With Ángel di María arriving from Real Madrid for a cool £59.7 million, the British transfer record has been broken yet again by Manchester United. There’s no question that player prices have inflated as owners have become wealthier, football has become more commercialised, and the Premier League has become as international as ever. We look at the biggest transfers in British football so far.
1. Ángel di María to Manchester United, £59.7 million
The news of the tricky Argentinian winger’s arrival was broken yesterday to mixed feelings of glee and confusion. Manchester United had finally secured that marquee signing of the summer that was meant to galvanise the team for its march back to the top of the table; one question remains, however. Is he what Manchester United actually need? At £59.7 million, di María is one of the most expensive players in the world, and no doubt one of the most talented too. Only time will tell if he’s the force that United are looking for, but if yesterday’s 4-0 defeat to MK Dons is anything to go by, they may not be the force that he was initially looking to join.
2. Fernando Torres to Chelsea, £50 million
Fernando Torres’ time at Chelsea has been dire, to say the least. The formerly free-scoring Spaniard has only managed a paltry 20 goals in 110 league appearances for the Blues, with Chelsea fans quickly becoming disillusioned with his performances. The transfer left Liverpool fans irate at their star’s leaving in 2011, but it’s turned out to be somewhat of a blessing in disguise.
3. Mesut Özil to Arsenal, £42.4 million
Initially a hugely important player for Real Madrid, Özil was sold to Arsenal on transfer deadline day in 2013, a move that came as a surprise to football fans everywhere. He’s performed rather well so far, with his slick passing regularly cutting through the opposition’s defence like a knife through butter; yet, like many expensive signings, there still remain a few doubts about his ability to perform in big games for his club. Özil’s World Cup winning summer might just be the confidence boost he needs to fire Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League.
4. Sergio Aguero to Manchester City, £38 million
A brilliant signing for Manchester City, Aguero was expected to transfer to Real Madrid when the news was announced that he’d be heading to the Sky Blues in 2011. In the eyes of City fans everywhere, he’s already paid back his transfer fee with that goal, the one that secured Manchester City’s first Premiership title in 44 years. One of the very best players in the world, £38 million now seems like a steal.
5. Juan Mata to Manchester United, £37.1 million
Another unexpected signing, rumours of the deal were brushed off as tabloid speculation until news suddenly broke of Juan Mata’s joining Manchester United from Chelsea; he’d struggled to fit into Jose Mourinho’s new system, despite being one of the club’s most highly regarded players, and looked to be the antidote to United’s decline under David Moyes. Unfortunately for United fans, he’s still yet live up to his price tag, but with the amount of change going on at Old Trafford at the moment, you’d really struggle to find a player who is.