The Red Devils, who are tipped to climb into the top four, and secure a Champions League spot, in the latest odds on the English Premier League from Betfair, dominate the Premier League’s most expensive players list with three of the top five, as they seek to emulate the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Roy Keane’s transfer from Nottingham Forest to Manchester United for £3.75m back in 1993 meant that the Irishman became the most expensive player in English football history. However, transfer fees have rocketed in recent years and it no longer comes as a surprise that top clubs are willing to spend in excess of £70m on a single player.
But who are England’s top-flight’s highest value footballers? We hear you ask. Read on to find out!
- Paul Pogba – £93.25m, Juventus to Manchester United
Paul Pogba’s return to Old Trafford in 2016, after four years with Juventus, caused the football world to go into a bit of a meltdown. José Mourinho splashed a whopping £93.25m on the French midfielder – a fee which, then, smashed the world record and, still to this date, boasts the biggest English transfer fee.
However, it hasn’t been plain sailing for the 27-year-old, and he has often received criticism from the media for his lacklustre performances. The 2018 World Cup winner has only won the League Cup and Europa League since returning to Manchester, and they both came in his first season.
- Harry Maguire – £80m, Leicester City to Manchester United
English centre-back Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender in the world when current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær forked out £80m for the former Leicester City star, last summer. The 27-year-old has settled quickly at Old Trafford, and has since became the Red Devils’ captain. Maguire also played a key-part in the Three Lions, making it to the semi-final of the World Cup in 2018.
- Romelu Lukaku – £75m, Everton to Manchester United
Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku makes it a hat-trick for United – something he never achieved in a Red Devils jersey – in the top five most expensive transfers in the Premier League. Mourinho brought Lukaku up the M62 from Merseyside to Manchester for £75m. However, the forward never really found his feet at Old Trafford, and after scoring just 12 league goals in 32 outings last season, he was shipped to Inter Milan – somehow recuperating £70m for the out-of-form striker.
- Virgil van Dijk – £75m, Southampton to Liverpool
People mocked Liverpool when they spent an eye-watering £75m – a world record amount for a defender, at the time – on Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, in January 2017. However, the Dutch powerhouse has since cemented his place as one of the best centre-backs in the world. Van Dijk, who is now the Reds captain, played a massive part in Liverpool winning the Champions League, and looks to have helped Jürgen Klopp’s side put an end to their 30-year Premier League title wait.
- Nicolas Pépé – £72m, Lille OSC to Arsenal
Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery spent a huge £72m on little-known Lille winger Nicolas Pépé last summer. The Ivory Coast international, who smashed the North London side’s record fee, is yet to light up the Premier League, and has received criticism for his dire performances in a Gunners jersey. The 24-year-old has scored just four goals and provided a further six assists in 24 Premier League outings. However, in the forward’s defence, the whole Arsenal team have massively underachieved as of late, and Pépé has received plaudits for his great performances against Tottenham Hotspur and Man United – however, they haven’t come often enough.