The Premier League remains a money-making machine with English football’s top flight clubs possessing finances the envy of domestic leagues across the world.
Recent figures showed that England currently possess eight of the richest 20 clubs in world football, and Premier League sides have certainly not been afraid to splash the cash in the ever increasing world of transfer fees in recent years.
Transfer records continue to tumble with regularity, but big fees are not always a guarantee of big success.
We’ve decided to look at every Premier League signing to break the £50m mark (add-ons not included), and rate each of their impacts following their high profile moves.
Here are our ratings of every Premier League transfer over £50m…
Fernando Torres – £50m (Chelsea)
The Premier League’s first ever £50m player, Fernando Torres would sign for Chelsea from Liverpool in a British transfer record deal in January 2011, though the Spaniard’s move to west London would come to be remembered as one of the great transfer flops.
Torres would struggle to replicate the prolific form he had shown on Merseyside in one of the division’s most memorable falls from grace, and despite securing team success in the form of the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League, he would look a shadow of his former self, scoring just 20 league goals over four seasons.
Jorginho – £50m (Chelsea)
Maurizio Sarri would begin his reign as Chelsea manager with the capture of a familiar face, signing midfield metronome Jorginho from former club Napoli for an initial fee of £50m.
The Italy international would initially struggle to cope with the demands of the Premier League and English football, enduring a disappointing debut season and becoming a source of fierce criticism from the Chelsea support.
After a season of adaptation, the deep-lying playmaker is now thriving, however, making the developing Blues tick and orchestrating the play at the heart of Lampard’s side with a series of classy displays.
Benjamin Mendy – £52m (Manchester City)
Pep Guardiola’s full-back overhaul would see Mendy become the most expensive defender in history, though his time in English football has been ravaged by injury, despite plenty of team success.
A popular figure due to his social media antics, there has sadly been only glimpses of what Mendy can offer, a player who has spent more time on the treatment table than making an impact on the pitch.
Fred – £52m (Manchester United)
The Brazilian international would join Manchester United in a £52m deal from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018, enduring a slow start to life at the club to become an increasingly maligned figure amongst the supporters, struggling to win favour during his debut season in a difficult period for both club and player.
That said, this season has seen the 26-year-old markedly improve, his tenacity and battling displays winning admirers amongst the Old Trafford faithful. Whether the midfielder is of the requisite quality to return United to the elite remains in doubt, but his critics are currently quieter than ever before.
Naby Keita – £52.75m (Liverpool)
Keita’s arrival at Liverpool came amid much fanfare, though his time in the Premier League has been one of frustration, a series of niggling injuries making his Anfield career stop-start thus far.
There have been glimpses of the 24-year-old’s evident talents, his energy and dynamic ability to drive forwards offering a different dimension to the Liverpool midfield when fit – attributes Jurgen Klopp will hope he can call upon on a consistent basis in the coming seasons.
Tanguy Ndombele – £53.8m (Tottenham)
After several seasons of moderate and sometimes non-existent spending as the club moved into their new stadium, Tottenham loosened the purse strings somewhat last summer to sign Lyon midfielder Ndombele in a club record deal.
Ten Premier League starts has delivered two goals and a further two assists, but despite his obvious talents he faces a fight to convince Jose Mourinho he deserves regular inclusion, failing to start any of the club’s past five league fixtures.
Kevin De Bruyne – £55m (Manchester City)
After some mixed fortunes so far for the player’s in this feature, at last, a bonafide star.
Manchester City would capture former Chelsea prospect De Bruyne in a £55m deal in 2015, and the midfielder would play a pivotal role in the club’s successes in recent years, winning back-to-back titles and English football’s first ever domestic treble, becoming the fastest player in history to register 50 Premier League assists.
Few players in world football are as complete as City’s brilliant Belgian, De Bruyne recently becoming the first player in the division’s history to register 15+ assists in three separate campaigns and quickly closing in on Thierry Henry’s all-time record of 20 in a single season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – £56m (Arsenal)
Another big-money acquisition that would prove money well spent, Arsenal would break their transfer-record to sign Aubemyang from Borussia Dortmund, the Gabon international having enjoyed a prolific spell in the Bundesliga.
The forward has continued in similar fashion in English football, scoring 57 goals in 92 appearances in north London and earning a share of the Premier League’s Golden Boot last season.
Named as club captain earlier this year, he remains the star turn in a transitional Gunners team.
Aymeric Laporte – £57m (Manchester City)
Manchester City have spent fortunes on defensive additions in recent windows, but none have provided the solidity that Laporte has since his arrival from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018.
A brilliant defender with a fine passing range from deep, Laporte is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and his extended absence this season has been a major factor in City’s indifferent form.
Christian Pulisic – £58m (Chelsea)
Comfortably the most expensive American player in history, Pulisic is the poster boy for football in the US and his arrival in the Premier League is likely to cause intrigue either side of the pond.
The 21-year-old has begun brightly at Chelsea with six goals in all competitions before injury problems of late, and looks to have the potential to become a star of the English game.
Angel Di Maria – £59.7m (Manchester United)
Signed in a British transfer record as United sought marquee additions in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, Di Maria would arrive from Real Madrid amid much excitement, only to see his time in England turn into a nightmare.
After a bright start he would fade in dramatic fashion, the Argentine failing to settle and swiftly demanding a move away. He would last just one season before joining Paris Saint-Germain, having made little impact in the Premier League.
