Three players who somehow didn’t move in this window

This year’s transfer window, the 13th since its inception has been like no other. With the backdrop of a coronavirus pandemic and the revelation that many of Europe’s top clubs having seen big losses due to lack of matchday revenue and gate receipts, the understanding in the football community was that spending would be somewhat controlled compared to other transfer windows.

As well as the handsome fees transfer fees paid by some clubs, there were some bargains to be had and which were had. Real Madrid, who failed to prise away PSG attacker Kylian Mbappe from the Parisians to the Bernabeu with a £189 million, did have better luck in prising away his international team-mate Eduardo Camavinga for £27 million from Rennes. The 18-year old who had a year left on his deal had long been linked with Los Blancos and after a long drawn out pursuit, finally Real got their man on a six-year deal.

David Neres going to Leicester for just £15 million was an absolute steal, just like Crystal Palace capturing a striker in the form of Edson Edouard for £14 million-plus add-ons, which was a position that they have been dearly craving to fill, in what has been a superb window for The Eagles. Some clubs were able to still spend lavishly despite the coronavirus, but most had to be smart in the market due to financial constraints.

There were several good value captures in the market, but the team here at The Sports Buff, think that there still have been some gems of signings that should have been signed in this window, but surprisingly haven’t. We take a look at three such players;


Former Malaga midfielder Isco Alcaron, who was signed by Real Madrid, initially got his career off to a brilliant start. A regular in Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid in his first spell, a loss of form and injuries saw the Spaniard’s game time severely reduce, so much so in Zizou’s second spell at the Bernabeau, Isco never got anywhere near the first team and barely managed 1,000 minutes for Real. The 29-year old who started his career at Valencia is the kind of player you expect from a Spanish midfielder. 

Good on the ball, calm in possession, Isco would have been a good addition to a midfield like Everton’s for example or even Liverpool’s. Both clubs have worked on restrained budgets for varying reasons, but it was an opportunity lost for either of these clubs to have signed Isco Alcaron. A player who some may argue is past his peak at 29, Isco would have been a good Gylfi Sigurdsson replacement we argue. 

A great player when given a good run of games, both Merseyside clubs have missed a metaphorical open goal by not signing Isco. 

Renato Sanches

Portuguese youngster Sanches who has clubs such as Bayern, Bayern Munich and Swansea on his cv, has enjoyed a renaissance his career, especially after a tough period in South Wales and Bavaria. A player who would have been an ideal replacement for departed Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum has unbelievably left unsold after a deal to Wolves (where else for Portuguese players these days) fell through in the eleventh hour.

A winner of the golden boy award and impressive performances for Benfica, lead Bayern Munich to sign one of the hottest prospects at the time and a Euro 2016 winner at the time too. What was seen as a good move for the German giants, hasn’t transpired that way. Thankfully for the 24-year old, a move to Lille, not only saw him become a title winner with Ledog, but it also saw him recapture the form that lead him to be sold to six-time European giants Bayern Munich. 

The Bavarians passed up the chance to re-sign their former player and signed RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabtizer instead. What has been Bayern’s loss surely should have been someone else’s gain? Wolves did try to sign the Lille man, but an agreement broke down, surely more clubs should have been in for the 24-year old. Lille need the money and would have surely listened to a reasonable offer. 

Amazingly no team bar Wolves made a move, an opportunity missed here for sure. 

Houssem Auoar

The last man on our list is Houssem Aouar. The 23-year old Lyon man was heavily linked with Tottenham and Arsenal, but with The Gunners signing Martin Odegaard and no one wanting to buy Spur’s Ndomele, a move for the playmaker could be revisited in January. The lack of transfer for Auoar could be due to the youngster’s Lyon contract expiring in 2023 and come January, that would mean the Lyon youth team player’s transfer fee could further reduce. 

At 23 and having played in Europe and impressing for Les Gones in their Champions League run a couple of seasons back, the question is why didn’t a club make the decisive move now for the former French under-21 star.

Objectively speaking Odegaard’s stats weren’t the best, well they weren’t good enough for a permanent deal at the Emirates we thought anyway. Auoar would have been a cheaper option, especially with Lyon needing to sell and Real only wanting to sell.

It can be argued, this is why Arsenal, financially are in the mess that they’re in. So there you have it, our take on three transfers who surprisingly didn’t leave in the transfer window. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.

Pictured Mbappe and Camavinga who had different emotions in the market

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