The Premier League has been synonymous with big-money transfers. England’s superpowers have never afraid to splash the cash in a bid to strengthen their squads, and blow their rivals out of the water.
All fans love a marquee signing, and transfers always spark excitement on the bet exchange. The Premier League is home to some of the best players in the world, and in this feature, we will identify the six most expensive transfers in the league’s history. And in some cases, we will discuss whether the players mentioned in this list justified their enormous price tags.
- Jack Grealish – Aston Villa to Manchester City
(August 2021, £100m)
After agonising over whether to leave his boyhood club, Jack Grealish took the plunge, and he shattered the Premier League transfer record when he moved to reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in the summer of 2021.
While there may have been some eyebrows raised, Pep Guardiola wanted to add more creativity and guile to his midfield. With the likes of Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva already patrolling the middle of the park, it will be fascinating to see how Grealish will get on. He could well end up being a significant addition.
- Romelu Lukaku – Inter Milan to Chelsea
(August 2021, £97.5m)
It’s not the first time that Lukaku will feature on our list, and he re-joined Chelsea earlier this month on a five-year deal. His transfer fee was just shy of the nine-figures paid for Grealish.
The 28-year-old previously left Stamford Bridge to join Everton in 2014, for £28m. Last season, he won the Serie A title with Inter Milan – their first title for a decade – and believes he arrives back at the Bridge with “a lot of experience and more mature”.
- Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United
(August 2016, £89m)
Five years ago, Paul Pogba arrived with much fanfare when Manchester United decided to re-sign him for Juventus for what was then a Premier League transfer record.
However, despite the frenzy caused on social media, Pogba has yet to set Old Trafford alight, and the jury still appears to be out on him. At present, he has a League Cup and a Europa League winners’ medal to show for his efforts.
- Harry Maguire – Leicester City to Manchester United
August 2019 – £80m)
Manchester United appear three times on this list! Two years ago, they stumped up £80m to make Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in Premier League history when he joined from Leicester City.
While there were initially question marks raised about the deal, Maguire has proved to be a shrewd acquisition. He has marshalled the heart of the United defence well, and he impressed while on England duty at the 2020 European Championships.
- Romelu Lukaku – Everton to Manchester United
(July 2017, £75m)
While £75m was hardly a snip for a striker, Jose Mourinho convinced the United board to plump on Romelu Lukaku in 2017. Lukaku arrived with a big reputation after becoming a household name at Everton. Although Lukaku found himself among the goals at United, it didn’t quite work out for him in the way he would have hoped, and he ended up leaving for pastures new – joining Inter Milan.
- Virgil van Dijk – Southampton to Liverpool
(January 2018, £75m)
Liverpool were bold when they decided to address their defensive woes by splashing out £75m on Virgil van Dijk. Although the deal was delayed, the Reds were delighted to finally get their man.
Van Dijk has been a revelation. He merits his place as one of the Premier League’s best defenders, as he has allied his aerial ability with a fabulous reading of the game. Oh, and he has also lifted the Champions League and Premier League too since he made the switch to Anfield.