The nine Englishmen to be bought in transfers worth £35million+

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With Premier League clubs having to fulfil a quota of homegrown players in their squad every season, English players now have an added premium to their price tag. 

Manchester United have finally sealed the deal to Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for a reported £73million, while Arsenal are expected to sign Brighton defender Ben White in a £50million deal.

Both fees will put the players in the top three most expensive Englishmen in history, but it hasn’t always been plain sailing for their fellow countrymen to have been transferred for such high-profile fees.

Harry Maguire

After Manchester United tried and failed to sign Maguire in 2018, they returned a year later with their tail between their legs and agreed to pay Leicester City’s £80million asking price.

The centre-back replaced Virgil van Dijk as the world’s most expensive defender, a label that has brought a lot of added pressure and scrutiny.

Aside from the occasional blunder, he has helped shore up United’s defence and was rewarded with the captain’s armband in January 2020.

The England international has also been a near ever-present for Ole Gunnar Soslkajer’s side, making an incredible 107 appearances in all competitions over the last two seasons.

Raheem Sterling

Despite Liverpool’s best attempts to keep him, Sterling left in acrimonious circumstances and joined Manchester City in a £49million deal in 2015.

He has gone from strength to strength under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, helping the Blues win three Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup.

After three straight 20-goal seasons for City, the winger fell short of his usual high standards in 2020-21 but answered his critics by starring for England at the Euros.

It’s fair to say that he’s worth a bit more than that £49million now.

John Stones

Dubbed the English Beckenbauer, Stones impressed at Barnsley and Everton before completing a £47.5million move to Manchester City in 2016.

The centre-back initially made some defensive mishaps but turned things around to become one of City’s standout performers in the ‘Centurion’ season.

After errors crept back into his game, he barely got in the City team in 2019-20 and things got so bad that he was linked with a move to Arsenal.

The 27-year-old enjoyed another renaissance in 2020-21, forming a brilliant partnership with Ruben Dias as City won the Premier League and reached the Champions League final.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Wan-Bissaka enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season with Crystal Palace in 2018-19, culminating in his £45million move to Manchester United.

It might seem like a ludicrous fee for a right-back without a senior international cap, but he has become one of the first names on Solskjaer’s team sheet since.

While his offensive play can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, those spider-like legs make him one of the best one-v-one defenders in the world.

Just ask Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

READ: Aaron Wan-Bissaka single-handedly put Neymar & Mbappe into lockdown

Kyle Walker

Since joining Manchester City from Tottenham in 2017, Walker has more than justified his £45million price tag by helping Guardiola’s side win three Premier League titles.

Despite facing competition from the likes of Danilo and Joao Cancelo, he has made over 180 appearances for City and remains their first-choice right-back.

The 31-year-old has even proved a useful asset between the sticks.

Ben Chilwell

Having struggled to replace Ashley Cole since his departure, Chelsea agreed to pay Leicester City £45million for Chilwell in the summer of 2020.

The England international had established himself as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League during his time at the King Power Stadium, impressing in both defence and attack.

He then took his game to another level in 2020-21, becoming a key player for both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel.

Despite suffering FA Cup final heartbreak, the 24-year-old ended his first season at Stamford Bridge with a Champions League winner’s medal after playing every minute of the 1-0 win over Manchester City.

Andy Carroll

After Fernando Torres completed his £50million move to Chelsea on deadline day in January 2011, Liverpool reacted by spending a club-record fee of £35million to sign Carroll from Newcastle United.

He had forged a reputation as a promising young player after helping Newcastle win promotion in 2010 but didn’t actually want to leave his boyhood club.

“I was injured at the time, and all I’m thinking is, ‘Please just fail the medical,’” Carroll told the Daily Mail in 2019. “The minute I got on that helicopter I wanted to come back.”

The ponytailed centre-forward found goals a lot harder to come by at Anfield and was sold to West Ham United at a £20million loss in 2013.

But he did score a late winner in their FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton in 2012 and, given Liverpool fans sang ‘Sweet Carroll Nine’ to the tune ‘Sweet Caroline’, perhaps he was worth every penny.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

With 12 months left on his Arsenal contract, Oxlade-Chamberlain opted for a fresh challenge in 2017, joining Liverpool in a £35million deal.

He was beginning to show his best form in his favoured central midfield role at Anfield, only to then spend a year on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury in April 2018.

The 27-year-old returned in time to pick up a Champions League winner’s medal as an unused substitute in the 2019 final before playing his part as the Reds finally got their hands on the Premier League title in 2020.

He fell out of favour in 2020-21 and started just two games in all competitions but will be hoping to force his way back into Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

Danny Drinkwater

After buying N’Golo Kante in 2016, Chelsea returned to Leicester City a year later and signed his former midfield partner for £35million.

The pair have had slightly contrasting fortunes in recent seasons, with Drinkwater making just 12 Premier League appearances for the Blues.

He’s still made plenty of headlines, most notably for headbutting a team-mate during a loan spell at Aston Villa before starting a brawl with a 16-year-old in a Chelsea Under-23s match.

The 31-year-old remains contracted at Stamford Bridge until 2022 but don’t expect to see him playing alongside Kante anytime soon.


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