The transfer window this summer has been a very entertaining one with clubs all around the country splashing record amounts of money for their transfer targets ahead of the new season. The new TV deal that made the league richer than it already was has seen top quality personnel move to the league to add more competition and reputation. So it is not surprising to see the number of deals that were done in the one and a half month of the transfer market. But not every deal was a foregone conclusion. Though most of big name transfers were not hard to predict there were a few that were completely surprising. Here are three such unexpected transfers that took place in this year’s summer transfer window.
N’Golo Kanté (Leicester City to Chelsea; £30m)
One of the many impact players for Leicester City in their dream of a title run last campaign, N’Golo Kanté, looked a rising star who had the potential to become one of the best in his position. He went to the EURO16 in France full of confidence and continued his form as he took his side to the finals of the competition. That attracted interest from a few big club in England and also in Europe but Chelsea, Antonio Conte’s new adventure, was quick to make a bid and secure his services.
What was surprising was the fact that Leicester City are in pot-A of the Champions League group stage draws while Chelsea are stuck with domestic football the whole season. Kanté could have easily waited a year, played for the English Champions in Europe and then made a move to any club he wanted (provided he kept his form up). But the Frenchman chose to start from the scratch with the Blues and completed a surprising move to the Bridge this summer.
Alvaro Negredo (Valencia to Middlesbrough, loan)
The Spanish striker who was a part of two of the biggest clubs in Europe in Manchester City and Real Madrid is back in the Premier League this season with Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough side managing to secure his signature on a yearlong loan from Spanish side Valencia. Negredo did not have the worst time at the Mestalla, scoring 10 goals in 55 appearances in his two years at the club. However, the Spanish outfit were quick to send the 30-year old back to Premier League and to a side that just got promoted into England’s top flight football league.
What is surprising is that Valencia have not signed a proper striker yet after Negredo’s departure while Middlesbrough are now giving him a place in the starting XI. He found the net in just 11 minutes back into his Premier League career justifying his move and making a point to his parent club. With respect to the Riverside outfit, Negredo, even at his age, is good enough to lead a better side, but if he can get the best out of himself leading the attack for Boro, he can surely resurrect his career.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United to Liverpool, £25m)
Newcastle’s late revival in the Premier League last season was not enough to keep them in the top flight as they fell to the Championship with Champions League winning Rafa Benitez still in-charge of the club. The manager has since let go of all the players a Championship outfit cannot afford and Georginio Wijnaldum was one such player who was waiting for teams to lift him back into the Premier League.
He had an impressive debut season in the league scoring 11 goals for the Magpies from an attacking midfield role and attracted interest from a few clubs in the top flight. Liverpool managed to snatch him up but he was hardly the man Klopp needed this summer.
After adding Sadio Mane to the squad along with Lazar Markovic (back from a loan) in the ranks, Liverpool were well stacked in attack and needed a defensive midfielder and a left-back (they still do) but they went out and completed a deal for the attacking midfielder to further strengthen the squad. With reports now suggesting Sadio Mane is out injured, Wijnaldum’s move makes sense but when he was purchased, he was one of the most surprising transfers in the Premier League this summer.