Haaland to Man City? The highest-paid player for every Premier League season

Premier League's highest earners per season

According to reports that emerged on Monday evening, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland could be on the verge of a record-breaking move to the Premier League this summer with Manchester City.

Per the Daily Mail, City chiefs have already agreed a deal with the Norwegian’s personal representatives worth a staggering £500,000 per-week – and are ready to pay his £62 million release clause – should he decide to join Pep Guardiola’s side.

Although City are still chasing glory both domestically and in Europe this season, their desire to bring in a genuine frontman to lead the line at the Etihad is no secret, especially after they were unable to secure the services of Tottenham’s Harry Kane last summer.

Haaland might have enormous salary expectations, but his track record arguably justifies them.

His return of 82 goals in 85 appearances for Dortmund is outrageous – and those numbers are the reason that he looks set to become the highest-paid player by a single club in Premier League history.

Just how, though, does Haaland’s mammoth proposed weekly wage compare to those that have come before him.

Below, we’ve taken a look at the highest-paid players at the end of each of the Premier League’s 30 seasons to date. (Figures as per HITC Sevens and The Mirror).

The highest-paid player in every Premier League season

1992/93 – John Barnes (£10,000-per-week)

1993/94 – John Barnes (£10,000-per-week)

Liverpool playmaker Barnes was the first Premier League star to command a five-figure weekly salary and would remain the top earner for the competition’s first two seasons.

If things pan out, Haaland will earn that same £10,000 in less than three-and-a-half hours next season.


1994/95 – Eric Cantona (£18,000-per-week)

The Frenchman’s starring role in Manchester United’s first two Premier League title wins saw the club reward him with a vastly improved new deal.

1995/96 – Dennis Bergkamp (£25,000-per-week)

To entice the Dutch genius to come and play in the Premier League in 1995, Arsenal had to shatter their wage structure. In hindsight, Bergkamp was worth every penny.

Aug 1995: Dennis Bergkamp shakes manager Bruce Rioch by the hand after signing for Arsenal at Highbury in London. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

1996/97 – Fabrizio Ravanelli (£42,000-per-week)

Middlesbrough paid Ravanelli an incredible salary by the standards of the time, but an impressive 32 goals in 48 games in his only season on Teeside more than justified the club’s outlay.

1997/98 – Alan Shearer (£34,000-per-week)

1998/99 – Alan Shearer (£34,000-per-week)

After Ravanelli departed the Premier League for Marseille, the mantle of the Premier League’s highest-paid player passed to Newcastle legend Shearer, who would ultimately go on to become the competitions greatest ever goalscorer.

5 Apr 1998: Newcastle’s Alan Shearer celebrates scoring the winning goal during the match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United in the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup played at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Newcastle won the match 1-0.` \ Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson /Allsport

1999/00 – Roy Keane (£52,000-per-week)

2000/01 – Roy Keane (£52,000-per-week)

2001/02 – Roy Keane (£90,000-per-week)

2002/03 – Roy Keane (£90,000-per-week)

Keane broke the £50,000-per-week barrier when he agreed a fresh contract at Man United in late 1999. A further pay rise two years later saw him retain the crown of the competition’s top earner until 2003.

2003/04 – Hernan Crespo (£94,000-per-week)

Crespo was well compensated during his time at Chelsea, but 25 goals in 73 games isn’t quite the return that fans of the club would have been hoping for when he signed.

LONDON – AUGUST 29: Hernan Crespo Chelsea’s new signing and Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri hold up a “Crespo 21” Chelsea shirt during a press conference on August 29, 2003 at Stamford Bridge, London. (Photo by Craig Prentis/Getty Images)

2004/05 – Frank Lampard (£98,000-per-week)

Considerably more fondly remembered in west London than Crespo, Lampard put pen-to-paper on a new Chelsea deal worth close to six figures in 2004.

2005/06 – Steven Gerrard (£100,000-per-week)

The Premier League’s first-ever £100,000-per-week player. Gerrard’s legendary status at Anfield to this day tells you that ‘Stevie G’ was more than worth whatever the Reds paid him.

2006/07 – Andriy Shevchenko (£118,000-per-week)

Roman Abramovich forked out a sizeable six figures in wages each week to AC Milan legend Shevchenko, but things never panned out for the Ukrainian striker at Chelsea.

BLACKBURN, UNITED KINGDOM – AUGUST 27: Zurab Khizanishvili of Blackburn Rovers clears the ball under pressure from Andriy Shevchenko of Chelsea during the Barclays Premiership match between Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea at Ewood Park on August 27, 2006 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

2007/08 – John Terry (£135,000-per-week)

After captaining Chelsea to a pair of Premier League titles, the club showed their gratitude towards Terry with a record-breaking new contract.

2008/09 – Robinho (£160,000-per-week)

Proof that record-breaking deals don’t always work out as intended, Brazilian forward Robinho spent just two seasons at the Man City, contributing only 16 goals in 53 appearances.

2009/10 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)

2010/11 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)

2011/12 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)

2012/13 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)

In order to snatch Tevez from fierce local rivals United, Man City had to part with a hefty £250,000-per-week for his services. It wasn’t the worst investment either as he helped City to their inaugural Premier League title triumph in 2011/12.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Carlos Tevez smiles as he is unveilled at the City of Manchester Stadium after signing for Manchester City on July 14, 2009 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

2013/14 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)

2014/15 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)

2015/16 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)

2016/17 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)

The club’s all time record goalscorer and one of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League, Man United recognised Rooney’s considerable contributions with a £300,000-per-week deal in February 2014.

2017/18 – Alexis Sanchez (£350,000-per-week)

2018/19 – Alexis Sanchez (£350,000-per-week)

During his four-year stint at Arsenal, Sanchez operated at an impressive level. Almost from the moment he arrived at Man United, the Chilean forward looked a shadow of his former self. Not a successful investment from the Red Devils.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United looks despondent during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Sevilla FC at Old Trafford on March 13, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

2019/20 – David de Gea (£375,000-per-week)

After many years of loyal service and exceptional performances, De Gea was rewarded with a bumper contract in 2019 by Man United. He’s more than justified that wage this season too, as arguably the club’s best performer this term.

2020/21 – Gareth Bale (£560,000-per-week)

The largest figure on this list, although Spurs reportedly only paid 40% (£224,000) of Bale’s insane weekly Real Madrid wage of £560,000 while he was on loan in north London last season.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 23: Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at The King Power Stadium on May 23, 2021 in Leicester, England. A limited number of fans will be allowed into Premier League stadiums as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the UK. (Photo by Mike Egerton – Pool/Getty Images)

2021/22 – Cristiano Ronaldo (£480,000-per-week) – Season to date

It is generally accepted that five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo isn’t the player he was during his prime. That said, the Portuguese icon is still Man United’s top goalscorer since his deadline day move from Juventus last summer.

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A mixed bag down the years, to say the least. Big money doesn’t always guarantee top performances.

It remains to be seen whether Haaland will be able to justify his £26m annual pay packet should he join Man City in the summer.

Haaland to Man City (Reaction via The Football Terrace)

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