The transfer window is yet to officially open, but that hasn’t stopped Premier League clubs spending hundreds of millions of pounds already.
Last summer, clubs in England’s top flight shared £957 million on transfer fees, but a new study shows that did not necessarily mean that every penny was well spent.
Research by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk found some alarming statistics for certain clubs, although with spending expected to hit the £1 billion mark this summer, it is unlikely they will think twice about splashing that kind of cash again come July 1.
BEST COST PER MINUTE
Each of the top 50 most expensive transfers last summer, in terms of fees and salaries, averaged 19 games and 66 minutes on the field during the 2016/17 season.
Relegated Middlesbrough got the best value for their signings, which included Marten de Roon and Adama Traore, with their new-boys costing a little over £5,000 per minute. Stoke, West Brom and Burnley all hit the mid-£5,000 mark, whilst Sunderland edged over £6,000 per minute as they tumbled into the Championship.
1. Middlesbrough - £5,070.22
2. Stoke City - £5,313.35
3. West Brom - £5,336.10
4. Burnley - £5,581.57
5. Sunderland - £6,098.63
WORST COST PER MINUTE
On the flip side, four of 2015/16’s top five all spent too heavily going into last season as some of their signings barely featured. Leicester City were the worst offenders, spending almost £60 million on Ahmed Musa, Islam Slimani and Nampalys Mendy but only starting them a combined 24 times in the league – at a cost of almost £30,000 per minute.
Both Manchester clubs were up there too, notching above £20k per minute each, whilst Arsenal and Watford rounded out the top five. It’s worth pointing out that Spurs would also have made it onto this undesirable list if not for Victor Wanyama’s 35 starts.
1. Leicester City - £29,969.66
2. Manchester City - £26,816.64
3. Manchester United - £21,904.48
4. Arsenal - £19,772.38
5. Watford - £17,864.08
You would be forgiven for thinking the best new striker last season was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who signed for Manchester United on a free and scored 17 goals in just 28 games – but he was only second when it comes to the cost per goal, thanks to his £220,000 per week wages.
Heading the list is Fernando Llorente, who signed for Swansea City for an undisclosed figure rumoured to be around £5 million, making his 15 goals marginally better value for money than the big Swede. Christian Benteke and Andre Ayew are third and fourth, whilst Slimani’s seven goals puts him fifth.
1. Fernando Llorente - £593,333
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - £672,941
3. Christian Benteke - £2,216,000
4. Andre Ayew - £4,110,000
5. Islam Slimani - £4,880,000
The top three forwards who cost the most per goal are unlikely to cause much surprise. Arsenal’s £17.1 million man Lucas Perez, their fifth most-expensive player of all time, found the net just once in the league last season, although injuries caused him to miss around half the campaign.
Just below Perez comes Swansea’s Borja Baston, who cost the Welsh club over £15 million but also scored only once, and Spurs’ Vincent Janssen rounded out the top three as his two goals did little to justify his £17 million transfer fee.
1. Lucas Perez - £20,640,000
2. Borja Baston - £17,840,000
3. Vincent Janssen - £10,310,000
BEST CREATIVE MIDFIELDER/ATTACKER
Premier League clubs spent just shy of £600 million on midfielders and attackers last summer, and given teams’ penchant to look abroad for innovative flair and talent, it may come as a surprise to some that four of the five best value creative midfielders are British.
West Brom winger Matt Phillips came in first on the list with four goals, eight assists and eight big chances created, whilst teammate Nacer Chadli came third on the list to sandwich Southampton’s Nathan Redmond (7 goals, 1 assist and 6 big chances created). Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen, signed from Liverpool for £13 million, proved his worth as he ranked fourth, whilst Andros Townsend came fifth.
1. Matt Phillips - £366,000
2. Nathan Redmond - £915,714.30
3. Nacer Chadli - £991,250
4. Joe Allen - £1,040,000
5. Andros Townsend - £1,057,333.30
WORST CREATIVE MIDFIELDER/ATTACKER
There is only one person who was ever going to be here: Moussa Sissoko. The Frenchman had an outstanding Euro 2016 and was signed for £30 million by Spurs from a relegated Newcastle United, but failed to make an impact in the capital. Sissoko started just eight games all season and recorded a meagre three assists, making his departure this summer more likely with every passing day.
1. Moussa Sissoko - £17,080,000
Although Liverpool have become notorious for conceding in recent years, especially from set pieces, Cameroonian centre-back Joel Matip was a bright spark for the Reds as they shipped 42 goals last season. Signed on a free from Schalke 04, Matip’s six-figure wage packet means it cost his club just over £20,000 per tackle, interception or clearance.
Everton’s Ashley Williams and Sunderland’s Papy Djilobodji were both around the £40,000 marker, whilst James Tomkins of Crystal Palace and David Luiz of Chelsea are also in the top five. Luiz’s inclusion is even more impressive given his £34 million transfer fee and hefty wages to boot.
1. Joel Matip - £21,052.60
2. Ashley Williams - £40,050.40
3. Papy Dijilobodji - £40,746.90
4. James Tomkins - £114,100.70
5. David Luiz - £138,512.60
For every David Luiz there is a John Stones. Signed for almost £50 million last summer, Stones quickly established himself as a Manchester City regular - but that doesn’t mean he was statistically good. The former Everton man cost his club just under a mammoth £300,000 per tackle, interception or clearance, and he also committed 3 errors which resulted in a goal, the highest number of the 50 signings analysed.
Second on the list was Arsenal’s Shkrodan Mustafi, who cost the Gunners £161,000 whilst Eric Bailly was third – although the Manchester United man cost his club a mere £300 more than David Luiz did per tackle, interception or clearance.
1. John Stones - £292,777.80
2. Shkrodan Mustafi - £161,959.20
3. Eric Bailly - £138,861.80