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HomeOpinion/FeaturesRanking every Premier League side by their club record signing

Ranking every Premier League side by their club record signing

Premier League clubs boast riches the envy of world football’s rival leagues and English clubs again spent big on new additions in January.

Three clubs broke their transfer record with mid-season arrivals, while Chelsea splashed out a British record figure to land Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.

We’ve ranked each Premier League club in terms of their transfer record.

20. Brentford – Keane Lewis-Potter (£16m)

Brentford have the most modest transfer record among current Premier League clubs, with the £16m spent on Keane Lewis-Potter last summer their biggest spend.

Lewis-Potter shone in the second tier at Hull, but has struggled to make an impact so far this season and has started just three league games. The Bees will hope the 21-year-old can kick-on and become a prominent part of Thomas Frank’s plans.

The Bees are set to break their transfer record next summer, having signed Freiburg forward Kevin Schade on loan for the remainder of the campaign. The west Londoners expect to turn the deal into a permanent move for a fee of £20m.

19. Brighton – Enock Mwepu (£21m)

Brighton’s modern success has come from unearthing rough diamonds, before polishing them up and selling on for significant profit. Marc Cucurella, Yves Bissouma and Leandro Trossard have all been developed and sold on in recent windows, with the club’s record purchase remaining the £21m spent on Enock Mwepu.

The midfielder joined from Red Bull Salzburg and made 21 appearances last season, but was forced to cut short his career earlier this season. Mwepu was diagnosed with a rare hereditary heart condition and retired from the sport, aged just 24, in October.

18. Southampton – Kamaldeen Sulemana (£22m)

Southampton’s position in the Premier League table saw the Saints splash the cash this winter, investing more than £60m on new arrivals in January.

Kamaldeen Sulemana became the club’s new record signing after joining from Rennes in a deal worth £22m. The 20-year-old has already won 15 caps for Ghana and recorded the fastest speed of any footballer at the 2022 World Cup in Ghana.

Nathan Jones will hope Sulemana – and fellow recruit Paul Onuachu – can provide the attacking threat to lead the Saints out of the relegation places.

17. Nottingham Forest – Morgan Gibbs-White (£25m)

Nottingham Forest marked their return to the Premier League with a stunning spend last summer, bringing in a record-breaking 22 new signings for a sum in excess of £145m.

The most expensive arrival was Morgan Gibbs-White from Wolves, for a club-record fee of £25m – potentially rising to around £40m with add-ons. Gibbs-White had struggled to make an impact at the top level with Wolves, but shone on loan at Sheffield United last season and previously worked with Steve Cooper for England’s u17 World Cup-winning side.

He has shone during Forest’s recent improvement and has formed an excellent understanding with Brennan Johnson. Gibbs-White has six goal involvements in 16 league starts this season.

16. Bournemouth – Jefferson Lerma (£25m)

Jefferson Lerma remains Bournemouth’s record arrival, having joined the Cherries in a £25m deal in 2018. Lerma signed for the club after featuring for Colombia at that summer’s World Cup, where the South Americans reached the last 16 before a shootout defeat to England.

The combative midfielder has since made 167 appearances for Bournemouth and remained with the club despite relegation, leading the side back into the Premier League last season. He has started all 20 league fixtures for Gary O’Neill’s side during the current campaign.

15. Fulham – Jean Michael Seri (£27m)

Fulham appear to have learned lessons from past visits to the Premier League, including a disastrous 2018/19 campaign that ended in relegation despite a spend in excess of £100m.

The most expensive of those arrivals was Jean Michael Seri, who was viewed as a huge coup for the Cottagers after links to the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund.

The Ivorian endured a tough debut season as Fulham were relegated and departed on loans for Galatasaray and Bordeaux. Seri featured as Fulham won promotion last season, but left on a free transfer when his contract expired last summer to sign for Hull.

14. Crystal Palace – Christian Benteke (£27m)

Crystal Palace smashed their transfer record to sign Christian Benteke, agreeing a £27m deal with Liverpool after the forward had fallen out of favour at Anfield.

