Want to know who Napoli’s all-time most expensive signings are? How about how much they have cost the Italian side? Follow us below as we rank and analyze the performance of some of the Most expensive signings in Napoli history.
There are a few football clubs out there, that despite their relatively less successful history, have been able to place themselves in almost every football fan’s memory, being known by almost everyone in the world of football. To reach such a status might take years, or it might even happen overnight. One such club that has always been a respected and formidable side, is the Italian club,Napoli
, who have usually played an effective role in Italy’s top-flight.
Many might believe that Napoli’s international fame began to rise after they managed to sign the late Diego Maradona from Barcelona for a then world record fee of about £7 million, which was only one of the world records the Argentine legend had broken throughout his career. Although Maradona might once have been at the top of the list of
Most expensive Napoli transfers of all time
, times have changed since then and clubs have to pay at least six or seven times more to bring in a proper talent.
It might be interesting to know that the Serie A side have been on quite a shopping spree lately, as not only all of the Most expensive Napoli signings ever have joined the club in the last decade, but also most of them have signed for ‘Gli Azzurri’ in the past couple of years. They have in fact spent more than a staggering €300 million to sign new players and strengthen their team by giving more depth to the squad.
If you too are curious to see who has been able to surpass Diego Maradona’s feats, then read on as we introduce some of Napoli most expensive signings ever. Here is a shortlist of all the players for your convenience:
Stanislav Lobotka - €20M
Nikola Maksimovic - €21M
Simone Verdi - €24.5M
Alex Meret - €26M
Fabian Ruiz - €30M
Arkadiusz Milik - €32M
Konstantinos Manolas - €36M
Hirving Lozano - €38M
Gonzalo Higuain - €39M
Victor Osimhen - €70M
Which of these players do you believe were worth the amount of money spent on finalizing their contracts? Let us have a brief look at how
Napoli’s all-time most expensive signings
have fared since joining The Parthenopeans.
Transfer fee: €20M
For those of you who do not watch theSerie A
that often, Satnislav Lobotka is a 26-year-old Slovakian defensive midfielder, who used to play for theLa Liga
side, Celta Vigo, before becoming one of the
Most expensive signings in Napoli history
after his €20 million worth move in the January transfer window of 2020. The Slovakia born midfielder actually admitted that the reason behind his move to Napoli was the lack of success his former club Celta Vigo had, as he was looking to play for a side with more European opportunities.
Lobotka has joined Napoli fairly recently, which might make evaluating his form at the club quite difficult for any pundit. Although he has been able to make a total of 24 appearances in almost a year, the Slovakian has not yet been able to find his feet at his new club. Of course that does not suggest that Lobotka has not been an effective enough player for Napoli, as the club have won most of the games at which the Slovakia international has played.
It is also interesting to see that the midfielder’s transfer market value used to be less than a million Euros not too long ago in 2017, when he signed forCelta Vigo
for €5 million and continued improving his game at the Spanish side. His transfer value has actually dropped considerably since becoming one of Napoli most expensive signings ever. We will have to wait and see how things pan out for the Slovakian defensive midfielder.
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Transfer fee: €21M
Even though Nikola Maksimovic came to Serie A with a lot of promise as he became one of the
Most expensive Napoli signings ever
, the first couple of seasons did not go as planned for the Serbian center-back. A year after permanently joining Napoli from Torino for a reported fee of €21 million, Maksimovic was loaned out toSpartak Moscow
in 2018 due to the lack of games with the Italian club.
The 29-year-old Serbia international went on to make a total of 11 appearances for the Russian side, as he managed to help the team keep a clean sheet in 4 of those matches. His loan spell at Russia, while rather short, did in fact help Maksimovic improve his game even further. Now that he is once again back at his own club, he has been able to rack up more games under his belt than he used to, but there is still a long way to go as other clubs are also interested in acquiring his services as a free agent.
His current contract with Napoli is bound to end in a couple of months and clubs such as Inter andAC Milan
are said to be planning on persuading the Serbian into joining them as the next step in his career. Although Nikolai Maksimovic’s name is on the list of Napoli highest transfer fee paid ever and he has helped his side win the 2019/20 Copa Italia, the future seems to be uncertain as the center-back could decide to leave and try his chances at another club.
