Premier League high price curse
In recent years, the Premier League has made some expensive transfer moves that have ended in costly flops. Will Enzo Fernandez break the curse?
The Premier League has yet again flexed its financial muscles. During the January transfer window, they made the most expensive moves, which historically, has not always worked out for them.
The Premier League big spending curse
Chelsea made the most expensive move, signing Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernández from Benfica for a transfer fee of 107 million pounds, a British record. But Fernández has a curse to break.
There have been several times in recent history that a big, expensive signing like that didn’t go so well for the British teams. In fact, the last five big purchases have ended up being total flops. Let’s have a look...
Manchester United signed Paul Pogba for 89 million pounds from Juventus in 2016. At the time, that was a world record fee. Unfortunately for them, Pogba turned out to be one of the most inconsistent players in the league.
Pogba completed more dribbles (317) and provided more assists (38) than any other United player during his time with United. Yet, he averaged 2,037 minutes per season during his six-year stint there, just 60% of available minutes he could have played. He cost United 1 million pounds per goal contribution during his second campaign and what’s worse…he has now left on a free transfer back to Juventus.
Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City in 2019 for 80 million pounds. Since he made his debut with Man United, Maguire has made more errors leading to shots (7) and errors leading to goals (2) than any other English soccer player.
Maguire is captain of the team, yet he has only played 383 minutes for them in the 2022-23 season, just 47.9 minutes average per game.
Chelsea made a big signing in 2021 when they signed Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for 97.5 million pounds. Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea was doing well and expected Lukaku to complete the team.
Instead, Lukaku failed to impress. He made just eight goals in the 2021-22 season. There were 26 players in the league who scored more than he did. In his most recent outing, Lukaku had just seven touches in a game against Crystal Palace, the fewest by any player in a single EPL game since data began being recorded in 2003.
Lukaku is now back on loan at his former team Inter Milan this season
Jack Grealish was signed by Manchester City from Aston Villa in 2021 for a whopping 100 million pounds. Grealish has shown moments of talent, but not 100 million pounds worth.
Despite ranking 10th in game starts in the league since he made his debut, Grealish has played the full 90 minutes of a game in just 19 of 40 appearances.
Nine Man City players have contributed more goals than Grealish (11) has since his debut, including three other players who either left or joined the team in that period.
Antony was signed to Manchester United from Ajax in 2022 for 86 million pounds, the biggest signing under new manager Erik Ten Hag. That didn’t go so well either. It started off okay, with Antony scoring in his first three games. But since then, he hasn’t found the net in his last eight appearances.
He has fewer expected assists (0.65) this season than Jason Sancho, Anthony Elanga, Alejandro Garnacho, and Anthony Martial, despite playing more minutes than all of them.
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