Written By: Abidoye Babatunde
The summer of 2023 will go down in history as the most expensive single transfer window of all time.
But which players contributed most towards it? We put together the priciest summer XI in a 3-4-3 formation Pep Guardiola would be proud of.
GK: André Onana
Inter to Manchester United, €52.5m
After over a decade at Old Trafford, United stalwart David de Gea was replaced by Inter standout Onana in an initial deal that sees him become the fourth most expensive goalkeeper ever, but he could leapfrog Gianluigi Buffon into third place if certain bonuses are met.
CB: Kim Min-jae
Napoli to Bayern Munich, €50m
After just one successful season in Italy that saw the South Korean spearhead a defence which bolstered Napoli en route to only their third Scudetto ever, Bayern Munich saw enough to swoop for the imposing centre-back’s services.
CB: Joško Gvardiol
Leipzig to Manchester City, €90m
The Croatian came so close to becoming the most expensive defender of all time when he swapped Leipzig for Manchester City but ultimately that is a record that Harry Maguire continues to hold onto. For the time being at least.
CB: Lucas Hernández
Bayern Munich to PSG, €45m
PSG have had a tumultuous summer so you would be forgiven if this addition escaped your attention, which hasn’t been the case for the club’s ultras, who weren’t exactly welcoming to the new arrival given his links to their old rivals to the south. “We all make mistakes,” read a banner reserved for him on his debut. “Being born in Marseille is one of them.” Ouch.
DM: Declan Rice
West Ham to Arsenal, €117m
Bellingham’s England midfield team-mate fills all of the same boxes and is sure to be the beating heart of the revitalised Gunners for years to come. His blockbuster move across London from West Ham saw him briefly become the most expensive transfer in British history. Until …
CM: Moisés Caicedo
Brighton to Chelsea, €133m
So in demand was the Ecuadorian this summer that he found two teams willing to break Rice’s recent record deal in order to have him in their midfield. Ultimately, Chelsea won out over Liverpool, who had agreed a similar fee, as the staggering spending of the Todd Boehly era continued.
CM: Jude Bellingham
Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid, €103m
How much will we look back on this fee of just over €100m in the years ahead and think of it as a bargain for Real Madrid? The England international has taken to his new surroundings like a duck to water, becoming only the third LaLiga player this century to directly contribute to four goals in his first two games. He truly is a phenom.
AM: Kai Havertz
Chelsea to Arsenal, €75m
Arsenal have had a busy and big-spending summer, with the Germany international racking up a big fee when he opted to swap Stamford Bridge for the Emirates, where he will play in a deeper midfield role in Mikel Arteta’s system.
RW: Randal Kolo Muani
Eintracht Frankfurt to PSG, €95m
While not strictly a right winger (the most expensive player for that particular position this summer would be Manchester City’s new recruit Jérémy Doku), PSG’s big deadline day recruit simply has to be included in the forward by virtue of the huge fee it took to sign him from Eintracht Frankfurt.
ST: Harry Kane
Tottenham to Bayern Munich, €100m
After a lengthy pursuit which dragged on throughout the summer, Bayern finally got their man in August when they agreed a nine-figure deal for Tottenham legend Harry Kane – a move which saw him become the most expensive import in Bundesliga history.
PSG to Al-Hilal, €90m
Although he has only moved clubs three times in his career, the amounts which require those deals to be done mean that Neymar has become the most expensive player of all time, with no other player accounting for more money in transfer fees than the Brazilian.
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