Man Utd, Chelsea, PSG: Which clubs have overpaid most for players since 2012?

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford

Manchester United have now gone almost ten years without lifting the Premier League trophy.

The 13-time champions last raised English football’s top prize in 2012/13 – their final season under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Seemingly with every passing season, the club has sunk further away from those glory days – culminating in the worst Premier League finish in their history in 2021/22.

Hopes are high around the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ that current boss Erik ten Hag can turn the tide at United – and the Dutchman was certainly backed in the transfer market towards the end of the recently-closed summer window.

United splashed out a combined £200.7 million on their three biggest-name signings of the summer, overpaying considerably for each, compared to their market value.

In purchasing Lisandro Martinez and Antony from Ajax, United paid over the odds by a combined total of £105.63m.

The club also forked out £63.59m for Real Madrid’s Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, some £27.59m more than his market value of £36m.

Casemiro at Man Utd
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 22: New signing, Casemiro of Manchester United applauds the fans prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on August 22, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

United have taken a big gamble on the trio – and only time will tell if it pays off.

The Red Devils success rate when overpaying for players hasn’t been great in the past, though.

Per Transfermarkt, the likes of Harry Maguire (£33.3m overpayment), Romelu Lukaku (£31.23m overpayment), Paul Pogba (£31.5m overpayment) and Fred (£24.3m overpayment) have all arrived at Old Trafford for far more than their market value in recent years.

Harry Maguire Man Utd
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 09: Harry Maguire of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 09, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

None of those deals appear particularly shrewd in hindsight – and there’s many more of a similar kind.

The scale of United’s rampant overspending during the last decade was highlighted earlier this week when a new study revealed that the club was, in fact, the worst offender in all of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues.

The data gurus over at CIES Football Observatory have crunched the numbers to determine which clubs have been the most frequent overspenders over the last ten years and you can check out the results in the images below.

View: Man Utd come out of top as Europe’s biggest overspenders ranked in study

Man Utd, Chelsea, PSG: Which clubs have overpaid most for players since 2012?
Man Utd, Chelsea, PSG: Which clubs have overpaid most for players since 2012?
Man Utd, Chelsea, PSG: Which clubs have overpaid most for players since 2012?
Man Utd, Chelsea, PSG: Which clubs have overpaid most for players since 2012?

The Red Devils lead the way with an overall overspend of €238m (£208.53m) since 2012.

Juventus (€234m/£205.2m) are just a few million shy of United’s total in second, before a significant gap of some €72m to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, who overspent by €162m (£141.94m).

One of the bigger surprises from the study is the presence of Aston Villa in fourth, ahead of both Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Other Premier League clubs to make the top 20 include Arsenal (7th), Everton (9th), Newcastle (11th), Leicester (12th), Southampton (14th), Liverpool (19th) and West Ham (20th).

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