Transfer fee: €24.5M
Next on our list of
Napoli most expensive signings ever
is the 28-year-old versatile attacking midfielder, Simone Verdi, who joined The Blues in 2018 for a reported fee of €24.5 million, but has since left for Torino after spending a year on loan with the club. It is in fact quite curious to see that the Italian footballer has spent a major part of his career, if not most of it, on loan at various clubs across Italy and even atSD Eibar
You might also like to know that Verdi was actually a Torino player during the early days of his career, as he was loaned out to several clubs, including Juve Stabia, Empoli and Carpi. Of course we are not here to talk about his days at other clubs, as we focus on his performance at Napoli. Simone Verdi completed one of Napoli most expensive transfers ever in 2018 by moving to the club fromBologna
Unfortunately for the player, his time with the two-time Italian champions was cut short due to injuries, which kept him on the sidelines for quite a while, and his poor form during the days that he was not injured. In fact, Verdi only managed to make 24 appearances and play about 800 minutes for his club, before being loaned out to his former team,Torino
, who finally opted to sign the Italian midfielder on a permanent deal for €20 million in 2020.
Transfer fee: €26M
Even though Alex Meret dons the number 1 shirt at his current club as one of
Napoli most expensive signings ever
, he has not been able to become the absolute dominating goalkeeper of the team since his move away fromUdinese Calcio
in 2018. Meret spent a season on loan at Napoli before finally making his move permanent in 2019 for reportedly €26 million and currently shares his spot with the 32-year-old Colombian goalkeeper, David Ospina, as Gennaro Gattuso usually opts for a rotational selection.
The 23-year-old Italian goalkeeper actually experienced a raise in his market value thanks to a number of impressive performances, which saw his value soar up to €40 million. It has, however, seen a drop to about €25 million, as Inter are also said to be eyeing to sign Meret from Napoli. It might be interesting to follow his games and see if he could ever become the absolute first-choice in the eyes of his team’s manager.
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Transfer fee: €30M
Next on our list of Most expensive Napoli transfers of all time, is Fabian Ruiz, who has lately become an up and coming central midfielder in Europe, with a number of the world’s top teams believed to be planning on signing the Spaniard. As a Real Betis academy graduate, Fabian started his senior career with Betis’ senior squad in 2016 and was quickly sent on loan toElche
in order to have more game time.
Upon his return, the talented midfielder gained prominence after becoming a regular starter atReal Betis
, thanks to his immense abilities and the amount of effort he put in week in week out. He finally completed one of
Napoli most expensive transfers ever
by moving to Serie A for a reported fee of €30 million in 2018.
Fabian Ruiz has been on phenomenal form since his move to Napoli, as not only has he become a regular starter at one of the best clubs in Italy, but he has also seen quite a big rise in his transfer market value, which has reached up to €50 million. He has already been able to make 97 appearances for the club even scoring 11 goals and providing a further 10 assists in the process.
The Spaniard’s outstanding performance has caught the eye of some of the big clubs in Europe, with Everton,Barcelona
rumored to be pursuing Ruiz’s signature to strengthen their squads by bringing in one of the finer young talents of Spain’s new generation of footballers. Of course the 24-year-old midfielder seems to be quite content at Napoli, as he has spoken to the media about not thinking of a possible move to any other club.
Transfer fee: €32M
Next on our list of
Napoli most expensive signings ever
, is Arkadiusz Milik, who first entered Europe’s elite stage by moving toBayer Leverkusen
in 2013. His time at Bayer Leverkusen did not go as expected, however, as he was loaned out to Augsburg, another Bundesliga team, after which he moved on another loan spell to Ajax. Milik managed to impress during his loan at the Eredivisie side, which persuaded the club’s board to make his move permanent, as they signed the Polish center-forward almost €3 million in 2015.
Ajax are known for their ability in finding the diamonds in the rough. Milik managed to turn his two-year stay in the Netherlands into a phenomenal season, where he got to score an amazing 47 goals and provide 21 assists in a total of 76 appearances across all competitions, which resulted in a massive rise in his market value. The then 22-year-old center-forward was sold to Napoli for €32 million only a year after moving toAjax
on a permanent deal.
Even though the now 26-year-old forward has not repeated his previous feats at Napoli since his move in 2016, he has still been able to score 48 goals while providing 5 assists in 122 appearances. Milik’s less of an impressive performance inSerie A
might have something to do with his constant injuries that have sidelined him for a while here and there.
Of course he is still good enough for other top clubs in Europe to have an eye on him. The Polish forward’s name is on the list of
Napoli highest transfer fee paid
ever after all, as many believe he has proved his worth through the years.
