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Five Premier League academy graduates sold for big fees this summer

Premier League clubs often benefit from a successful academy system, whether it’s producing players readymade for the first-team or developing stars to sell on for big profit.

This summer has seen several homegrown names depart the clubs that developed them for big fees, with Premier League teams raking in massive sums for their academy graduates.

Cole Palmer looks set to be the latest, as the Manchester City academy product nears a £45m move to divisional rivals Chelsea.

Five Premier League academy graduates sold for big fees this summer:

Folarin Balogun – Arsenal (£38m)

Folarin Balogun has become Arsenal’s most expensive sale, despite having made just two league appearances for the Gunners.

Balogun has signed for AS Monaco in a deal worth around £38m, having excelled in French football on loan at Reims last season. The 22-year-old saw his route to first-team football at Arsenal blocked by Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, but showed he is ready for the demands of regular role after scoring 21 Ligue 1 goals in 2022/23.

Monaco won the race to sign the USA international after Breel Embolo suffered a serious knee injury and will hope Balogun can replicate last season’s exploits in the principality. Balogun’s exit makes him the most expensive departure in Arsenal history, replacing the £35m fee that took Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool in 2017.

Ranking the most expensive sales in Arsenal history

Robert Sanchez – Brighton (£25m)

Robert Sanchez joined Brighton’s academy set-up at the age of 15, before progressing through the ranks to become a first-team regular.

The Spanish shot-stopper made 87 league appearances across the last three seasons for the Seagulls, but lost his place in the team to Jason Steele last season as Roberto De Zerbi opted for a different direction in goal.

Chelsea came calling this summer to sign the 25-year-old in a deal worth up to £25m, with Sanchez starting each of the club’s opening three Premier League games of the season after the departures of Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga from Stamford Bridge.

Mason Mount – Chelsea (£55m)

Mason Mount’s expected exit from Chelsea came as a surprise when news of his likely departure first emerged, with the midfielder having been a prominent figure in the club’s recent success.

The Cobham product – who joined Chelsea aged just six – had won Chelsea’s Player of the Season accolade in consecutive campaigns in 2020/21 and 2021/22, the first of which saw Mount impress as the Blues were crowned Champions League winners for a second time.

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Mount had been expected to be a long-term part of Chelsea’s rebuild, but having felt undervalued during contract negotiations decided to inform the west Londoners of his desire to leave. Mount refused a new contract after being offer a salary inferior to several of the club’s newest recruits.

Chelsea reluctantly agreed to sell the midfielder to Manchester United for a fee of £55m, having rejected three previous bids from the Old Trafford side.

Harry Kane – Tottenham (£100m)

Tottenham were another side to reluctantly accept a big-money bid for one of their own this summer, as Harry Kane completed a transfer to Bayern Munich which could be worth £100m including add-ons.

Kane had entered the final 12 months of his deal at Spurs and had shown no indication that was willing to sign a new deal, having failed to win silverware in his career to date.

The 30-year-old scored a club-record 280 goals in 435 appearances for Spurs, eclipsing Jimmy Greaves as the north London side’s record goalscorer and surpassing Wayne Rooney’s international goal record with England in the process.

Kane felt a move to Bayern Munich provided him with the best chance to win elusive silverware and the England captain has made a fine start to life in the Bundesliga. He has scored three goals and provided an assist in two league appearances since signing for the German champions.

Declan Rice – West Ham (£105m)

Declan Rice’s departure from West Ham had seemed inevitable given his development at the London Stadium, but at least the club captain left after a history-making moment and in exchange for a fat wad of cash.

Arsenal signed Rice in a club-record £105m deal as Mikel Arteta looked to strengthen a side who, despite leading the Premier League for a record-breaking 248 days last season – faltered during the run-in as the Manchester City machine chased them down.

 

Rice – who captained West Ham to Europa Conference League success last season and a first major trophy since 1980 – has become the most expensive British footballer of all time and will no doubt improve the Gunners, while West Ham have been (somewhat uncharacteristically) shrewd with their reinvestment.

A midfield rebuild that has seen James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus arrive, for a combined fee that still leaves a couple million change from the Rice sale, looks like good business to us.

Read – Iconic Performances: Thierry Henry’s irresistible display at Inter

Read Also – Midfield Magicians: Deco, a masterful playmaker too easily forgotten

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