Joao Cancelo – £60m (Manchester City)
One of a host of expensive full-back options being stockpiled by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Cancelo has sadly failed to make much of an impression since joining from Juventus last summer.
Despite being the most expensive full-back in football history, the Portuguese international has failed to dislodge Kyle Walker as first-choice at the Etihad, with speculation having linked the 25-year-old with a move away just months after his big-money arrival.
Riyad Mahrez – £60m (Manchester City)
The dazzling feet of the Algerian winger would draw admiring glances after he inspired Leicester to an improbable Premier League title triumph, joining Manchester City two seasons later in a deal worth £60m.
Mahrez would help Pep Guardiola’s side to a domestic treble during his debut season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions, though he is yet to establish himself as an automatic starter due to the wealth of attacking talent available to the Spaniard.
That said, he remains one of the division’s most exciting talents in full flight, and a valuable asset to arguably the deepest squad in world football.
Alvaro Morata – £60m (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s number nine shirt has proven to be a curse in modern times, Morata amongst a handful of expensively signed additions to struggle under the goalscoring burden at Stamford Bridge.
Despite an impressive start that saw the Spain international score ten times by Boxing Day during his debut season, his form and confidence notably suffered from then on and lead to a woeful period in front of goal.
Having fallen out-of-favour he would join Atletico Madrid, the 27-year-old rebuilding his career in the Spanish capital at present after his Premier League toils.
Rodri – £62.8m (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s pursuit of a long term replacement for Fernandinho would lead to a club record deal for Rodri last summer, the Spain international signing from Atletico Madrid in a deal worth £62.8m.
Likened to Sergio Busquests in style, it has proven to be a solid if unspectacular debut season for the Spain international, adjusting to the pace of the English game and even deputising at centre-back on occasion.
Still just 23-years-old, City will hope he can develop further after a season of adaptation this year.
Alisson – £66.8m (Liverpool)
Loris Karius’ Champions League nightmare persuaded Jurgen Klopp into spending big to solve Liverpool’s goalkeeping woes, securing the services of Brazilian international Alisson in a then world-record deal.
The move would prove to be an inspired signing, the goalkeeper bringing presence to the Reds defence and claiming the Premier League’s Golden Glove in his debut season, in addition to helping the club to Champions League glory.
This season has seen Alisson continue in similar fashion, the 27-year-old regarded by many as the world’s finest number one at present.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – £71.6m (Chelsea)
Alisson’s status as the world’s most expensive goalkeeper would last just days, Chelsea ending their search for a number one by paying a record £71.6m to land Kepa from Athletic Bilbao.
The Spanish international would enjoy a fairly solid debut season, helping the club to Europa League success, though his form has dipped this season following some below-par showings.
Dropped recently in favour of the veteran Willy Caballero, he faces a fight to save his Chelsea future.
Nicolas Pepe – £72m (Arsenal)
Arsenal would smash their transfer record to sign exciting Ivorian Nicolas Pepe from Lille, the winger having starred for the Ligue 1 side and arriving amid much excitement at the Emirates.
So far, Pepe has failed to live up to expectations, however, despite a record of five goals and five assists in all competitions. Gunners’ fans will have expected more from their marquee summer addition, who in truth they are yet to see the best of.
Virgil van Dijk – £75m (Liverpool)
Simply put, the best central defender in world football and a transformative signing.
Liverpool’s world-record signing from Southampton would raise eyebrows, but Van Dijk has proven worth the expensive outlay. Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup trophies have all been added to the cabinet, whilst the Dutch defender has earned individual accolades by being named as the PFA Player of the Year and runner-up in the Ballon d’Or.
Romelu Lukaku – £75m (Manchester United)
A proven goalscorer over prolific spells at West Brom and Everton, Lukaku would move to Old Trafford from the latter in a £75m and enjoy an impressive goalscoring record in Manchester, netting 42 times in 96 appearances in all competitions during a two-year spell.
The Belgian would be criticised for his overall play but he is regularly a guaranteed source of goals, as Inter Milan are currently discovering following another big-money move to the San Siro last summer.
Harry Maguire – £80m (Manchester United)
Van Dijk’s record as the world’s most expensive defender would be eclipsed by Manchester United’s capture of England international Maguire from Leicester, the centre-back joining in a deal worth £80m last summer.
Despite being an upgrade on the club’s previous options, it has proven a mixed start for Maguire during a difficult season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club enduring their worst start to a season in 30 years.
Maguire’s own form has been mixed, though his influence at Old Trafford was indicated after being named as club captain following the January departure of Ashley Young.
Paul Pogba – £89.3m (Manchester United)
The most expensive player in British football history, United would smash the then world-record to resign former youth product Pogba from Juventus in 2016.
Pogba had departed for the Italian side after finding opportunities limited at Old Trafford, thriving at the Turin side and developing into one of the world football’s finest young talents, winning four consecutive Serie A titles.
Having returned to Manchester he would win the Europa League and League Cup during his debut season, but since then it has been mixed fortunes with inconsistent displays, off-field disruptions and the midfielder often appearing to agitate for a move away,
The Frenchman has regularly failed to showcase his best despite evident talents, and whether he remains at the club beyond the end of this season remains to be seen, with Real Madrid once again lurking.
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