20. Myron Boadu – AZ Alkmaar to AS Monaco
—AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) August 4, 2021
Price: $21 million
AS Monaco has been the home of some extremely talented young forwards in recent years – Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial, and Allan Saint-Maximin, to name a few.
The latest is 20-year-old Dutchman Myron Boadu, who joined the club from AZ Alkmaar in early August.
Don’t expect him to hit the ground running – he is young and in a new country – but 15 goals in the Eredivisie last season prove he’s got plenty of promise.
19. Boubakary Soumare – LOSC Lille to Leicester City
Price: $25 million
It wasn’t that long ago that FC Barcelona wanted Boubakary Soumare.
However, amid the Catalonian club’s financial crisis, Leicester City acted quickest, signing the young midfielder from LOSC Lille for the bargain price of $25 million.
A vital cog in Lille’s Ligue 1 winning team of last season, Soumare was immense on his full Leicester debut as the Foxes beat Manchester City to win the Community Shield.
18. Ibrahima Konate – RB Leipzig to Liverpool
Price: $49 million
Signing a centre back this summer was a must for Liverpool, given that it spent most of last season without any due to injuries.
In Konate, whose release clause the Reds activated in May, it is acquired a man-mountain of a defender (he stands at 6 foot 4) who also has pace in abundance and reads the game well.
17. Jack Grealish – Aston Villa to Manchester City
Price: $139 million
At $139 million, Grealish became the most expensive English player of all time when he signed for Manchester City this summer.
One of the Premier League’s brightest stars over the last two seasons, the 25-year-old will now showcase his skills among the best players in the league, which will undoubtedly only see his own game go from strength to strength.
16. David Alaba – Bayern Munich to Real Madrid
Real Madrid moving early to sign David Alaba early this summer is now looking a blessing given it has since parted ways with both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
Experienced, composed, and versatile – he can play almost anywhere across the back-line – Alaba will be a key figure in what promises to be a transitional season for Los Blancos.
15. Rodrigo De Paul – Udinese to Atletico Madrid
Price: $41 million
Rodrigo De Paul is Spanish soccer’s most expensive acquisition this summer.
According to Italian football journalist Conor Clancy, the Argentine, who scored nine goals and provided 10 assists in Serie A last season, will be worth every penny.
“With good forwards playing alongside him at Atleti, I’d imagine that his assist stats are going to skyrocket,” Clancy told Into the Calderón.
“He usually makes good decisions in possession and can be lethal on a break as well. I think his best trait is that of a classic No. 10 in that he’s able to dictate the pace of an entire game and have it played on his terms.”
14. Leon Bailey – Bayer Leverkusen to Aston Villa
—Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 12, 2021
Price: $39 million
Leon Bailey is the third-fastest player in Bundesliga history, having clocked a top speed of 36.4 km/h with Bayer Leverkusen.
Luckily for Aston Villa, it isn’t just lightning speed the Jamaica international offers – he also boasts a great end product in the final third.
Last season he scored 15 goals and provided 11 assists for Leverkusen.
On his Villa debut against Watford, he showed what he’s about, driving at the defence before whipping in a lovely cross for John McGinn to stroke home.
13. Hakan Calhanoglu – AC Milan to Inter Milan
With Christian Eriksen being ruled out for the foreseeable future following his tragic on-field heart attack at Euro 2020, Inter Milan desperately needed to find a replacement for the visionary Dane this season.
The Serie A champion turned to its city rival AC Milan and Hakan Calhanoglu, who dared to jump the divide and sign a three-year deal at the San Siro.
In his first match for Inter, the Turk scored and assisted a goal as Simone Inzaghi’s side beat Genoa 4-1.
12. Matheus Cunha – Hertha Berlin to Atletico Madrid
—Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) August 25, 2021
Price: $37 million
Not a headline-grabbing transfer but rather an extremely astute one – Matheus Cunha is one of Brazilian soccer’s leading lights.
Last season, he scored eight goals and produced seven assists for Hertha Berlin, while at the Tokyo Olympics, he scored three goals, including one in the final, as Brazil won gold in the men’s soccer tournament.
11. Emiliano Buendia – Norwich City to Aston Villa
Price: $52 million
$52 million might seem a hefty price for a player who was plying his trade in England’s second-tier last season.
But the brilliant Emiliano Buendia was being touted by a number of the country’s top clubs before Aston Villa splashed a club-record fee for his services.
Outrageously creative, supremely skillful, and dogged in defence – Lionel Messi has previously vouched for the abilities of his Argentine compatriot.
