The 50 Most Expensive English Premier League Signings

The 50 Most Expensive English Premier League SigningsNewsweek
50. Danny Drinkwater - $46.1 million, Leicester City to Chelsea, 2017.Michael Regan/Getty Images

The richest soccer league in the world by some stretch, the Premier League has grown to dominate the transfer market like none of its peers can. Of the 50 most expensive signings in soccer’s history, 41 were made by Premier League clubs. While Barcelona and Real Madrid still boast the financial clout to match their English counterparts, not even they can afford to splurge money as freely as some of the top Premier League clubs.

England’s most successful soccer club, Manchester United, tops the list when it comes to transfers, having signed the two most expensive players in the history of the Premier League.

Overall, United feature in the list 11 times, hardly a surprising figure given that in June Forbes ranked the 20-time champions of England as the world’s most valuable soccer team ahead of Real Madrid.

On the other side of Manchester, City accounts for 13 of the most expensive ever signings in the league’s history. The newly-crowned champions of England finished ninth in the inaugural Premier League season but their fortunes were completely transformed when they were purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2009.

Since the takeover, City has become one of the Premier League’s most dominant clubs on and off the pitch and have spent eye-watering amounts on players. Chelsea also boasts an owner with incredibly deep pockets and Roman Abramovich’s fortune is the key contributing factor to the Blues appearing in the list nine times.

Liverpool also features nine times, with the bulk of their big-money signings coming over the last three years.

Elsewhere, Arsenal features six times in the list, while Tottenham and Everton have one entry each, both dating back to last summer.

Only one player makes the list twice and United still holds the record for the oldest signing to appear in the ranking, stretching all the way back to the summer of 2000, way before the Premier League became the current financial giant.

Unsurprisingly, forwards are more expensive than their counterparts and 23 of appear on the list, compared with 16 midfielders, 10 defenders and just one goalkepeer.

Scroll through this Newsweek gallery to see the 50 most expensive Premier League signings in history, starting with number 50 and working up to the most expensive player ever. 

49. Michael Essien - $46.3 million, Olympique Lyon to Chelsea, 2005.Michael Regan/Getty Images
48. Fernando Torres - $46.3 million, Atletico Madrid to Liverpool, 2007.Paul Ellis/AFP
47. Dimitar Berbatov - $46.3 million, Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester United, 2008.Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP
46. Diego Costa - $46.3 million, Atletico Madrid to Chelsea, 2014.Clive Rose/Getty Images
45. Eric Bailly - $46.3 million, Villarreal to Manchester United, 2016.Jason Cairnduff/Reuters
44. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - $46.3 million, Arsenal to Liverpool, 2017.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
43. Michi Batshuayi - $47.5 million, Olympique Marseille to Chelsea, 2016.Glyn Kirk/AFP
42. Didier Drogba - $46.8 million, Olympique Marseille to Chelsea, 2004.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
41. Sergio Aguero - $48.7 million, Atletico Madrid to Manchester City, 2011.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
40. Fernandinho - $48.7 million, Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester City, 2013.Alex Livesey/Getty Images
39. Davinson Sanchez - $48.7 million, Ajax to Tottenham Hotspur, 2017.Glyn Kirk/AFP
38. Tiemoué Bakayoko - $48.7 million, Monaco to Chelsea, 2017.Ben Stansall/AFP