Over the last 5 years the Premier League has welcomed a lot of expensive players. Equally, there has been a lot of expensive outgoings. So today, I am going to rank the top 10 most expensive outgoings. For arguments sake I am going to include moves between Premier League clubs.
(Wesley Fofana has been excluded based him not completing a full season at Chelsea yet, too early to judge).
10. Lukaku (Inter Milan – Chelsea [back to Inter on loan], £97.5m)
Lukaku’s move back to Chelsea was nothing short of disappointing. Prior to his move Lukaku won the Scudetto with Inter Milan, netting 24 league goals and 30 in all competitions. His form earned him a move back to Chelsea. He impressed in his first day bullying Arsenals defence in a 2-0 victory which he scored in.
But his season in totality was shambolic ending with only 8 league goals. To make matters even worse he told Sky in Italy that he was “not happy” with the situation at Chelsea. He would also go on to question manager at the time Thomas Tuchel’s system. And entertain the prospect of returning to Inter while he is still playing at a “good enough level”. Romelu received lots of backlash for this. So much so that he had to apologise to all Chelsea fans. The following season he returned to Inter on loan.
9. Hazard (Chelsea – Real Madrid, £88.5m [initial fee])
Eden Hazard verified himself as one of the best wingers in Premier League history. Hazard set the league alight. His time in England saw him win 2 Premier Leagues, PFA players’ player of the year and Premier League player of the season along with multiple other accolades.
When the Belgian completed his move to Real Madrid, Eden was gifted the iconic number 7. Everybody thought that they had finally acquired their successor to Ronaldo. But this was far from the case. Since 2019 Eden Hazard has only scored 7 goals and got 12 assists for Real Madrid. To make matters even worse he has suffered 18 different injuries at his time in Madrid. Despite being part of two title winning sides as well as a Champions League winning side, his move has been nothing but a disaster.
8. Maguire (Leicester City – Manchester United, £80m)
The first defender on this list is Harry Maguire. Due to his successful spell at Leicester City, the reds broke the transfer record for the centre back. But his time at United got very bitter very quickly. Over the years, the defender has been subject to a lot of mistakes. And due to the arrival of Lisandro Martinez, this season he has fallen down the pecking order.
On a more positive note, the Englishman managed to become the captain of Manchester United. But personally, I believe the price tag placed on Maguire came with big pressures that he simply couldn’t live up to.
7. Coutinho (Liverpool – Barcelona, £105m)
Coutinho was one of the most exciting prospects in the league whilst at Liverpool. His impressive form earned him a move to Barcelona becoming the 2nd most expensive transfer in history. Despite Coutinho winning 4 titles at Barcelona, he only managed to score 25 goals and register 14 assists in over 100 appearances.
In the 2019/20 season Coutinho went to Bayern Munich on a season long loan. He ended the season with 20 goals and assists in 38 games. On top of this, he would win the treble with Bayern. Knocking out his parent club Barcelona in the Champions League quarter finals in a humiliating 8-2 win where scored twice!
Ultimately, Coutinho struggled to consistently make an impact and failed to live up to the high expectations set by his transfer fee whilst in Spain. He was often played out of position on the wing, which limited his effectiveness, and he struggled to establish himself in the team’s midfield.
6. Grealish (Aston Villa – Manchester City, £100m)
Grealish joined Manchester City in the 2021/22 season. And although he won the Premier League that season, his contribution to the team hasn’t been as great as it was whilst he was at Villa. However, it is still very early for him and that’s why I wouldn’t class him in the ‘flop’ category. On top of that he is really impressing this season with shouts to be named in the Premier League team of the season. He continues to step up for his club and has the potential to be a very good signing.
5. Lukaku (Everton – Manchester United, £75m)
The only name to appear twice on this list is none other than big Rom. Although his goal league tally dropped from the previous season, he had a decent debut season in Manchester. The striker registered 36 goals and assist in 51 appearances. He also became the 5th youngest player to reach 100 Premier League goals at the time.
His second and final season at the club was statistically the worse of the two. The Belgian would only score 15 goals in 45 games. The most memorable moment from this season is when he inspired an iconic comeback against PSG. In that game Romelu scored twice to take United into the quarter finals of the champions league. His performance earned him the man of the match for that game.
4. Van Dijk (Southampton – Liverpool, £75m)
The second defender on this list and the first 10/10 signing on this list. Van Dijk joined Liverpool in 2018 and quickly became the best centre back in the world. Van Dijk is the first player on this list to win every trophy available whilst playing in England.
He has set incredible records such as a 70 game unbeaten home record and 65 games without being dribbled past. Despite recent scrutiny, at a point Van Dijk was the best centre back in the world winning UEFA Mens Best Player award. And even ranking 2nd in the 2019 Ballon D’or.
No matter what the narrative is on Van Dijk today he is one of the best centre backs the Premier League has ever seen.
3. Bale (Tottenham – Real Madrid, £85.3m)
Gareth Bale is the first certified success on this list. Bale’s debut season in Spain lived up to all the expectations. He ended the season with 41 goals and assists in 44 games! This incredible season included an iconic goal in the Copa Del Rey final. As well as a Champions League final goal to help his side secure La Decima.
Bale was also part of the iconic Real Madrid side that won the Champions League three times in a row. And has won the competition a record five times. He was part of one of the best forward lines of all time alongside Benzema and Ronaldo. Bale’s overall success in Madrid led to him has been argued to be one of the greatest British players of all time.
Despite his success at the club the Welshman’s final years in Spain weren’t the best. Due to his frequent injuries and claims that he didn’t care about football the fans of Real Madrid began to turn on him. Regardless of all of this Bale has established himself as a Real Madrid legend.
2. Suarez (Liverpool – Barcelona, £65m)
Arguably the third best player of his generation, Suarez was a special player. After having one of the best individual campaigns in Premier League history, Suarez made the move to Barcelona in the 2014/15. Here he would go on to form the best front three the sport has ever seen alongside Messi and Neymar.
In that same season he would help his side win the treble getting 48 goals and assists in 43 games. His best goal scoring season would come the season after where he scored 59 goals in 53 games! This return would see the striker win his second European golden shoe. Suarez was massive contribution to Barcelona’s domestic success always turning up in and scoring in the big moments.
1. Ronaldo (Manchester United – Real Madrid, £80m)
We all knew who was going to be number 1. None other than Cristiano Ronaldo. I’ll be here all day if I had to break down his time at Real Madrid. When Ronaldo joined Real Madrid he had already won a Ballon D’or and had an unforgettable season in 2007/8. But at his time at Madrid he would transcend all his previous successes.
He would end his time at Madrid winning 4 Champions Leagues, 5 Ballon D’ors and a stacked collection of other titles and individual rewards. Ronaldo earns the nickname of Mr Champions League due to his alien-like goal scoring form in the competition, turning up whenever his team needed him. Ronaldo, alongside Bale, was part of the three peat Madrid side and has won the joint most Champions Leagues in history with 5.
Cristiano would end his time at Real Madrid scoring 450 goals in 438 games! and hold the record for the most Champions League goals scored as well as assists provided. His catalogue of goals is second to none. One of the most fearsome players we will ever see.
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