Monday, September 20, 2021

From Grealish to Abraham: Who were England’s most expensive movers this summer?

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With the transfer window slamming shut on Tuesday night, fans from across Europe were treated to what was one of the most famous summer markets of all time.

On a summer that saw both Lionel Messi make a move to PSG, and Cristiano Ronaldo mark a stunning return to Old Trafford, it has also been a transfer window that has been dominated by English talent.

With Manchester City’s latest arrival becoming the first Three Lions star to break the £100million barrier, the likes of Aaron Ramsdale also secured his own big-money move to Arsenal last month.

As Gareth Southgate’s side re-open up their World Cup qualifying campaign away in Hungary on Thursday night, we have taken a look at the biggest English movers this summer.

Jack Grealish – Manchester City

While Jack Grealish might not have got as many minutes as he would have hoped for at this summer’s delayed European Championships, his performances for Aston Villa last season were enough to convince Manchester City to break the bank.

Gaining a string of plaudits from fans and pundits alike, the 25-year-old was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award and eventually managed to complete a British record deal worth £100million.

Gifted with Sergio Aguero’s famous number 10 shirt at the Etihad, it is fair to say that the now-former Villa skipper has made an immediate impact in the blue half of Manchester since completing his move on August 5th.

Already receiving a host of praise from new boss Pep Guardiola, Grealish has started all three of City’s opening Premier League contests, including bagging his first goal for the champions in their 5-0 romp against Norwich a fortnight ago.

Jadon Sancho – Manchester United

One year on from their first attempt to lure Jadon Sancho back to the Premier League, Manchester United eventually managed to get their man as the talented winger completed a £73million move from Borussia Dortmund.

With the Red Devils making it no secret that the 21-year-old was once again their number one target this summer, Sancho signed a five-year deal at Old Trafford as he became the third most expensive English signing in history.

Setting the Bundesliga alight after making the switch to rural Germany from the Etihad four years ago, Sancho described his move to the former champions as “a dream come true” as he will look to help his new side mount a serious title charge this season.

Making his first Premier League start in last weekend’s 1-0 win away at Wolves, the 22-cap England international will also welcome fellow summer arrivals Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ben White – Arsenal

Adding Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu to their ranks on Deadline Day, Arsenal really broke the bank this summer as they spent over £130million, an investment they will be desperately hoping pays off.

Now in the midst of what has become a real Premier League nightmare and losing each of their opening three contests, there is no doubt that Gunners fans will be desperate for big-money arrival Ben White to make an immediate impact.

Making the move to North London from Brighton on July 30th in a deal worth £50million, the versatile defender has endured a tricky start to life under a struggling Mikel Arteta.

Blown away by Brentford’s Ivan Toney in Arsenal’s shock opening weekend defeat across the capital, the one-time Leeds loanee has not made a single appearance since returning a positive COVID-19 test last month.

Given extra time off with the international break, Arsenal will be desperate for White to hit the ground running when he makes his return.

Tammy Abraham – Roma

With Chelsea welcoming Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge last month in what was a record-breaking deal, it almost appeared that the writing was on the wall for Tammy Abraham in West London.

Failing to forge his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans and deemed surplus to requirements by the Blues, the 23-year-old secured a £34million move to Italian giants Roma on August 17th, signing a five-year deal worth £80,000 a week.

With the defending European champions inserting a £68million buy-back clause that Chelsea can activate from June 2023, Abraham opened his Roma account last weekend after finding the net against Salernitana in a thumping 4-0 win.

Making an immediate impact at the Stadio Olimpico after helping himself to a pair of assists on his debut, new boss Jose Mourinho has been quick to praise the impact of his new number nine.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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