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Most expensive Premier League right-backs

Thu 11 November 2021 | 5:30

Who are the top 10 most valuable right-backs in the Premier League that have cost their clubs the most money? Which club has spent the most on signing the best right-backs in the world? Follow us below as we take a look at some of the most expensive Premier League right-backs in history.

Football has changed a lot throughout the years and full-backs have evolved into complete players with the ability to run up and down the pitch using their incredible stamina and pace. That is why top clubs in Europe and especially the Premier League spend top-money to sign world-class left- and right-backs to add more depth to their squads.

From Daniel Carvajal to Cafu and Lillian Thuram, there have been some great right-backs in history. But few have gotten to play in the Premier League and even fewer have managed to make it into the list of

most expensive Premier League right-backs

.

There have been some exciting talents in recent years who have managed to gain global attention for their performances in the English top-flight and we are here to delve deeper into the careers some of these players have had so far and see why their respective clubs have opted to splash the cash and pay millions of Euros to sign them. If you too are eager to know more about the most expensive Premier League right-backs, then read on as we provide detailed information about these remarkable players.

Top 10 most valuable right-backs in the Premier League

From Manchester City’s magnificent right-back duo of Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker, to Chelsea’s impressive signings all those years ago, there are some big names on this prestigious list and we are about to go through ten of these amazing and talented players in history.

Ricardo Pereira

  • Transfer: FC Porto – Leicester City

  • Transfer fee: €22M

Leicester City

shocked the world by achieving the impossible and winning the Premier League against all odds. Since then, the Foxes have gained both financial and commercial boosts to their image and have managed to sign more and better players since becoming the champions of England. That is why they had the resources to bring in one of the

most expensive Premier League right-backs

in 2018 as they signed Ricardo Pereira from FC Porto.

The immensely versatile defender is an absolute gem of a right-back for the Premier League side as he has enabled his club to deploy him on both flanks whenever the need arises. While the Portuguese defender used to be the main choice in his two first seasons at Leicester City, he has faced some serious competition in recent months. However, having arrived from FC Porto for €22 million, the 28-year-old is more than capable of showing his true potential once again.

Pereira has already got himself 2 assists in 6 appearances this season and can prove to be an efficient defender on the right side of the field. Versatility is often a rare quality and that shows how useful the Portugal international can be in certain situations as he can even play as a second striker if the need arises.

The former Porto man has made more than 95 appearances for Leicester City over the years and has managed to make his mark as a lethal offensive defender with 6 goals and 14 assists. Perhaps if it weren’t for his injury last season, he might have been an even more crucial player for the Foxes right now. All things aside, it is going to take English clubs some hefty amounts of money to replace Pereira with their own players on the list of most expensive Premier League right-backs.

Davide Zappacosta

  • Transfer: Torino – Chelsea

  • Transfer fee: €25M

Being one of the

top

10 most valuable right-backs in the Premier League

certainly doesn’t mean that you are going to have it easy and are destined for greatness at a great English club. This was the fate of a certain Italian defender named Davide Zappacosta, who joined Chelsea from Torino for a massive €25 million in 2017, but failed to live up to the billing as he was rarely used by the London-based club.

Zappacosta managed to attract quite a lot of attention for his performance in the Serie A as he made a total of 58 appearances for Torino and went on to score 2 goals and provide 6 assists while also cementing the club’s defense in great fashion. That is why Chelsea opted to sign the immensely versatile right-back almost four years ago.

Most

Chelsea

supporters expected Zappacosta to succeed with the Blues as he had the makings of a great right-back, but everything went downhill for the Italian defender as he was shunned away by the club after only making an impact during his first season.

Zappacosta went on to spend his time out on loan at clubs such as

AS Roma

and Genoa before finally deciding to move on and join Atalanta in the summer of 2021. He joined the Serie A side for €9 million, which is not that impressive considering the fact that his €25-million move to Chelsea put him on the list of most expensive Premier League right-backs.

Serge Aurier

  • Transfer: PSG – Tottenham

  • Transfer fee: €25M

Serge Aurier used to be an incredible player back in the days when he played for Toulouse. His performance during those days was the reason why

Paris Saint-Germain

paid €10 million to acquire his services in the 2014-15 season. Aurier is certainly good enough to deserve the captain’s armband at the Ivory Coast national team, which is why

Tottenham

opted to pay €25 million to sign him 2017 as they were aware of the superb performances the Ivorian was putting-in in Ligue 1.

Having won numerous major trophies with the Parisians, many expected Serge Aurier to repeat his successful business with Tottenham as well, but it did not go the way he or his supporters expected. Even though the former PSG man was delivering some fine performances at the London-based club, it just simply wasn’t meant to be as he suffered several injuries during his stay in England and the competition was getting more and more intense as a young Kyle Walker was setting foot onto the big stage as the next best right-back in the Premier League.

