Who is the most expensive player in Premier League history: top 12 biggest transfer fees

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Over the years the Premier League has seen some of the biggest transfers in football history

The Premier League is the most watched league on the planet and each transfer window is synonymous with big name signings and lucrative transfer fees due to the immense revenue that clubs receive and the highly competitive nature of the division.

England has topped the spending charts around the world for most of the last decade and top-flight clubs racked up a total of £780.1m on new recruits during the winter window of 2023.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This current transfer window is no exception to the rule and the likes of Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Josko Gvardiol have all completed major transfers as the 2023/24 season gets underway.

But who are the most expensive Premier League players of all time and have they been worth the hefty price tag?

Who is the most expensive player in Premier League history?

Chelsea were the biggest spenders in the 2023 January transfer window and former manager Graham Potter spent over £323 million to bolster his squad.

The biggest of those deals came right at the end of the transfer window in the form of Argentinian youngster Enzo Fernandez.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 22-year-old signed for Chelsea from Benfica for a then British record fee of £106.8 million.

But the Blues are once again on the verge of smashing the British transfer record and they have agreed a fee to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo for a fee of £115m

Who are the most expensive Premier League signings in history?

Over the years the Premier League has seen some of the biggest and most talked about transfers in the history of football.

Here are the top 10 most expensive signings in Premier League history:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

1. Moises Caicedo - £115 million: Brighton to Chelsea (Pending)

Moises Caicedo is close to a British record move to Chelsea. (Getty Images)Moises Caicedo is close to a British record move to Chelsea. (Getty Images)
Moises Caicedo is close to a British record move to Chelsea. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Brighton star Moises Caicedo for a British record fee of £115 million and they are now discussing personal terms with the player as the transfer nears completion.

The Blues faced stiff competition from Liverpool to complete the deal but the Colombian’s preferred destination is Stamford Bridge, according to reports.

The 21-year-old impressed last season for the Seagulls and helped Roberto De Zerbi’s side to a record-high finish of 6th in the Premier League.

2. Enzo Fernandez - £106.8 million: Benfica to Chelsea

Enzo Fernandez joined Chelsea from Benfica in January 2023. (Getty Images)Enzo Fernandez joined Chelsea from Benfica in January 2023. (Getty Images)
Enzo Fernandez joined Chelsea from Benfica in January 2023. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Argentinian youngster Enzo Fernandez joined The Blues from Benfica in January 2023 in an incredible £106.8 million switch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fernandez impressed during his six month spell with Benfica and helped the club to top the Champions League group. He also guided Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar - winning the young player of the tournament award in the process.

The young midfielder has huge expectations to fill in the coming months as Chelsea look to rebuild under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.

3. Declan Rice - £105 million: West Ham to Arsenal

Declan Rice is Arsenal’s most expensive footballer. (Getty Images)Declan Rice is Arsenal’s most expensive footballer. (Getty Images)
Declan Rice is Arsenal’s most expensive footballer. (Getty Images) | Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal have been one of the biggest spenders in the summer transfer window and a large portion of their budget has been used to recruit former West Ham captain Declan Rice.

The England international arrives at the Emirates Stadium after a decade-long spell at West Ham, which saw him rise from a youth player to club captain.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rice made over 245 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions and he left the club on a high after lifting the Europa Conference League in his final game.

4.Jack Grealish - £100 million: Aston Villa to Manchester City

Jack Grealish was the first £100 million footballer in Premier League history. (Getty Images)Jack Grealish was the first £100 million footballer in Premier League history. (Getty Images)
Jack Grealish was the first £100 million footballer in Premier League history. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Jack Grealish was the first English footballer to exceed the £100 million mark.

Grealish completed his move from Aston Villa to Manchester City in the summer of 2021 for a fee of £100 million pound - smashing the previous club record of £55 million for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015.

The 27-year-old was a member of the Man City team which lifted the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in an historic season for the Citizens.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

5.Romelu Lukaku - £92 million: Inter Milan to Chelsea

 Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. (Getty Images) Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. (Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku was formerly on the books at Chelsea from 2011 until 2014 but never established himself as a first team footballer.

The Belgian striker enjoyed fruitful spells with the likes of Everton and West Brom in the Premier League, but appeared to be taking his game to another level after two prolific seasons with Inter Milan - the latter of which saw him lift the Serie A title.

Such form prompted Chelsea to re-sign the forward for £92 million but he never found form for The Blues and was often left on the bench during his first season back.

