Ronaldo and five Premier League stars who could leave after one season

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith Updated: 27 Jun 2022 13:48 CEST 5 min read
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, 2021/22

The 2021 summer transfer window in the Premier League saw the British record transfer fee tumble twice after Chelsea signed Romelu Lukaku and Manchester City brought in Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

A combined £1.2 billion was spent over that transfer period, with only Everton spending less than £15 million.

Arsenal topped the spending charts with £149m splashed on stars such as Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale.

Manchester United spent the second-most money, with Man City in third. In terms of net spend, Arsenal also topped the standings, while Chelsea managed to post £2m in profits due to the sales of Tammy Abraham, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Valentino Livramento, among others.

Many of these players signed in 2021 could be heading for a quick exit, though. Whether that's due to a poor season, unfamiliar surroundings, injuries or something different entirely, there are several stars who could leave after just one year at their new club.

FootballTransfers lists five players who could already be on their way out.

Romelu Lukaku - Chelsea

One of the most eagerly-awaited transfers of the summer of 2021 was completed when Chelsea confirmed that Lukaku had re-signed for the club.

Belgium's all-time record goal-scorer had excelled at Inter Milan, winning the Serie A title in his final year at the club. His second debut for Chelsea also went swimmingly. He scored once and bullied the Arsenal defence at the Emirates, and it looked like the beginning of something special.

However, injury hit and following his return to the team his infamous interview with Sky Italia aired before the new Year, in which he revealed his desire to return to Inter.

His stock with the Chelsea fans dropped and he was soon dropped by Thomas Tuchel as well. Kai Havertz then became the preferred option through the middle, while even Timo Werner returned to the starting XI ahead of Lukaku.

Lukaku might have ended the season with something of a flourish, scoring three times in his final three Premier League games, but a total of eight goals in the league was well below Chelsea's expectations for him.

He is now set to return to Inter on a one-year loan, showing just what a disaster this transfer has been.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Man Utd

Unlike Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo had a fine individual season. While the ex-Real Madrid star was criticised for affecting the way Man Utd play, he finished as the club's leading marksman by netting 24 times in 39 appearances.

Ronaldo may no longer be his former self, but he still knows how to score goals and ws the one positive in Man Utd's worst Premier League season ever.

With the clock ticking on his professional career and Man Utd not involved in the Champions League next season, Ronaldo is reportedly seeking a move away in order to play at the highest level.

Publicly both he and new manager Erik ten Hag have said he is staying, but his agent Jorge Mendes is said to have offered his services to Chelsea, Roma, Bayern Munich and Sporting Lisbon.

Marc Cucurella - (Brighton)

Relatively unknown when he left Getafe to move to Brighton last summer, Cucurella quickly made himself into a hero on the south coast thanks to a string of fine performances and his trademark big hair.

It has not just been his haircut that caught the eye this past season, though. The Spaniard attracted attention for all kinds of positive reasons on the field. He played every available league match for the Seagulls and almost every minute.

Manchester City are now in negotiations to sign the Brighton star, hoping he can improve what has been a weak area of their team.

Marc Cucurella, Brighton, 2021/22

Bryan Gil - Tottenham

Bryan Gil never had the chance to impress Antonio Conte. The Spaniard was signed last summer but was loaned back to La Liga in January, joining Valencia until the end of the season.

Gil didn't make a single Premier League start during the first half of the campaign, but played more regularly in his hometown.

He wasn't given much of a look in, so Gil is already pushing for an exit, especially given Dejan Kulusevski has been brought in and has thrived so far at the club.

He has been linked with Sampdoria and Marseille.

Leon Bailey - Aston Villa

The final name is Leon Bailey, who was riddled with injuries this past season.

As a result he made just six Premier League starts, scoring one goal during that time.

On the radar of the likes of Chelsea during his time at Bayer Leverkusen, Bailey is now miles off that level and given his problems with game time, he may look for a move away to kickstart his career into action.

At 24 years old there's still time for Bailey to play Champions League football, but in order to attract some of Europe's elite clubs once more, he needs to find a home where he's entrusted to start games and can stay fit enough for a whole season.