European Football

Top 5 Early Transfers of Summer 2022

The summer transfer window doesn’t officially open yet for another three months, but we’ve already seen several teams act fast and snap up recruitments for the 2022/23 season. Today on Bet Central, we’re taking a look at five of the best transfers so far of the summer 2022 transfer window.

Roman Bürki to St. Louis City

After spells at Young Boys, FC Thun and Grasshoppers in Switzerland, Roman Bürki joined Freiburg in 2014 but was unable to keep Christian Streich’s side up in the top flight, before joining Borussia Dortmund one year later. The Swiss goalkeeper was brought in as a replacement for legendary goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who, after being linked with a summer departure, ended up staying and playing in Europa whilst Bürki started in the league.

“When you entered the pitch and you were warming up with Weidenfeller, the fans were shouting his name. It was not easy for me, but I had to handle that and I did it. I don’t know how, but it was just ignoring things I couldn’t control and trying to do my best,” said Bürki in my upcoming in-app exclusive interview on St. Louis City’s mobile app.

Bürki kept his starting spot across five years and various managers such as Thomas Tuchel and Lucien Favre, but after suffering an injury midway through the 2020/21 season, he was dropped to the bench by compatriot and former backup Marwin Hitz. Bürki returned to the line-up for the final few games of the season after Hitz suffered an injury vs. Leipzig, but he found himself exiled from the matchday squad and relegated to third-choice under new manager Marco Rose, who brought in a younger Swiss goalkeeper in Gregor Kobel. Bürki has not played since May, but he will have a chance to kick-start the first-ever MLS season for St. Louis City in February 2023.

Niklas Süle to Borussia Dortmund

Whilst Dortmund have allowed Bürki to join St. Louis on a free transfer, they have also picked up a new signing without having to pay a dime in a transfer fee with German international Niklas Süle. BVB have been eliminated in the Europa League by Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s Rangers and lost to second-tier side St. Pauli in the DFB-Pokal, whilst they trail Bayern Munich in the league by six points with seven games remaining. For them to clinch a player of Süle’s quality and potential on a free transfer ahead of teams such as Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona is a major coup.

After developing in Hoffenheim’s academy, Niklas Süle joined Bayern Munich in 2017 at the age of 21 and impressed in defence for several Bundesliga-winning sides, but he has become the latest defender to leave Bayern on a free transfer after David Alaba’s move to Real Madrid last summer. Dortmund have deprived their title rivals of a key first-team player without paying a dime, and they have also brought in reinforcement in a position of weakness, a major upgrade ahead of Mats Hummels, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Manuel Akanji.

Randal Kolo Muani to Eintracht Frankfurt

Few teams have made a busier start to the summer transfer window than Eintracht Frankfurt. Die Adler currently sit eighth in the Bundesliga but are nevertheless alive in the Europa League quarterfinals and will face off against Barcelona next month. Oliver Glasner’s men have secured the services of several players on free transfers; Marcel Wenig from Bayern’s youth team, Jérôme Onguéné from Red Bull Salzburg and Faride Alidou from HSV. The best of the bunch, however, may just be Randal Kolo Muani from Nantes.

Born in Bondy, the hometown of Kylian Mbappé, Kolo Muani played for various clubs near Paris before moving to Nantes’ academy in 2015. After spending the 2019/20 season on loan at third-tier Boulogne, Kolo Muani impressed in attack with 10 goals and 9 assists in a chaotic season that saw Nantes go through four different managers and defeat Toulouse in the promotion/relegation playoff. This season, however, Nantes have taken a step forward under Antoine Kombouaré with La Maison Jaune currently sitting 9th in the league table and through to the Coupe de France Final, where they will face off against Christophe Galtier’s Nice. The 23-year-old centre forward has been a major contributor with 11 goals and 5 assists and has formed a superb partnership with Ludovic Blas and Moses Simon in attack, and he has become the latest French youngster to move to the Bundesliga after Christopher Nkunku, Anthony Caci, Moussa Diaby and more.

Héctor Herrera

After Douglas Costa, Roman Bürki and Xherdan Shaqiri, the latest veteran player to end a successful career in Europe in order to pursue a new chapter in the USA is Héctor Herrera. The Mexican midfielder has enjoyed a resurgence in recent months under Diego Simeone, with his inclusion prompting a recent turnaround in form for the Rojiblancos, but he has rejected Atleti’s attempts to extend his contract and heads to the Space City.

Herrera, who turns 32 in April, has joined Houston Dynamo on a contract through 2025. Born in Tijuana, Herrera developed at Pachuca’s academy before joining Porto in 2013 and emerging as one of the finest midfielders in Portugal before leaving in 2019 and joining Atlético Madrid on a free transfer. However, after struggling to lock down a starting spot across his three years in the Spanish capital, Herrera has the chance to reinvigorate his career under Brazilian manager Paulo Nagamura and become not only a major reinforcement in midfield for the Dynamo but a major attraction for Houston’s growing Mexican community as well.

Lorenzo Insigne

Whilst the Houston metro area is home to the nation’s fourth-largest Hispanic population at more than 2.7 million, the majority of that being Mexicans, Toronto is home to 511,680 Italian-Canadians. It is also home to one Supporters’ Shield (given to the team with the best regular-season record in MLS) and one MLS Cup, both of which were one in 2017. The most influential player behind Toronto FC’s historic campaign? Sebastian Giovinco.

Toronto FC have added another diminutive Italian forward to the ranks with the signing of Lorenzo Insigne on a free transfer from Napoli. Insigne has remained a key cog in Napoli’s attack under Luciano Spalletti, but as he approaches 31 years of age, he has chosen to put an end to a 16-year spell at Napoli and head to Canada. Italy’s embarrassing loss to North Macedonia and failure to qualify for a second straight World Cup could see several veteran players step aside from the Azzurri such as Giorgio Chiellini, Jorginho and Ciro Immobile, and Insigne may be one of them. Insigne currently sits third in Napoli’s all-time scoring charts with 116 goals, five behind Marek Hamšík and 28 behind Dries Mertens, and he could become the new attacking talisman for Toronto.

Niklas Sule, Roman Burki, Lorenzo Insigne, Randal Kolo Muani, Anthony Caci, Hector Herrera, 

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Author: editor

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