The 2023 summer transfer window saw a ludicrous sum of money spent across Europe, with the biggest clubs on the continent rising to the challenge set by Saudi Arabia.
The Premier League unsurprisingly topped the standings for biggest amount spent this summer, with Declan Rice (€116.6 million) leading the way as the most expensive signing in Europe.
However, not every big-money signing has started life at their new club like Rice and several high-profile names have struggled this campaign.
Moises Caicedo closely followed Rice as the second most expensive signing this summer, with Chelsea spending big once more under Todd Boehly. The Ecuadorian hasn’t quite justified his price tag, but misses out on inclusion in this list due to some encouraging performances and some poor form from others.
Below, FootballTransfers runs through the seven biggest transfer flops in Europe’s top five leagues so far this campaign.
Randal Kolo Muani – Eintracht Frankfurt to PSG (€90m)
Randal Kolo Muani was the breakout star of the 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign and his performances at the World Cup for France attracted serious transfer interest ahead of the summer window.
A Premier League move was touted, but nobody was willing to match Eintracht Frankfurt’s lofty asking price. However, PSG were more than happy to oblige and they spent €90m to sign the Frenchman.
That fee now looks a vast overpayment as Kolo Muani’s start to life at the Parc des Princes hasn’t gone to plan.
He scored just once in the Champions League group stage (in six starts), while he has only been included in the starting XI on four occasions in Ligue 1.
PSG would’ve been favourites to win the French top flight even without Kolo Muani and his arrival was designed to help with their European ambitions, but he doesn’t appear up to the task.
Mason Mount – Chelsea to Man Utd (€64.2m)
The Englishman left Chelsea after establishing himself as a key player at Stamford Bridge, and may well be regretting his decision to exit the club he called home for so many years.
Mount hasn’t scored in 12 Man Utd appearances, while he only has one assist to his name too. It’s also hard to see where he fits in alongside Bruno Fernandes, Kobbie Mainoo and others once he returns to action.
Sandro Tonali – Milan to Newcastle (€64m)
However, the Italian has endured a nightmare start to life at St James’ Park after he was found guilty of betting charges in his homeland. He will miss the rest of the 2023-24 season and will not be available for selection for Euro 2024 either.
He had also lost his place in the Newcastle starting XI a few weeks prior to being charged, which shows what a poor piece of business this has been so far.
Matheus Nunes – Wolves to Man City (€62m)
Pep Guardiola was a known admirer of Matheus Nunes during his time at Sporting CP, but the Spaniard hasn’t been his biggest fan since the Portuguese midfielder joined Manchester City for €62m this summer.
Nunes has started just three Premier League games for Man City and only one of those has come since September, with Guardiola preferring other options in that position.
It was seen as a vast overpay at the time and Nunes has done nothing to change that perception since he swapped Molineux for the Etihad Stadium. He has also not yet scored for his new club.
Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona to PSG (€50m)
Ousmane Dembele showed plenty of promise at Barcelona but he ultimately failed to live up to expectations. Now, the Frenchman is on the verge of suffering the same fate at PSG.
He has provided six assists in Ligue 1 this campaign, but he has only notched one goal in the French top flight and he also failed to produce a single goal contribution in the Champions League group stage.
In fact, Dembele has been extremely underwhelming in Europe this term and, as mentioned with Kolo Muani, that is what matters to PSG. This transfer hasn’t worked out yet.
Felix Nmecha – Wolfsburg to Borussia Dortmund (€30m)
Not many players would’ve been able to replicate the Englishman’s impact at the Signal Iduna Park, but most would have fared better than Nmecha.
His overall performances haven’t been particularly good and he is currently out with a hip injury. Nmecha isn’t a guaranteed starter even when fully fit and Dortmund may look to sign another midfielder in a bid to mount another Bundesliga title charge.
Jesper Lindstrom – Eintracht Frankfurt to Napoli (€30m)
However, the 23-year-old has started just one Serie A game and has mustered only 173 minutes of action in the league. He also played just 12 minutes in the Champions League group stage as Napoli qualified for the last-16.
Lindstrom has zero goals and zero assists for Napoli and this move has been a disaster.