The 10 most expensive signings of 2021 – & how they’re faring

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Jadon Sancho in action for Manchester United against Leeds. August 2021.

The transfer market never seems to slow down, with prices increasing at an exponential rate year on year.

Every year more money is flooded into football which in turn inflates the transfer fees of players from around the globe with more and more teams competing for the very best players.

The increasingly widespread use of statistical analysis and ‘money ball’ tactics means that some clubs can poach talent before it becomes apparent to others, but the big names still require big fees to sign.

So here are the top 10 most expensive signings in 2021 and how they’re faring at their new clubs.

10. Tammy Abraham

Abraham’s transfer is the only one here that involves a player going into Italy, which makes sense considering the fact that most Italian clubs are in desperate need of cash.

He’s looked brilliant in patches under Jose Mourinho at Roma and cost the club £36million.

But the deal includes an option for Chelsea to buy him back which, let’s face it, with the state of their strikers at the moment you can see them activating at some point.

9. Ibrahima Konate

Konate cost Liverpool around £36million and has played just 10 games.

But of course, Jurgen Klopp’s squad simply isn’t good enough or deep enough to compete during the British winter footballing calendar, unlike… Leicester’s?

Konate’s looked very good when he’s played, but you get the feeling he must be wanting some extra game time sooner rather than later.

8. Raphael Varane

Varane joined Manchester United for a reported £36million which is some price to pay for a great bit of Old Trafford entertainment, as he hasn’t exactly done much since his reveal to the Old Trafford crowd.

He’s struggled with injury and looked decent at times, but he has also made mistakes and been far from the complete package that would solidify United’s defence that he was promised to be.

A United transfer underachieving? No, never…

7. Dayot Upemacano

It’s unbelievable how Bayern Munich can get away with it, but once again they poached one of their main rivals’ main players to bolster their ranks.

Upemacano left RB Leipzig to join Julain Naglesmann on the journey to Munich, coming in to replace David Alaba and Jerome Boateng who both left in the summer.

He cost the Bavarian club about £38.25million, which was reportedly his release clause, and Leipzig couldn’t convince him to stay.

At this point, you have to wonder if the entire German football system is just a machine designed to deliver Bayern a Champions League every once in a while.

6. Ferran Torres

There’s nothing dodgy to see here.

Barcelona just had that £49.5million down the back of sofa and City definitely wouldn’t have sold him for less…

Carlos Tevez playing for West Ham against Manchester United 13 May 2007 Old Trafford

READ: Torres to Barca & 8 other transfers clubs definitely couldn’t afford

5. Ben White

Arsenal fans have a tendency to overhype things, but when Ben White arrived for £52.65million even they struggled to defend it.

But whilst the media and opposition fans went crazy about the fee White got to work, and he has been a vital part of Arsenal’s best form in half a decade.

Now of course the tables have turned, and Arsenal fans will tell you that not only is he the best defender in the league but he was the biggest bargain of the summer as well.

The reality was he was neither over nor under priced; that’s just the kind of money a Premier League club has to pay for an English centre-back in the modern game.

4. Achraf Hakimi

It’s genuinely surprising that only one of the top 10 most expensive transfers this year was a PSG signing.

The club did spend an eye-boggling amount of money on agents fees, signing fees and the wages of players like Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma, but Hakimi was the only real signed in return for handing serious money direct to another club.

He is some player and, in this market, probably deserving of his £54million price tag.

Still, PSG spent a lot of money to not win the Champions League again.

3. Jadon Sancho

Manchester United are the only club to have two signings on this list and are probably having the most disappointing season of any of them.

But Sancho’s signature was inevitable. They may have had to wait an extra year, but the club managed to get him for around £76.5million which was less than the £100million he would have supposedly cost last summer.

Is that good business by United?

Well, probably not really…

2. Romelu Lukaku

… but this is worse.

We heard all about how Lukaku had changed from his Manchester United days and was worthy of the £103.5million he cost Chelsea to bring him back (give it a few years and Abraham will cost them the same).

He certainly looked like it, but he hasn’t set the world alight by any stretch of the imagination just yet.

1. Jack Grealish

Spending £105.75million on an attacker who turned up to training half-cut and has been outperformed by his Portuguese teammate who cost a fraction of the price is a bold strategy, but hey, it seems to be working.

Who are we to criticise?


More Planet Football

Sancho’s stunning rocket proves he’s getting back to his Dortmund best

Can you name every player Pep Guardiola has signed for £10m+?

Abraham’s amazingly sh*t solo goal encapsulated his graceless brilliance

The ‘big six’ head-to-head table in 2021: Man City top, Spurs bottom…