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Nine transfer regrets and disappointments of 2021 summer window

Summer transfer window has been and gone, and while supporters will prefer to focus on the good transfer dealings made by their clubs, there have been some deals – and non-deals – which are, to be frank, disappointing.

This summer’s transfer window was arguably the most surprising of all time.

Amid the financial implications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it had been expected that the big names would pretty much be staying put this summer.

Instead, the two biggest names in sport, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, switched clubs, Manchester City splashed £100million on Jack Grealish and Chelsea forked out £97million on Romelu Lukaku.

PSG paid out bundles in signing on fees and salaries – if not transfer fees – while turning down £200million for a player who will walk away for nothing in 10 months time, while Arsenal spent £150million. Yes, Arsenal!

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Transfer season has become, unquestionably, an event in itself. And while supporters will, largely, want to paint their club in a positive light – although, not so much on Tyneside – there is no doubt that some deals that get done, and some that don’t, just leave you feeling a little disheartened.

Mirror Football takes a look at nine lingering regrets and disappointments from the summer window.

The fact he moved to Paris Saint-Germain, is what it is. He wants to win a final Champions League and play again with his pal Neymar, they want their first European Cup crown and have the finances to do it. Of course, it would’ve been nice to see him in the Premier League.

But the best footballer in the world, possibly ever, was forced to leave the club he has built and the only home he has known and loved for the past 21 years, because of utterly dismal financial mismanagement from those above. It’s scandalous.

His Barcelona exit press conference was genuinely quite heartbreaking, as he broke down into tears before even being able to say a word.

It’s a real shame he couldn’t finish where he started.

This was touched upon in our winners and losers column, but the fact Jesse Lingard, on the back of his stellar displays for West Ham last term, remains at Manchester United without much chance of regular action, is just a real waste.

His effervescence played a major role in leading the Hammers to a top six finish last term and you could make the argument that he was the best player in the Premier League between February and May.

Now he’s stuck back at United, with little prospect of regular action bar a cup game here and the odd cameo there.

Ronaldo ’s return to United has been widely heralded.

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But the 12 hours or so when there was a genuine belief he could return to Manchester in blue was more than enough to suggest everyone who isn’t a United supporter should be disappointed he didn’t pitch up at the Etihad.

There has been a lot of tweets posted by United fans during that time period – burning shirts, pouring scorn on his records, declaring “Messi > Ronaldo” – since deleted that suggests the fume had he pitched up under Pep Guardiola rather than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been far better/more enjoyable for everyone else than the ‘returning hero’ narrative.

Three of Europe’s most highly-promising young stars were all on the move on transfer deadline day.

Sporting Lisbon’s teenage Portugal international Nuno Mendes joined PSG on loan with a purchase option.

Barcelona’s teenage star Ilaix Moriba was linked with switches to Spurs and Chelsea after being made an outcast at Camp Nou amid his standoff with the Blaugrana, but ultimately joined RB Leipzig.

And Rennes’ French sensation Eduardo Camavinga, only 18 but linked with Manchester United and Liverpool, headed to Real Madrid for an initial £25million.

Despite the Premier League outspending all other leagues by a considerable distance, none of that much-touted, but affordable, trio arrived.

It’s not that Aaron Ramsdale is a bad goalkeeper, despite relegations in each of the last two seasons.

Nor that the Gunners only moved to sign Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna on deadline day – after Spurs had elected to sign Emerson Royal.

It’s just that these deals encapsulate Arsenal ’s screwed up transfer dealings under the reign of Edu.

If the Gunners had this combined £45million to spend as the transfer window reached its finale, surely it would have been better to go all out for someone who could make a real difference to their first team, rather than signing a No.2 ‘keeper and a defender who, it seems, will rival Calum Chambers for the role of ‘cover all areas’ back up.

The night before deadline day, news came out that Wolves were trying to get a deal over the line to bring the Portugal international back to the Premier League.

Sanches has matured greatly since his unhappy spell at Swansea City, and after playing his part in Lille’s shock Ligue 1 success last term shone at Euro 2020.

Wolves boss Bruno Lage – who has worked with Sanches previously – saw him as the ideal addition to his midfield alongside Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho.

Despite a knee injury set to keep him out for much of September, Wolves hoped to bring him in on loan with an option to buy – but then baulked at Lille’s hopes for a future fee. Either they didn’t do their due diligence well enough beforehand, or they tried to do it on the cheap.

It would have been an interesting next step in his career resurgence, having been the brightest 18-year-old on the planet in 2016, before becoming a cautionary tale in the years that followed. Ultimately, it wasn’t to be.

It’s great for the veteran Frenchman that he’s going to get regular football in the twilight of his career.

But quite simply, the result of his switch to AC Milan is that the Premier League becomes a far less handsome place.

Make no mistake about it, West Ham United had a very good transfer window.

After last season’s top six finish, David Moyes’ side have added Kurt Zouma to strengthen their defence, brought in Alphone Areola to challenge Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks, splashed £26million on Nikola Vlasic – a player unrecognisable from his stint at Everton – and snapped up Czech international Alex Kral on what looks to be a very smart loan move.

But there remains one glaring issue with the Hammers squad, especially when taking into account they must also contend with the Europa League this term: Where is their other centre-forward.

Michail Antonio hasn’t had a striking backup since Seb Haller left for Ajax in January, and without one, the Irons are over-reliant on their No.9.

Admittedly, Antonio has started this season on fire. But given his history of hamstring issues, it seems only a matter of time before their failure to sign a suitable backup proves costly.

This really does depend on your viewpoint and there will be those in Germany who would like nothing more than to see RB Leipzig gutted (and i don’t just mean seeing them a little bit sad).

But to see last season’s Bundesliga runners-up not only lose their head coach and first-choice starting centre-back to the reigning champions and resident behemoth, but also seeing their captain, Marcel Sabitzer, depart at the end of the window, is just a little bit disheartening for anyone interested in their being a title race this year.

Unfortunately, as history has proven, Bayern gon’ Bayern.

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