With most of Europe’s ‘Big Five’ leagues having less than a month until the start of the 2022/23 season, the transfer market is buzzing.
We’ve already seen a number of high-profile deals closed this summer. Chief among them was the signing of the prolific Norwegian striker from Manchester City Erling Haland,
Thanks to an exit clause in his contract with Borussia Dortmund city The 21-year-old could be bought for just £54m – £81m less than him real market value,
Deals like Hollande are few and far between in the modern game. In their quest to put together the most successful squads, clubs have often paid very high transfer fees over the years.
Sometimes the fruits of these gambles have been found, and on many occasions there have been spectacular reversals.
Thanks for the number eaters transmission signWe are able to identify the players with the highest “high prices” in the game (based on the transfer fees paid for them less their market value at the time).
We then sorted them by position to collect the most expensive XI in football history. The inclusion is entirely based on data, which means that performance is not taken into account.
DORTMUND, GERMANY – OCTOBER 16: Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund thanks the fans after his team’s victory in the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Signal Iduna Park on October 16, 2021 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos /Getty Images)
Man City may have come a long way when it comes to Haaland, but the current Premier League champions are certainly no stranger to paying the odds for a star name.
Now let’s take a look at the most expensive XI ever.
TW: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea) – £54m difference
Transfer fee: £72m
Market value at the time of the deal: £18m
CB: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool) – £49.19m
Transfer fee: £76.19m
Market value at the time of the deal: £27m
LEEDS, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool watches the Premier League match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Land Road on September 12, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Sean Bottrell/Getty Images)
CB: Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City) – £36m
Transfer fee: £58.5m
Market value at the time of the deal: £22.5m
CB: Harry Maguire (Leicester to Manchester United) – £33.3m
Transfer fee: £78.3m
Market value at the time of the deal: £45m
Prime Minister: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona) – £40.5m
Transfer fee: £121.5m
Market value at the time of the deal: £81m
BARCELONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 30: Filipe Coutinho of FC Barcelona looks sad during the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alves at Camp Nou on October 30, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparos/Getty Images)
CM: Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United) – £31.5m
Transfer fee: £94.5M
Market value at the time of the deal: £63m
CM: Kevin de Bruyne (Wolfsburg to Manchester City) – £27.9m
Transfer fee: £68.4m
Market value at the time of the deal: £40.5m
LW: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City) – £47.25m
Transfer fee: £105.75m
Market value at the time of the deal: £58.5m
RW: Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund for Barcelona) – £91.8m
Transfer fee: £121.50m
Market value at the time of the deal: £29.7m
BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 18: Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona reacts during the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Cádiz CF at Camp Nou on April 18, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
CF: Neymar (Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain) – £109.8m
Transfer fee: £199.8m
Market value at the time of the deal: £90m
CF: Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain) – £54m
Transfer fee: £162m
Market value at the time of the deal: £108m
MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 9: Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain scores his team’s first goal during the UEFA Champions League match of round of sixteen legs two between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 9 2022. Celebrated after. Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Eyebrows were raised last summer when Man City broke the UK transfer record to sign Grealish. In his first season at the Etihad, the Englishman struggled to justify his hefty £105.75m asking price. In fact, his form has been well below his £58.5million market value since last August.
City have risked a lot in the past and managed to make both Laporte and de Bruyne key figures in Pep Guardiola’s side.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte hug before the kick off during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on February 19, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Lawrence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool’s Van Dijk is another example of a big investment that pays off handsomely. However, for every success, there are many more failures.
Man United broke the bank to sign Pogba for £31.5m above his market value in 2016 – and soon came to regret it. The controversial Frenchman didn’t leave Old Trafford at all when his contract ended last month. Some people regretted his departure.
That wasn’t the Red Devils’ only transfer mistake. Maguire’s £78.3million club in 2019 seemed excessive from the start as the former Leicester man has done little to change that narrative with his performances over the past three years.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 9: Harry Maguire of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 9, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Elsewhere, it’s no secret that PSG have spent a staggering sum on players hoping to bring the Champions League back to the French capital. It hasn’t happened yet and the club are reportedly set to sever ties with Neymar in a deal worth £199.8million this summer.
The worst deal in this XI, however, is Barcelona paying a staggering £91.8m over quota for Dembele – a player they are now dying to get out of the Camp Nou payroll. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Catalan club are struggling financially after signing such deals.
Most expensive eleven in football history
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