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The most expensive Premier League summer transfers of the last decade – Chelsea, Man Utd & Man City top list



Pic Credit ©: Phaungmala/123rf

Clubs spending on summer transfers was a lowly £365m in 2010. By 2020 this spending has reached a STAGGERING £1.41 BILLION pounds – thats more than 4 times the amount spent over the last decade.

For the fifth season running, Premier League clubs spent over £1bn in the summer transfer window.

Business came to a close at 11pm on Monday night with clubs hoping the deals they have completed will see them achieve their goals this season.

Big transfers done before the window closed included Thomas Partey swapping Atletico Madrid for Arsenal in a £45m deal while Manchester United paid Atalanta £37.2m for winger Amad Diallo.

The deals helped bring the total money spent in the window to £1.24bn and represents a decrease of 11.9 per cent from last season as clubs continue to miss out on game-day revenue with fans still not allowed to attend matches because of Covid-19.

None of the deals completed during this transfer window came close to beating the record fee involving a Premier League club.

Premier League clubs’ summer transfer window spending:

2010: £365m
2011: £485m (+32.9%)
2012: £490m (+1.1%)
2013: £630m (+28.5%)
2014: £835m (+32.6%)
2015: £870m (+4.2%)
2016: £1.17b (+34.5%)
2017: £1.43b (+22.5%)
2018: £1.23b (-14.1%)
2019: £1.41b (+14.7%)
2020: £1.24bn (-11.9%)

Biggest summer transfer window moves involving a Premier League side:

2010: David Silva £26m (Valencia to Man City)
2011: Cesc Fabregas £30m (Arsenal to Barcelona)
2012: Luka Modric £33m (Tottenham to Real Madrid)
2013: Gareth Bale £85.3m (Tottenham to Real Madrid)
2014: Luis Suarez £75m (Liverpool to Barcelona)
2015: Kevin de Bruyne £55m (Wolfsburg to Man City)
2016: Paul Pogba £89.3m (Juventus to Man United)
2017: Romelu Lukaku £75m (Everton to Man United)
2018: Kepa Arrizabalaga £71.6m (Valladolid to Chelsea)
2019: Eden Hazard £89m (Chelsea to Real Madrid)
2020: Kai Havertz (£75.8m) (Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea)

Gareth Bale’s £85.3m transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid was a world record in September 2013.

Seven years later and Bale is back at Spurs on a season-long loan after helping the Spanish giants to win the Champions League four times, La Liga twice, one Copa Del Rey, three Club World Cups and two European Super Cups.

Tottenham hope his arrival can help the club win their first trophy since they beat Chelsea 2-1 after extra-time to win the League Cup in February 2008.

Bale’s transfer remains one of the biggest transfers in world football, but only two transfers involving a Premier League side has seen more money passed between the clubs since the Welshman’s move in 2013.

Manchester United paid Juventus £89.3m for midfielder Paul Pogba, who left Old Trafford for free in 2012 while Chelsea’s Eden Hazard joined Real Madrid in 2019 for £89m.

Chelsea were involved in two of the biggest transfers of this window paying Bayer Leverkusen £75.8m for Kai Havertz and signing Ben Chilwell from Leicester for £50m.

Chelsea were the biggest spenders with £226.1m spent on new players – which is more than nine other Premier League clubs combined. Burnley, who are one of three sides without a point at the bottom of the Premier League table, were the only club who didn’t spend a penny during this transfer window.

The only other deal worth £50m or more was Ruben Dias’ transfer from Benfica to Manchester City.

City paid £65m for the centre-half hoping he can strengthen their defence as they look to win back the Premier League title.

We have studied the summer transfer windows since 2010 to see how the spending has increased from one season to the next and who were the big names involved in the biggest transfers involving Premier League clubs.

In 2010, Manchester City were the big spenders splashing out £50m on David Silva (£26m) and Yaya Toure (£24m) who went on to be the heart of the club as they won four Premier League titles in eight years.

It certainly turned out to be money very well spent by City. In total, £365m was spent on players during the summer transfer window in 2010.
One year later, the money spent on new signings rose by 32.9 per cent to £485m. Cesc Fabregas led the list in terms of the biggest transfer of the summer as he left Arsenal to join Barcelona for £30m.

