The Premier League's highest earner from every season since 2010/11

Chelsea's Italian Manager Carlo Ancelott

The Premier League is nowhere near a level playing field. 

As easy as it is to adulate over Liverpool and Manchester City's current squads, the fact is they have taken great riches to assemble. 

However, in recent years, Manchester United serve as a cautionary tale that excessive spending on transfer fees and wages doesn't necessarily translate to success. 

It makes things a lot easier, nonetheless.

One of the reasons Sheffield United's first campaign back in the top flight has been so remarkable is that their entire first team earn less than Alexis Sanchez. 

As amusing as that statistic may be, it does make fairytale stories like Leicester's 2015/16 title triumph unlikely to ever happen again. 

Put simply, the haves and have-nots in the Premier League couldn't be further apart in terms of resources. 

With a little help from and Spotrac, we've taken a look at the highest earning player from each of the past 10 seasons. 

Alarmingly, United make up half the entries, with all of those coming during their post-Fergie demise. 

2010/11 - Fernando Torres (Chelsea)

Torres joined Chelsea on Deadline Day in January 2011. Roman Abramovich probably felt he'd wasted £50 million after the event, but it was actually a good deal more than that when you consider his wages of £324,749 a week. 

Chelsea Press Conference to announce new signing Fernando Torres

2011/12 - Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 

In April 2012, the Spanish striker finally came up with the goods as he scored that famous goal against Barcelona to send Chelsea to the Champions League final. 

Chelsea's Spanish forward Fernando Torre

2012/13 - Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 

Three league goals was all the Blues got for his £300,000+ a week in 2012/13. 

Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League

2013/14 - Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez signed a new deal in 2013 to take his weekly wage from £100,000 to £200,000 and become the then-highest earner in Liverpool's history. A classic example of when a contract extension means no more commitment at all, as he left for Barcelona in 2014.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

2014/15 - Angel Di Maria (Manchester United)

Another of United's disastrous transfers, though hindsight is a wonderful thing. The Argentine has been rejuvenated at PSG yet the football of Louis van Gaal did not agree with him. He looked to be stealing a living for £280,000 a week. Looking back, it wasn't him that was the problem.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Premier League

2015/16 - Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United)

Capology have it that Bastian Schweinsteiger was actually the highest earner that season on £275,000 a week, though that does not take into account the potential bonuses and endorsements of other players. United had dreamed of signing the German for years but he was no longer at his best by the time he actually moved to England.

Watford v Manchester United - Premier League

2016/17 - Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

By that time, Rooney's £300,000 could only be justified because he was so experienced. United looked ready to march towards the title in the summer of 2016, with Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahomovic all arriving. Rooney was a beacon of stability amidst all that but one who could no longer run or control his first touch.

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

2017/18 - Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

In the grand scheme of things, £280,000 a week was not all that much for City to fork out for a playmaker who recorded 12 goals and 21 assists in all competitions, especially as the club won their first title under Pep Guardiola.

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League

2018/19 - Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)

One of Ed Woodward's best bits of business this season was to get Sanchez off the books, at least partially as Inter Milan now pay some of his £315,000 a week. The Red Devils had to offer him an extortionate figure to sway him away from Man City, who were also courting him as his Arsenal contract ran down.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

2019/20 - David de Gea (Manchester United)

De Gea signed a new contract in September to send his wages through the roof. The Spanish stopper now earns £375,000 a week in exchange for committing his future to Old Trafford until June 2023.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

Interestingly, just one of the above was named PFA Player of the Year in the same season as they were reaping the greatest financial rewards - Luis Suarez in 2013/14. 

It just goes to show, and it'll be some consolation to the Premier League's minnows, that high wages and performances don't always go hand-in-hand. 

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