Top Spenders in the Premier League

Published August 8th, 2022 - 12:25 GMT
Jack Grealish of Manchester City reacts during the pre-season friendly match between Bayern Munich and Manchester City at Lambeau Field on July 23, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
Jack Grealish of Manchester City reacts during the pre-season friendly match between Bayern Munich and Manchester City at Lambeau Field on July 23, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

At the start of 2020-21 Premier League campaign, words were exchanged between Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Chelsea's Frank Lampard over transfer spends of respective clubs.

"We live in a world at the moment with a lot of uncertainty. For some clubs, it seems to be less important how uncertain the future is. Owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, that's the truth," Klopp had said hinting at the amount of money Chelsea and City had splashed in the transfer market.

Lampard hit back quickly. He said he "felt amused" by Klopp's comments before adding: "The really smart thing they (Liverpool) have done is believe in their coach and system for a number of years. It's a great story, but it's a story that has seen money spent on players. What we've done is come off the back of a ban and tried to address the situation to improve."

Chelsea were handed a one-year transfer ban and were rebuilding their squad in Lampard's first season in-charge at Stamford Bridge in 2020-21 and had spent £222.48 million on transfers that season. City were second at £147.42 million while Liverpool were a distant eighth having spent just £75.65 million. No wonder Klopp was peeved.

Nowadays, clubs have no option but to spend during the transfer window to maintain their edge over their rivals or to simply keep their status as a top-flight club intact. It doesn't always guarantee returns but it's a mandatory punt that they have to take.

According to, in the last five seasons (from 2017-18 to 2021-22), Chelsea have been among the top spenders in the Premier League having invested £791.55 million on buying new players but success on the pitch hasn't been easy. The best they have managed in the league is two third-place finishes in 2018-19 and 2021-22. They have twice been runners-up in League Cup and the FA Cup title in 2017-18 is their only triumph on the domestic front. The only bright spot for them was the 2020-21 Champions League title.

Not all deals have worked out well for Chelsea with the biggest flop being Romelu Lukaku on whom the Stamford Bridge club splashed £101.70 million to lure him from Inter Milan last season. Another big-money signing that bombed was that of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was brought on board for £72 million from Athletic Bilbao and was called the next David De Gea.

The Blues overcame Manchester City in that Champions League final. That was City's first appearance in Europe's top club competition, a title they are desperate to win but have fallen short on numerous occasions. On the domestic front, though, City have been indomitable winning four league titles, four League Cup crowns and one FA Cup.

They are second on the list of top-spenders in English football with a transfer expenditure of £768.52 million. Unlike Chelsea, City have got good returns on their investments. The Citizens' top-five buys in the last five seasons are Jack Grealish (£105.75m), Kevin De Bruyne (£68.40m), Ruben Dias (£61.20m), Riyad Mahrez (£61.02m) and Joao Cancelo (£58.50m) but barring Grealish, who arrived last season, all of them have played a crucial role in City's domination. With Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus moving out, Grealish is expected to get more game time this time out than last season.

City's rivals Liverpool may have done some shrewd business in the transfer market but they too have flexed their muscles to get the players they wanted having spent £483.57m (fifth highest) on transfers. The Reds bought Virgil van Dijk for £76.19 million-then the most expensive defender in the world-from Southampton. A year before City had walked out of a deal for Van Dijk as they thought he was too costly. They also paid AS Roma £56.25 million for goalkeeper Alisson-the second most expensive keeper till date. But both have served the Anfield-based club well.

Liverpool have won the league title once (in 2019-20) and have been runners-up twice. They didn't fare well in the domestic cup competitions before last season when they won both League and FA Cup. But they have been at their most potent in the Champions League winning it once in 2018-19 and twice finishing runners-up including the last season.

The difference between City-Liverpool and Chelsea's topsy-turvy ride has been the consistency at the helm. Since Pep Guardiola arrived at City at the start of 2016-17, Chelsea have had four managers. Klopp arrived at Liverpool midway through 2015-16.

Two of the most dominant clubs in the early half of the Premier League-Manchester United and Arsenal-are third and fourth in the top-spenders list with Man United spending £665.73 million and Arsenal £582.48 million but success on the pitch has been limited.

The best Red Devils could manage was twice finishing as runners-up in the league, one appearance in the final of the FA Cup and once making it to the quarter-finals in the Champions League. Their sixth-place finish this season means they will ply their trade in the Europa League in which they were beaten finalists in 2020-21.

All the money Arsenal have spent hasn't translated into much. Their best finish in the league was fifth in two seasons (2018-19, 2021-22) and they haven't played in the Champions League in the last five seasons. Their only success on the pitch has been a lone FA Cup crown in 2019-20.

Everton (£483.18m), Tottenham (£430.56m), Leicester (£386.77m), Aston Villa (£371.31m) and West Ham (£366.03m) round off the list of top-10 spenders. All of them are flush with cash thanks to their billionaire owners and are trying to enter the Premier League's elite but success has evaded them so far.


Chelsea: £791.55m

Man City: £768.52m

Man United: £665.73m

Arsenal: £582.48m

Liverpool: £483.57m

Everton: £483.18m

Tottenham: £430.56m

Leicester: £386.77m

Aston Villa: £371.31m

West Ham: £366.03m

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Hindustan Times.

Copyright © HT Media Ltd.

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