Summer Clearance: Eric Bailly, Davinson Sanchez And Tanguy Ndombele Head For The Exit

Premier League clubs are taking advantage of the window being open in other countries
13:00, 05 Sep 2023

The transfer window may have slammed shut in England, but several countries are still able to trade ahead of their own deadlines. A number of Premier League clubs have taken advantage of this to move players on who weren’t considered part of their plans.

Manchester United have signed off on defender Eric Bailly’s permanent move to Besiktas. Joining him in the Turkish Super Lig will be Tottenham Hotspur pair Tanguy Ndombele and Davinson Sanchez who have both joined Galatasaray. The former leaves on a season-long loan with an option to buy while the latter has signed an £8.1 million permanent deal. The Greek market is still open too, with Wolverhampton Wanderers offloading Daniel Podence to Olympiacos on loan.


You would find few fans of the clubs involved complaining that these players were moved on. Bailly has long been a busted flush at Old Trafford, rarely able to string together his isolated good performances. The matter came to a head last season, when the centre back was sent on loan to Marseille. He didn’t excel in Ligue 1 and left without a permanent move but now he gets a fresh start at Besiktas.

Sanchez knows all about life as an underperforming defender at a club with top four ambitions. He has had his moments in the famous white but his influence has waned in recent years. Sanchez arrived as a then-club record signing in 2017, but had yet to feature under new manager Ange Postecoglou. Now he looks to rebuild in the Turkish Super Lig.

Joining him at Rams Park will be Tanguy Ndombele. Another club record acquisition at the time he joined Spurs, the midfielder has struggled to live up to expectations. Ndombele’s time in north London will perhaps be best remembered for a series of public criticisms Jose Mourinho levelled at him when he was manager. But the France international turned out 30 times for Napoli last season as they won the Serie A title. If he impresses at Galatasaray, Ndombele could well earn a permanent move for a reported fee of around £12 million.

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While Bailly, Sanchez and Ndombele were shifted due to them not fitting in at their current clubs, Daniel Podence’s move is a little different. The winger has actually performed well at Wolves and had his best goalscoring season for them last term, registering six strikes in the league. But the pull of European football at Olympiacos, the club Wolves originally signed him from, has proved too great. 

There is a risk involved in these moves, even for clubs keen to see the back of underperforming players. With the English window firmly shut, there is no opportunity to replace these outgoing players. With injuries or a loss of form possible in key positions, managers could regret letting players go. It only takes a couple of misfortunes for a player out of the plan to return to their manager’s thinking. Bailly is a good example. With the club relying on the out-of-sorts Harry Maguire and 35-year-old returnee Jonny Evans as defensive back-up, will there come a time where they regret letting the Ivory Coast defender move on.

There is a delicate balance in shifting players perceived as “dead wood”. It becomes even more difficult when you aren’t able to replace them. United, Spurs and Wolves will all hope they’ve done the right thing. But these are the sort of decisions where the full repercussions will not be fully felt until later in the season.

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