How are the players who left the Premier League big six for foreign shores performing?

Yahoo Sport UK
Thibaut Courtois left the Premier League in the summer, while Reiss Nelson (left) and Michy Bathshuayi (right) moved to Europe on loan
Thibaut Courtois left the Premier League in the summer, while Reiss Nelson (left) and Michy Bathshuayi (right) moved to Europe on loan

Fans of the Premier League’s top six spend most transfer windows fawning over their next potential big-money signing.

But there are also the players who leave for bigger and better things – usually Barcelona or Real Madrid – that they do not want to see go.

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There are the players who have struggled and need moves away, be it temporary or permanent, or young stars ready to take their first steps in football.

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Yahoo Sport UK takes a look at six players who departed big six clubs in the summer and how they are getting on abroad.

Thibaut Courtois

The only player to take the well-trodden path from the Premier League to Real Madrid or Barcelona this summer was Thibaut Courtois.

Courtois decided it was time for him to leave Stamford Bridge, pushed fairly hard and got his wish – Real just had to splash out £35m and send Mateo Kovacic to west London for a season first.

But his dream move to the Bernabau has not gone to plan.

Thibaut Courtois has not enjoyed a perfect start at Real Madrid after completing his dream move from Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois has not enjoyed a perfect start at Real Madrid after completing his dream move from Chelsea

The quick demise of Julen Lopetegui did not help, but Courtois has not convinced the Real Madrid faithful that he is worthy of his spot ahead of Keylor Navas yet.

He shipped five goals against Barcelona and his only standout display was against former club Atletico Madrid.

Not a disaster yet. Courtois will know he needs to improve though.

Emre Can

The contract rebel of last summer was Emre Can.

He made it clear he would not sign a new deal at Liverpool and completed a free transfer to Italian giants Juventus.

Can featured in the opening eight games of the Series A season – just three times from the start- but has been absent ever since.

A frustrating start to life at Juventus has been dominated a thyroid nodule for Emre Can
A frustrating start to life at Juventus has been dominated a thyroid nodule for Emre Can

A thyroid nodule was discovered (a lump in his throat) and he required surgery to remove it.

He is not expected to return until December and talk in Italy is that Juve are looking at strengthening that department further in January, so an unfortunate and difficult start to life in Turin.

Michy Batshuayi

The surprise departure – or maybe not given recent history – was another loan move for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi.

Batshuayi was never trusted by Antonio Conte, but everything seemed to point to another chance at the Bridge when Maurizio Sarri was appointed.

Michy Batshuayi has not taken his form from Borussia Dortmund into his loan spell at Valencia in La Liga
Michy Batshuayi has not taken his form from Borussia Dortmund into his loan spell at Valencia in La Liga

He scored nine goals in 14 games on loan at Borussia Dortmund last season and struggling Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud were the only strikers on the books – Tammy Abraham’s only appearance since 2016 was in the Community Shield final so he barely counts.

It wasn’t to be and Batshuayi went out on loan again, this time to Valencia in La Liga. He hasn’t ripped it up quite like he did at Dortmund, scoring once in 11 games.

Valencia have had a difficult start to the season and there has been talk of an early return for Batshuayi.

He dismissed that, but will want to step up – and quickly.

Reiss Nelson 

The youngster sent out on loan against fans’ wishes was Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson.

A season-long loan to Hoffenheim was, on paper, a surprising move, but boy has it worked out.

Nelson played 18 times for Arsenal last year, but only seven of them were starts.

The teenager has made 11 times for Hoffenheim already, started four games and netted six Bundesliga goals.

Reiss Nelson has catapulted himself into the limelight with a series of fine displays for Hoffenheim in Germany
Reiss Nelson has catapulted himself into the limelight with a series of fine displays for Hoffenheim in Germany

Opportunities will continue to come for Nelson in Germany and it is a move that both parties can be extremely happy with.

Nelson has featured in the Champions League too, meaning he’ll be well set for Arsenal’s first team next season.

And if they do not find space for him, there will be plenty of suitors for the England U21 international.

Tiemoue Bakayoko

Tiemoue Bakayoko is the perfect example of the expensive signing from foreign shores who just didn’t work out.

Bought on the back of Monaco’s Ligue 1 title victory and impressive Champions League campaign, Bakayoko looked a shadow of the player he was in France when he moved to the Bridge.

Tiemoue Bakayoko has enjoyed a renaissance in the last three games after a disappointing first two months at AC Milan
Tiemoue Bakayoko has enjoyed a renaissance in the last three games after a disappointing first two months at AC Milan

A loan move to AC Milan was sorted and it was hoped that Bakayoko might rediscover his mojo, or play well enough to command a decent fee next summer.

It has not quite happened that way for Bakayoko yet, although that looks to be changing.

After five substitute appearances in the first ten Serie A games, Bakayoko has started the last three games and looks to be re-establishing himself at the top level.

Loris Karius

Loris Karius’ loan move to Besiktas was temporary in the literal sense, but it sent a message to the stopper: there isn’t a future for you here.

Alisson Becker’s arrival at Anfield meant Karius would no longer be the No.1 at Liverpool, however it always seemed likely that he would leave these shores after the Champions League final.

Despite frequent reports in the Turkish media that Besiktas want to cut short his two-year loan at the club, the club president said they’d like to sign him permanently last week.

Despite frequent negative reports, Loris Karius’ loan at Besiktas is likely to be made permanent by the Turkish club
Despite frequent negative reports, Loris Karius’ loan at Besiktas is likely to be made permanent by the Turkish club

Karius has settled into life in Istanbul well and despite conceding 15 goals in ten league games, has not been at fault.

With his reputation on these shores in pieces, the chances of him ever returning to Liverpool or the Premier League seem slim and Karius appears happier in Turkey –  a successful move.


 

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