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Ligue 1

Ligue 1 signings of the summer!

League Two, League One and the Championship have been done, so now we go abroad to France. Ligue 1 gets underway later today with Monaco and Nantes lifting the curtain, and what a season it promises to be! The financial woes that have been brought about by both the pandemic and the TV deal mayhem have affected some clubs more than others. There have been some great arrivals, and here they are…

Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos to PSG

BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, FRANCE - JULY 08: Sergio Ramos sign a 2 year contract with Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain on July 08, 2021 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. (Photo by Paris Saint-Germain Football/PSG via Getty Images)
BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, FRANCE – JULY 08: Sergio Ramos sign a 2 year contract with Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain on July 08, 2021 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. (Photo by Paris Saint-Germain Football/PSG via Getty Images)

Where else to start but with PSG, the financial powerhouses who have made some shrewd acquisitions. Yes, you heard that right, shrewd. The days of paying hundreds of millions for Mbappe and Neymar are behind us maybe, a number of free transfers being their headline moves. The Parisians will be fighting to wrestle the Ligue 1 title from Lille’s grasp and it is hard to see anything else happening. Achraf Hakimi is such a good player to watch and he will be unleashed in Ligue 1, even at £50 million that is an absolute steal after successful spells with Dortmund and Inter. Along with the Moroccan, PSG have brought in Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum and Euro 2020 player of the tournament Donnarumma. Hakimi and Ramos address present issues more than the other two but all the same, all four can bring something different. Ramos can bring that Champions League know-how which has maybe evaded the French giants in recent campaigns.

Alex Nubel and Myron Boadu to Monaco

LEIPZIG – Myron Boadu of AZ during the friendly match between RB Leipzig and AZ Alkmaar at the RB Leipzig training center on July 17, 2021 in Leipzig, Germany. ANP ED OF THE POL (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Monaco are one of the sides who have suffered a softer blow from the TV deal disaster due to their large backing and so they will be looking to jump above the likes of Lyon and Lille in the Ligue 1 standings. Goals of course aren’t an issue with Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland leading the line. That hasn’t stopped Monaco from adding to their wide talent though, the hotbed that is the Eredivisie being exploited once again. Myron Boadu has been signed for a modest £15 million from that explosive AZ Alkmaar team which is super exciting. On top of that, Bayern goalkeeper Alex Nubel has been loaned in as he searches for a concrete starting spot.

Konrad de la Fuente, Cengiz Under and Matteo Guendouzi to Marseille

Matteo GUENDOUZI of Marseille during the friendly football match between Marseille and Villarreal at Orange Velodrome on July 31, 2021 in Marseille, France, ahead of the new Ligue 1 side. (Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
Matteo GUENDOUZI of Marseille during the friendly football match between Marseille and Villarreal at Orange Velodrome on July 31, 2021 in Marseille, France, ahead of the new Ligue 1 side. (Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Marseille seem to be a home for players looking to re-find their feet and this window echoes that sentiment. Firstly, two Arsenal players have been loaned back to their home country in William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi. Both having struggled so far with the Londoners. Cengiz Under is another loan signing and after showing glimpses of what he can do with Roma and Leicester, the Turkish international is another that needs to add consistency to their game. On top of that, there is Konrad de la Fuente who is one of many departing Barcelona, goalkeeper Pau Lopez from Roma and then finally, £10 million for young Dortmund defender Leonardo Balerdi. All in all, it is quite the window for Marseille!

Kamaldeen Sulemana to Rennes

MURCIA, SPAIN – JULY 21: Kamaldeen Sulemana of Stade Rennais runs with the ball during a Pre-Season friendly match between Getafe and Stade Rennais at Pinatar Arena on July 21, 2021 in Murcia, Spain. (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Next then to Rennes who already possess a few young players with a huge potential. Jeremy Doku and Eduardo Camavinga are both at the fore of this, both having attracted major interest from across the continent. For now though they remain in Ligue 1 and have been joined by Ghanaian international Kamaldeen Sulemana. The winger may be just nineteen but he already has two caps to his name and after impressing for Danish side FC Nordzjaelland, he has earned a move. Rennes have beaten the likes of Ajax, Lyon and Man United to his signature with their development role maybe tipping the balance.

