Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
This week, Aaron Wan-Bissaka finally completed his protracted move from Crystal Palace to Manchester United in a deal believed to be worth an initial £45m plus £5m in potential add-ons.
Having finalised his money-spinning switch, the talented 21-year old will be keen to get to work at his new club, but with gargantuan transfer fees come demands of equal size – and the relatively inexperienced Wan-Bissaka will be expected to hit the ground running next season.
The substantial fee paid by United for the fullback nicknamed “spider” by his former Eagles’ teammates, makes Wan-Bissaka one of the most expensive English players of all time.
But where exactly does Wan-Bissaka rank on that list, and which other English players could join the defender on that catalogue of most expensive English players before the transfer window shuts?
Keep up to date with the latest transfer rumours and gossip on our Daily Transfer Update page here.
The top 10 most expensive English players of all time
10. Wayne Rooney (Everton to Manchester United in 2004) – £27million
After Everton rejected a £20million bid from Newcastle, Manchester United were forced to make a concrete move of their own for a highly-regarded 18-year-old Wayne Rooney in August 2004.
United eventually agreed on a structured deal worth £27m for the teenager, sparking an incredible 13-year relationship between the club and player.
In a glittering United career, Rooney won 5 Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a Champions League, and finished as the club’s all-time leading scorer before his move back to Everton in 2017.
9. Luke Shaw (Southampton to Manchester United in 2014) – £30million
After watching him perform at a high level for 2 full seasons with Southampton, Man Utd went head-to-head with Chelsea for Luke Shaw’s signature in 2014.
United won the race to sign the explosive left-back and Shaw became the world’s most expensive teenager after completing his £30m move to Old Trafford.
8. Rio Ferdinand (Leeds to Manchester United in 2002) – £30million
Rio Ferdinand became the world’s most expensive defender for a second time when he moved to Manchester United from their bitter rivals Leeds in 2002.
Ferdinand enjoyed a stellar spell at Old Trafford, winning 6 Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy during a hugely successful 12-year stint in Manchester.
7. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal to Liverpool in 2017) – £35million
Late in the summer transfer window of 2017, Liverpool swooped in to sign Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for £35m.
Chamberlain’s contract with the Gunners was due to expire in 2018, forcing Arsenal to cash in on the former Southampton star to avoid the risk of losing him for nothing.
6. Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool in 2011) – £35million
In their desperation to replace Chelsea-bound Fernando Torres in January 2011, Liverpool spent a then-club-record fee on Newcastle striker Andy Carroll on transfer deadline day.
Injuries and poor form blighted Carroll’s Liverpool career however, and the hulking centre-forward was back out the Anfield exit door ahead of the 2012/13 season.
5. Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City to Chelsea in 2017) – £35million
In the summer of 2017, Chelsea plucked Premier League winning midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Leicester City for a cool £35m.
Drinkwater’s consistency and ball distribution skills had made him one of the league’s most impressive players in his position at Leicester, though the Man Utd academy product fell well short of expectations at Stamford Bridge.
4. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace to Manchester United in 2019) – £45m
The newest entry on the list, Aaron Wan-Bissaka put pen to paper on a 5-year contract with Man Utd following his £45m move north from Crystal Palace this week.
Wan-Bissaka became the most expensive player to have played less than 50 games in history, and the 21-year old also becomes the joint 2nd most costly fullback in football alongside Man City’s Kyle Walker and behind the Citizens’ Benjamin Mendy in top spot.
3. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester City in 2017) – £45m
Kyle Walker joined Pep Guaridiola’s monumental City rebuild in 2017, and in his 2 seasons since moving to the Etihad, Walker has won 2 Premier League titles, 2 Carabao Cups and an FA Cup.
Walker was rewarded with a new 2-year contract extension earlier this month amid rumours of a City move for Juventus’ right back Joao Cancelo.
2. John Stones (Everton to Manchester City in 2016) – £47.5million
After rejecting a mammoth £40million bid from Chelsea the previous summer, Everton could not turn down City’s whopping offer for Stones a year later.
Stones was Pep Guardiola’s 8th summer signing in 2016, and at the time, he became the second most expensive defender in the world before Chelsea’s mercurial Brazilian David Luiz.
1. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City in 2016) – £49million
Raheem Sterling completes a Man City hattrick in the top 3 entries on the list of the most expensive English players of all time.
In an acrimonious 2016 exit from Anfield, Sterling forced a move away from Liverpool, eventually engineering his transfer to Manchester City.
Under Pep Guardiola’s direction, Sterling has developed into one of the key components of the Spaniard’s relentless winning machine at City.
Keep up to date with all the Premier League’s confirmed transfers in the summer transfer window with our regularly updated list here.
Which players could join the list next?
England international and Leicester City centre-half Harry Maguire has continually been linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium this summer, and reports suggest that Manchester rivals City and United are vying for his signature.
Leicester are thought to be demanding a fee north of £75m for their inspirational 26-year old, a valuation that would make him the most expensive English player of all time by some distance.
If gossip is to be believed, sensational teenaged attacker Jadon Sancho was ready to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United this summer, though the Red Devils failure to secure Champions League qualification is believed to have scuppered the deal……….for this year at least.
Dortmund have confirmed that Sancho will stay in Germany for the 2019/20 season, though the 19-year old is expected to move back to his homeland after that. Sancho will almost certainly demand a fee beyond the £100m mark when he does eventually return to England.
Harry Maguire’s Leicester teammate James Maddison has also been heavily linked with a big-money move this summer.
The technically gifted schemer enjoyed a sensational debut season in the Premier League in 2018/19, and a potential fee in excess of £60m has already been muted for the 22-year old amid interest from the division’s bigger clubs.
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