The Most Expensive Transfers To Premier League Clubs This Year

Football players are professionals with years of talent and training behind them. A club spends a great deal on the formation of a young player. From a purely business point of view, the club can expect to be reimbursed for the time and resources spent – this is usually expressed in buyout clauses attached to various players’ contracts that the teams that want to sign them will have to pay. Across the world, high-profile players are often “bought” and “sold” by the clubs (this may seem a bit dehumanizing but this is the case from a purely business point of view). Today, the Premier League is the highest-profile football league in Europe – and the one with the most disposable income to spend on international and local talent. Let’s see how much the most open-handed clubs spent this year on their most expensive players.

Christian Pulisic

Football is popular in most English-speaking countries. It’s one of the most-played sports in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and certainly in England. The great exception is the USA, where it has a “major league” but it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. This is what makes Christian Pulisic stand out.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, USA, Pulisic played collegiate soccer and indoor soccer at various local clubs before being signed by the German club Borussia Dortmund at the age of 16. First, he joined the club’s U17 squad, then the U19 then promoted to the first team in just a year. After three seasons with the German club, Pulisic left Borussia for Chelsea in a transfer contract worth £58 million. While his Premier League debut was not very successful (Chelsea lost 0 to 4 against Manchester United) he still has a lot of time to show his worth in England and be like his idol, Eden Hazard.

João Cancelo

A product of Benfica’s youth academy, João Cancelo started his senior career with the club in 2012 and was promoted to the first team in 2014. After a loan spell with Valencia, the club decided to make it final, signing him in 2014 for €15 million. Then, after two seasons with the club, another loan followed – he spent a season with Inter Milan – and another transfer, this time to Juventus for €40.4 million. Finally, he joined Manchester City in a transfer worth £27.4m plus Danilo this year (about £60 total), making him the most expensive right-back ever.


Rodrigo Hernández Cascante, better known as Rodri, made his senior debut at Villarreal as a midfielder. After three years with the club, Atlético Madrid signed the talented youngster for €20 million – but his time there was short. Manchester City met his €70 million buy-out clause, a record-breaking payout for the Citizens.

Nicolas Pépé

Pépé, a winger of Ivorian origin, spent just a season with – and played in just a handful of matches for – his formative team Poitiers before being signed by the Ligue 1 team Angers in 2013. Four years and one loan spell later he departed for Lille where he stood out – so much so that, during his last season there, several clubs – including Barca – expressed interest in him. Ultimately, he was signed by Arsenal in a club-record transfer of £72 million.

Harry Maguire

The most expensive player signed by a Premier League team coming from inside the Premier League (and England) is Harry Maguire, a Sheffield native who became the most expensive defender in history. He made his debut with Sheffield in 2011 but moved to Hull in 2014. After three seasons, he was signed by Leicester in a transfer worth £12 million – he truly made an impression there, it seems, as Manchester United was rumoured to have offered £70 million to sign him in 2018. Ultimately, the offer was sweetened by United – they paid £80 million for the defender this summer, turning him not only into the most expensive defender but also the most expensive player to transfer to a Premier League club this year.