Raheem Sterling and the 10 most expensive English footballers ever – with five at Man City
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling is closing in on a £45million exit to Premier League rivals Chelsea, a move that will put him among the 10 most expensive English footballers in history…again.
For Sterling, the move will see him head back to London having spent the last 12 years of his life in the north west, having joined Liverpool ’s academy from Queens Park Rangers in 2010.
The move will see Sterling join the Blues for a fee just shy of the £49m City paid to sign the winger, with Sterling scoring 131 times in 339 appearances in a seven-year stint that has included winning four Premier League titles, four Carabao Cup trophies and an FA Cup.
Sterling is expected to be the first signing at Stamford Bridge in the Todd Boehly era following his takeover of Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
And the move will put him joint-eighth on the all-time most expensive English players list, a list where he also currently sits in joint-fifth following his big-money move from Liverpool to City seven years ago.
Mirror Football has looked at the previous ten most expensive English players in history and how they have all fared since their big money moves to the Premier League
10. Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City (£45m, 2022)
The first name on the list is the most recent, with City completing the signing of England international footballer Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United. It’s a move worth the same as Sterling’s switch to Chelsea, £45m.
For Phillips, it is the biggest step in his rapid rise in recent years, having been a key part of Leeds getting to the Premier League and staying in there in back-to-back seasons, becoming an established beat in England’s midfield along the way.
Given his popularity, £45m could prove to be a very shrewd investment for the 26-year-old often dubbed as the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo.’
9. Kyle Walker to Manchester City (£45m, 2017)
One man Phillips knows well from his time at England and will now be club colleagues with is right-back Kyle Walker, who joined City from Tottenham Hotspur five years ago.
In that time, Walker has 215 City appearances to his name, scoring six goals and winning four Premier League titles, four Carabao Cup trophies and the FA Cup once.
Last season however, Walker made just 20 Premier League appearances, the lowest number in any of his five campaigns at the Etihad Stadium.
8. Ben Chilwell to Chelsea (£45m, 2020)
Ben Chilwell is yet to hit the heights that he can do since joining Chelsea from Leicester City for £45m two years ago, and while he has shown quality when he has played, injuries have really plagued his time in west London to date.
Chilwell did manage to make 42 appearances in all competitions in his debut campaign that saw him win the Champions League with Thomas Tuchel’s side. But he missed the majority of last season due to a ruptured cruciate ligament injury, keeping him out of action for six months.
The defender did however score on all of his first three league appearances last season, with Chelsea seriously missing his attacking quality when he was sidelined from November to May last term. He will hope for a strong start to the new campaign to get back in Gareth Southgate’s plans for this year’s World Cup.
7. John Stones to Manchester City (£47.5m, 2016)
Everton fans sang “money can’t buy John Stones” shortly before City did in fact use quite a lot of money to sign John Stones from the Toffees in 2016, £47.5m to be exact.
In the seventh most expensive transfer fee ever paid for an English player, Stones’ time at City has been a mixture of success and being frozen out, so it is perhaps a surprise to some that he is still at the club six years on.
Stones has played 195 times in all competitions in the last six years, but has never played 30 or more league games in a single season. He has however won four Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two Carabao Cups.
6. Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United (£49m, 2019)
Joint-fifth with Sterling’s move to City is the £49m fee Manchester United paid for right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2019, with the England right-back highly-rated after a breakthrough spell at Crystal Palace.
The defender was a regular in each of his first two seasons at Old Trafford, playing in 69 of a possible 76 Premier League matches. But last season, in his third campaign, he played just 20 times in the Premier League.
Due to England’s sheer strength and depth at right-back, Wan-Bissaka has only been called up to the senior squad once, but withdrew in September 2019 due to a back injury and remains uncapped at senior level.
Sterling’s last transfer was also for £49m, meaning he will be the only player in the top ten list twice and has had a glistening spell with City across all competitions.
The winger has been a consistent and prolific goalscorer, netting 131 times in all competitions that has included double figures for goals in each of his seven campaigns and 91 goals from his 225 Premier League games.
What Chelsea are getting is an experienced goal-getter with quality that knows exactly what it takes to perform at the highest level, having done so regularly throughout his time with the Sky Blues.
4. Ben White to Arsenal (£50m, 2021)
Arsenal’s one entry on the list comes in at fourth following their £50m signing of centre-back Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion last summer.
The defender spent seven years at the AMEX Stadium but only played one full season for the Seagulls following loan exits with Newport County, Peterborough United and Leeds United.
In his debut campaign at the Emirates Stadium, he made 37 appearances in all competitions and helped them return to Europe for the upcoming Europa League campaign.
3. Jadon Sancho to Manchester United (£75m, 2021)
United signed former City winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for £75 last summer and his debut campaign failed to live up to expectations.
The former Watford academy man scored five goals in 38 appearances for the Red Devils but started just 20 times in the Premier League, having had spells in and out of the team underOle Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last season.
Sancho does have 23 caps for England but has played just once in the Three Lions’ last 13 international matches and will need a flying start under Erik ten Hag to get back into Gareth Southgate’s plans for this year’s World Cup.
2. Harry Maguire to Manchester United (£80m, 2019)
Sancho’s club and country colleague Maguire has had mixed spells at United in his three years at the club, but is currently the Red Devils’ captain ahead of a new era under Ten Hag.
The most expensive English transfer ever until last summer, Maguire has played 144 times in all competitions but has faced criticism at times while in Greater Manchester since his exit from Leicester City.
Questions have been raised over whether the England international will still be United’s captain this summer as he looks to impress new boss Ten Hag ahead of next season.
1. Jack Grealish to Manchester City (£100m, 2021)
The most expensive English player in history is City’s Jack Grealish, who was signed by Pep Guardiola’s side from Aston Villa last summer for a staggering £100m.
Grealish did help City win the league and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Champions League, but from a numbers point of view, scored just three goals and provided the same number of assists. A total way below what many expected following such a fee.
Grealish did make 26 league appearances and 22 starts last term, but will hope to kick on next season after a year of getting used to life at City and Guardiola’s meticulous and successful winning machine.