The most expensive fee for a defender is still nearly £40 million short of the most expensive price for any football player.
David Luiz’s £50m move to Paris Saint-Germain two years ago falls some way below the £89m Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba in the summer.
Defenders commanding less money than midfielders and strikers has never been a surprise. Those in more advanced positions have chances to make a name for themselves by scoring and assisting goals, whereas preventing the opportunity from finding the net doesn’t appear in the box score.
But it’s impossible to understate the importance of defenders, and especially centre backs. Look at any successful football team and every one has had at least one reliable and assured centre back.
Italian newspaper Tuttosport have decided to show love to centre defenders today by publishing their list of the 20 most valuable goal-savers in world football.
Tuttosport included three Juventus players and five Premier League stars. Check out the list below.
20. Nikola Maksimovic | Napoli | €25m
19. Eric Bailly | Manchester United €30m
18. Nicolas Otamendi | Manchester City | €30m
17. Giorgio Chiellini | Juventus | €30m
16. Thiago Silva | Paris Saint-Germain | €30m
15. Daniele Rugani | Juventus | €35m
14. Diego Godin | Atletico Madrid | €35m
13. Shkodran Mustafi | Arsenal | €35m
12. David Luiz | Chelsea | €38m
11. Alessio Romagnoli | AC Milan | €40m
10. Mats Hummels | Bayern Munich | €42m
9. Marquinhos | Paris Saint-Germain | €45m
8. Kostas Manolas | Roma | €45m
7. John Stones | Manchester City | €50m
6. Kalidou Koulibaly | Napoli | €55m
5. Raphael Varane | Real Madrid | €55m
4. Gerard Pique | Barcelona | €60m
3. Sergio Ramos | Real Madrid | €65m
2. Jerome Boateng | Bayern Munich | €70m
1. Leonardo Bonucci | Juventus | €70m
So there’s no space for Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny. Age likely played a part in Tuttosport’s consideration and the Frenchman is 31-years-old, yet that didn’t stop Thiago Silva and Giorgio Chiellini, both 32, from making the cut.
The list makes for grim reading for Chelsea, who now have a rough idea of how much it will cost to buy Leonard Bonucci. If Roman Abramovich wishes to turn the Blues into a European power, it’s going to cost a lot.