Manchester City were spending big again as they persuaded Samir Nasri to swap the Emirates for the Etihad in a deal worth £24m.
It was the first of two successive summer transfer windows in which Arsenal sold one of their key players to a rival club.

In 2012, Gunners fans were less than impressed with the board’s decision to let Robin van Persie leave the club to join Manchester United. It was a double whammy for Arsenal who last lifted the Premier League trophy in 2004, as van Persie helped United win their 20th domestic title.

The biggest move of the summer to involve a Premier League club was Luka Modric’s move to Real Madrid who paid Tottenham £33m for the Croatian playmaker.

It was felt that the next big transfer would break the £50m barrier. Instead it was Bale’s world record from Spurs to Real Madrid for £85.3m in 2013 – £52.3m more than Modric’s fee 12 months earlier.

As Bale announced himself as a Real Madrid player, Mesut Ozil was making his way in the opposite direction to join Tottenham’s arch rivals Arsenal for £42.5m. Bale certainly has had the better career since the two moves.

Suddenly, a transfer over £100m looked possible following Bale’s world record, but it has yet to happen involving a Premier League side. Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain in 2017 remains the record at £198m closely followed by Kylian Mbappe’s £163m switch from Monaco to PSG a year later.

Luiz Suarez decided to leave Liverpool after the Reds with Brendan Rodgers in charge missed out on the Premier League title in 2014. The Uruguayan joined Barcelona for £75m while Manchester United thought the signing of Angel Di Maria would see them win more domestic and European titles.

However, the Argentina forward failed to live up to his £59.7m transfer fee and he found himself involved in another big summer transfer one year later when he was on his way out of Old Trafford to join Paris St-Germain for £44m.

But there were two other major signings made in 2015 with Manchester City strengthening their squad with Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling joining from Wolfsburg and Liverpool for £55m and £44m respectively. Both players are still at the Etihad and both are players Pep Guardiola hopes will lead the team to a fifth Premier League title this season.

Across Manchester, United have not won the title since 2013 and ahead of the 2016/17 season, the Red Devils spent £89.3m on a player they allowed to leave for free four years earlier. Fast forward to now and United seem no nearer to ending their domestic title drought. The best bit of business in the summer of 2016 was done by Liverpool who paid Southampton £34m for striker Sadio Mane.

That’s £54m cheaper than Pogba. Mane’s two goals in the Reds’ 2-0 win at Chelsea on Sunday took his total to 65 in the league for the Reds.

In each of the last four summer transfer windows, the biggest transfer involving Premier League clubs have been for £70m or more.

A year after Pogba made his return to Old Trafford, United were leading the way again with the capture of Everton striker Romelu Lukaku for £75m. Lukaku found the net regularly, but United’s defence was the reason why they are still without a title since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of the team.

It’s not very often a goalkeeper is the most expensive player in the summer transfer window, but that was the case in 2018 when Chelsea decided to splash out £71.6m for Kepa Arrizabalaga to bring him to Stamford Bridge from Spanish side Real Valladolid. The most noteable thing the keeper has done is refuse to be substituted in the 2018/19 Carabao Cup final.

Last summer, it was a defender leading the way with Harry Maguire’s switch from Leicester to Manchester United for £80m. Maguire helped United finish third in a season disrupted by Covid-19, but the Old Trafford club, who lost their season opener at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, has a lot of work to do to challenge for the title again.

The biggest transfer involving a Premier League club in 2019 saw Eden Hazard leave Chelsea to join Real Madrid in an £89m transfer. Hazard’s time in Spain has been hindered by injury and after scoring just once in 22 games last season, he will hope to make more of an impact for the La Liga champions.

While the transfer window is now officially closed, domestic-only transfers can be completed before October 16.

Despite the financial losses caused by Covid-19, Premier League clubs are still finding money to buy new players while clubs outside the top flight struggle to exist.

In the meantime, we are being made to wait for the first £100m transfer involving a Premier League side.

I have written for a number of sports based publications in the United Kiingdom for the last 20 years including many different genres, mainly football and horse racing which includes the Premier League and the Cheltenham Festival. Follow me on Twitter or my linkdin profile.


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