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The best value-for-money signings around Europe this transfer window | Transfer window

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Denzel Dumfries, PSV to Inter (£10.6m)

Internazionale are one of a number of European giants in financial trouble, with the board’s intention to recoup €80m in transfer fees behind Antonio Conte’s decision to resign as head coach. The Italian champions sold off Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi to raise funds and have recruited smartly, with Hakan Calhanoglu and Edin Dzeko arriving on frees. Dutch wing-back Dumfries was one of Euro 2020’s breakout stars and looks a perfect fit in the counter-attacking 3-5-2 system favoured by the new Inter coach, Simone Inzaghi.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Milan to PSG (free)

Paris Saint-Germain’s summer was akin to fantasy football as big-name, trophy-winning stars headed to the French capital. Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum, Nuno Mendes and Hakimi bolstered what is surely now football’s most formidable squad. Value for money is not a big concern for PSG – but Donnarumma, still only 22, can be their No 1 for a decade or more. Unlike some of his new teammates, Euro 2020’s standout goalkeeper is not commanding huge wages yet – his starting salary of €7m per year is less than he earned at Milan.

Eduardo Camavinga, Rennes to Real Madrid (£26.6m)

PSG’s determination to keep their star-studded squad together was tested by Real Madrid’s ambitious late push to sign Kylian Mbappé. The move did not materialise but Real did make one deadline-day move, signing midfielder Camavinga from Rennes. As the youngest player on the 2020 Golden Boy shortlist, the 18-year-old arrives with a big reputation. Potentially available for free next summer, the France international is worth the modest fee right now. Comfortable as a holding midfielder or No 8, he can bring welcome new energy to the Real Madrid engine room.

Tino Livramento, Chelsea to Southampton (£5m)

Chelsea undertook a huge summer clearout, selling enough fringe players and youth prospects to fund the £97.5m fee paid to Inter for Lukaku. Right-back Livramento, signed for just £5m with a £25m buy-back clause, has made a flying start to his Southampton career and is already a fan favourite. “He has everything to be good – the body, the speed, the talent on the ball,” Ralph Hasenhüttl said of his new recruit, who has joined Dynel Simeu and Armando Broja (on loan) in swapping Stamford Bridge for St Mary’s.

Jesper Lindstrøm, Brøndby to Frankfurt (£6m)

After narrowly missing out on the top four last season, Eintracht Frankfurt have brought in over a dozen players this summer with a focus on future potential. Their biggest outlay was for Lindstrøm, a 21-year-old playmaker who registered 10 goals and 10 assists as Brøndby won their first Danish title since 2005. Lindstrøm has gone straight into the starting line-up at Frankfurt and could strike up a skilful Scandinavian partnership with on-loan Norwegian winger Jens Petter Hauge.

Jesper Lindstrøm (right) is aiming to make an impression at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Jesper Lindstrøm (right) is aiming to make an impression at Eintracht Frankfurt. Photograph: Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images

Demarai Gray, Leverkusen to Everton (£1.7m)

On the face of it, paying €2m for a player with 132 Premier League appearances and caps at multiple England youth levels was a no-brainer. It was the only fee paid by Everton in a low-key transfer window, but still came with question marks. Gray fell badly out of favour at Leicester, and managed only 12 appearances in 18 months at Leverkusen – but the mercurial winger is flourishing under Rafa Benítez with two goals in three league games. “Rafa has taught me things which benefit me,” says Gray. “He analyses every detail and gives clear instructions, so I feel I have already improved.”

Quick Guide

How last season’s picks have fared


Luis Suárez (pictured) A huge success. Scored 21 goals, including winners in Atlético’s last two games as the title was regained. Atléti now look like Spain’s best team, while former club Barcelona are in crisis.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg An impressive performer before José Mourinho’s Spurs tenure unravelled, Højbjerg was named in the Euro 2020 team of the tournament and has helped Tottenham start the season with three wins from three.

Luca Waldschmidt Scored twice on his Benfica debut but only managed five more all season. Has returned to the Bundesliga this summer with Wolfsburg.

