With the transfer window recently opened again, football fans have a few months of speculation ahead of them.
This is one of the most exciting times of the year; and while Port Vale is yet to make any huge announcements, there is still plenty of time for things to change.
Instead of waiting to hear any last-minute news, this might be a good time to reflect on the transfer details of the past.
Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, which means that drama is sure to follow.
So, let’s look at some of the biggest transfer deals in history and discuss why they were so important.
The Most Expensive Player In History
You will probably be aware that the record for the most expensive player in football history was made recently in 2017. Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona a whopping £190 million for Brazilian football star Neymar. The now thirty-year-old player made waves at his previous club, scoring one hundred and five goals in just four years at Barcelona.
The Spanish football league is very different from the English Premier League, and a team like PSG needed to show the rest of their rivals that they were ready to play with the big boys. As such, they made history with their signing of Neymar, and it doesn’t look like this record-breaking transfer deal is going to be replicated anytime soon.
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PSG Do It Again
2017 was a big year for football transfer news. Not only was the record broken for the most expensive player signing in history, but the same club had to break their own record they had set months before.
Paris Saint-Germain also spent just over £154 million for Mbappe at the end of the same season, preventing Real Madrid from signing the French player from Monaco. The Striker was signed for a three-year deal and has so far scored twenty-eight goals for the PSG.
Biggest Transfer In The Premier League
Huge transfer deals aren’t exclusive to the international leagues. The Premier League has seen some action in recent years, with the biggest transfer in the league’s history occurring in 2021. Previous Premier League champions, Manchester City, paid out £100 million for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.
This was an astonishing move, and the twenty-five-year-old midfielder has gone on to score eight goals in his first season with the club, beating his previous record of just six goals for Aston Villa. According to sources at the club, Man City was so keen on signing Grealish that they brought an extra £60 million to the table when negotiations began. Therefore, a player that was once worth £40 million ended up costing the club more than double that amount and breaking the Premier League transfer record at the same time.
Most Transferred Player
Transfer deals are not solely about the amount of money that is passed around. One of the most fascinating aspects of the transfer window is seeing where players end up. Some teammates are bought by clubs in lower leagues, some move up in the ranks, and there are those who end up playing for a rival team. However, there is one player in English football who has done it all.
John Burridge began his career at his local club in Workington at the age of fifteen. Since then, this goalkeeper went on to play for a total of twenty-nine teams. These teams include Blackpool, QPR, Aberdeen, Manchester City, Grimsby Town, and Blyth Spartans. Not one to retire early, the sixty-nine-year-old keeper has now found a new club, the Kerala Blasters. It is here that he works as a goalkeeping coach and probably reflects on a long and varied history in the English Football Leagues.
The First Transfer
While you may be used to waiting out the transfer window every year, the concept of players moving to other teams was not always the norm. In fact, it wasn’t until 1893, five years after the official football league was created, that the first-ever transfer deal was made.
The deal cost just £100 at the time, and it saw the striker known as William Groves move from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa. It is tough to think how the face of football would be different today if this deal had not occurred.
The First £1 million Transfer
Football is a game that generates millions in revenue each year, and you are probably accustomed to big clubs throwing money around to get the players that they desire. However, this lavish display was not always the norm.
The nineteen nineties were a different time for British football, and the average player made around £60,000 per week. That may sound like a lot, especially when you consider the cost of inflation. Compare that to the average of £60,000 a week that players earn today, though, and you will see why the first £1 million transfer deal was such a momentous occasion.
Bruce Antonio Dyer was just a teenager when he signed on to play for Crystal Palace. The club paid his former team of Watford, a record-breaking £1,000,000 for the striker in 1994.
Biggest Club Spend
Over the years, the team at the top of the Premier League has always changed. However, one team has managed to stick around in the top half of the Premier League for almost thirty years. It should come as no surprise to you, then, that this team is also famed for spending the most on transfers in the entire history of British football.
Manchester United has spent more money on players than any other club in both England and Europe. Their combined transfer fees add up to just over £1 billion, with their local rival Manchester City trailing in second place at just under £1billion spent. Although, it doesn’t look like that record will be broken any time soon as both clubs have plenty of more money to spend.
The transfer system in football is a process that is quite scary when you stop to think about the numbers.
However, it won’t be long until these numbers change and new records are broken.
Featured Image: Silly Season