Benteke had struggled to make an impact at Liverpool, but had netted 42 goals in 89 league appearances for Aston Villa before his move to Merseyside. He scored 15 league goals during an impressive debut season at Palace, but reached ten in the Premier League in just one of the following five seasons.

The Belgium international departed for DC United last summer, after an underwhelming total of 37 goals in 177 games for Palace.

13. Aston Villa – Emiliano Buendia (£33m)

Emiliano Buendia’s role in Norwich’s promotion to the Premier League saw Aston Villa spend big on the midfielder, as the Premier League side invested the funds received from Jack Grealish’s move to Manchester City.

Buendia scored 15 goals and provided 16 assists to be named as the Championship Player of the Season in 2020/21, but has struggled to replicate that level of creativity in the top division. There have been flashes of his best, but more was expected of Buendia upon his arrival at Villa Park.

He has just seven goals and seven assists in 60 appearances for Villa in all competitions.

12. Leicester – Youri Tielemans (£35m)

Leicester broke their transfer record to sign Youri Tielemans in 2019, following an impressive loan spell from Monaco.

Tielemans has been a central figure in Leicester’s recent success, as the Foxes secured consecutive fifth-placed finishes in the Premier League in 2020 and 2021. The latter of those came alongside a first ever FA Cup triumph, with Tielemans’ spectacular goal sealing a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Wembley.

The Belgium international is expected to leave the club on a free transfer when his contract expires this summer.

11. Leeds – Georginio Rutter (£35.5m)

Jesse Marsch continued his rebuild of Leeds with the capture of Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim in January, in a deal worth a club-record £35.5m.

Rutter made his debut against Accrington Stanley last weekend and showed signs of forming an understanding with Patrick Bamford. Jack Harrison was full of praise for the France u21 international after his debut performance.

“You hear the fans singing his name already, it’s a positive sign for him,” Harrison said told LUTV. “He is just starting his career now here and it’s exciting. He’s a very exciting player.”

10. Wolves – Matheus Nunes (£38m)

Wolves have brought in their fair share of Portuguese talent in recent windows. Matheus Nunes was added to the growing collection of Portugal stars last summer, for a club-record fee of £38m.

Nunes’ arrival from Sporting Lisbon was deemed a coup for Wolves having been tracked extensively by some of Europe’s top clubs. The midfielder has had a mixed first season in England, but Liverpool have been backed to renew their long-standing interest in the 24-year-old next summer.

A fee of around £44m has been speculated as Jurgen Klopp seeks badly-needed midfield additions.

9. Everton – Gylfi Sigurdsson (£45m)

Gylfi Sigurdsson became Everton’s record arrival after a £45m move from Swansea in 2017. The midfielder spent five seasons with the Toffees and made 156 appearances, but was left out of the club’s Premier League squad for the 2021/22 campaign amid speculation he was the player Everton had ‘suspended pending a police investigation’. He was released when his contract expired in 2022.

8. West Ham – Lucas Paqueta (£51.3m)

West Ham were among the biggest spenders of last summer’s transfer window, as David Moyes looked to build on the success of consecutive top-seven finishes.

Gianluca Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta were the headline arrivals, with the latter eclipsing Sebastien Haller (£45m) as the Hammers’ record signing. The Brazil international had starred across three seasons at Lyon, but has failed to make the desired impact so far this season. He has one goal and two assists in 13 league appearances.

7. Tottenham – Tanguy Ndombele (£55m)

Tottenham fans were delighted after their side won the race for Tandy Ndombele, but the midfielder’s time with the club has proven a disappointment. Despite glimpses of his talent, Ndombele has flattered to deceive with a number of coaches having failed to bring the best from the Frenchman.

Jose Mourinho was among those to have openly discussed his frustration with the midfielder during his time in north London.

“The talent is amazing. You know I think by the talent point of view, by the creation in midfield, by the vision, he is second to nobody at this moment in European football,” Mourinho said in 2021.

