The Premier League, from year to year, seems not to suffer the various economic crises that affect all the other leagues, and in particular the other four main ones. In England, the expenses related to the transfer market show no signs of decreasing; on the contrary, as far as possible, they are only increasing. This session was simply confirmation that Chelsea, with 329 million euros spent, has in fact spent the same amount as the other four major European leagues combined.
A disparity that becomes even more abysmal if you add up the expenses of all twenty formations that are part of the English top division. Chelsea also set the record for the most expensive single-season transfer market ever when taking both the summer and winter sessions and adding them together. Among the many expensive purchases made by Londoners between the summer and the repair session, one broke a few records. We are obviously talking about Enzo Fernandez.
Bought for 121 million euros by Benfica, the Argentine midfielder not only became the costliest strike ever in the history of the Blues but also the costliest strike ever in the history of the Premier League, as well as the sixth costliest strike ever in the history of football. So, let’s take a look at the five most expensive Premier League signings in history, as determined by data from Transfermarkt.
To try to give a jolt after a not-so-brilliant start to the season, Manchester United paid out 95 million euros in the summer of 2022 to bring Antony home from Ajax. The Brazilian, also thanks to some physical problems, has not yet managed to score as expected. A few nice tricks and a few games aside, he never really made a difference in United’s first six months.
And we close the Manchester United classification with an acquaintance from Serie A, Paul Pogba. After moving from the Red Devils to Juventus on a free transfer and literally exploding, Pogba returned to the club four years later in exchange for 105 million euros. A figure that made him the highest-paid footballer in the history of football for a while. Even in his case, the English adventure was not at all positive like the one in Turin, so at the expiry of the six-year contract, he chose not to renew in order to try his rebirth again in the black and white shirt.
And we come to the long-awaited podium, which begins with the second transfer of the aforementioned Romelu Lukaku. After the flop at Manchester United, he moved to Serie A with Inter. After two years in the Nerazzurri jersey, he made another move to the Premier League, this time to Chelsea, for 113 million euros. We all know how his year in London went, just as we know of the bad luck that struck him during the first six months after his return to Inter.
The second-most expensive transfer in Premier League history is that of Jack Grealish, who moved from Aston Villa to Manchester City for 117.50 million euros in the summer of 2021. At City, however, given the abundance in the offensive zone, he very often starts from the bench and is not as decisive as he was at Aston Villa. As a result, he has yet to justify the high cost levied against him.
The most expensive transfer in the history of the Premier League is that of Enzo Fernandez, who moved from Benfica to Chelsea in January 2023 for 121 million euros. It is also the sixth most expensive signing in the history of football and the second most expensive ever in the history of the January transfer market after that of Coutinho, who moved from Liverpool to Barcelona in January 2018 for 135 million euros. In six months, Enzo Fernandez moved from River Plate to Benfica for 44.25 million euros, won the World Cup as a protagonist with Argentina, and is now at Chelsea. A year to remember.