Calvin Stengs and Mario Lemina to Nice

Mario LEMINA of Nice during the friendly football match between Nice and Milan AC at Allianz Riviera on July 31, 2021 in Nice, France, ahead of the new Ligue 1 side. (Photo by Pascal Della Zuana/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
Mario LEMINA of Nice during the friendly football match between Nice and Milan AC at Allianz Riviera on July 31, 2021 in Nice, France, ahead of the new Ligue 1 side. (Photo by Pascal Della Zuana/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Along with Marseille, Nice have also had a super impressive window with thanks to their financial backing. Their best signing has by far been snatching Lille’s title winning manager Christophe Galtier away from their Ligue 1 rival. The money may have been a pull as he has brought in some great players already, including Jean-Clair Todibo from Barcelona and offering Justin Kluivert a chance to find his best form again too. Then, like with Boadu, his former AZ teammate Calvin Stengs has changed the Netherlands for France for a mere £13.5 million. Stengs and Boadu were part of a very exciting frontline and they will surely bring this through to their new respective clubs. On top of Stengs, Mario Lemina formerly of Juventus has been signed from Southampton in midfield, as has Pablo Rosario from PSV. What a window and what a season it promises to be under Galtier!

Kevin Gameiro to Strasbourg

VALENCIA, SPAIN – APRIL 24: Kevin Gameiro of Valencia CF looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Valencia CF and Deportivo Alaves at Estadio Mestalla on April 24, 2021 in Valencia, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Strasbourg weren’t exactly the most goal dangerous team in Ligue 1 last season but an experienced arrival could go someway to solving that. Kevin Gameiro is a familiar name on the European circuit having played for PSG, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Valencia. Interestingly though. The Frenchman began his career with Strasbourg, leaving them for Lorient for just short of £3 million over a decade ago. He now returns on a free transfer and not only is it a fairly risk free signing, you can bank on him for several goals.

Alban Lafont and Wylan Cyprien to Nantes

Alban LAFONT of Nantes during the friendly match of Emiliano Sala Challenge between Nantes and Niort on July 18, 2021 in Orleans, France. (Photo by Eddy Lemaistre/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
Alban LAFONT of Nantes during the friendly match of Emiliano Sala Challenge between Nantes and Niort on July 18, 2021 in Orleans, France. (Photo by Eddy Lemaistre/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Nantes loaned in French goalkeeper Alban Lafont from Fiorentina a couple of years ago and have now made his stay permanent. For just £6.75 million, acquiring the services of one of the most highly-rated young goalkeepers on the radar is quite the steal. It hasn’t been the easiest of times at the club on the field but since Antoine Kombouare took over from Claudio Ranieri, things have started to look up a bit. Along with Lafont, midfielder Wylan Cyprien has been loaned in for the year. It is an odd one really as he was loaned to Parma from Nice, then sold to the Italians before they loaned him out straightaway to Nantes.

Yasser Larouci to Troyes

KIRKBY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Yasser Larouci of Liverpool poses for a photo at The Kirkby Academy on August 27, 2020 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Finally to Troyes, who are one side that have fared relatively well in this financial nightmare. They are much lesser known than your PSGs and Marseilles but due to being apart of the City Group, they’ve had the backing remain in place. They have brought in a number of players for modest fees as well as some loans, eighteen-year-old Brazilian Metinho from his home country for £4.5 million being the most expensive one. Yasser Larouci on a free sticks out to me the most though, the fullback got very few chances at Liverpool but when he did play in the cup competitions, there were clear signs of talent there. Larousi is still just 20 and is the epitome of a modern fullback, he could be hugely influential for Troyes.

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