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Transfer deadline day 2021: The window that really delivered

Lionel Messi, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Cristiano Ronaldo were among those who moved this summer

It was a transfer window that really delivered the goods. For many teams anyway.

Some of the big European clubs tossed money around like confetti, Cristiano Ronaldo went home after Lionel Messi moved out, and Chelsea signed Saul Niguez directly.

Let’s start where it all left off …

Deadline

It started with Nikola Vlasic after West Ham and ended with Saul Niguez to Chelsea, above Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, and Daniel James to Leeds plus much more besides.

It had become a tradition for Saul to be associated with an English club on a transfer window, and hopefully the soccer twitter carts below you saved those Better Call Saul memes as PSD files so you could toss in the appropriate club badge – Chelsea’s as it turned out.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid’s pursuit of Paris St-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe failed.

And after a pretty quiet window, Liverpool have finally closed some deals – despite the handshakes only on contract renewals Jordan Henderson, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips.

We also noticed that former English goalkeeper David James is a huge Superman fan.

And that was just the story of the last day.

Here are some of the highlights and takeaways from the window as a whole.

Manchester’s prodigal son returns

The big story in the final days of the transfer window was Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United, for whom he last played over a decade ago.

The Red Devils initially paid € 15 million (£ 12.85 million) to bring their (36-year-old) boy home.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had a decorated first term with the club, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The deal was struck a few days before the window closed, but the announcement was saved until the deadline.

Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: “I’ll be right here! I’m back where I belong! Let’s do it all over again!”

He added, “PS – Sir Alex, this is for you …”

Had he come to Manchester City – as mentioned earlier – the news might not have been so touching!

But Ronaldo closed a summer with three big deals for United, with Jadon Sancho is leaving Borussia Dortmund for £ 73 million and Raphael Varane is leaving Real Madrid for £ 34m.

PSG enjoys a few freebies

A few weeks before Ronaldo returned home, his old enemy Lionel Messi finally flew the nest.

Why? Because his carers simply could no longer afford to have him with them. An assignable dynamic.

Barcelona were the only professional club Messi, 34, had played for before joining Paris St-Germain.

The striker has won the Ballon d’Or six times, won 35 trophies and scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barca.

Not a bad free transfer signing – one in four PSG prevailed after also bringing in Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Spain defender Sergio Ramos and Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

With Mbappe’s potential move to Real hitting the buffers, PSG can now set up a frontline from Messi, Mbappe and Neymar. Terrifying.

Chelsea Luk in the past

Manchester United weren’t the only English club to return to the future with Chelsea to pay a club record of £ 97.5million to re-sign striker Romelu Lukaku.

The 28-year-old, who left the Blues in 2014, left Inter Milan after helping them win their first Serie A title in 11 years.

The deal means the clubs signing Lukaku have spent more money than any other player in history – it’s more than £ 300 million.

The new king of Manchester?

Jack Grealish said he was “torn” when he left Aston Villa. which he joined at the age of six.

Well, he’s torn it up for his new club, Manchester City, since joining in early August.

A goal on his home debut against Norwich helped make him popular with fans.

Grealish didn’t come cheap – City broke the UK record when they signed him for £ 100m.

They could have broken that record again within the same window if they’d managed to close a deal for Harry Kane.

But in the end it seemed like Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy told the English captain he was banned.

Money is not everything…

And finally, a cautionary story.

Arsenal spent nearly £ 150m on the Japanese defender this summer Takehiro Tomiyasu the last one through the door on the deadline.

It’s still early days, of course, and the ink on Tomiyasu’s contract is not completely dry, but after three defeats in a row he is among the bottom of the Premier League.

However, they kept Ainsley Maitland-Niles when it looked like the 24-year-old might join Everton.

But in the end everything seemed to be fine …

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