This summer transfer window that has just passed by has been one of the craziest there has ever been with so many big names making moves elsewhere to start new adventures.
Romelu Lukaku’s £98million return to Chelsea and Cristiano Ronaldo’s unexpected Manchester United reunion were the two main signings that went against this trend.
With plenty of football fans and pundits claiming that United had won the transfer window, after also signing Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho as well, former Premier League players John Barnes and Glen Johnson went against the grain on this occasion, claiming that Chelsea’s purchase of Serie A’s MVP winner for the 2020/21 campaign was the best piece of business in the transfer season.
The latter told bettingodds.com: “I’d probably say Romelu Lukaku. I think Chelsea have needed that sort of role for a while. They’ve bought a young enough striker who’s banging in goals. He was great in this summer’s international tournament with Belgium and knows how to perform on the big stage.
“I really think Chelsea are going to put on a competitive title race and they’re going to go deep into many competitions. To do that I think you need a striker like him. It’s good business.
“In hindsight of course Chelsea would never have sold him in the first place. But if they hadn’t sold him, he wouldn’t have turned into the player he is today. If I was the chief executive I would be cringing thinking ‘Oh God, we’ve just spent £60m more than we sold him for!’ At the same time, you’re buying a different player at a different time, things move on. It is what it is.
“If they don’t get it right this time, it’d be super embarrassing. But if they do get it right, I think everyone could live with that.”
Similarly, legendary striker Barnes delivered a similar verdict as the former Blues full-back, but this time referenced Manchester City’s £100million purchase of Jack Grealish to explain his view.
“Jack Grealish went for £100m but I don’t think Man City necessarily needed that type of player in that position,” the 57-year-old said to BonusCodeBets.co.uk.
“Lukaku is probably the standout signing because Chelsea needed a centre-forward. That was probably the best signing of any.
“As much as a lot of money has been spent, the money is down on previous years because of Covid and the uncertainty around that financially.
“I don’t think there have been that many standout signings. [Lionel] Messi going to PSG stands out but he’s coming to the end of his career, so from a footballing perspective it might not improve them.
“It seems to have destabilised [Kylian] Mbappe, who wants to go. I don’t think this transfer window has been anything like previous ones.”
If the 28-year-old is to outscore his Portuguese rival this season in the race for the golden boot award, then these claims from the ex-Premier League duo will certainly seem somewhat valid.
Lukaku currently has a one-goal headstart on Ronaldo with his debut goal against Arsenal in the 2-0 Premier League victory in August, but the resumption of club football after the international break will give us all a clearer indication of just how competitive the league will be this season, with the many world-class additions from various European leagues.