10 Most Expensive Premier League Signings Of All Time
It is no secret that Premier League clubs boast endless trunks of money. No other league in the world can come close to their enormous financial capacity.
Even mid-table Premier League sides are going toe-to-toe with other European heavyweights in the transfer market, showing how powerful England’s top flight has become.
But when it comes to big guns, not even Barcelona and Real Madrid can match the abundance of money available to Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
No wonder English top clubs have been bossing the transfer market for decades, often overshadowing fellow continental rivals to add to the Premier League’s fantasy-like attraction.
There is something truly special surrounding the most-watched league on the planet that draws top players to come and ply their trade at some of the most iconic football venues in the world.
Below is the list of the ten most expensive signings in Premier League history.
- Enzo Fernandez (Benfica to Chelsea, 2023) – €121m
- Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City, 2021) – €117.5m
- Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan to Chelsea, 2021) – €113m
- Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United, 2016) – €105m
- Antony (Ajax to Manchester United, 2020) – €95m
- Harry Maguire (Leicester City to Manchester United, 2019) – €87m
- Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, 2021) – €85m
- Romelu Lukaku (Everton to Manchester United, 2017) – €84.7m
- Virgil van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool, 2018) – €84.65m
- Wesley Fofana (Leicester City to Chelsea, 2022) – €80.4m
Now, let’s see how those ten most expensive signings panned out.
#10 Wesley Fofana
After parting with a long-serving defensive duo, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, Chelsea desperately needed a couple of new centre-halves to fill the gap.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival from Napoli proved insufficient as the new Blues owners opened their chequebook to sign Wesley Fofana in 2022.
Despite suffering several injuries, the French defender bears the reputation as one of the most exciting defensive talents in European football.
#9 Virgil van Dijk
Not since the glory days of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry had the Premier League seen such a dominant centre-back as Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool’s porous defence was often deemed the worst area of the team before the Reds splashed the cash to lure the Dutch star away from Southampton in January 2018.
Jurgen Klopp’s backline became the most formidable defensive unit in Europe, courtesy of van Dijk’s sheer presence in its heart.
#8 Romelu Lukaku
Several outstanding seasons at Everton earned Romelu Lukaku a mega-money move to Manchester United in 2017 as Jose Mourinho insisted on making the Belgian striker his attacking leader.
Often played out of position, the Belgium international still racked up 28 goals across his two seasons at Old Trafford before joining Inter Milan in 2019.
Lukaku’s torrid time in Manchester turned him into a scapegoat, with Premier League fans making fun of his poor first touch and lack of speed on a daily basis.
#7 Jadon Sancho
One of the longest-running transfer sagas in Premier League history came to a happy end in 2021 when Man United snapped up Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
The Red Devils were locked in exhausting negotiations with their Bundesliga counterparts for over a year.
When the deal finally went through, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought he had found the missing piece of the puzzle, but Sancho struggled to impress.
#6 Harry Maguire
Led by Liverpool’s example, Man Utd rushed into the transfer market to shatter van Dijk’s transfer fee and acquire the services of Harry Maguire from Leicester City in 2019.
Unlike the Reds, who gained a leader and one of the world’s best defenders in the 21st century, the three-time European champions came up empty-handed.
Maguire produced some mediocre performances for United and his fortunes did not improve when Erik ten Hag was appointed as the club’s manager.
Antony swapped Ajax for Man United in the final days of the summer transfer window in 2022 and made a decent start for the club.
The 22-year-old’s fancy footwork and blistering speed had made him a menace for Eredivisie defenders across an eye-catching two-year stint in Amsterdam.
The Brazilian has the talent to be a major star for United and it will be intriguing to watch him develop under Ten Hag’s tutelage.
#4 Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba, who left United to become a world-class playmaker at Juventus, returned home in 2016 in a blockbuster transfer.
While he forged a formidable midfield partnership with Andrea Pirlo to provide a backbone to Juve’s four successive Serie A titles, he was a disgrace during his second stint at Old Trafford.
A lack of discipline and commitment combined with continual injuries saw Pogba fall out of favour and he was shipped out of the club again in 2022.
#3 Romelu Lukaku
Someone may have jinxed Lukaku never to shine at Chelsea. After an abysmal first stint at Stamford Bridge, he came back in 2021 to prove his doubters wrong.
A couple of prolific seasons at Inter Milan re-established the 29-year-old as a marquee striker and convinced the Blues to give him a second bite at the cherry.
Unfortunately, the ex-Anderlecht prodigy returned to his old habits of squandering opportunities and getting into fights with a manager, forcing Chelsea to send him back to Italy in 2022.
#2 Jack Grealish
Tipped for success since coming through the ranks at Aston Villa, Jack Grealish generated genuine interest from Premier League elite clubs before moving to Man City in 2021.
Grealish’s stock went through the roof during his illustrious career at Villa Park, earning him a permanent place in England’s national team and a big-money move to the Etihad Stadium.
However, the skilful forward has largely failed to replicate the form he produced for the Midlands outfit.
#1 Enzo Fernandez
Chelsea pulled out all the stops to snap up Fernandez from Benfica, making him the marquee signing in a star-studded squad.
Fernandez initially rose to prominence with River Plate in Argentina, before heading to Europe to join the Portuguese outfit.
The talented midfielder proved his quality for club and country before moving to the Premier League and is fully expected to become one of the best players in the world.
Arsenal’s most expensive signings
Barcelona’s most expensive signings
Bayern Munich’s most expensive signings
Chelsea’s most expensive signings
Liverpool’s most expensive signings
Man City’s most expensive signings
Man United’s most expensive signings
Paris Saint-Germain’s most expensive signings
Real Madrid’s most expensive signings
Tottenham Hotspur’s most expensive signings
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