Note: The list has been organized based on current standing in the Premier League table
Arsenal: Nicolas Pépé (£70m)
Still considered a massive flop among the Arsenal fanbase, Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé was arguably a victim of circumstance; purchased by former club director Raul Sanllehi despite the instance of then Gunners manager Unai Emery who instead wanted Wilfried Zaha. Pépé was a hit only in small spurts, and though he is still on the club’s books, he has no future in north London.
Manchester City: Jack Grealish (£100m)
Despite their rampant spending across their existence, Manchester City generally does not dispense huge fees on players. In fact, Jack Grealish is only one of two City players in the top fifteen biggest transfers in Premier League history. The Aston Villa academy product struggled at the Etihad at first and many thought he may be offloaded as a consequence, but his resurgence this season has gone a long way to repaying his fee.
Manchester United: Paul Pogba (£92m)
Narrowly beating out friend and former United colleague Romelu Lukaku for the honor, World Cup-winning midfielder and gifted French international Paul Pogba spent two spells on the books at United, with his second spanning six seasons while yielding a Europa League win. Though plagued by injury and inconsistency, on his day, Pogba was sublime. But he may forever be viewed as not worth that investment.
Tottenham Hotspur: Tanguy Ndombélé (£54m)
It is fair to suggest that Tottenham has done incredibly well in the Premier League when in comparison to the other “big six” sides, which is reflected in the club’s record purchase of Tanguy Ndombélé coming in as the seventh-highest record deal in the league and the 32nd biggest deal in league history. His time at Spurs was underwhelming, however, and is currently on loan with Serie A leaders SSc Napoli.
Newcastle United: Alexander Isak (£61m)
Billed as one of the most impressive talents to ever come out of Sweden, Alexander Isak is finding his feet on Tyneside after a summer move from Real Sociedad after starring in Basque Country in the wake of development periods with both AIK and Borussia Dortmund. Injuries hit him hard at the beginning of the current season, but trust from Eddie Howe has increased, with his performances reflecting his talent level.
Liverpool: Virgil van Dijk (£74m)
Liverpool has developed into expert purchasers of talent under American owners Fenway Sports Group during their period of success under beloved German tactician Jürgen Klopp. Among so many brilliant pieces of business, the club record fee splashed for Virgil van Dijk has paid itself off and then some. The Dutch international remains one of the top center-backs anywhere in the world and a cornerstone of the club.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Enock Mwepu (£20.7m)
The unfortunate and yet still fortunate story of Enock Mwepu is a reminder that nothing in life is guaranteed. After rising to prominence in Austria with RB Salzburg, Mwepu became the club-record signing for Brighton but only managed to make 27 appearances before suffering a suspected heart attack in January of this year, with doctors discovering a hereditary heart condition that caused him to retire at the age of 25.
Fulham: André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (£22.8M)
Cameroonian international André-Frank Zambo Anguissa arrived in the Premier League in the summer of 2018 but only managed to feature for Fulham in just two Premier League seasons on account of the club failing to avoid the drop for the 2019-20 campaign. His loan spells with Villarreal and Napoli were impressive, with the current Serie A leaders bringing him in on a full-time basis in the current season this past summer.
Brentford: Kristoffer Ajer (£13.5)
Norwegian international defender Kristoffer Ajer’s introduction to football in the United Kingdom came by way of a highly successful stint with Scottish giants Celtic before his arrival in the capital with Brentford in the summer of 2021, with much expectation surrounding what he could bring to Thomas Frank’s Bees. Though he has been largely inconsistent, Ajer does show his quality on his day while still being just 24 and able to improve.
Chelsea: Enzo Fernández (£106.8m)
Still fresh in the minds of many, Chelsea’s rampant spending by Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali eclipsed the £600m figure in just their first season at the helm at Stamford Bridge, headlined by Argentine midfielder and World Cup winner Enzo Fernández, who is now the biggest signing in league history. Thus far, the former Benfica starlet has taken like a duck to water at Stamford Bridge, justifying the money spent.
