Liverpool top ranking from Chelsea of all 20 Premier League clubs’ record sale

Jason Soutar
Former Premier League players Philippe Coutinho, Romelu Lukaku and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Philippe Coutinho, Romelu Lukaku and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

We have ranked every Premier League club’s record sale, from worst to best.

There are a lot of things taken into account in our ranking. Could the club have got more wonga? Where did the money go? Did they make a delicious profit?

Maybe it is more simple and can be determined by how badly the selling club rinsed the buying club.

All in all, most of the clubs in the Premier League will be happy with their record sale, so don’t get your knickers in a twist if a good deal is in the bottom half. This is not to say the club did poorly, it’s just that the sales ahead of them in the ranking were better. Hindsight will be used. Good to get that out of the way.


20) Burnley – Chris Wood (£25m)
Forced to sell to Newcastle United because of a release clause, Burnley losing Chris Wood played quite a big part in their relegation in 2021/22.


19) Fulham – Aleksandar Mitrovic (£45m)
Forced to sell to Al-Hilal because of the disgusting money on offer, Fulham are not the same team without Mitrovic, who scored 57 goals in his last 68 league appearances for the Cottagers.


18) Arsenal – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£35m)
Arsenal are quite bad at selling players; they have been for a while and Edu Gaspar has been unable to buck that trend.

£35m for the Ox was decent business because he failed to do much at Anfield, though when he was fit in his early years under Jurgen Klopp, he looked like a marvellous footballers.

The Gunners really need to improve in this department, from the sales of unwanted first-team stars like Konstantinos Mavropanos and Matteo Guendouzi to important players who want a new challenge like Oxlade-Chamberlain.


17) Luton Town – James Justin (£6m)
Like with their record fee paid for a player, Luton’s inclusion here looks a bit out of place next to the other 19 clubs.

The Hatters got around £6m for Justin in 2019 and if Leicester were to sell him now, they would get a much bigger fee.


16) Manchester United – Cristiano Ronaldo (£80m)
Ronaldo achieved everything there was to achieve at Old Trafford and it quickly became very clear he wanted to join Real Madrid. To get a world-record fee for a player who wants out is a massive positive but losing the best player on the planet was far from ideal.

Since Ronaldo’s £80m transfer to Real Madrid 14 years ago, United have won two Premier League titles and one FA Cup, and have made it past the quarter-final stage in the Champions League just once. That is one semi-final appearance since 2009.


15) Sheffield United – Aaron Ramsdale (£24m)
Arsenal are definitely better at signing players than they are at selling.

Having come up to the Premier League last term, Sheffield United needed to raise funds and they did so by selling their two best players, Sander Berge and Ilman Ndiaye. It is certainly an interesting tactic and time will tell how that pays off.

They were in a stronger position when Arsenal enquired about Ramsdale in 2021 and they will probably feel looking back that they could have got a little more. With David Raya now Mikel Arteta’s No. 1, a completely unrealistic loan back to Bramall Lane would be nice.


14) Tottenham – Gareth Bale (£80m)
‘The Bale money’ went on a steaming pile of mediocrity, besides Christian Eriksen. Spurs also lost one of their greatest players of all time. It was a tough pill to swallow but at least they got a monstrous fee for a player who wanted out. It’s just a shame the cash was spent so poorly.

Gareth Bale celebrates a goal for Spurs.


13) Nottingham Forest – Brennan Johnson (£47.5m)
Forest had to fund their transfer addiction somehow and offloading Johnson to Tottenham was the way they managed it.

There was potential for Johnson to become a legend at the City Ground but he will now try to create his own history in north London. It’s a bit of a shame from a Forest point of view but without this sale, they might not have signed Ibrahim Sangare, Murillo and Callum Hudson-Odoi on deadline day.


12) Brentford – Ollie Watkins (£28m)
The ninth-most expensive sale in Championship history, Brentford got a very tasty fee for a 24-year-old Watkins. It might sting a little to see the Aston Villa talisman play at the level he is now, but the Bees could not have reasonably expected to get much more for the striker.

When compared to other sales made by Brentford, Watkins is undoubtedly the best player, so there’s that as well.


11) Brighton – Moises Caicedo (£100m)
‘A £100m sale in ELEVENTH?!’ I hear you cry. Even though Brighton got a ludicrous nine-figure fee for Caicedo, some players are simply irreplaceable. Chelsea’s new midfielder is exactly that. Sometimes you have to put the fee to one side and realise that the selling club has become significantly weaker as a result.