He was loaned out to Inter Milan last season and his Chelsea future remains in doubt under new boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

6. Paul Pogba - £89 million : Juventus to Manchester United

Paul Pogba left Manchester United on a free after a six-year spell at Old Trafford. (Getty Images)Paul Pogba left Manchester United on a free after a six-year spell at Old Trafford. (Getty Images)
Paul Pogba left Manchester United on a free after a six-year spell at Old Trafford. (Getty Images) | Manchester United via Getty Imag

Paul Pogba was another example of a player returning to his former club.

Pogba came through the academy of Manchester United in 2011 and was promoted to the first team by Sir Alex Ferguson. The French midfielder refused to sign a new contract with The Red Devils and signed for Juventus in 2012 after making just three first team appearances.

Pogba spent four seasons with Juventus and was one of the league’s dominant midfielders - winning four successive Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies.

Pogba returned to Old Trafford for a world record fee of £89 million. The Frenchman spent a total of six seasons with Manchester United winning the EFL Cup and the Europa League in 2017.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pogba returned to Juventus in the summer of 2022 on a free transfer after a mixed spell with The Red Devils.

7. Antony - £81 million: Ajax to Manchester United

Antony was a member of Manchester United’s League Cup winning team. (Getty Images)Antony was a member of Manchester United’s League Cup winning team. (Getty Images)
Antony was a member of Manchester United’s League Cup winning team. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Antony completed a blockbuster £81 million move to Manchester United at the end of the 2022 summer transfer window.

The Brazilian youngster is tipped to be a star for the future at Old Trafford and scored in all of his first three games.

Antony was a member of the team that won the Carabao Cup last season and he could be a key player for Erik Ten Hag’s side in years to come.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

8. Harry Maguire - £80 million: Leicester City to Manchester United

Harry Maguire was signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer of 2019. (Getty Images)Harry Maguire was signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer of 2019. (Getty Images)
Harry Maguire was signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer of 2019. (Getty Images) | Manchester United via Getty Imag

Harry Maguire remains the most expensive defender in Premier League history and was signed from Leicester City for £80 million in the summer of 2019.

Maguire was a first team regular during his first three seasons time at Old Trafford but he fell down the pecking order after the arrival of Erik Ten Hag last season.

9. Romelu Lukaku - £75 million: Everton to Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku has been involved in two of the biggest moves in Premier League history. (Getty Images)Romelu Lukaku has been involved in two of the biggest moves in Premier League history. (Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku has been involved in two of the biggest moves in Premier League history. (Getty Images) | Manchester United via Getty Imag

Belgian star Romelu Lukaku has commanded two of the highest transfers in Premier League history and the first was his move from Everton to Manchester United in 2017.

Lukaku was amongst the top Premier League scorers in three of his four seasons with Everton prompting a £75 million transfer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Lukaku enjoyed a productive first year at Manchester United with 16 goals in his first season and managed 12 in his second season before joining Inter Milan for a fee of around £70 million in 2019.

10. Virgil Van Dijk- £75 million: Southampton to Liverpool

Virgil Van Dijk has been a key player for Liverpool in recent years. (Getty Images)Virgil Van Dijk has been a key player for Liverpool in recent years. (Getty Images)
Virgil Van Dijk has been a key player for Liverpool in recent years. (Getty Images) | Getty Images,

Virgil Van Dijk is one of the most successful players on this list and he signed for Liverpool for a fee of £75 million in January 2018.

Van Dijk has since established himself as one of the best defenders in Liverpool’s recent history - winning the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League during his first five seasons with the club. He was recently appointed as the club’s new captain ahead of the 2023/24 season.

11. Jadon Sancho - £73 million: Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United

Jadon Sancho arrived at Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in Germany. (Getty Images)Jadon Sancho arrived at Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in Germany. (Getty Images)
Jadon Sancho arrived at Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in Germany. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

During his time in the Bundesliga Jadon Sancho was one of the most coveted young footballers on the planet and his pace and trickery proved to be a nightmare for defenders to deal with.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Manchester United won the race to sign Sancho for £73 million but are yet to see the best of the young prospect due to injuries.

12. Wesley Fofana - £70 million: Leicester City to Chelsea

Wesley Fofana has struggled for injuries at Chelsea. (Getty Images)Wesley Fofana has struggled for injuries at Chelsea. (Getty Images)
Wesley Fofana has struggled for injuries at Chelsea. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

The second Leicester City player to feature on this list. Wesley Fofana completed a £70 million transfer to Chelsea in the summer of 2022 after an impressive two year spell with the Foxes.

The 22-year-old is viewed as one of the best defensive prospects in world football and will be hoping to make a great impact on The Blues in years to come. He has struggled to make an initial impact due to injuries but will still have high hopes of breaking into the first team.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.