From Coutinho To Carroll: Every Premier League Club's Record Sale

There's some absolute stinkers on this list...
08:00, 18 Jun 2023

We’ve taken a look at the biggest signings teams up and down the football pyramid have made, but now it is time to look at the offers that were simply too big to turn down. This time we are sticking with the Premier League clubs, with some of these deals still absolutely mind-boggling. 

Manchester City - Raheem Sterling - £47.5m

Having spent £49m on him in 2015, Manchester recouped the majority of Raheem Sterling’s fee last summer as they moved him on to Chelsea. After over 200 appearances, seven seasons, 131 goals and four Premier League titles, he goes down as one of the greatest signings this century. He’s yet to prove his worth in London, and City’s record sale is looking like a smart bit of business. 

Arsenal - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - £35m

Arsenal have had some cracking players in recent times so it is perhaps somewhat of a surprise that their record sale comes in the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. When Liverpool offered £35m for the 24-year-old in 2017, it looked like a smart pick up, but injuries have halted his career and he hasn’t ever nailed down a starting role. Six years after joining, he has only made 103 appearances on Merseyside. What a waste of money. 

Manchester United - Cristiano Ronaldo - £80m

Ronaldo may have left Man Utd in frosty circumstances last season, but his departure from the Red Devils the first time around remains their record sale. He was the most expensive player in the world back in 2009 and despite that, goes down as an absolute bargain for Real Madrid. Their greatest ever goalscorer. 


Newcastle United - Andy Carroll - £35m

Yesssss. From Ronaldo to Carroll in the blink of an eye. Liverpool decided to replace Fernando Torres with a combination of Carroll and Luis Suarez. Remarkably it was the Englishman that cost £35m, to the Uruguayan’s £22m. Only one of them turned out to be a stroke of genius. 


Liverpool - Phillipe Coutinho - £142m

Honestly, how on earth did Liverpool swindle this one? Torres being sold for £50m was good, but Coutinho for £142m was bordering on scandalous. No wonder Barcelona got themselves in such financial difficulty. Meanwhile, Liverpool used the money to buy Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker and they haven’t looked back since. 

Brighton and Hove Albion - Marc Cucurella - £63m

Brighton have made a mockery of Chelsea over the past year and it began as they charged over the odds for Cucurella - a left wing-back that hasn’t looked the same since moving to the capital. With such a big sale, the Seagulls were able to reinvest and fire themselves to European football.

Aston Villa - Jack Grealish - £100m

How many Jagerbombs could Jack Grealish buy with £100m? Luckily for his liver, it was Aston Villa and not himself that received that fee from Manchester City. Unlike many on this list, this has worked out for all parties. Villa have rebuilt and Grealish has just won the treble. 

Tottenham Hotspur - Gareth Bale - £85m

Another major Real Madrid signing, this time from Spurs. Bale scored the greatest goal we’ve ever seen in a Champions League final but the Madridistas didn’t love him like they loved Ronaldo. In fact, the relationship between the two of them was a little bizarre, starting from the moment when Madrid refused to admit they spent more on Bale than they did on CR7. Tottenham meanwhile, did not reinvest well, with Christian Eriksen the only success story from the Bale money. 

Brentford - Ollie Watkins - £28m

When Brentford lost Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins in the same window, few thought they’d be able to sustain a promotion push in the Championship, however they kept on pushing to finally get up through the play-offs. Now, they are a Premier League club that makes sensible signings and doesn’t have to sell to clubs higher up the pyramid. 


Fulham - Ryan Sessegnon - £25m

Fulham sold teenager Ryan Sessegnon to Spurs for £25m while they were in the Championship and it was a good price for the 19-year-old. Since then, they’ve got back into the Premier League (twice) while Sessegnon has made several first team appearances at White Hart Lane. 

Crystal Palace - Aaron Wan-Bissaka - £50m

Manchester United decided to pay Palace £50m for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and although defensively he is one of the best full-backs in the top flight, he is still lacking something in the final third. A great deal for Palace. 

Chelsea - Eden Hazard - £89m

Real Madrid signed the best player in the Premier League. Again. This time Hazard would completely flop at the Santiago Bernabeu and although the deal could have been worth £150m to Chelsea based on add-ons, he is unlikely to have hit any of those markers. Still a good deal from a blue point of view. 

Wolves - Diogo Jota - £41m

Jota had shone in the Championship and impressed in the top flight for Wolves when Liverpool decided to spend £41m on him. It’s a deal that is tough to judge given Jota has contributed to the revamp in Liverpool’s attack. If he can have a whole season without injury, he will have been a wise purchase. 

West Ham United - Carlos Tevez - £32m

Dimitri Payet left in unceremonious circumstances to Marseille for £25m, but West Ham’s record sale comes from 2009. Sort of. Due to the third party registration issues we aren’t sure exactly how much money the club received for Carlos Tevez, but Manchester United did pay £32m for him when they made his two-year loan deal permanent in 2009. 


AFC Bournemouth - Nathan Ake - £41m 

£41m seemed excessive for Nathan Ake when Man City signed him, but this season he has proved his worth. Starting in the Champions League final, he’s been an important member of the team that won the treble and offered Pep a solution to his left-back issues. 

Nottingham Forest - Britt Assombalonga - £15m 

Forest may have hit the headlines for spending big last summer, but their record sale came from their Championship days, when Middlesbrough broke their transfer record to sign Assombalonga - a player who had scored 30 in 69 games for the Tricky Trees. A great sale, given four years later he was released from his contract early at the Riverside. 

Everton - Romelu Lukaku - £85m

Lukaku was brilliant for Everton, but when Manchester United came in with a giant offer of £85m, they couldn’t say no. It turned out to be good business for Everton given they remain in the Premier League - just - and are building a new stadium. Meanwhile Lukaku left Manchester United after two seasons to join Inter Milan. 

Burnley - Chris Wood - £25m 

18 months on, this has turned into a good deal for the Clarets. Chris Wood isn’t worth anything near £25m and although they were relegated, now they are back in the Premier League under Vincent Kompany and look stronger than ever. Meanwhile, Newcastle have qualified for the Champions League and you can’t envisage Wood sticking around for much longer. 

Sheffield United - Aaron Ramsdale - £30m 

It was a seemingly inflated fee for Ramsdale at the time, but he has proved his worth to the Gunners and could be their number one for the next five to ten years. Along with David Brooks, he’s one of only two players the Blades have ever sold for north of £10m. It’s a good deal all round so far, but he could prove to be a bargain if he fulfils his potential. 

Luton Town - James Justin - £6m

Luton have had some gems in their rise up the divisions but James Justin is one of the best of the lot. He was sold to Leicester in 2019 and although he is a brilliant talent, injuries have consistently halted his Premier League progress. He’s on the fringe of the England squad, but unless he can get consistent gametime, he will just be a nearly man. Luton reinvested and climbed all the way to the top flight. A brilliant sale. 

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