Raheem Sterling & The Most Expensive British Players
17th July 2015
It looked to be the transfer saga that’d rumble on and on seemingly forever this summer, but Raheem Sterling’s short hop from the land of The Beatles to the city of Oasis has just been tied up. The former QPR trainee’s successfully engineered his move to Manchester City, leaving his former club Liverpool £49m richer in the process. City need forward options and homegrown talent, sure – but is nearly £50m too much…? We’ll see.
Sterling becomes the most expensive English player ever with the move, but where does he sit on the list of all-time Most expensive British footballers? Let’s find out, shall we?
#7 £26m – James Milner
Aston Villa to Manchester City, 2010
Never the most eye catching or exciting a footballer, James Milner seems to suffer in his image because of his flexibility and willingness to help out his team. An England semi-regular under Roy Hodgson now, Milner’s a reliable player, we know that now. But five years ago? £26m was a figure that had many football fans laughing. And Villa fans rubbing their hands with glee. But the former Leeds United man ended up being one of Manchester City’s most astute buys.
Worth it? Just about, yeah.
#6 £26m – Wayne Rooney
Everton to Manchester United, 2004
£26m doesn’t seem like a ridiculous figure for a top class player, but eleven years ago, when the Everton trainee Wayne Rooney was just 18 years old, it seemed like a huge risk. Well, to anyone who hadn’t seen the youngster play it was, anyway. Nonetheless, his explosive style, reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne had clubs queuing up to sign him. Newcastle offered £20m – United got their man with an extra £6m. He’s gone from strength to strength, now captaining both Manchester United and England.
Worth it? Big time.
#5 £27m – Luke Shaw
Southampton to Manchester United, 2015
Wayne Rooney used to be the most expensive teenage signing in football history. Until his club decided to break their own record by snapping up Southampton’s fresh English full back, Luke Shaw. Right from under the noses of their Premier League rivals Chelsea too (a scrap which might explain the price to a degree…). Since his arrival though, Shaw’s been beset by injury problems.
Worth it? It remains to be seen, but it’s not looking good.
#4 £30m – Rio Ferdinand
Leeds to Manchester United, 2002
Pick an all-time greatest Premier League XI and chances are you’ll be be slotting this man in alongside John Terry (although don’t expect the pair to get on!). Rio was already an established class act by the time he made it to Old Trafford and went on to make more than 300 appearances for United.
Worth it? Every penny.
#3 £35m – Andy Carroll
Newcastle to Liverpool, 2011
The perma-crocked ponytail-sporting Geordie boy Andy Carroll was, on the face of it, a decent enough signing for Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool. But at the price they paid? Madness. £35m turned out to be, as many suspected it might be, a huge financial boo-boo.
Worth it? Not worth a tenth of the price. Poor Andy.
#2 £49m – Raheem Sterling
Liverpool to Manchester City, 2015
It’s been a stratospheric rise for the wee man. From trainee to debutante to starter to full international capable of commanding £50m transfer fees. Will he go on to become a great? Or will he turn out to be over hyped…?
Worth it? Who knows?
#1 £85.3m – Gareth Bale
Tottenham to Real Madrid, 2013
And, of course, coming in at number one on the list is Welsh Wizard v.2, Gareth Bale. He started off as a left back at Southampton, went on to be a flying winger at Spurs and then became a muscular forward alongside Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu. After a blistering first season though, Bale went on to disappoint last season. The next year is make or break for the Cardiff-born superstar.
Worth it? Nope. Not at that price. Yet.
So while Sterling’s price tag is pretty huge, it’s still a pretty sizeable £36.3m smaller than Gareth Bale’s. Bale’s had an up and down start to his Real career… How will Raheem Sterling’s kick off at City? We can’t wait to find out (but sadly we have to!).