This is not us saying Brighton are going to be finishing in the bottom six or seven of the Premier League, but they are certainly easier to score against this season.


10) Wolves – Matheus Nunes (£53m)
Nunes arrived at Molineux, didn’t do much, and left for a profit 12 months later. He must be a good player to be snapped up by Pep Guardiola (even if he was second choice behind Lucas Paqueta).

The Portuguese was signed by Wolves to be their best player for a significant amount of time and that did not come to fruition. Furthermore, they didn’t have enough time to reinvest the money, if that was even their intention.


9) Bournemouth – Nathan Ake (£41m)
Ake’s move from Bournemouth to Manchester City was the most expensive Championship departure of all time until James Maddison joined Tottenham in July, and that transfer fee was later smashed by Romeo Lavia’s move from Southampton to Chelsea.

Ake struggled for minutes in his first year or so at the Etihad but is now a crucial player in Pep Guardiola’s defence. The Spaniard’s desire for defensive full-backs gave the Dutchman an unexpected opportunity in City’s versatile back four.

READ MORE: Liverpool reinvest wisely as Arsenal work miracles: Every Premier League club’s best sale of all time


8) Manchester City – Raheem Sterling (£47.5m)
From a City buy to a City sale, is it? Sterling’s first year at Chelsea indicates that City sold the England international at the right time. On the other hand, £47.5m for a player of his ability and experience is maybe a little low. City’s willingness to let unhappy players leave is the reason why this was not a £60m+ deal.


7) Newcastle United – Andy Carroll (£35m)
While Spurs showed us how not to spend money from the sale of a star player, Newcastle did the opposite, splashing the £35m received from Liverpool for Carroll on influential stars like Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.

Believe it or not, the £35m fee for Carroll was once a lot, and I mean a lot, of money to spend on a young English talent. Those were the days, eh?


6) Crystal Palace – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£50m)
Taking Manchester United for a ride is always fun and that is exactly what Palace did when they convinced the Red Devils to splash out £50m on a very limited full-back. Solid enough defensively (mainly when it comes to slide tackling), Wan-Bissaka has always lacked ability in the opposing half, even if Erik ten Hag has improved that aspect of his game.

The funny thing is, Palace didn’t even feel the need to spend money on a replacement. Joel Ward is still rocking up in right-back on a weekly basis and his Premier League career will probably outlive us all.


5) Aston Villa – Jack Grealish (£100m)
Grealish still divides opinion throughout the Villa fan base after he left for Manchester City in 2021. On one hand, he stayed when they were relegated, brought them back up as captain, kept them in the Premier League, and got them a massive fee so he could go and win things with the best team in the world. On the other hand, why was that release clause there in the first place, Jack? Judas!

Any hate is harsh, says someone with no affiliation or feeling towards Aston Villa.

The Grealish funds were not reinvested too wisely. Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey have not impressed and in truth, the 28-year-old has not been directly replaced. What Villa have done well since is buy players in other positions and use their transfer window ambition to appoint a top head coach in Unai Emery.


4) Everton – Romelu Lukaku (£75m)
Everton squeezed every drip of Premier League ability out of Lukaku during his four years at Goodison Park, one of which was as a loanee from Chelsea.

The Toffees didn’t just get the best version of Lukaku we have seen in Our League but they made a huge £44m profit on him. Well done, Everton. You did something right.

READ MORE: Everton: Onana makes top five in ranking of all 27 £10m+ signings made since Moyes left


3) West Ham – Declan Rice (£100m plus £5m in add-ons)
West Ham’s record sale by a long way is the summer departure of Declan Rice, which has made Arsenal a lot better and somehow not made the Hammers worse. James Ward-Prowse has been outstanding and Edson Alvarez looks like a handy addition, while Mohammed Kudus is a great buy with the remaining funds.

They took a while to get going after agreeing a deal with the Gunners but when they did, West Ham replaced their former captain very well.


2) Chelsea – Eden Hazard (£105m)
Hazard had one year left on his Chelsea contract when they sold him to Real Madrid, for whom the Belgian trickster had a torrid time. Need we say more?


1) Liverpool – Philippe Coutinho (£142m)
Coutinho’s fall-off is one of the most dramatic in football. That move to Barcelona absolutely killed his career. It certainly did not kill Liverpool’s hopes of being successful, though.

Jurgen Klopp used the enormous transfer windfall to make his team one of the best in Europe. Virgil van Dijk and Alisson both became affordable after the Reds pulled Barca’s pants down and as they say: the rest is history.