The ever-increasing figures show the spending might of the top clubs in England.
Transfer records in football are regularly broken as player values and their importance to one team increase. The fees required to sign top talents are increasing astronomically, not to mention the risks associated with it.
It is no more a surprise to see new players come in at record-breaking sums. Over the last decade, Premier League clubs have shed billions of pounds on new players in their quest for success and supremacy.
The players signed for huge sums have always been in the eye of supporters and experts alike. People place heavy scrutiny on their performances and the margin for error is very low. Nonetheless, most of these players have proven their worth for their clubs.
So let’s take a look at the ten most expensive transfers that have occurred in the Premier League.
10. Rodri (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City) – £62.8 million
Manchester City paid Atletico Madrid Rodri’s release clause to secure the signing of the defensive midfielder. In just two seasons under Pep Guardiola, Rodri has already won four titles, including the Premier League title. Rodri has already represented the Cityzens 105 times. He has brought calm and composure to City’s midfield.
Last season, Rodri was crucial in City’s run to the Champions League final where they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea. But notwithstanding the continental disappointment, Rodri was influential for the club last season. He will look to carry on that form in the upcoming season.
9. Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea) – £70 million
The Bayer Leverkusen academy graduate signed for Chelsea having played 150 matches for the German outfit before turning 21. But, Kai Havertz struggled to integrate into the league. He made more appearances from the bench. But, the German found more game-time and fluency post the arrival of Thomas Tuchel.
He repaid the faith of his manager by scoring the only goal in the Champions League final last season, leading Chelsea to their second Champions League title. He ended the league season with seven-goal contributions in 27 league games – a figure that is bound to rise with more maturity.
8. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea) – £71.6 million
Kepa moved from Athletic Bilbao when Chelsea paid his buyout clause fee as a swift fix to the outgoing Thibaut Courtois. It meant the Blues paid the highest fee ever for a goalkeeper. Despite his best efforts though, Kepa hasn’t been able to nail the starting spot between the sticks.
The Spaniard has often been inconsistent and erroneous in front of goal. But, he has won the Europa League and the Champions League with the Blues, while making more than 100 appearances for the London club.
7. Nicolas Pepe (Lille to Arsenal) – £72 million
Nicolas Pepe signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2019 for a club-record fee of 72 million pounds. The Ivorian moved to North London after a sizzling season for Lille in Ligue 1.
Pepe has since faced a tough time at the club. The team’s performances notwithstanding, he hasn’t been able to attain the level he achieved at Lille. But, he ended up as the second-highest goalscorer for Arsenal in all competitions (16) last season.
It shows promise regarding his capabilities. But, Pepe’s potential and his astronomical fee demand a lot more from him in the upcoming season.
6. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United) – £73 million
Jadon Sancho’s move from Dortmund to Manchester United has been well-documented. The talks stretched for more than two seasons before both parties finally agreed to a 73m pound transfer fee with £15 million more in add-ons.
It could well mean that Jadon Sancho could be the costliest British player ever if he satisfies all bonus clauses. He joined Dortmund’s academy from United’s city rivals Manchester City in 2017. Sancho turned himself into one of the most exciting young talents in Europe in his four-year stint in Germany. He scored 50 goals in 137 games for ‘Die Schwarzgelbern’ and won them the DFB-Pokal last season. He scored two goals and assisted once in the final.
5. Romelu Lukaku (Everton to Manchester United) – £75 million
Manchester United hold three spots in the top four in this list. Their big outlay on Romelu Lukaku saw them pay 75 million pounds (with 15 million add-ons) to Everton. Lukaku started promisingly for United, scoring 16 Premier League goals in his first season. But inconsistency and poor management led to his downfall. He was often played from the bench, which stalled his progress and confidence.
Lukaku was also often played out of position, therefore, stunting his capabilities. He could, therefore, not reach the heights of his Everton days. The Belgian eventually grew disgruntled and moved permanently to Inter Milan in 2020.
4. Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool) – £75 million
Virgil Van Dijk signed for Liverpool for 75 million pounds in the winter transfer window of 2018. He was the costliest defender in football history at the time. Van Dijk took no time adjusting to his new home. He quickly became a fan favourite and an inextricable part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Van Dijk led Liverpool to the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in 2019. He finished as runner-up in the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s The Best awards in 2019. He also led the Reds to their first league title in 30 years, when they won the Premier League in 2020. The Dutchman has established himself as one of the best defenders in world football.
3. Harry Maguire (Leicester City to Manchester United) – £80 million
Harry Maguire moved to Old Trafford in the summer of 2019, after a great showing at the 2018 World Cup. The fee paid, made him the most expensive defender in football history. It surpassed the fee Liverpool paid for the aforementioned Virgil van Dijk in 2018. Maguire is also the most expensive British transfer.
The centre-back quickly established himself as one of United’s most consistent performers since his arrival. He has missed only four league games in two seasons so far. He played every minute in his first season as United finished third in the league. Maguire was given the captaincy in January 2020. The Sheffield United academy graduate led the club to second place in the Premier League last season.
He was also named in the Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament and returns in good form and fitness. He will once again be an integral part of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s squad in the new season.
2. Paul Pogba (from Juventus to Manchester United) – £93.2m million
Paul Pogba’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016 sent ripples through the football universe. The fee smashed the record transfer fee at the time. It remains the highest transfer fee paid by a Premier League club.
United paid Juventus 93.2 million pounds to bring back the Frenchman to Old Trafford. It is safe to say though that Pogba’s second stint at the club has been a polarizing one. He has shown glimpses of his world-class potential but has also gone through long periods of inconsistency. He is also regularly been linked with a move away from the club, citing unhappiness.
In 199 games for the club, the 2018 World Cup winner has scored 38 goals and has won the Europa League and the League Cup in 2016-17. But United and Pogba have not tasted silverware in the last four seasons.
1. Jack Grealish (from Aston Villa to Manchester City) – £100 million
Manchester City have completed the signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for a record transfer fee of £100 million. The move makes Grealish the most expensive British footballer in history. His transfer is also now the costliest in Premier League history surpassing the £93.2 million Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba in 2016. Grealish made 213 appearances for his boyhood club Aston Villa and scored 32 goals while also making 43 assists across all competitions.
Grealish is set to wear the No. 10 jersey at Man City, which was previously worn by Sergio Aguero, who left the club at the end of last season. After coming through the ranks at Villa, he made his senior debut for the club in 2014 and played eight seasons with them. Just last season, he had penned a new five-year contract with Villa keeping him at the club until 2025. But it became apparent that the player was looking for a move and with City ready to shell out big money, Villa found it hard to refuse.
The 25-year-old reportedly had a £100 million release clause inserted in his contract. Vill had initially rejected a £90m + Morgan Rogers offer from the Premier League champions. But when City made a straight cash offer of £100m, the release clause in Grealish’s contract was triggered.