Jack Grealish at Man City leads the UK transfer top 10, but who else has been a hit or miss?
Jack Grealish is now officially a Manchester City player after sealing his £ 100million transfer from Aston Villa on Thursday.
Grealish had been at boyhood club Villa for 19 years, making 213 appearances, scoring 32 goals and ultimately captaining the team, having made his senior debut in 2014.
But, after proving he is a key member of the England squad that qualified for the Euro 2020 final this summer, the 25-year-old attacking midfielder took a step forward by signing a six-year contract with the reigning Premier League champions after paying them his release clause.
The massive £ 100million fee involved represents a new UK transfer record, the second time City have held the record since acquiring Robinho from Real Madrid at £ 32.5million in 2008. In comparison, their rivals Manchester United have held the record seven times. , while Chelsea have claimed it twice in recent years.
Still, investing big hasn’t always paid off for the clubs involved, with the top 10 UK record transfer fees featuring a mix of players who instantly paid off the Faith, those who took their time to get started. and those who just flat-out did not provide value for money.
1. Jack Grealish: Aston Villa in Manchester City, 2021, £ 100million
Obviously, it’s far too early to say whether Man City’s massive spending will turn out to be clever, given that Grealish has only donned the shirt once (and strictly for promotional purposes).
What we do know is that the midfielder was in great shape for England at Euro 2020 – if only in fleeting cameos – and appears ready, willing and able to challenge to the next level.
Still, that’s a lot of money for a player who hasn’t scored a league goal since January (despite having been injured for two months), and for a position in which City are already brimming with talent like Phil. Foden, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.
Verdict: to be confirmed
2. Paul Pogba: Juventus at Manchester United, 2016, £ 89.3million
Manchester United broke the world record (not just the UK record) by signing a player who left Juventus at the end of his contract for just £ 800,000 in compensation four years ago.
The fanfare was huge, the #Pogback promotional campaign featured Stormzy, and Pogba seemed like just the kind of star name United needed to rejuvenate their stagnant squad.
It’s fair to say that Pogba hasn’t managed to convince everyone of his merits since, but the French midfielder has shown he is a world-class player and a cut above his day (approx. once every two weeks). However, with his contract expiring in 2022, he could still leave United in the coming weeks.
3. Harry Maguire: Leicester City to Man Utd, 2019, £ 80million
Many grimaced when Leicester center-back Maguire left Leicester for Old Trafford for such a large sum shortly after impressing at the 2018 World Cup for England, although the bet has since paid off.
The tough defender was quickly installed as club captain by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, providing a solid core in the most reassuring backline United have boasted in years.
4.Romelu Lukaku: Everton at Man Utd, 2017, £ 75million
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The one who ran away for United. Lukaku never seemed to quite fit the mold at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho and, despite a decent goal return in his two seasons with the club (42 goals in 96 appearances), the Belgium international was cleared. to join Inter Milan for around £ 74million. in the summer of 2019 under minimal constraint.
He has since fully restored his reputation as one of Europe’s most formidable strikers, scoring 64 goals in 95 games, with the Nerazzurri make their way to a first Serie A title in more than a decade last season. However, a return to Chelsea could be considered as the Blues made a £ 110million offer last week which was rejected.
= 4. Virgil van Dijk: Southampton to Liverpool, 2017, £ 75million
World-class center-back Van Dijk barely seems to sweat while comfortably bringing together forwards from the Premier League and beyond.
With clubs now seemingly happy to pay as much for unfazed defenders as they do for 20-goal strikers per season, it’s clear Liverpool’s tantalizing expense to sign the Dutchman has since proven to be a wise investment as the Reds have won. their first prime minister. League title in two decades in 2019-20 and won the Champions League trophy the year before.
Indeed, Van Dijk’s influence and importance for Liverpool was clearly underlined during his prolonged absence due to injury in the second half of last season, in which Jurgen Klopp’s side went out of business. systematically collapsed.
6. Jadon Sancho: Borussia Dortmund at Man Utd, 2021, £ 73.9million
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Having torn him apart in the Bundesliga in recent years, United have grown big to bring Sancho to the Premier League after his youth career with rivals City saw him leave for £ 8million without making a single appearance in 2017.
His 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 appearances for Dortmund suggest the England winger is exactly the kind of quick offensive catalyst Solskjaer was clamoring for last season.
Verdict: to be confirmed
7. Nicolas Pepe: Lille at Arsenal, 2019, £ 72million
It doesn’t really feel like Pepe has been at Arsenal for two years now, such has been the transitory nature of the Ivorian striker’s impact.
His debut season overtook him with just eight goals in 42 games, but things improved greatly in 2020-21, when the former Lille star significantly increased his contribution. Pepe has scored 16 goals in all competitions for the Gunners (the club’s second-highest goalscorer behind Alexandre Lacazette), with his improved form being one of the few positives in a largely forgettable campaign for Mikel Arteta’s mediocre midfield. .
However, he hasn’t done enough to be considered anything less than a dud at this point.
8.Kepa Arrizabalaga: Athletic Bilbao at Chelsea, 2018, £ 71.6million
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Kepa failed to convince the Blues loyalists with a series of unconvincing performances, exacerbated by a display of misguided insubordination in the 2019 EFL Cup final.
The goalkeeper stubbornly refused to be substituted in the dying seconds of extra time in order to make way for penalty shootout specialist Willy Caballero, which led to a furious tirade from head coach Maurizio Sarri after the loss of the Blues against Man City.
The 26-year-old Spanish stopper has since been replaced as first pick by Edouard Mendy, who was signed for just £ 22million from Rennes in September 2020 and started his stint at the club setting a clean sheets record – a total negotiate by comparison.
9. Rodri: Atletico Madrid at Man City, 2014, £ 62.8million
Slightly ahead of City teammate Ruben Dias (£ 61.6million from Benfica) on the top 10, Rodri was brought into the Etihad as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
The Spanish midfielder has hardly been electric for City, but then again, he was never meant to be, with Pep Guardiola regularly selecting the 25-year-old for his deep presence and controlling the midfielder.
Rodri also scored the game-winning goal in City’s 2020 EFL Cup Final triumph over Villa, so that’s another check mark in the plus column.
10. Kai Havertz: Bayer Leverkusen at Chelsea, 2020, £ 62million
Havertz quickly reached prodigy status at Leverkusen after scoring 46 goals for the club before turning 21, even having to miss several first-team games to pass his college exams.
The German playmaker was a slow burner at Chelsea, but the momentum quickly started to pick up when he found his bearings – scoring nine goals in his first campaign for the Blues, the last of which was happened to be a winner in a Champions League Final.