In 2020, soccer was also affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. No significant signings were made, and competitions started up once again. It was in the 2021 transfer window that several teams were able to make major investments in players, with large transfers or signing high signings at zero cost.
In the world of soccer, more and more money is being spent and players' salaries are increasing year by year. Obviously, the higher the value of a player, the better that player is, but it does not mean that when a player changes teams, he will perform as well as he did in his previous one.
The list is composed by promising young players who have not yet been able to show their great potential, legends who are leaving much to be desired, and consecrated players who have not been the stars they were the previous season.
Jack Grealish – Manchester City
Grealish was the most expensive signing of the season. The Englishman moved from Aston Villa to Manchester City for €117.50 million, according to Transfermarkt. The 26-year-old played 34 of 43 possible games and scored five goals. In addition, according to Marca, he is the seventh highest-paid player in the Premier League, earning 18,6000,000 euros per season. So far, Grealish has not performed as expected, and that is why in crucial games he is generally on the substitutes' bench.
Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea
Lukaku arrived at Chelsea as a Serie A king. He had won the league with Inter and had received the player of the year award in the 2020/21 season. The Blues bought him for 113,000,000 euros. Playing for Inter in the 2019-2020 season he played all matches (51) and scored 34 goals. In the 2020-2021 season, he played 44 games out of a possible 45 and scored 30 goals. For the 2021-2022 season, he was signed by Chelsea, Lukaku played 39 games and scored 12 goals. The Belgian is the sixth highest-paid player in the Premier League, earning €20,300,000 per season.
Jadon Sancho – Manchester United
Sancho's arrival at Manchester United was long-awaited. In July 2021, the Red Devils paid Borussia Dortmund 85 million euros. Sancho has had several opportunities to show his potential, as he has always played as a starter (he played 38 out of 41 games), but the Englishman has not shown a great performance. Perhaps it is due to the difficult moment that Manchester United is going through, Sancho is 22 years old, and it could be that the pressure is affecting his performance.
Raphaël Varane – Manchester United
His last few seasons at Real Madrid had been rather disappointing, and this year at United, he has not done any better. Manchester United paid 40,000,000 euros to Real Madrid for Varane. Since arriving at Manchester United, he has had four injuries: Groin injury, hamstring injury, stomach complications, and muscular problems. In addition, Coronavirus affected him.
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico de Madrid
Barcelona are the club that pays the lion's share of Griezmann's salary the Frenchman earns 20 million euros. Since his return to Atletico Madrid, Griezmann's performances have not been the best. In 31 games played, the striker scored only 8 goals, a rather low number based on his statistics.
Lionel Messi – PSG
Messi was signed by PSG as a free-agent. The Argentine's salary per season is 40,500,000 euros. Every time Messi was available to play, he played. The strange thing about the Argentine is that he had been the top scorer in the last five seasons in La Liga, and in his first season with PSG he only scored 9 goals in all competitions. Perhaps this has been a season of adaptation for Messi, and next season, he will be back to his usual self.
Sergio Ramos – PSG
PSG signed Sergio Ramos as a free-agent. The Spaniard has had a disappointing season, according to Transfermarkt, the 36-year-old defender has missed 33 games due to several injuries since joining PSG. Out of a possible 45 games, Ramos played only 10. The Spaniard has confessed that he wants to stay at PSG, but it seems that the directors do not pretend the same.
Gianluigi Donnarumma – PSG
The Italian was voted best player at the European Championship before arriving in Paris. At PSG he split matches with Keylor Navas and his image was tarnished by a mistake in the Champions League. Donnarumma is PSG's tenth highest-paid player, earning €10,992,000 per season. He is only 23 years old and aspires to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but his first year in Paris has not been as fulfilling as everyone had expected.