Tottenham and Aurier announced their mutual contract termination on 31 August 2021 as the Ivorian became a free agent after spending three years at the English club. He made a total of 110 appearances for the Lilywhites and even managed to score 8 goals and provide 17 assists in the process. Having joined Villarreal as a free agent on 4 October 2021, Aurier is still remembered as one of the

most expensive Premier League right-backs

thanks to his €25 million transfer fee.

Emerson Royal

  • Transfer: Barcelona – Tottenham

  • Transfer fee: €25M

The way that

Barcelona

handled Emerson Royal was simply preposterous and ludicrous and even offensive to both the player and his supporters all around the world. As a talented right-back, Emerson made the worst mistake of his life and decided to embark on a journey to La Liga, where he would be co-owned by Real Betis and Barcelona.

Having spent two promising seasons at Real Betis, Barcelona paid an additional €14 million to get exclusive rights to the player as the Brazilian believed he was on the verge of greatness by joining one of the most historically rich clubs in the world. But all his dreams were crushed when the Blaugrana decided to cash-in on the player as they quite mercilessly put him up for a transfer and received a bid from Tottenham in the 2021 summer transfer window.

Even though Emerson did not get to have a bright future at Barcelona, he still got to be one of the most expensive Premier League right-backs thanks to the London-based club paying €25 million to acquire his services. The former Atletico Miniero right-back is only 22 years old and has already been through a lot in his life. He is slowly settling down and adapting to things in England and has made over 5 appearances for Tottenham so far.

We will have to wait and see if he manages to finally realize his full potential and become one of the best in the business, or if he is going to be a mere shadow of his former self and only carry the burden of being one of the most expensive Premier League right-backs.

Danilo

  • Transfer: Real Madrid – Manchester City

  • Transfer fee: €30M

Few players can say that they have had the privilege of playing for world-class clubs such as Santos FC,

Porto

,

Real Madrid

, Manchester City and Juventus all during their career. That is what makes Danilo a special case as he is one of those few players. The Brazil international managed to impress the world with his performance at FC Porto, where he made a total of 140 appearances and even managed to bag himself 12 goals and 16 assists in the process.

This incredible run of form resulted in the Brazilian signing for Real Madrid in 2015, when Los Blancos paid a whopping €31.5 million to acquire his services from the Portuguese side. Danilo got mixed reviews during his stay at Real Madrid since he was quite an adept attacker, but lacked the defensive strength that the Spanish giants needed and perhaps still lack to this day.

The former Porto right-back only lasted two seasons at Real Madrid as he opted to join Manchester City for almost the same price in 2017, which also put him on the list of most expensive right-backs in the Premier League.

He went on to become one of the most vital players at Manchester City before Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo’s arrival, which put a damper on his way towards greatness at the English club as he was sold to Juventus in 2019. Danilo managed to win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, two League Cups and the Community Shield with City, adding numerous trophies to his already packed trophy cabinet.

Juan Cuadrado

  • Transfer: Fiorentina – Chelsea

  • Transfer fee: €31M

With immense versatility and an incredibly high work-rate, Juan Cuadrado came to England to become one of the five most expensive right-backs in Premier League history. He joined Chelsea from

Fiorentina

for an eye-watering €31 million in 2015 after impressing everyone with his performances in the Serie A. While everyone expected the Colombian to be a vital part of the Chelsea squad ever since his arrival, Cuadrado was quickly shunned away by the Blues as he never really got the chance to shine for Chelsea with his phenomenal versatility.

He only went on to make a total of 15 appearances for the Premier League side as he spent the rest of his contract time out on loan at

Juventus

, where he managed to find his feet and play a key role in the club’s success in the mid-2010s. Cuadrado spent several seasons out on loan at Juventus as he gained the club’s trust and the fans’ respect in the Serie A, which resulted in the Bianconeri making his move permanent in 2017 by signing him from Chelsea for €20 million.

Even though the Colombia international did not get to have his legendary career at Chelsea, he still managed to put his name on the list of most expensive right-backs in the English top-flight with his transfer fee. He has since made more than 200 appearances for his current club and has managed to score 20 goals and provide more than 50 assists in the process as well.

Nelson Semedo

  • Transfer: Barcelona – Wolves

  • Transfer fee: €32M

Just like how Emerson Royal was treated by Barcelona, Nelson Semedo was also a victim of the Catalan club’s bad management as they promised gold and glory to the Portuguese right-back, but let him go after they felt no need for the talented player. Semedo impressed everyone with his incredible potential at Benfica right after he graduated from the club’s reserves and joined their senior side in 2015.

