Bundesliga Most Expensive Signings Ever
This time we take a look at the Germany to see who are Bundesliga most expensive signings ever?!
As we are taking a look at the top 5 leagues in Europe to see how the money being injected into clubs is being spent on transfers, this time we head to Germany to see who are
Bundesliga most expensive signings ever
. As always we try to give a bit of context about the particular transfers that are on this list and the parties involved in the transfer.
Anyone familiar with the Bundesliga is aware of Bayern Munich’s looming shadow over the league, both on the pitch and in the financial side of football, and as the strongest team in both fields, Bayern Munich has naturally the biggest share in the big money transfers that happen in the league, especially the purchases. So now let’s see who actually made it onto our list:
Most Expensive Bundesliga Transfers of All Time
It’s interesting but somewhat unsurprising to learn that 9 of the 10 most expensive Bundesliga transfers of all time are players who went to Bayern Munich, so let’s see who they are:
10. Renato Sanches
We start our list of
Bundesliga most expensive transfers ever
with the 2016 Golden Boy winner, Renato Sanches. The Portuguese youngster’s transfer from Benfica to Bayern Munich is easily the worst flop on our list, even though he had a great potential and still does as he is finding his feet again in France. The transfer that happened after his Euro winning performances in 2016 was just not a great fit for him or the club.
Renato Sanches, who did not even play for a full season at Benfica’s first team, joined Bayern Munich after winning the 2016 Euro with his country at the age of only 19. A lot of the big European clubs were after him and all was going well, but the fact that recruiting players after a tournament could be a mistake was proven again as a barely developed Renato Sanches joined one of the biggest teams in football. The demands of that transfer and Sanches’ own attitude soon proved to be his downfall.
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In his 3 full seasons atBayern Munich
, one of which was spent out on loan at Swansea,Sanches
failed to make himself a prime candidate for the starting eleven and started very few games. His attitude to improve was sorely lacking and although he had a relative great period in the 2018-19 season, he did not do enough to justify his
price tag which made him one of the Bundesliga most expensive signings ever. Bayern did however sell him at the start of last season toLille
for €25 million and recovered some of their loss, and Sanches himself seems to be finding his form again, which is a win for both parties.
9. Mats Hummels
You would think Bayern and Dortmund being rivals prevents them from trading players, but if there is one player that proves that wrong its Mats Hummels. The experienced center back has spent his entire footballing career at Bayern or Dortmund and in several periods. This particular transfer is however from 2016 when he was at the peak of his career and Bayern made him one of the most expensive Bundesliga signings ever.
is a product of Bayern Munich’s own youth academy but he did not get his chance in the first team back in 2007 so he was sent out on loan to Dortmund to gain more experience, a loan move he made permanent. He thrived atDortmund
, becoming one of the best center backs of his generation so Bayern Munich, in their signature move, decided to bring the best player from one of their rivals, significantly making them weaker and themselves stronger.
So Bayern Munich decided to pay Borussia Dortmund
to make Mats Hummels one of Bundesliga most expensive signings ever and bring him to Allianz Arena. Hummels’ stay at Bayern was full of success but also injuries as well, as the defender lost almost 10 Bundesliga games every season. Some might say that he could’ve been more successful at Bayern but 3 Bundesliga titles and a DFB Pokal in 3 seasons with Bayern Munich is just undeniably good.
Although he fell out of the favor of Bayern’s hierarchy in the end and had to leave the club at the start of the last season, once again returning to Dortmund where he seems to be having a great time, despite missing out on Bayern Munich’s Treble last season!
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8. Benjamin Pavard
The 2018 World Cup winner and right-back extraordinaire is one of the newer most expensive signings in Bundesliga history. Pavard has had an interesting development journey as he started his career in Lille’s academy, a club which is known for finding and nurturing young talent, and he then found his way toStuttart
who at the time were in 2. Bundesliga. He helped them win a promotion to Bundesliga and his performances in the 2017-18 season earned him a spot on France’s World Cup squad.
From 2. Bundesliga to World Cup player in a couple of years seemed like a dream and forPavard
it even got better as France’s first choice right back he helped them lift the trophy, even scoring the goal of the tournament against Argentina. So naturally a lot of teams were interested in the Frenchman but even back then there were whispers that he could be joining Bayern Munich but not immediately.
