After Arsenal agreed to send Nicolas Pepe out on loan to Nice, an unusual pattern of transfer activity was completed this summer.
This means that Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal have all allowed the club’s record signings – which together cost £313.5m – to leave without getting a penny back in the transfer fee.
It comes as no great surprise that these four members of England’s “Big Six” squad have been left behind in the wake of Manchester City and Liverpool in recent seasons, with such haphazard and champagne recruiting.
And it’s no wonder that clubs on the continent talk about “stupid English money”, knowing that they can escape the filth-rich Premier League teams in the market.
First, United’s £89m man Paul Pogba was allowed to leave Old Trafford for Juventus for free – for the second time – after six largely miserable years for the French World Cup winner.
Chelsea then sent £97.5m Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, after one season at Stamford Bridge, for a modest £7m loan fee – Thomas Tuchel was so desperate to get the great Belgium striker out of the building.
Last week, Tottenham loaned their most valuable recruit, Tanguy Ndombele – he bought £55m from Lyon in 2019 – to Napoli. There is an option, but no obligation, for the Italian club to buy the French midfielder next summer.
And ends the transfer of the loaned Pepe to the Nice group.