The winter transfer window of 2021/2022 is here!

This means we are going to talk about Football Transfers.

At the start of this season, Team Sportmonks has made a top ten of the biggest transfers from last summers’ transfer window. These transfers were big, interesting, different, or simply amazing. This list was created after the transfer deadline, because Sportmonks is not interested in transfer rumors, but only in transfers that are confirmed. Now the winter transfer window has opened and it is time to see how these players have performed.

First of all, let’s reflect on last summers’ list of Sportmonks with all the best transfers in Europe. I talked to a scout recently and showed him this list. The first thing he noticed was that there were only five clubs on our list that were making all of these top transfers. The clubs and their rankings in their national competitions are Paris Saint Germain (1), Atletico Madrid (1), Chelsea (1), Manchester City (2), Manchester United (6). We will reflect on the amount of money the different clubs and competitions spent in the last transfer period and how the players from our top 10 are doing.

Please keep in mind the prices are estimated by Transfermarkt. Besides that, we are only considering transfers from the Transferwindow last summer in season 2021/2022.

Top 10 transfers summer 2021: How are they doing?

The data used for this blog were collected on the 20th of December 2021. It is possible that stats have changed since. You can find the most important information in our infographic down below. Also, keep in mind that the rating of the players will always be in a range of 1-10.

Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)

Lionel Messi, by many seen as the greatest of all time, transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain. He didn’t want to leave, however LaLiga didn’t allow Barcelona to sign new players. Messi was officially seen as a new player because his contract had ended. Anyways, let’s see how Messi did at PSG so far.

The small Argentinian had a bit of bad luck with injuries. He has played 775 minutes divided over 10 matches in the French Ligue 1 and 5 matches with a total of 450 minutes in the Champions League. Messi scored 6 goals and assisted 5 times.

Rating in Sportmonks’ API:
Champions League: 7.90
Ligue 1: 7.37

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best players that have ever walked on our earth. He left Juventus to play for his old love Manchester United. Ronaldo is 36 years old and still in top condition. He scored 7 goals in the Premier League with 2 assists in 13 matches. Besides that, he scored 6 goals in the Champions League. His team is still struggling in the Premier League even though Manchester United is in our top ten list of transfers with three players! They are only 6th in the league. Ronaldo played a total of 18 matches at Manchester United with 1460 minutes.

Champions League: 7.79
Premier League: 7.22

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

Romelu Lukaku left Inter Milan for a transfer fee of around €115.000.000 to play for Chelsea. His team is third in the Premier League and the 1,91 m long Belgian managed to score 3 goals and give 0 assists in 11 matches (639 minutes) in the Premier League. In the Champions League, he played 4 games and scored 2 goals and gave 1 assist in 278 minutes.

Champions League: 7.00
Premier League: 7.07

Jack Grealish (Manchester City)

Jack Grealish joined Manchester City for a stunning €117.000.000, after scoring 6 goals and giving 12 assists in 26 matches for Aston Villa in the 2020/2021 Premier League season. At the moment of writing, Jack has played 13 matches for Manchester City in the Premier League and scored twice while giving two assists. He has played in the Premier League, Champions League, Community Shield and EFL Cup and made a total of 1.406 minutes. In total, he scored three goals and gave three assists as well.

Champions League: 7.30
Premier League: 7.20

Raphaël Varane (Manchester United)

Raphael Varane got injured in the Champions League match with Atalanta. He was out for around a month, while he missed two other matches due to another injury. He has played 9 games in total (6 Premier League matches and 3 Champions League matches) and was able to give one assist. In the 6 games Varane played, Manchester United conceded 5 goals. In total United conceded 24 goals in the current Premier League season.

Champions League: 6.82
Premier League: 7.19

Sergio Ramos (Paris Saint-Germain)

This transfer is far from the perfect marriage. Ramos left Real Madrid for free and went to Paris Saint Germain. However, in four months he didn’t play much. He was on the field for only 135 minutes in two games. We still think Ramos will be a valuable asset for the French club once he gets back.

Champions League: X
Ligue 1: 7.14

Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid)

He left the love of his life for Barcelona only to return to his love Atletico Madrid on a loan two years later. Griezmann has played 16 matches in total and scored three times while giving two assists in La Liga. He played five Champions League matches as well in which he scored four times and gave one assist. So, he played a total of 21 matches in which he scored seven times and gave three assists in 1.434 minutes.

