Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool: The Premier League's 13 biggest ever spending sprees

Chelsea owner Boehly.

Chelsea spent big this summer. Like, really big. Like, record-breaking big.

As confirmed by the Daily Mail, Chelsea spent the single-most money of any Premier League club in history over the course of a summer transfer window as they smashed through the £250-million ceiling.

Now that’s quite the statement considering many Blues fans were understandably concerned that their transfer spending might fall off a cliff in the post-Roman Abramovich era.

Chelsea make history

But alas, Todd Boehly has given Thomas Tuchel all the resources he needs and then some in order to get the Blues competing for the Premier League and Champions League trophies again.

However, as we wait and see whether the west London club’s heavy spending will pay off, let’s take a look at the dizzying transfer windows that Chelsea surpassed to break the record.

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Who’s this Premier League icon from the 2000s?

What was the previous high watermark? Which clubs spend the most… most often? How recently were these splurges splurged? How many of them transpired this summer?

Well, these are the sorts of questions that we’re going to answer because we’ve called upon Transfermarkt data to work out the 13 biggest spending sprees in Premier League history.

Ten Hag to STOP Arsenal! EDU SLAMMED! Chelsea TITLE CHARGE? Conte slams transfers! (Football Terrace)

The Premier League’s biggest ever spending sprees

To clarify, we mean by a single club in a single transfer window with each example in our list having surpassed the £150-million mark and none of them transpired during the January spending.

Plus, bear in mind that transfer fees do, of course, differ slightly from source to source, hence our use of Transfermarkt throughout in the interest of consistency.

But enough with the disclaimers because we’ve got some big bucks to check out as we walk through the 13 highest-spending transfer windows by clubs in Premier League history…

13. Manchester City (2020/21) – £150.66 million

Par for the course for City, isn’t it? The Citizens teed themselves up for a return to Premier League title-winning ways by procuring Ruben Dias (£64.4m), Nathan Ake (£40.8m) and Ferran Torres (£30.2m) amongst others.

Man City signed Ake and Dias in 2020.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester City v Arsenal – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – October 17, 2020 Manchester City’s Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake Pool via REUTERS/Michael Regan EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

12. Tottenham Hotspur (2022/23) – £152.91 million

You can’t say that Daniel Levy hasn’t backed Antonio Conte this summer, furnishing the squad with the likes of Richarlison (£52.2m) and Cristiano Romero (£45m) permanently, as Spurs spent even more than they did in the year they sold Gareth Bale.

11. West Ham United (2022/23) – £163.80 million

Yup, Premier League spending really has been insane this year as the Hammers’ plundering of Lucas Paquetá (£38.9m), Gianluca Scamacca (£32.4m) and Nayef Aguerd (£31.5m) almost hauled them up into the top ten.

Scamacca in action for West Ham.
Soccer Football – Europa Conference League – Qualifying – Play off First Leg – West Ham United v Viborg FF – London Stadium, London, Britain – August 18, 2022 West Ham United’s Gianluca Scamacca in action Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

10. Liverpool (2018/19) – £163.98 million

Ah, the summer where the Jurgen Klopp project finally had its Ts crossed and Is dotted as Alisson Becker (£56.3m), Naby Keita (£54m) and Fabinho (£40.5m) all came through the door.

9. Manchester City (2016/17) – £164.70 million

City really did give Pep Guardiola their full financial backing from the off as John Stones (£50m), Leroy Sane (£46.8m) and Ilkay Gundogan (£24.8m) all followed the legendary Spaniard to the Etihad Stadium.

Man City signed Stones in 2016.
Britain Football Soccer – Manchester City v Sunderland – Premier League – Etihad Stadium – 16/17 – 13/8/16 Manchester City’s John Stones Reuters / Darren Staples EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

8. Manchester United (2016/17) – £166.50 million

But Jose Mourinho was given even more toys to play with that very same summer as Paul Pogba (£94.5m) arrived for a world-record fee, followed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£37.8m) and Eric Bailly (£34.2m).

