Below we present to you the top 10 most expensive transfers since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease, around the globe, as Chelsea, Manchester united and Arsenal lead the chart.
The absence of fans in stadiums meant huge losses in revenue for clubs, which also negatively impacted their spending in the transfer market. With the pandemic wrecking clubs’ finances, loan deals became the flavor of the season as teams struggled to balance their books.As a result, big-money transfers were few and far between, something that has been the case in this transfer window too. Nevertheless, there have been a few clubs that haven’t hesitated to splurge, snapping up their big-money targets, albeit at lower prices, because of the pandemic-induced economic slowdown.
On that note, here’s a look at the ten most expensive transfers completed by clubs since the COVID-19 outbreak last year:
#10 Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) – €50.2 million
Leicester City’s Premier League-winning defender Ben Chilwell was snapped up by Chelsea last summer.
The left-back hit the ground running in his new surroundings. Chilwell played over 40 games in all competitions even as the Blues saw a managerial change midseason.The 24-year-old was a key presence at both ends of the pitch, racking up a career-best five league assists and three goals to help Chelsea finish in the Champions League places.
4 – Ben Chilwell has equalled his Premier League season-best tally of four assists, with the Chelsea defender having as many goal involvements in this campaign as 2019/20 (6 – 2 goals, 4 assists). Marauding.
Playing his first Champions League campaign in four years, Chilwell scored a goal in ten games as Chelsea won the competition for the second time in their history. Chilwell, though, did not get a game for England at Euro 2020, as Luke Shaw was the first-choice left-back.
#9 Timo Werner (Chelsea) – €53 million
Chelsea beat Liverpool and Manchester City to the signature of Timo Werner last summer. The Blues also took advantage of the fall in the market value of the Leipzig striker by about €30 million, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a promising start to life at Stamford Bridge, the free-scoring Werner endured an uncharacteristically long goal drought. But the 25-year-old managed to keep his place in the XI, thanks to his goal-creating prowess.Werner was a pale shadow of his proflic goalscoring self at Leipzig, with the striker scoring a whopping 22 fewer league goals in the Premier League than the 28 he racked up at Leipzig in the Bundesliga the season before. Nevertheless, Werner produced a strong ending, racking up double-digit goals and assist tallies in all competitions in his first season in English football.
22 – Timo Werner has been directly involved in 22 goals in all competitions this season (12 goals & 10 assists), the most of any Chelsea player. The previous Chelsea player to both score and assist 10+ goals in a season was Eden Hazard in 2018-19 (21G & 17A). Clutch. #CHERMA
Nevertheless, Werner’s low goal output is cause for concern for Tuchel ahead of the new season, with the Chelsea manager admitting that his compatriot needs to be ‘more decisive’ in dangerous areas.
#8 Ben White (Arsenal) – €58.5 million
Ben White was an integral part of the Leeds United team that finished a creditable ninth in the Premier League last season on their return to the English top flight after more than a decade.The 23-year-old centre-back played all but two league games last campaign, impressing enough to be swooped up by Arsenal this summer. The Englishman registered the most ball carries ending in take-ons in the Premier League last season.
18 – Ben White made 18 ball carries that ended in a take-on in the Premier League last season; the most of any centre back in the competition. Silky. pic.twitter.com/hAS62WcKRH— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 30, 2021
White’s arrival could rejuvenate a leaky Arsenal backline that put paid to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League or Europa League last season.
#7 Miralem Pjanic (Barcelona) – €60 million
Miralem Pjanic arrived at Barcelona last summer as part of a swap deal that involved Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo going the other way to join Juventus.However, Pjanic has not had the kind of impact at Camp Nou which he was expected to. The Bosnian midfielder failed to score or assist in any competition and generally struggled to break into the Barcelona first team.
16 – Miralem #Pjanic has scored 16 Direct Free Kick Goals since his debut in the top-5 European Leagues in 2007/08: only Lionel Messi (39) and Cristiano Ronaldo (29) have more in this period. Back? pic.twitter.com/SaCiwAUKq7— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) July 17, 2021
A year on after an underwhelming first campaign at Barcelona, the free-kick specialist is reportedly on his way back to Juventus.
#6 Achraf Hakimi (PSG) – €60 million
Achraf Hakimi is one of the best young goalscoring full-backs in the game at the moment.