Champions League: 7.33
La Liga: 6.92

Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain)

Hakimi joined PSG for a transfer fee of €60.000.000. Since he left Inter Milan he played 24 matches, scored 3 goals and has given 2 assists. He has played 1.961 minutes in total. As expected, PSG is number one in Ligue 1.

Champions League: 6.67
Ligue 1: 6.95

Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)

He has played a total of 715 minutes divided over 13 games in the Premier League. Jadon Sancho was bought by Manchester United for €85.000.000 and was able to score two goals. One goal was scored in the Premier League in which he played 715 minutes, the other goal was scored in the Champions League in which he played 222 minutes in 5 matches.

Champions League: 6.68
Premier League: 6.67

Saúl Ñiguez (Chelsea)

Saúl went from Atletico Madrid to Chelsea on a loan deal. At Chelsea, he played five games in the Premier League, three in the Champions League and three in the EFL Cup.  He wasn’t able to give an assist or score any goals.

Champions League: 7.16
Premier League: 6.40

Transfer 2020-21

Is there a transfer that you think failed or was simply the best? Did we miss a transfer that should be here? We can always update our blog and add your suggestion here. We feel the players on our list need a little extra time to settle before we are able to put a stamp on how successful the transfer actually is.

Transfer expenses top 100 clubs

Let’s dive a little further into the last transfer window.

The top 3 clubs when talking about transfer expenses are all from the Premier League. We can see Manchester City with €127,50 mln being the number three in this list, while Manchester United €140,00 mln (second) and Arsenal €165,60 mln (first) spent even more.

Manchester City is in second place in the Premier League while Arsenal is in fifth place and Manchester United is in sixth place! Chelsea is the number 1 of the Premier League at the moment and spent a total of 120,00 mln euros last summer (fifth). AS Roma is the only club that is in the top 5 that is not in the Premier League with a total expense of 124,25 mln euros. They are fourth on the list of expenses and are in fifth place in the Serie A.

Interesting about the top 5 is that Chelsea is the only club that has a positive estimated balance because their income by selling players was €121.95 mln. This means their balance is a positive €1.95 mln.

Based on the top 5 we can say that it is not always true that “money talks”. Johan Cruijff once said: “I have never seen a bag of money score a goal”. Manchester United have yet to find their form and are in sixth place in the Premier League. To compare, Liverpool is in second place in the Premier League. However, they spent only €40,00 mln. Their transfer balance on the other hand is negative with €12,50 mln in red.

Looking at the top 10 we see six Premier League teams (Aston Villa and West Ham United are joining the earlier mentioned teams), one Serie A team (AS Roma), two Ligue 1 teams (Paris Saint Germain and FC Stade Rennes) and one Bundesliga team (RB Leipzig).

What else is interesting looking at the expenses? Out of the top 10 clubs based on expenses, three clubs have a positive balance when looking at income due to selling players. These are Chelsea, RB Leipzig and Aston Villa. Looking at the top 100, there are 31 clubs with a positive balance. Internationale is the club with the highest balance of €161,05 mln. Two of our top 10 transfers have helped them achieve this balance, Romelu Lukaku was sold for €115.000.000 and Archaf Hakimi left for €60.000.000.

Transfers per league: Which leagues spent the most?

So, let’s compare the competitions and the total expenses.

Remarkable is that the Serie A has 19 teams in the top 100 looking at expenses. This is the same number as the Premier League. The Ligue 1 comes in with ten teams in the top 100, just like the Bundesliga. With 9 teams we find La Liga in fifth place. The Russian Premier Liga and Jupiler Pro League both have 5 teams in the top 100 of expenses. The Saudi Professional League and Primeira Liga both have 3 teams in the top 100. Other leagues that are interesting to compare are the Championship with 2 teams, Eredivisie (1), MLS (1), Scottish Premiership (1), the Stars League from Qatar (1) and the Super Lig with 2 teams.

Country UEFA coefficients

Let’s compare the top 10 to the top ten on the UEFA Country coefficients of the current year. 

Interesting to see is that Belgium is not in the top 10 (13th), while the Netherlands is not in the top 10 of expenses, but is currently second in the coefficients list of this year. England has 13.571 points, while the Netherlands is right behind with 13.400 points. Furthermore, France completes the top 3 with 12.416 points this season. In the table, you can find the total points and the points the countries have collected this season. When looking at the total scores England is on top with a big margin.


Well, there is a lot of information in this blog. What do you think about the last transfer period? We have compared teams and leagues expenses, we have looked at the results per country for the European tournaments and we have looked at Sportmonks’ top 10 player transfers of last summer. What do you think this winter transfer window will bring?