Ranking the six most expensive German footballers ever

Kai Havertz has completed his big-money move across the capital after signing for Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea.

The Germany international signs for the Gunners as the club prepare to return to the Champions League next season and will add to the attacking options in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

The £65m deal places Havertz among the most expensive German footballers of all time and we’ve decided to look at the midfielder’s costliest compatriots.

Here are the six most expensive German footballers ever.

6. Julian Draxler – Wolfsburg to Paris Saint-Germain (£40m)

Julian Draxler was viewed as one of German football’s most exciting talents during spells at Schalke and Wolfsburg, before Paris Saint-Germain agreed a £40m deal to sign the midfielder.

Draxler had formed part of the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and departed the Bundesliga in search of a new challenge.

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He made a bright start to his career at PSG and has since won four Ligue 1 titles, but has largely struggled to reach the heights expected and cement a regular role across five-and-a-half seasons at the Parc des Princes.

The 29-year-old was allowed to leave on loan for Benfica during the 2022/23 campaign, but made just 10 league appearances before his campaign was curtailed due to an ankle issue.

5. Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid to Arsenal (£42.5m)

Arsenal made a statement signing after smashing the club’s transfer record to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in 2013.

The north Londoners had endured a difficult period in the Premier League, but announced their intention to compete for major trophies again with the £42.5m capture of the German midfielder.

Ozil arrived with a reputation as one of Europe’s best creators having starred on the international stage with Germany, leading both the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012 for assists. He had also been the top assist provider in the Bundesliga and La Liga and matched that achievement in the Premier League in 2015/16 with 19 assists – the second most recorded in a single season.

Ozil’s first season had seen him help Arsenal end a nine-year trophy drought with FA Cup success, a competition the midfielder won on four occasions. His latter time with the club was marred with inconsistent performances and controversy however, before an unceremonious exit for Fenerbahce having been frozen out of the first-team squad.

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4. Timo Werner – RB Leipzig to Chelsea (£47.5m)

Excitement was high after Chelsea signed Timo Werner in a £47.5m deal from RB Leipzig, with the west Londoners beating competition from Liverpool to sign the forward.

Werner had scored a club-record 95 goals in 159 games for Leipzig, including 32 in all competitions during a prolific final season at the Red Bull Arena. The Germany international won the Champions League during his debut season at Chelsea, but struggled to replicate the goalscoring form he had shown in the Bundesliga during his time with the club.

Commended for his work-ethic but criticised for some wasteful finishing, he scored 23 goals in 89 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea.

Werner was allowed to leave the west Londoners after two seasons and re-signed for RB Leipzig in a £25.3 million deal. He scored 16 goals in all competitions for the Bundesliga side in 2022/23.

3. Leroy Sane – Manchester City to Bayern Munich (£54.8m)

Leroy Sane sealed a return to the Bundesliga after completing a £54.8m transfer from Manchester City to Bayern Munich in 2020.

Sane had starred in the Premier League after signing for Manchester City from Schalke, with the winger often electric across four seasons at the Etihad.

He was named as the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2017/18 as Pep Guardiola’s side won the title with a record-breaking 100 points and lifted six major honours during his time in English football.

Sane was sold to Bayern Munich after missing the majority of the 2019/20 campaign with an ACL injury and has since produced 75 goals and assists in 133 appearances for the Bavarians. He has won three consecutive Bundesliga titles since returning to German football.

2. Kai Havertz – Chelsea to Arsenal (£65m)

Kai Havertz’s cross-capital switch makes Havertz the second-most expensive German footballer of all time, with Arsenal having agreed a £65m fee with Chelsea.

Mikel Arteta is understood to view the 24-year-old as an option to improve his creativity in midfield, with Havertz having operated for much of his Chelsea career as a lone forward.

The Germany international struggled to produce consistent performances during three seasons at Chelsea, but Arsenal will hope to coax the best from a player considered one of Europe’s best prospects following his Bundesliga breakthrough.

1. Kai Havertz – Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea (£72m)

Kai Havertz is now the first and second most expensive German footballer in history.

Havertz’s move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea remains the most expensive transfer deal involving a German, after the west Londoners signed the midfielder for a £72m fee.

Chelsea’s capture of Havertz was viewed as a coup given considerable interest from Europe’s elite, who had been attracted to the emerging talent after he scored 29 league goals across his final two seasons at Bayer Leverkusen.

He will depart with fond memories having scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final against Manchester City, but Havertz’s best proved to be infrequent with only flashes of his true potential.

He scored 32 goals and provided 15 assists in 139 appearances for Chelsea.

Read – Seven interesting transfer deals you might have missed around Europe’s major leagues

Read Also – Ranking the six most expensive midfielders in football history

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