James Rodríguez The Colombian made an instant impact as Everton surged up the table, but his form fell away spectacularly and he has drifted to the margins. Expected to leave in the summer, he has yet to move but could still join a club in Turkey.

Dani Parejo The midfielder left Valencia for Villarreal on a free and helped his new club reach new heights, setting up Gerard Moreno’s goal and scoring in the shootout as they won the Europa League final.

Robin Koch Defender played every minute of Leeds’ first 10 games but missed three months with a knee injury. Struggled in a midfield role at Old Trafford and has suffered further injury problems.

Jude Bellingham Has already made more appearances for Dortmund than he did at Birmingham, while his form in Germany earned him a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad. Could hardly have gone any better for the teenage midfielder.

Sam Lammers Atalanta were Italy’s top scorers but the Dutch forward barely contributed; with two goals, he was outscored by centre-back Cristian Romero. Loaned to Eintracht Frankfurt this summer.

Alexis Saelemaekers The versatile wide player was largely used as a right winger by Milan last season as they finished second. Scored his first senior goal for Belgium this week against Czech Republic.

Antonee Robinson Made the left-back slot his own at Fulham but could not help them avoid the drop. Stayed at Craven Cottage and is impressing in the Championship under Marco Silva.

Álex Berenguer The winger made 35 league appearances for Athletic, top-scoring for the club with eight goals and adding five assists.

Mario Götze Moving to PSV Eindhoven has paid off; Götze enjoyed a resurgence in Eredivisie last summer, and has signed a new long-term contract.

Best value summer signings: 2020 | 2019 | 2018

Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe

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Aster Vranckx, Mechelen to Wolfsburg (£6.9m)

Wolfsburg pipped Frankfurt to a Champions League place but saw coach Oliver Glasner join their top-four rivals at the end of the season. Glasner had reportedly fallen out with VfL managing director Jörg Schmadtke, who replaced him with Mark van Bommel and led an ambitious summer spending spree. Forwards Luca Waldschmidt and Lukas Nmecha have arrived, but highly-rated midfielder Vranckx, who was secured in December but arrived with an injury, could be key. Now fit again, he is likely to get his first-team chance after Xaver Schlager suffered an ACL injury.

Lazar Samardzic, Leipzig to Udinese (£2.6m)

The German midfielder made the Guardian’s Next Generation shortlist in 2019 while at Hertha Berlin, and RB Leipzig had high hopes when they signed him last year. Samardzic failed to make an impact, however, and Leipzig decided to accept Udinese’s €3m offer this summer. An adaptable creative player in the mould of Kai Havertz, Samardzic set up a goal for Gerard Deulofeu in a recent friendly and could learn a lot playing alongside the Spaniard, who knows how to deal with the burden of high expectations.

Calvin Stengs, AZ Alkmaar to Nice (£8.5m)

Two days after sealing an extraordinary title success with Lille, Christophe Galtier decided it was time for a new challenge. The coach has headed south to begin a rebuild at Nice, with six players arriving for modest fees including midfielder Mario Lemina and Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo. The best value of all may be Stengs, a winger who can drift infield and who impressed in the Eredivisie and Europa League last season. His fellow attacking prospects, forwards Amine Gouiri and Kasper Dolberg, will hope Stengs can bring that form to Ligue 1.

Matthew Hoppe, Schalke to Mallorca (£2.6m)

Born in California and trained at Barcelona’s academy in Arizona, the 6ft 3ins centre-forward with German heritage jumped at the chance to join Schalke in 2019. While the team’s fortunes nosedived, Hoppe wrote himself into history with a hat-trick against Hoffenheim that ended Schalke’s 30-game winless league run. Schalke still went down, but Real Mallorca want Hoppe to reprise his role in Spain, converting chances made by fellow youngsters Lee Kang-in (released by Valencia), Takefusa Kubo and Fer Niño (on loan from Real Madrid and Villarreal respectively) to help the yo-yoing side find some stability in the top tier.

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The Groucho

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