7. Manchester United (2014/15) – £175.82 million

However, the Glazer family gave Louis van Gaal even more cash to splash two years previously as Angel Di Maria (£67.5m), Ander Herrera (£32.4m), Luke Shaw (£33.8m) and Marcos Rojo (£18m) all a in a transfer window that certainly has a mixed legacy.

Rojo and Di Maria at Man Utd.
Football – Leicester City v Manchester United – Barclays Premier League – King Power Stadium – 21/9/14 Manchester United’s Angel di Maria and Marcos Rojo look dejected after Leicester City’s third goal Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Alex Morton Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

6. Chelsea (2017/18) – £186.03 million

Few transfer windows are more infamous than this. Chelsea and Conte well and truly dropped the ball as they spent big on Alvaro Morata (£59.4m), Tiémoué Bakayoko (£36m) and Danny Drinkwater (£34.1m).

5. Manchester City (2015/16) – £187.34 million

One of the earliest entries on the list as Manuel Pellegrini secured two of the greatest signings in City’s history in the form of Kevin De Bruyne (£68.4m) and Raheem Sterling (£57.3m).

De Bruyne and Sterling in their first Man City season.
Football – Manchester City v Southampton – Barclays Premier League – Etihad Stadium – 28/11/15 Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with Raheem Sterling after scoring the first goal for Manchester City Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

4. Manchester United (2022/23) – £214.22 million

Which brings us to Mr. Erik ten Hag who can’t exactly say he wasn’t backed in the transfer market as Antony (£85.5m), Casemiro (£63.6m) and Lisandro Martinez (£51.6m) were all snapped up despite some truly eye-watering fees.

3. Chelsea (2020/21) – £222.48 million

An emphatic bounce back from a transfer ban that ultimately led to Chelsea winning the Champions League, signing everyone from Kai Havertz (£72m) to Hakim Ziyech (£36m) and Timo Werner (£47.7m) to Ben Chilwell (£45.2m) in a truly crazy summer.

Havertz and Werner in the Champions League final.
Soccer Football – Champions League Final – Manchester City v Chelsea – Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal – May 29, 2021 Chelsea’s Kai Havertz celebrates scoring their first goal with Timo Werner Pool via REUTERS/Susana Vera

2. Manchester City (2017/18) – £223.65 million

Now, interestingly, City do hold the record for the most money spent on transfers by a single Premier League club across an entire season with Aymeric Laporte’s January arrival tipping them over Chelsea’s 2022 haul.

However, for the purposes of this analysis, we’ve got to stick to the summer where they brought in the likes of Kyle Walker (£47.4m), Bernardo Silva (£45m), Ederson (£36m) and Danilo (£27m).

1. Chelsea (2022/23) – £253.79 million

Which brings us on nicely to the new record holders with the Blues opening their wallets wide to sign Wesley Fofana (£72.4m), Marc Cucurella (£58.8m), Sterling (£50.6m), Kalidou Koulibaly (£34.2m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.8m) amongst others.

Sterling scores for Chelsea.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Southampton v Chelsea – St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, Britain – August 30, 2022 Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their first goal with Hakim Ziyech REUTERS/David Klein EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Chelsea’s record flies under radar

Chelsea’s splurge feels like it should be getting more attention, doesn’t it?

In a world where City are so often castigated for loosening their pursestrings – rightly or wrongly, you decide – it’s surprising to see that so many fans have looked the other way in regards to Chelsea’s shopping spree.

If you’ve got the money to spend, then spend it, but it does feel a little bit as though Boehly’s emphatic first summer as a Premier League owner has flown under the radar for the most part.

Boehly celebrates a Chelsea goal.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Stamford Bridge, London, Britain – May 7, 2022 Chelsea new owner Todd Boehly celebrates their first goal scored by Romelu Lukaku Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

However, make no mistake that everyone waking up to the reality that Chelsea went to record-breaking lengths to get the players they wanted this summer means the pressure will indeed be cranked up on their crucial 2022/23 campaign.

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