And sure thing that was what happened as Bayern Munich paid Stuttgart
to bring Pavard to Allianz Arena. Therefore, Pavard became one of
Bundesliga most expensive signings ever
. He achieved massive success in his first season at the club in the 2019-20 season as Bayern enjoyed their second Treble in their history, with Pavard playing a big rold, scoing 5 goals in 32 Bundesliga games. Pavard, who may be one of the best right-backs in the world right now, has settled well in Bayern and seems to have a bright future ahead of him.
7. Mario Gotze
The man with the 2014 World Cup winning goal, Mario Gotze, is the 7th
most expensive signings in Bundesliga history
. His time at Bayern, like many players on this list was short, mostly because of a condition he was diagnosed much later in his career, but he played some of the best football of his career at Bayern. Just like Hummels, Gotze also moved from Dortmund to Bayern and he eventually ended up going back to Dortmund.
After winning 1 DFB Pokal and 2 Bundesliga titles with Dortmund, Gotze joined Bayern in 2013 and immediately hit the ground running, as he scored 15 goals in all competitions, both in his debut season and in his second season, with a World Cup medal in between the two seasons. But as he seemed to be in the peak of his career, fitness problems hit him and therefore he received much less game time in his third and final season at Bayern Munich.
Nonetheless, after being transferred to Bayern from Dortmund for a fee of
and carrying the label of being one of Bundesliga most expensive signings ever, Gotze did perform to his best when he was fit and helped Bayern, win 3 Bundesliga trophies, 2 DFB Pokals and a FIFA Club World Cup, so he did not exactly flop at Bayern, but he did not fulfill his great potential either because of his supposed condition (myopathy) which hindered his fitness. Although Bayern fans will undoubtedly remember him fondly.
6. Arturo Vidal
The Chilean has had a nomadic career, playing for many different great teams throughout his career, but perhaps some of his best footballing years were spent at Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich made him one of Bundesliga all-time most expensive signings and persuaded him to leave the Italian champions Juventus.
, who had just spent very successful 4 years atJuventus
, winning 4 Serie A titles and a Coppa Italia, transferred to Bayern in the summer of 2015. Although at Juventus he enjoyed a more attacking role, due to his ability to play any central midfield role, he was deployed in more defensive positions. He featured heavily in the first team all the three season he was at Bayern Munich, with him only failing to make 40+ appearances in his final season which ended with an injury that would be the end of his Bayern Munich career.
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Vidal featured in 124 games for Bayern Munich and scored 22 goals for the Bavarians, helping them lift 3 Bundesliga titles and a DFB Pokal. Vidal’s
million price tag and the fact that he is one of Bundesliga most expensive transfers ever may go unnoticed, considering his strong performances at Bayern and the fact that they made some of that money back by agreeing to Vidal’s transfer toBarcelona
. All in all, this transfer was entirely good business for Bayern Munich and Arturo Vidal.
5. Javi Martinez
Javi Martinez is perhaps one of the most underrated players of the last decade, being one of the most decorated players of all-time, having won 8 Bundesliga titles, 2 Champions Leagues (both Trebles), 5 DFB Pokals, 1 FIFA Club World Cup with Bayern Munich and with his national team Spain, 1 World Cup and a 1 Euro Championships in 2010 and 2012 respectively. It’s entirely reasonable for such a player to be amongst Bundesliga most expensive signings ever.
Javi Martinez has worked under 4 different managers at Bayern Munich with drastic differences in their style of football but he was trusted by all of them, which speaks volumes about his quality as a player and his consistency on the pitch, although he is prone to injury and seems to pick up a serious one practically every season but when he is fit no one can question his dedication and his level of performances, either as a defensive midfielder or even a center back, both positions he excels at.
Martinez, who is currently spending his 9th and what appears to be his last season at Bayern Munich, has 253 appearances for Bayern and has scored 14 goals. with his longevity at the club and the aforementioned success he’s had at the club, it’s hard to argue that the price of €40 million that Bayern Munich paidAthletic Bilbao
in 2012, which at the time was
Bundesliga highest transfer fee paid ever
, was not worth it, as Bayern has gotten their money’s worth of a player and then some. So Martinez may very well be the best transfer on our list as well as being the most decorated player here.
4. Corentin Tolisso
Another World Cup winner on our list of
Bundesliga all-time most expensive signings
is the midfielderCorentin Tolisso
, who joined Bayern Munich from Lyon in 2017. He was part of a greatLyon
team that included the likes of Nabil Fekir and Alexander Lacazette and with Lyon’s chairman Michel Aulas being notoriously hard to negotiate with, Tolisso’s price was not something to scoff at.