10. Andre Silva – Eintracht Frankfurt to RB Leipzig
Price: $27 million
Andre Silva scored more goals than Erling Braut Haaland in the Bundesliga last season, hitting 28 in just 32 games for Eintracht Frankfurt.
He’s already opened his account for Leipzig, scoring in a 4-0 win over Stuttgart, and is confident his goals can help fire his new side to its first-ever German title.
“Bayern are Bayern, but if we manage to get firing and play to our limit, then we’ve got a chance,” he said. “There are no guarantees. But I promise to give my all.”
9. Memphis Depay – Lyon to FC Barcelona
Price: $30 million
Memphis Depay has had a turbulent career, but $30 million looks like a snip for a player who scored 20 goals and produced 12 assists for Lyon last term.
With Lionel Messi gone, the skillful Dutchman has a big weight on his shoulders, but he’s already showed he can do his bit – scoring one and assisting another in his first two matches for the Catalan club.
8. Gianluigi Donnarumma – AC Milan to Paris Saint Germain
One of the stars of Euro 2020, Gianluigi didn’t concede a single goal to help Italy cruise out of the group stages.
He then made vital saves in penalty shoot-outs in both the semifinal and final as Roberto Mancini’s side was crowned champion.
With his contract at boyhood club AC Milan ending in June, PSG acted quickest to tie down the 22-year-old to a five-year contract.
7. Raphael Varane – Real Madrid to Manchester United
Price: $56 million
Raphael Varane is one of the most accomplished defenders in world soccer.
The Frenchman has won three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, and the FIFA World Cup during an illustrious career.
Manchester United’s defence has often been its Achilles heel in recent seasons. However, Varane’s experience and ability should go some way to helping fix that.
6. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid to Paris Saint Germain
The second of four PSG signings on our list, Sergio Ramos is perhaps the most essential of the bunch for the Ligue 1 outfit.
For all its goal-scoring prowess, its defence, especially last season after the departure of Thiago Silva, has been a huge weak point, perhaps holding it back from getting its hands on an elusive Champions League title.
Ramos is an expert in winning the latter, having done so four times with Real Madrid.
He’s currently out injured, but no clean sheets in PSG’s first four games this season suggests the Spaniard is needed sooner rather than later.
5. Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United
Price: $100 million
Aside from Lionel Messi, no player across Europe’s top five leagues produced more assists than Sancho over the last three seasons.
On top of his 60 assists for Borussia Dortmund, the English winger also scored an impressive 49 goals.
With speed, balance, and footwork in abundance, Sancho will undoubtedly be causing all sorts of trouble for Premier League defenders this year.
4. Danny Ings – Southampton to Aston Villa
Price: $34 million
There are few, if any, English strikers who are as talented as Danny Ings.
The 29-year-old possesses an immaculate touch, sublime vision, and, of course, a killer instinct in front of goal. Over the last two seasons for Southampton, he found the back of the net 34 times in the Premier League alone.
He’s started life at Villa Park in a similar fashion, scoring twice in his first two games, including a sensational overhead kick against Newcastle United.
3. Romelu Lukaku – Inter Milan to Chelsea
Price: $133 million
It took Romelu Lukaku just 15 minutes on his second Chelsea debut to show why the club paid a record fee to re-sign him a decade after he first joined.
Though his goal against Arsenal was a simple finish, his performance was domineering. He bullied Gunners defender Pablo Mari so much that the former England defender Rio Ferdinand described it as “like a sixth former playing against first years.”
It was an ominous sign of things to come from the big Belgian.
2. Achraf Hakimi – Inter Milan to Paris Saint Germain
Price: $71 million
The world’s best attacking right back by some margin, Hakimi is already thriving at PSG.
In three matches, the Moroccan has bagged a goal and an assist and looks like he’s developing a brilliant partnership with Kylian Mbappe, who recently referred to him as his “brother” in an Instagram post.
When Sergio Ramos is eventually fit, Hakimi is also likely to be given more freedom to roam forward and create havoc for the opposition.
1. Lionel Messi – Free Agent to Paris Saint Germain
Until last year, it seemed implausible that the world’s greatest ever player would leave the club with whom he has spent his entire career.
However, with FC Barcelona’s finances in a shambles, PSG became the de-facto destination for Lionel Messi after his contract expired – mainly because the Ligue 1 side was the only club who could afford his wages.
The pull of former teammate Neymar also made the Parisian outfit an attractive option for the Argentine, while he was also keen to work under compatriot Mauricio Pochettino.
In the French capital, Messi will now head up arguably the most devastating front three in soccer history with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Europe, watch out.