“But the feeling is always that he has something more to give. He never reaches the limits of the effort, the sacrifice, even the ambition. So he is the guy that I love him as a player but frustrates me a little bit because I think he can be much better, much better than what he is.”

There has been little return on Spurs’ investment and Ndombele is currently on loan at Napoli, having spent the second half of last season with former club Lyon. It is expected that he will move on on a permanent basis this summer.

6. Newcastle – Alexander Isak (£63m)

Newcastle flexed their new-found wealth last summer to secure a deal for Alexander Isak. The forward had been on the radar of several top clubs, before the Magpies agreed a transfer worth a club record £63m.

It was a huge increase on the previous record that saw Joelinton arrive from Hoffenheim for a £40m fee, as Eddie Howe looked to add firepower to his options at St James’ Park.

Despite injuries, Isak has impressed. The Sweden international possesses a combination of physical frame, mobility, and speed when carrying possession and has averaged a goal or assist ever 98 minutes so far this season.

5. Arsenal – Nicolas Pepe (£72m)

Arsenal smashed their transfer record to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille with the winger having become one of the most sought-after talents in Europe after a series of impressive performances in France.

Pepe’s final season with Nice saw him score 22 goals and provide 11 assists, with only Kylian Mbappe outscoring the winger in Ligue 1. His time in the Premier League proved frustrating however, with Pepe’s best only shown in brief flickers.

He provided 25 goal involvements in 43 league starts across three seasons, but the emergence of Bukayo Saka saw him struggle for regular minutes. The 27-year-old was allowed to leave on loan last summer and returned to France with Nice.

4. Liverpool – Virgil van Dijk (£75m)

Virgil van Dijk’s arrival was arguably the signing that transformed Liverpool from nearly-men to winners of major trophies, after the Reds made the Dutch defender their record signing in January 2018.

Jurgen Klopp returned with renewed intent after a failed summer move for Van Dijk, who became the most expensive defender in history – at that time – when moving to Merseyside six months later.

Since then the centre-back has won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup, having had a prominent part in a successful era at Anfield. Regarded as one of the best centre-backs in world football at his best, he became just the third Premier League defender to win the PFA Player of the Year award in 2018/19.

3. Manchester United – Paul Pogba (£89m)

Paul Pogba proved a divisive figure across six seasons at Manchester United, having returned to his former side in a then-world record £89m deal in 2016.

Four seasons at Juventus had seen Pogba develop from under-valued prospect at Old Trafford to one of world football’s most exciting talents, before returning to Manchester to begin a new era under Jose Mourinho.

He won a League Cup and Europa League double during his debut season, but the following five campaigns passed without silverware. Pogba’s best was all too infrequent and he failed to become the consistent match-winner most had anticipated upon his arrival. He departed after a frustrating period in the Premier League to rejoin Juventus on a free transfer last summer.

2. Manchester City – Jack Grealish (£100m)

Jack Grealish became the Premier League’s first £100m footballer in 2021 after Manchester City triggered the midfielder’s release clause at Aston Villa.

Grealish departed his boyhood side in search of silverware and won the Premier League title last season, but his contribution was criticised after a return of just six goal involvements. Grealish is a footballer capable of magical moments, though Pep Guardiola will want to see more tangible end product from the club’s record signing.

He has started just 32 league fixtures during his 18 months at the Etihad.

1. Chelsea – Enzo Fernandez (£106.8m)

Enzo Fernandez has replaced Grealish as the most expensive footballer in Premier League history, after Chelsea ended a long pursuit with the £106.8m capture of the Benfica midfielder.

Fernandez has spent just six months in European football after signing for Benfica last summer, but his performances in Portugal – alongside a starring role in Argentina’s World Cup success during the winter – have persuaded the big-spending Blues to break the bank.

The 22-year-old was named as the best young player at the 2022 World Cup and now makes the move to the Premier League. Graham Potter will hope he can provide an injection of quality into the club’s midfield, as Chelsea look to salvage a season of struggle so far.

Read – Rating every Premier League club’s January transfer window

Read Also – Ten of the most interesting Premier League January transfer deals

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