It goes without saying that the football transfer market is highly inflated. One could argue that it was Neymar’s eye-watering €222m transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 that distorted the market in ways we couldn’t imagine. The ripple effect has prompted clubs to shell out fortunes over some of football’s most in-demand players, and Premier League sides have not shied away from making lucrative transfer investments, regardless of a player’s true worth.
Many elite sides have cut costs due to financial implications from pandemic-related losses, but elite sides in England have continued to spend without reservations. Here, we take a look at the ten most expensive transfers in the history of the Premier League.
Most Expensive Transfers in Premier League History
10. Kai Havertz – £72m (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea)
German sensation Havertz graduated from Bayer Leverkusen’s youth ranks amid much fanfare and Chelsea were one of the first to spot his genius. He was snapped up by the Blues for approximately €80m in 2020 – a price tag that initially raised eyebrows. Although he hasn’t been at his scintillating best since, Havertz shut critics up by scoring the winning goals in the finals of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup. The reigning European champions are champions due to him and will see this transfer as money well spent.
9. Kepa Arrizabalaga – £72m (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea)
Athletic Bilbao’s reputation of honing homegrown talents from the Basque region has propelled their reputation as one of the best youth systems in the game. And Arrizabalaga is arguably one of the club’s best ever exports. Chelsea spent €80m for the Spaniard – four times his market value during the 2017/18 season – but will count their move as not-so-fruitful due to the shotstopper’s inconsistent form that has seen him fall to AFCON winner Edouard Mendy, who is now the undisputed starter at Stamford Bridge.
8. Nicolas Pepe – £72m (Lille to Arsenal)
Right-winger Pepe emerged as one of Ligue 1’s best attacking talents from, but has so far failed to replicate his previous form post his €80m move. The versatile attacker was brought with the hopes of propelling Arsenal’s hopes of making it to Europe time and again. However, he has run hot and cold week in and week out. Nevertheless, Mikel Arteta uses him without fail in his starting eleven, due to which he has mustered 27 goals in 104 appearances so far.
7. Jadon Sancho – £73m (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United)
One of European football’s most talked about transfer sagas came to an end in the summer of 2021, when Dortmund finally let Sancho move to Manchester for a whopping €85m. With the price tag comes the pressure, and the Manchester City youth product has arguably felt the weight of the fees since moving back home to England. He has struggled so far at Old Trafford, first under ex-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now under interim coach Ralf Ragnick.
6. Virgil Van Dijk – £75m (Southampton to Liverpool)
Arguably one of Liverpool’s best pieces of transfer business in recent memory, on par with Mohamed Salah’s acquisition, of course. Van Dijk has risen to become one of world football’s most feared defenders following his €84.5m move from Southampton. His leadership skills, momentous physique and defensive intelligence has helped Liverpool re-emerge as one of the best clubs in the world.
5. Romelu Lukaku – £75m (Everton to Manchester United)
A couple of great seasons in Merseyside prompted Manchester United to shell €84.8m for the big Belgian in 2017. As one of the most consistent strikers of the 21st century, a lot was expected of Lukaku at the Red Devils, but he rarely went on to make the same impact he did in his later years in Italy. He scored 42 goals for the Old Trafford outfit over two seasons, before leaving the club for Inter Milan.
4. Harry Maguire – £80m (Leicester City to Manchester United)
Maguire arrived in Leicester City on the back of the club’s historic 5,000-1 odds Premier League title victory in 2015/16 – an achievement that can never be understated. The Englishman couldn’t help the team replicate their form, but instead rose to glory by becoming the most expensive defender in history with a staggering €87.1m spent for him by Manchester United, breaking Van Dijk’s record a year earlier.
3. Paul Pogba – £89m (Juventus to Manchester United)
Pogba’s reputation was already established at Juventus, as he played a vital part in the Bianconeri’s domestic dominance in the 2010s, alongside greats such as Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo. The Red Devils, once again, lavishly shelled €105m for the French World Cup winner in 2016, and he has since become an integral part of the club. However, he is set to leave Manchester on a free transfer at the end of the 2021/22 season.
2. Romelu Lukaku – £96m (Inter Milan to Chelsea)
Lukaku’s second homecoming to Chelsea for €115m was filled amid much fanfare, as the hefty striker helped the Nerazzurri clinch their first Scudetto trophy since the days of Jose Mourinho, with superb displays across his tenure. He rebuilt his reputation at Inter, but since returning to the Premier League, he has failed to replicate his form under manager Thomas Tuchel. There are reports of Inter potentially looking to benefit from Chelsea’s current crisis by bringing him back to Italy.
1. Jack Grealish – £100m (Aston Villa to Manchester City)
Manchester City’s most expensive signing is also the most expensive English player in history. Jack Grealish’s stunning performances for Aston Villa pushed City to hand the Villans a cheque of €117m. It was his EURO 2020 displays that soared his transfer market value, as he played a vital role in England’s run to the fateful final at Wembley against eventual winners Italy. Only time will tell if Grealish deserved the price tag offered by City for him.
Placing wagers on the teams that the aforementioned players feature for is never a bad idea. According to statistics provided by sports betting sites, Manchester City is touted to bag the league title once again. However, Liverpool’s resurgent form can never be ruled out, as the Reds trail the Cityzens by only a few points with a handful of matches remaining to be played out.
The resource at Asiabet is a one-stop destination for all your betting needs, as it not only caters to fans of the beautiful game, but also to followers of other sports such as cricket, basketball and rugby. Players, whether old or first timers, can also benefit from rewards and bonuses such as free bets, cash backs, loyalty points and accumulator schemes.
With an exciting Premier League season underway, we can expect new talented players to emerge on the radar of big clubs. And there just might be an inclusion of a new name on the list of the most expensive transfers to the home of English football.