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The Most Surprising Names In The 100 Largest Premier League Transfer Fees

The Most Surprising Names In The 100 Largest Premier League Transfer Fees
Emmet Bradshaw
By Emmet Bradshaw
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With Richarlison's move from Watford to Everton now being confirmed, a spate of raised-eyebrow related injuries are likely to plague the football public given the announcement of a £40 million transfer fee. Not bad business for Watford considering the fact that he scored the last of his five goals for the club back in November.

That places the Brazilian among the all-time 100 highest transfer fees involving Premier League clubs. Whether he goes on to justify the fee remains to be seen, but in trawling through the names currently in the top 100 there were was even more eyebrow raising. Here are some of the biggest shockers:

Andy Carroll to Liverpool: £35m

There are a number of factors that can often contribute to an over-inflated transfer fee. This transfer in 2011 had most of them: It was the final day of the January transfer window, the buying club were spending a windfall of cash (picked up in the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea), and the player was a young Englishman with growing potential. But even then, most people laughed at the size of this fee, which made him the most expensive British footballer at the time. The result was 11 goals from 58 appearances.

Wilfried Bony to Man City: £28m


After impressing during his first spell at Swansea, a big money move to Man City in January 2015 seemed like the logical career progression for the Ivorian. But the reality was that he was signed almost for the sake of it, as City needed a striker to make up the numbers of their squad and he was the only realistic target available. His return of 10 goals from 46 appearances is surprisingly higher than the memories of his ineffective spell would suggest. He was back at Swansea by August 2017, following an unsuccessful loan stint at Stoke.

Moussa Sissoko to Spurs: £30m

After an eye-catching if inconsistent spell at Newcastle, Sissoko gave his best sales pitch to the watching transfer market during France's run to the final at Euro 2016, where his powerful running was enough to seduce Mauricio Pochettino. Spurs gazumped Everton on the final day of the summer transfer window to secure his services, for what was a whopping fee considering Daniel Levy's history of transfer negotiations. He had a disastrous first season and was only kept at the club due to a lack of offers, but did come back into favour last season without setting the world alight.

Memphis Depay to Man Utd: £25m

After exciting United fans with his performance against Club Brugge in his Champions League debut, hopes were high that Memphis might do the sacred number 7 shirt justice. Sadly for them, he was more 'Angel Di Maria number 7' than 'Cristiano Ronaldo number 7' and his meagre return of 2 league goals in his debut season meant that he was removed from most people's fantasy football teams very early in the season. He never regained favour at United before being shipped off to Lyon in a cut-price deal.

Shaun Wright-Phillips to Chelsea: £21m

In 2018 it is funny to think back to the time when SWP was the only exciting player in the Man City squad, and how heartbroken their fans were when he was sold to Chelsea back in 2005. Having been brought in to compete with Damien Duff, Arjen Robben & Joe Cole for places on the Chelsea flanks, perhaps it is not that surprising in hindsight that the move never worked out. Having broken into the England squad with City, his 15 league starts in his first season at Stamford Bridge cost him a place in the 2006 World Cup squad. He was welcomed back to City with open arms in 2008 for less than half the fee he was sold for.


Islam Slimani to Leicester: £28m

Having shocked the world by winning the Premier League title in 2016, Leicester decided that the best way to establish themselves as a long-term mainstay among the big boys would be to squander money on a striker so they could ship him off on-loan to Newcastle a couple of years later. Unfortunately for them, losing other key players saw them slide down the table back to their normal position, while Slimani's return of 12 club goals from 47 appearances hasn't represented value for money.


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