It didn’t take him long to attract a lot of attention from other big clubs as he quickly joined Barcelona for a massive fee of €35 million in 2017. Semedo’s spell at Barcelona was actually not bad at all as he went on to become the club’s main right-back for the entire three seasons that he was in Spain and even managed to score 2 goals and provide 11 assists in a total of 124 appearances for the Blaugrana.

But it was crystal clear that Ronald Koeman had no plans for the exciting prospect as he put him up for a transfer and clubs soon came calling. The Portugal international soon joined

Wolverhampton Wanderers

for €32 million in 2020, despite having a market value of over €40 million, which shows what a bargain he was for the Premier League side.

Of course his market value has dropped drastically since then and is now around €28 million. The 27-year-old has once again proven that he is in fact first-team material and has already played in more than 40 games for Wolverhampton across all competitions.

Kyle Walker

  • Transfer: Tottenham – Manchester City

  • Transfer fee: €52M

We simply can’t talk about the

five most expensive right-backs in Premier League history

and not mention Kyle Walker, who managed to prove Tottenham wrong by further improving his game after joining Manchester City in the 2017-18 season. Walker began his illustrious career at Sheffield United and went on to gain experience playing out on loan at Northampton before joining Tottenham in 2009. The London-based club also sent him on loan to his former club and other teams such as QPR and

Aston Villa

.

The boy from Sheffield went away and returned a man to Tottenham with the aim of proving himself as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and prove he did. Walker became one of his former club’s most vital players and went on to make a total of 229 appearances throughout the years, scoring 4 goals and providing 21 assists in the process as well.

The Englishman’s brilliant record at the back was too good to deny, which is why

Manchester City

decided to pay a whopping €52 million to acquire his services back in 2017 when he was at the peak of his career. The now 31-year-old has since helped Pep Guardiola’s side win three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, four English League Cups and two Community Shields. The former Sheffield United man is on his way towards making his 200th appearance for Manchester City, during which he has scored 6 goals and provided 15 assists.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

  • Transfer: Crystal Palace – Manchester United

  • Transfer fee: €55M

Manchester United

’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka is amongst the five most expensive right-backs in Premier League history thanks to the amount of money United paid to acquire his services in 2019. Wan-Bissaka arrived at the Theater of Dreams with much criticism surrounding his performance as a mere 19-year-old. Many believed that he was simply not up to the club’s standards and that the Red Devils had paid a ridiculous amount of money to get their hands a mediocre talent at best.

That is actually what many still believe to this day, even though the Englishman has more than proven his worth at his club. Wan-Bissaka made a total of 46 appearances for Crystal Palace before making his first and currently only big-money move in 2019. Since then, the right-back has put in all his energy towards becoming the main man in his position and he has successfully managed to do that.

He has already made more than 100 appearances for Manchester United and has proven himself to be a worthy candidate to become one of the club’s regulars for seasons to come. Even though United have been conceding terrible goals lately, Wan-Bissaka is still considered to be a top talent at the club and we will have to wait and see how things turn out for him and if he is ever going to win a major trophy with United. Being one of the most expensive right-backs in the history of the Premier League might not be that satisfying if the young footballer does not get to make his international appearance and win a major trophy after all these years at Manchester United.

Joao Cancelo

  • Transfer: Juventus – Manchester City

  • Transfer fee: €65M

Imagine having one of the best right-backs in the world and you suddenly think: I need another world-class right-back in my squad. That is exactly what went on inside Pep Guardiola’s head as he was looking for ways to spend all that money that the club had to spend. That’s why he convinced Manchester City’s board of directors that he needs to sign Joao Cancelo from Juventus at any cost and the Serie A side clearly took their chance to earn some good money from the Portuguese right-backs sale.

The Cityzens paid an eye-watering €65 million to sign Cancelo from Juventus in 2019, despite the fact that the Portugal international had just joined Juventus from Valencia for €40 million the prior season. The immensely versatile defender only got to make 34 appearances for the Bianconeri before moving to Manchester City to share the spot as the club’s main right-back with Kyle Walker. Thanks to his incredible versatility, Pep Guardiola is able to deploy Cancelo even together with Walker as he can simply move Cancelo a little forward and play Walker deeper inside their own line.

He can even do the same thing vice versa as the two are compatible enough to switch places together. Perhaps we might have to wait a little while to see someone take Joao Cancelo’s place as the most expensive right-back in Premier League history as few clubs are willing to pay such exorbitant amounts of money to sign midfielders or even forwards, let alone defenders. The 27-year-old is yet to make his 100th appearance for the Cityzens, but has already managed to become one of the key parts in his manager’s squad.

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