Havertz, Gravenberch in Premier League XI of summer transfers we cannot wrap our head around

Jason Soutar
Kai Havertz, Ryan Gravenberch and Ruben Neves.
Kai Havertz, Ryan Gravenberch and Ruben Neves were involved in bizarre summer transfers.

The transfer window has closed and as always there have been a number of deals that confused us when the rumour popped up, when it actually happened, and every day since.

Avoiding deals like Ibrahim Sangare to Nottingham Forest, who have no right to sign a player of his quality, here is a team of players involved in a bizarre Premier League transfer that we simply cannot comprehend.


GK: Djordje Petrovic (New England Revolution to Chelsea)
Djordje Petrovic is a very capable goalkeeper and a solid enough option as a No. 2 behind Robert Sanchez. What has left us slightly baffled is the decision to loan Gabriel Slonina to KAS Eupen, only to permanently sign the Serbian from MLS outfit New England Revolution.

Chelsea are just messing with our heads now.


RCB: Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham to Galatasaray)
Spurs’ late attempt to sign Lloyd Kelly emphasised Ange Postecoglou’s desire to sign another central defender with Tottenham anxiously waiting for Micky van de Ven or Cristian Romero to get injured or more likely suspended in the Argentine’s case.

The Londoners accepted a bid from Spartak Moscow for Davinson Sanchez early in the summer transfer window but the player was not keen (who can blame him?) and after the rejection, the Colombian actually impressed Big Ange, proving he could be a decent back-up this season.

Despite Sanchez’s improvement, Postecoglou apparently doing everything in his power to avoid playing Eric Dier, and the English transfer window being closed, Spurs decided to sell the 27-year-old to Galatasaray for £8.1million.


CB: Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City to Al-Nassr)
Manchester City did not care where Aymeric Laporte went this summer, just as long as he departed with Josko Gvardiol the latest player to jump in front of him in Pep Guardiola’s defensive pecking order.

But being Manchester City’s fifth-choice centre-back is not a slight on anyone’s ability. You can be a Carabao Cup merchant for them and still be a very good player. Although Laporte has won everything in England, he still has a lot to offer in Europe and would walk into nearly every starting XI across the continent. It is a shame he decided to join the Saudi revolution.


LCB: Kieran Tierney (Arsenal to Real Sociedad)
The lack of Premier League interest in Kieran Tierney is what has surprised us here. Going into the summer window, everyone expected him to join Newcastle United; he was a perfect fit for a team in dire need of a left-back.

Arsenal did not want to loan Tierney out, but they had no choice in the end. Real Sociedad are in the Champions League so it is a good move for him, although that does not make it any easier to fathom.

Kieran Tierney at his presentation as a new Real Sociedad player.


RM: Romain Faivre (Lyon to Bournemouth)
Signing a player for £15m – only to loan him to an affiliated club – kind of reeks, doesn’t it? Bournemouth owner Bill Foley used his Premier League power to sign Romain Faivre from Lyon so the player could join his other club, Lorient, on loan for the season.

If the Cherries go down, do not be surprised if Faivre never plays a game for them.


CM: Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich to Liverpool)
Jurgen Klopp is obviously a big fan of Ryan Gravenberch and he will be delighted he got the Dutchman through the door on deadline day. He is a fine player, but is he the sort of profile this Liverpool team needs? We don’t think so.

Wataru Endo is a handy defensive midfielder but the sales of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho meant signing another out-and-out defensive midfielder was a must for Klopp. Instead, he opted for Gravenberch, who is happier further up the pitch in a box-to-box role.


CM: Ruben Neves (Wolves to Al-Hilal)
We didn’t like this transfer when it happened and we still don’t.


CM: Kai Havertz (Chelsea to Arsenal)
The pressure is on Kai Havertz to succeed at Arsenal and many of the club’s fans have decided to write him off after four games. Patience is a virtue, but for £65m, it is a case of so far so bad.


LM: Diego Moreira (Benfica to Chelsea)
Chelsea are obsessed with signing players; it is an illness.

Diego Moreira is only 18 so obviously has the potential to come good, but we just don’t see it, and with the Blues’ addiction to signing young attackers, it is hard to see a way into the first team for the Portuguese winger.

Moreira will spend the season on loan at Lyon, if you didn’t know already.


ST: Jacob Brown (Stoke City to Luton Town)
Signing Stoke’s fourth-choice striker in a bid to avoid relegation back to the Championship was certainly an interesting tactic.


ST: Deniz Undav (Brighton to Stuttgart)
Deniz Undav looked to have turned a corner under Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton, only to be shipped out on loan to Stuttgart after a stellar end to 2022/23. It is a shame, really.

De Zerbi’s decision has (kind of) been justified with the arrival of Ansu Fati.


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