Aston Villa: Emiliano Buendía (£38m)
Argentine forward Emiliano Buendía was highly sought after in England after starring for Norwich City across three seasons at Carrow Road, particularly during an impressive 2020-21 campaign where even Arsenal was considering making a move for the player. Eventually, he ended up at Villa Park for a club record fee in the summer of 2021 and while he has had moments, he remains a player not guaranteed for selection.
Crystal Palace: Christian Benteke (£32m)
Now with MLS outfit D.C. United, Belgian international forward Christian Benteke has long been an enigma on a football pitch. After taking four years to come into his own at KRC Genk, Benteke’s move to Aston Villa was largely successful from a goalscoring perspective but his move to Liverpool was an abject failure. A chance for rebirth was presented at Crystal Palace, and though he had a few moments, he struggled to be consistent in front of goal across six seasons.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Matheus Nunes (£39m)
Wolves are hardly struggling for cash after dropping over £100m this season but many fans will remain frustrated when it comes to the club’s performance on the pitch in relation to their recent spending habits. Still, they have a habit of picking up credible talent without dealing with big fees. The club record purchase of Matheus Nunes was widely heralded for good reason and thus far has looked like a good buy.
Nottingham Forest: Morgan Gibbs-White (£25m)
Nottingham Forest turned heads in the current 2022-23 Premier League season after signing over twenty players during a period of massive recruitment meant to target a guaranteed stay in the Premier League. Wolves forward Morgan Giggs-White became the club’s record buy during that period, and though he regularly plays, many will have expected more than just his two goals in twenty-two appearances.
Everton: Gylfi Sigurðsson (£43m)
Arguably the most talented player to ever emerge from Iceland apart from Eiður Guðjohnsen, Gylfi Sigurðsson gained cult hero status at Swansea City in the wake of a questionable period with Tottenham in the wake of his arrival from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. That success with the Swans saw Everton splash a club-record fee for the Icelandic star, which backfired not only on the pitch but off it.
Leicester City: Youri Tielemans (£39m)
One of the top youth products to have emerged from RSC Anderlecht in the last few decades, Belgian international midfielder Youri Tielemans burst onto the scene at the age of sixteen before eventually moving to Leicester City in 2019 after an unsuccessful period in Monaco. Since then, Tielemans has grown into a fan favorite at the King Power Stadium under Brendan Rodgers but may be off to greener pastures come the summer.
West Ham United: Sébastien Haller (£44m)
Currently plying his trade with German giants Borussia Dortmund, French striker Sébastien Haller first made the jump to the top level in Europe with West Ham United in 2019 after his fantastic spell with Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Utrecht before that. His period in the capital did not come off well, however, with just ten league goals in 48 appearances yielded from a club-record purchase.
Bournemouth: Jefferson Lerma (£25m)
A stalwart with the Colombian national team, midfielder Jefferson Lerma has been a mainstay on the south coast with Bournemouth since his club-record move in 2018 from Spanish outfit Levante. Across five seasons, the 28-year-old veteran has made 172 appearances for the Cherries in both the Premier League and the Championship while remaining a vital piece of the puzzle along the way.
Leeds United: Georginio Rutter (£35.5m)
French youth international Georginio Rutter is highly thought of among many French footballing circles, but Leeds’ choice to splash a club record fee on the 21-year-old in the winter window remains a talking point given the club’s current league performance; one that does not guarantee survival. From a talent perspective, Rutter’s ceiling is high, but he has only made four appearances since his arrival and has failed to work his way into the XI. Thoughts pending.
Southampton: Kamaldeen Sulemana (£22m)
Purchased during the January transfer window of the current 2022-23 season, Ghanaian starlet Kamaldeen Sulemana was previously billed as one of the brightest young talents to ever emerge from the west African nation. Lightning quick and already receiving support from Saints fans, the 21-year-old may not be at Saints long if they fail to avoid relegation.