealish. The most interesting aspect of this situation is that Manchester City was threatening to re-break the record for the whole rest of the summer. This threat came from their intense interest in last year’s Golden Boot (Most Goals) winner, Harry Kane. Manchester City offered a rumored $150 million to Tottenham in an attempt to add the striker to their squad. Respect to Tottenham for not folding to the allure of $150 million, but it seems like they are not making the most of Harry Kane’s goal scoring prowess and would be better off allocating that money to different areas of need.

Since Harry stayed put, the biggest transfer of a striker was of Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea, the current European Champions, added the big man with the second biggest transfer of the summer. They snagged Lukaku for $127 million from Inter Milan in Italy. Lukaku is exactly what Chelsea needed to spark their sometimes-dormant offense. The veteran goal scorer will add many goals and much wisdom to the young Chelsea forward group. Their only other addition was adding Saúl Ñíguez on loan. Somehow making the perfect addition to their Champions League winning squad was not the most impressive part of the summer for Chelsea. They made a plethora of sales to end the summer with a profit. This incredible feat was accomplished at the expense of solid players like Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma, and Fikayo Tomori.

Summarizing the moves made by the biggest clubs in England can only capture a portion of the excitement that accrued in the action-packed Summer Transfer Window of 2021. There is excitement in the air in anticipation of what these fresh faces can accomplish for their respective clubs. The race is officially on in the English Premier League.