Transfer fee: €36M
Better known for his time atAS Roma
, Konstantinos ‘Kostas’ Manolas became one of Napoli most expensive signings ever after switching clubs in 2019 for a reported fee of €36 million. During his time Roma, the Greek center-back got to make more than 200 appearances for the Serie A side over the course of five seasons, after which he was sold to Napoli in 2019 as the Blues aimed to pair the Greece international with their highly praised center-back, Kalidou Koulibaly.
Since his move to the club where the legendary Diego Maradona spent his prime years, Kostas Manolas has already been able to help his team win the Copa Italia, which is the first trophy he has actually gotten in Italy, as his other trophies were won in Greece withOlympiacos
and AEK Athens. Overall, as one of Napoli most expensive signings ever, the 29-year-old center-back has made 42 appearances, while even scoring 4 goals during the process.
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Transfer fee: €38M
Hirving Lozano seems to be one of the brighter talents of the new generation of footballers, as he has already played forPSV Eindhoven
and Napoli, arguably two the better teams in Europe. While at PSV, the Mexican winger helped his team to win the league in the 2017/18 season, while scoring an outstanding 40 goals and providing 23 assists in 79 games. Not only did Lozano’s performance catch the eye of several top clubs in Europe, but it also caught the Late Maradona’s attention.
The Argentine legend and the Mexican youngster seem to have had a special relationship, as it was in fact Diego Maradona who called Napoli and brought Lozano to their attention, leading to the club finally signing the winger for a reported fee of €38 million in 2019. With such a hefty price tag, Lozano’s name was quickly put on the list ofNapoli
most expensive signings ever, as the Argentinian former footballer saw so much of himself in the youngster, who seemed to have the same energy as him.
In fact, the relationship between the two was so special, that Lozano dedicated his latest goal to Maradona, who had helped secure a move to Napoli, which might have actually set the young winger’s career on course towards more success. Getting back to the matter at hand, since becoming one of Napoli most expensive signings ever, Lozano has made a total of 45 appearances, playing either on the wings or as a center-forward, scoring 10 goals in the process.
With a large portion of the season to go, we shall have to wait and see if the Mexico international manages to live up to Maradona’s expectations or not. Even though Lozano has not been as prolific as his spell at PSV, he has still been able to put on an impressive show at Napoli, as he seems to improve his game every week, hoping to play forBarcelona
Transfer fee: €39M
Next on our list of Napoli most expensive signings ever is Gonzalo Higuain, who has played for some of the best clubs in the world throughout his career. Starting his journey at River Plate, the Argentinian striker quickly moved to Real Madrid in the 2007 winter transfer window for €12 million. While he spent the first season trying to adjust to his new club, Higuain soon became lethal striker in front of goal as he scored more than 20 goals in La Liga almost every season.
It was in 2013 that the Serie A side announced the signing of Gonzalo Higuain fromReal Madrid
for a reported transfer fee of €39 million, which then put him on top of the list of Napoli most expensive signings ever. The Argentine’s time at Napoli was probably his best and most prolific years, as he managed to score an outstanding 91 goals and provide 26 assists in 146 appearances across all competitions.
He was truly worth every penny spent on bringing him to the club. Unfortunately for Napoli fans, Higuain later decided to join Juventus for €90 million, which was in fact his downfall as he was loaned out to clubs such as AC Milan andChelsea
after Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, while finally moving to the MLS side,Inter Miami
, on a free transfer.
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Transfer fee: €70M
Imagine playing less than a hundred games throughout your whole career, but somehow being able to already become one of Napoli most expensive signings ever by moving from the Ligue 1 side,LOSC Lille
to Napoli for reportedly a staggering €70 million. The Nigerian center forward has just recently joined his current team and might need a bit more time to settle in and realize his true potential.
These past few weeks have indicated a bright future for 21-year-old striker, as he has already managed to find the back of the net twice. However, we will have to wait and see how he fares at his new club from now on, as it is too early to give a verdict on his performance at Napoli. Of course one thing is for sure, and that is the fact that not every 21-year-old could have the experience of playing for clubs such asWolfsburg
, Lille and Napoli, which shows that he does possess the qualities required for future success.
That ends our list of most expensive signings in the Italian side’s history, but surely with such a highly inflated market, breaking these records will not take long, with younger and maybe better talents waiting to join a club with such a rich history in the near future.