After a successful loan stint at Borussia Dortmund, Hakimi’s parent club Real Madrid sold the Moroccan international to Inter Milan last season. Hakimi impressed in his new surroundings, scoring an impressive seven goals and racking up ten assists to help Inter win their first Scudetto in more than a decade.
1 – Achraf #Hakimi is the youngest defender to score a brace in the top-5 European Leagues 2020/21. Astonishing.#InterBologna— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) December 5, 2020
However, when PSG came calling with an offer of €60 million for the 22-year-old’s services, Inter Milan let Hakimi go after just one season at the club. Interestingly, Inter had bought the Morrocan for €54 million last summer.
#5 Ruben Dias (Manchester City) – €68 million
Ruben Dias was one of the signings of the season last summer. After arriving at Manchester City, Dias took to the English top flight like a fish to water.
Impressing with his ball-playing prowess and defensive attributes, Dias played a key role as City won their third Premier League title in five years and also made their maiden Champions League final.Thanks to his brilliant exploits, the 24-year-old former Benfica centre-back won the Premier League Player of the Season award.
Dias endured a forgettable campaign at Euro 2020, though, as holders Portugal crashed out in the Round of 16 after conceding seven goals in four games. However, he is expected to continue from where he left off last season when City commence their Premier League title defense.
#4 Victor Osimhen (Napoli) – €70 million
After a breakout season with Lille, Victor Osimhen arrived at Napoli last summer on a club-record €70 million transfer and enjoyed a decent debut Serie A season.
Though his league goal tally dropped by three goals in his new surroundings, the 23-year-old centre-forward became one of the youngest players in Europe’s top-five leagues to score ten league goals in consecutive campaigns.
10 – Only Haaland is younger than Victor #Osimhen among the top-5 European Leagues players with 10+ goals scored in both the last 2 campaigns (2019/20 and 2020/21).
Despite being the subject of transfer interest from a plethora of clubs around the continent, Osimhen is expected to stay put in southern Italy and help Napoli qualify for the Champions League next season.
#3 Arthur Melo (Juventus) – €72 million
Arthur Melo arrived at Juventus as a part of a swap deal with Barcelona that involved Bosnian international Miralem Pjanic go the other way.
A year on, it can be said that the Bianconeri had the better deal. That’s because even though the Brazilian scored only once in 31 games in all competitions, Arthur Melo is widely tipped for a better sophomore campaign in the Italian top flight under Massimiliano Allegri.
OFFICIAL | Juventus agree deal with @FCBarcelona to sign @arthurhromelo and for the sale of @Miralem_Pjanic.— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) June 29, 2020
It remains to be seen how the 24-year-old fares after a rather underwhelming first season for the deposed Serie A champions.
#2 Kai Havertz (Chelsea) – €80 million
Kai Havertz arrived with a lot of fanfare at Chelsea last season, but has had a rather modest first campaign on the other side of the Channel.
The 22-year-old central midfielder did score a hat-trick in the League Cup, but netted only four times in the Premier League, where Chelsea finished in the Champions League qualification places.In the Champions League, the German international opened his account in the final as Chelsea won the competition for the first time in almost a decade.
1 – Kai Havertz is the first player to score his first UEFA Champions League goal in a final since İlkay Gündoğan in 2013. Timely. #UCLFinal
Under compatriot Thomas Tuchel, Havertz seemed to thrive in more advanced areas of the pitch, something that could continue in 2021-22 as Chelsea aim to compete on multiple fronts.
#1 Jadon Sancho (Manchester United) – €85 million
Manchester United finally succeeded in their year-long pursuit of Jadon Sancho, as they managed to land the English winger on a €85 million transfer this summer.
Only 21, Sancho has had a successful four-season stint at Borussia Dortmund, scoring 50 goals and assisting 64 times across competitions. In fact, Sancho’s tally of 41 league assists in the last three seasons is only exceeded by two other players in Europe’s top five leagues.
41 – The players with the most assists in Europe’s top five leagues since the 2018-19 season, with (age):
48 – Thomas Müller (31)
43 – Lionel Messi (34)
𝟒𝟏 – 𝐉𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐨 (𝟐𝟏)
35 – Filip Kostic (28)
34 – Ángel Di María (33)
34 – Kevin De Bruyne (30)
Although he made news for all the wrong reasons – he was one of three England players who missed their spot-kicks in England’s penalty-shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final – Sancho is expected to hit the ground running at Old Trafford.It remains to be seen if the 21-year-old is able to live up to the pressure of his lofty price tag and produce befitting performances.