Tolisso’s first season at Bayern may have been his best, since he played quite regularly that season and didn’t have a serious injury. He ended the season with 10 goals in all competitions, went to the World Cup with France, won the tournament and was generally having the best time of his life until the 3rd week of the 2018-19 season when he ruptured a cruciate ligament and lost the rest of the season altogether.
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In his absence, the emergence of Leon Goretzka has made it more difficult for him to get back to the first team, but Tolisso seemed to have a great season last year, especially in the Champions League, as he helped Bayern win the Treble. His
transfer fee which makes it one of Bundesliga highest transfer fee paid ever, seemed like a risk back when Bayern acquired him in 2017 and to be honest it hasn’t panned out the way Tolisso or Bayern wanted, but he seems to be having fun playing under Bayern’s new manager Hansi Flick so we’ll have to wait and see what happens this season.
3. Julian Draxler
The only transfer in amongst the
most expensive Bundesliga signings ever
is the transfer ofJulian Draxler
. In fact, this is a transfer many forget ever existed, at least both Wolfsburg and Draxler would like to forget it happened since the transfer did not bear any fruit for any of the parties involved, except Schalke who at the time sold one of their academy players for a considerable sum.
Back in 2014-15 season, VfL Wolfsburg were on a bit of a great run as they had just ended their campaign being 2nd in the Bundesliga and had qualified for the Champions League, so it was natural to bring reinforcements and who better to bring than one of Bundesliga’s great players, Julian Draxler. So when Draxler came in he did not need that much adjusting and ended the season with 8 goals and 7 assists, which is not a bad number for a winger/attacking midfielder like him but nonetheless he was criticized for his performances a bit
Draxler, who had just joined Wolfsburg from Schalke a season before in a deal that was worth
and made him one of Bundesliga most expensive signings ever, announced in the summer of 2016 that he would like to leave the club, so naturally when he wasn’t sold in the summer, the fans started booing him and his performances worsened, until he was sold to PSG in the January of that year. All in all this could be regarded as the worst big money flop in Bundesliga, one that everyone seems to have forgotten about!
2. Leroy Sane
Leroy Sane shows that either you join Bayern Munich when you are just a breakout star in another Bundesliga team or you develop long enough elsewhere to see yourself join Bayern eventually. But all the jokes aside, Bayern pursued Sane for a few seasons actually, and they eventually agreed a deal with Manchester city last season that made Sane one of
Bundesliga most expensive transfers ever
After making a name for himself at Schalke 04, Sane made an unexpected move to the Premier League, a move that not many Bundesliga stars make, but it turned out well enough for him, since under Pep Guardiola, Sane seemed to thrive and develop even further, becoming one of the best wingers of this current generation of players, a winger who also excelled at scoring other than having blistering pace and creative vision on the pitch.
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Even back when he was at Schalke 04, Bayern Munich were monitoring his situation and were interested in him, so it wasn’t a surprise when they inquired about him last summer, but Manchester City was not keen on a deal. It didn’t matter though as Sane had his ACL torn and became injured for the majority of the season, at the end of whichSane
decided not to extend his contract and therefore leftManchester City
after winning 2 EPL titles, 2 League Cups and an FA Cup for a fee of
which made him one of Bundesliga most expensive signings ever, now he only has to perform to what is expected of him to prove why he is worth that much.
1. Lucas Hernandez
The 2nd most expensive defender of all time is a heavy title to carry butLucas Hernandez
seems more than capable of handling it. The World Cup winner arrived at Bayern Munich last year, coming fromAtletico Madrid
in a transfer fee that was Bundesliga highest transfer fee paid ever. Hernandez came with huge expectations but his first season was somewhat of a disappointment, for him personally and not for Bayern as they won the Treble.
So you would think that being a World Cup winner and one of the most expensive players ever gives someone a right to play in any team regularly. Enter Alphonso Davies, as the Canadian youngster stole the spotlight from Hernandez and most of his team-mates and became the breakout star of last season therefore limiting Hernandez’ playing time significantly as the two vied for the same position. So Hernandez did not get to play all that much in his first season, although he did miss almost half the season because of various injuries.
However, Hernandez seems to have started his second season at Bayern strongly as he has gained his fitness and place in the starting line-up. He seems determined to justify his
price tag and above all develop further as a player and become the best at his position. As far as him being
Bundesliga most expensive signings ever
, since the gap between him and most players on this list seems quite significant, it’s unlikely that his record will be broken soon, unless a world-class player arrives at Bundesliga.
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