While the summer transfer window is a great avenue for teams to strengthen their ranks, they could also lose some of their stars. This summer's transfer window was one of the most exciting and entertaining ones we have seen in recent years.
In the wake of the financial problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, several teams were forced to part with some of their best players. As a result, we saw some of the biggest stars in football switch clubs. We even saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi join new clubs this summer.
It is always difficult for teams to cope with departures. It's even worse when a team loses one or more of their star players. It's not just the dynamic of the team that gets affected in such a situation. The manager will need to go back to the drawing board if he doesn't have a like-for-like replacement for the departing player.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five teams that have struggled after losing their star players.
#5 Olympique Lyon - Memphis Depay
In the 2020-21 season, Olympique Lyon finished fourth in the Ligue 1 table with 76 points, just seven fewer than winners Lille. They had a lead of 16 points over fifth-placed Marseille and missed out on a Champions League berth by just two points.
Memphis Depay has been a standout performer for Lyon over the past several years. The Dutchman was on fire during the 2020-21 season, scoring 22 goals and providing 12 assists in 40 appearances.
However, Depay had already come close to joining Barcelona in the summer of 2020. So Lyon were aware that the 27-year-old was going to run down his contract to force a move to Barcelona and he did.
After losing Depay, Lyon have got off to a poor start to the new season. They have won two, lost two and draw two of their six Ligue 1 games so far. They have scored nine goals but shipped in 10 and look a bit lost on either side of the pitch following the departure of the Dutch forward.
#4 Norwich City - Emiliano Buendia
The summer that marked their return to the English top-flight was perhaps not the time for Norwich City to part with their best player. Aston Villa were wary of the external interest in Jack Grealish and wanted to cover their bases by signing an exciting playmaker.
They secured the services of Argentine midfielder Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City for €38.4 million. The 24-year-old's departure seems to have made the Canaries a much weaker side than the one that won promotion from the EFL Championship last term.
In 39 matches in the Championship last season, Buendia scored 15 goals and provided 17 assists. Without him, their drive for promotion wouldn't have worked out the way it did. Norwich City have looked out of their depth in the 2021-22 Premier League season.
They have lost all five of their matches and have scored just two goals while conceding 14.