Every summer, football fans look towards two things – international football and the transfer window. This summer has been no different, with the Euros, Copa America and Gold Cup all taking place.
Following the conclusions of these tournaments, attention turned to the transfer market. The transfer market is interesting for fans because they get to see their clubs spend an enormous amount of money on players.
Premier League clubs have always been the big spenders, and this summer is not an exception. Manchester United spent £75m on Jadon Sancho and another £35m on Raphael Varane.
Chelsea just re-signed Romelu Lukaku for a club-record fee of £97.5m, but the biggest transfer so far is Jack Grealish’s £100m move to Manchester City from Aston Villa.
Grealish’s fee is the highest amount a club has paid for a player in Britain. But how did transfer fees in England reach this mark?
It’s important to note that transfers in football did not happen until the Football Association decided to make the game professional in 1885.
Before then, a player could play for any club he likes. However, after the FA introduced player registration after making the game professional, the concept of transfers was created.
Patrick William Groves, aka Wille Groves, was the first notable transfer in Britain. The Scotland star moved from West Brom to Aston Villa for £100 in 1893. Eleven years later, Alf Common became the first £1000 man when he moved from Sunderland to Middlesbrough in February 1905.
The first significant milestone in football transfer was when Trevor Francis joined Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City for £1.18m in February 1979. The move made him the first one million man in football.
In July 1996, Alan Shearer then set a new British record when he joined Newcastle from Blackburn Rovers for £15m. Three years later, Nicolas Anelka moved from Arsenal to Real Madrid for £22.5m.
Ten years later, another milestone was unlocked as Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United for a then world-record fee of £80m.
In 2011, Fernando Torres became the first £50m man in Britain when he joined Chelsea from Liverpool. Two years later, Tottenham Hotspur sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a new world-record fee of £85m.
Paul Pogba’s £93m moves from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016 broke Bale’s record before Neymar’s move from Barcelona to PSG a year later made him the first £200m man in world football.
In January 2018, Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £105m. However, that’s from an English club to a Spanish club, making Man City’s £100m purchase of Grealish the most expensive in Premier League’s history.
Top 10 most expensive Premier League transfers.
Jack Grealish – £100m, Aston Villa to Manchester City
Romelu Lukaku- £97.5m- Inter Milan to Chelsea.
Paul Pogba – £93.25m, Juventus to Manchester United
Romelu Lukaku – £90m, Everton to Manchester United
Harry Maguire – £80m, Leicester City to Manchester United
Kai Havertz – £75.8m, Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea
Virgil van Dijk – £75m, Southampton to Liverpool
Jadon Sancho – £73m, Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United
Nicolas Pepe – £72m, Lille to Arsenal
Kepa Arrizabalaga – £71.6m, Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea
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