For clubs, the transfer window can be a challenging time. Finding a team’s weaknesses is one thing; addressing them by adding players who fit the right type of profile is quite another.
Another major source of concern for teams is player departures, which particularly impacts teams with a smaller stature.
Footballers are justified in wanting to play for the top clubs in Europe, in seeking a new challenge, or in seeking a larger paycheck. However, the selling club must make an effort to ensure that the departures don’t disrupt the team’s rhythm, and that can be challenging.
This summer saw numerous star footballers change teams. Let’s examine five player departures that significantly weakened teams without further ado.
Paulo Dybala – Juventus
This summer, Paulo Dybala’s Juventus contract was due to expire. The terms of a new contract between Juventus and the Argentina international were incompatible. The Bianconeri’s choice to break their promise to Dybala from last October was a major factor in the team’s elimination.
Fabrizio Romano claimed that Juventus had agreed to pay Dybala an annual salary of €8 million over the course of a four-year contract. The Argentina international, however, was not pleased with the modified terms after Juventus changed them.
He has since joined AS Roma on a free transfer. Dybala’s exit has definitely taken a huge bite of creativity out of Juventus’ attack. The Old Lady have got off to a shaky start to the new campaign, winning two and drawing three of their five Serie A games so far.They also kickstarted their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 loss against Paris Saint-Germain.
Since then, he has moved on a free transfer to AS Roma. Juventus’ attack has unquestionably suffered greatly since Dybala’s departure in terms of creativity. The Old Lady have had a shaky start to the new season, having won just two and drawn three of their opening five Serie A games. They also lost their Champions League opener to Paris Saint-Germain by a score of 2-1.
Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund
At the age of 22, Erling Haaland is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. Over the course of two and a half seasons, he made 89 appearances for Borussia Dortmund in all competitions, scoring 86 goals and contributing 23 assists. The departure of the elite Norwegian striker would have had a significant impact on Dortmund.
Dortmund required a player of Haaland’s caliber in order to compete with Bayern Munich, who were the dominant team. They no longer possess their X-factor, and they will inevitably fall behind the Bavarians in the Bundesliga.
Haaland, meanwhile, has had a successful start to life at Manchester City. He has so far made eight appearances for Pep Guardiola’s team in all competitions, scoring 12 goals and contributing an assist.
Jules Kounde – Sevilla
After four gameweeks, Sevilla is ranked 17th in the La Liga standings. They have not yet recorded a victory this season in either the La Liga or the Champions League, losing their opening match in Europe to Manchester City 4-0 in the middle of the week.
The Andalusians have played five games this season and have only scored three goals while giving up twelve. Losing their starting center backs Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos is the primary cause of their defense’s disarray.
Kounde’s move to Barcelona seems to have had the biggest impact on the two. By allowing such a talented player to join a rival for a sum of €55 million, Sevilla has put themselves in danger.
Antonio Rudiger – Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel was fired as manager of Chelsea due to the team’s disappointing start to the new campaign. This summer, they invested more than €180 million to improve their defense. But this season, the quality at the back has only declined, and that says a lot about Antonio Rudiger‘s abilities.
Under Tuchel, the international from Germany was a beast at the back. He was a tough presence in Chelsea’s defense and wouldn’t give attackers any breathing room in the final third.
Chelsea was forced to watch Rudiger sign for Real Madrid for nothing after attempting to negotiate the terms of a new contract with him but failing. In their first six Premier League games this season, the Blues have let in nine goals.
1 Sadio Mane – Liverpool
Sadio Mane was out of shape and appeared completely unnecessary during the first half of the 2021–22 season. He drastically improved, though, in the second half of the season, and ever since, he has been at the pinnacle of his game for both club and country.
In 51 appearances for Liverpool last season across all competitions, Mane contributed five assists and 23 goals. Liverpool reasoned that letting Mane leave in the summer wouldn’t have much of an impact after signing Luis Diaz from FC Porto in January 2022.
They allowed it to happen, and now they are beginning to regret it. The Merseysiders’ season has gotten off to a shaky start.
Meanwhile, the Senegal international is thriving at Bayern Munich, having scored five goals in eight appearances across all competitions. They miss the edge and bite that Mane brought to their attack and have occasionally looked toothless going forward.
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