Most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021

Tue 07 December 2021 | 11:30

Who are on the list of most expensive Ligue 1 transfers of summer 2021? Which clubs have spent the most money in the French top-flight and how much have they spent overall? Follow us below as we take a look at the careers of those amongst the summer 2021 most expensive Ligue 1 signings.

The summer 2021 transfer window was a truly historic one as several world-class players switched clubs all in the same season. It was such a chaotic window that even Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi switched clubs in recent months. Who would have thought that we would one day get to see Lionel Messi don Paris Saint-Germain’s jersey instead of Barcelona’s shirt? While this phenomenon is one of a kind, even fewer people could have guessed that the Argentine wouldn’t be amongst the most expensive signings in any club’s history.

The Ligue 1 has been gaining prominence as one of the top leagues in Europe, despite falling behind the Portuguese league in recent months. More French clubs are setting foot onto the big stage in the Champions League and more money is being spent on signing new players every season. While many might expect Paris Saint-Germain’s new arrivals to swarm the list of

most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021

¸ other clubs have managed to beat the Parisians to the list on most occasions.

Surely you too are eager to find out more about the footballers who have made it to the list of 2021 Ligue 1 summer transfer window most expensive signings by costing their new clubs some hefty fees. So without further ado, read on as we provide all the details you might need to know about these players and their careers so far.

Most expensive Ligue 1 transfers of summer 2021

From Stade Rennais’ four recent signings to Marseille’s new central midfielder and PSG’s most expensive right-back, the summer transfer window saw some great talents switch clubs. Here is everything you need to know about these new arrivals and their performances so far.

Lovro Majer

  • Transfer: Dinamo Zagreb – Stade Rennais

  • Transfer fee: €12M

Stade Rennais

have been on an admirable shopping spree this season and who knows how much they are going to spend in the January transfer window. The money earned from Eduardo Camavinga’s transfer to Real Madrid certainly helped the French club in putting more of their new arrivals on the list of

most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021

as they got to spend more money on better players. One of the club’s newest arrivals is Lovro Majer, who has joined the Ligue 1 side from Dinamo Zagreb for €12 million.

Such figures might not be staggering fees compared to the eye-watering amounts that footballing giants such as

Manchester City

and Manchester United pay to acquire the players they desire, but it is certainly a hefty fee to pay for clubs in Stade Rennais’ magnitude. Whatever the price, Majer is going to be feeling the extra pressure throughout the whole season as he is, after all, one of the most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021. The 23-year-old is an aspiring midfielder and has shown glimpses of his potential throughout the years at his former club Dinamo Zagreb.

The Croatia international was only one game short of making his 100th appearance for Dinamo when the Ligue 1 side came knocking with a bag full of cash. Majer made a total of 99 appearances for his former club and managed to score 19 goals while providing 25 assists in the process, which actually attracted quite a lot of attention towards the young midfielder.

The former Dinamo Zagreb man has already made an impact at his new club, despite having just returned from a hip injury. Majer has provided 2 assists in 7 appearances so far and is certainly eyeing a more successful season with Stade Rennais.

Baptiste Santamaria

  • Transfer: SC Freiburg – Stade Rennais

  • Transfer fee: €14M

As mentioned earlier, Lovro Majer is not the only Stade Rennais arrival on the list of

most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021

, the French club have spent well over €50 million to acquire new players for their new season and it shows how effective spending money can be if it is done right. Baptiste Santamaria another one of the French club’s new arrivals who has made it into the prestigious list with his €14 million transfer fee.

Santamaria initially joined SC Freiburg from SCO


for €10 million in 2020, so he is already familiar with the French league as the Frenchman rose to prominence during his four years at Angers. He went on to make a total of 33 appearances for Freiburg in the single season that he spent with the Bundesliga side and even managed to score a goal to remember the short days.

Being the German club’s main defensive midfielder, Santamaria has now become Stade Rennais’ main man in the middle of the park and has already made more than 15 appearances across all competitions. While being on the list of summer 2021 most expensive Ligue 1 signings adds extra pressure to any player’s professional and personal lives, the France U20 international has managed to cope with the expectations and has helped his side keep several clean sheets in almost all of their wins this season.

The 26-year-old is yet to win a major trophy in his career and with how things ended in the Ligue 1 last season with Lille beating PSG to the championship, anything seems to be possible if everything goes as planned.

Gaetan Laborde

  • Transfer: Montpellier – Rennais

  • Transfer fee: €15M

Who would have thought that it was Rennais who was going to fill the list of

most expensive Ligue 1 transfers of summer 2021

with their new arrivals instead of other clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain or


? Yet another footballer on this list belongs to Les Rouge et Noir as the French side have paid €15 million to acquire him from


. This particular signing is none other than Gaetan Laborde, who had initially joined Montpellier from Bordeaux for €3 million in 2018.

While it took Baptiste Santamaria only a single season to join Rennais, it took Laborde three whole seasons, 118 appearances, 39 goals and 20 assists to convince Rennais to splash €15 million to acquire his services over the summer of 2021. The 27-year-old center-forward is considered to be quite a lethal striker and he has lived up to the billing with his incredible performance so far.

Having played in the Ligue 1 for several years since making his professional debut for Bordeaux, the Frenchman is no stranger to the league, its clubs and their respective players, which gives him an advantage over so many other new arrivals who are not yet familiar with the style of the French top-flight.

Laborde has already managed to score 7 goals while providing an assist in less than 15 appearances for his new side, which shows how much potential the striker actually has. The center-forward has proven to be an effective goal scorer even when deployed on the right wing. This versatility surely helps Bruno Genesio in picking out his starting-XI.

Kamaldeen Sulemana

  • Transfer: Nordsjaelland – Stade Rennais

  • Transfer fee: €15M

Next on the list of

summer 2021 most expensive Ligue 1 signings

is the 19-year-old winger Kamaldeen Sulemana, who is yet another one of Stade Rennais’ recent arrivals. The Ghana international is a true rising star as his market value has skyrocketed in recent months. Having started his professional career in Europe with Nordsjaelland, Sulemana earned his first big-money move in July when he joined Rennais for €15 million.

Before moving to the Ligue 1, the young winger proved himself at his former club with 14 goals and 8 assists in 43 appearances, which shows how much potential he actually has. Sulemana is versatile enough to be deployed on either side of the pitch and has already managed to impress his peers and manager with 5 goals and 2 assists in his first 18 appearances.

As one of the most exciting prospects in the French top-flight, Sulemana is yet to win any major trophies and we are surely going to see him aim for the very top in the near future as he helps his new side challenge for the league title alongside PSG and others.

Calvin Stengs

  • Transfer: AZ Alkmaar – OGC Nice

  • Transfer fee: €15M

After four consecutive Stade Rennais signings, we finally get to see someone who has not joined the Rouge et Noir in the summer. This particular footballer has instead joined

OGC Nice


AZ Alkmaar

for a reported fee of €15 million.

Calvin Stengs joined the Ligue 1 side after putting on an outstanding performance at his former club, for whom he made more than 110 appearances and managed to score 24 goals while providing 24 assists in the process. Stengs is immensely versatile and has the ability to play on either side of the pitch while also pushing forward from the center.

This will certainly give more freedom to Nice manager Christophe Galtier, who has decided to deploy his new signing on both sides to see where he performs the best. The 22-year-old is the future of Dutch football as he is slowly gaining more play time at both club and international levels. Calvin Stengs is yet to reach his 10-game milestone and has only scored once in his first 8 appearances, which is why he needs to find his feet at his new club and settle in further to find a spot in the staring-XI.

The Dutchman’s market value has actually decreased from what it used to be back in 2019, when it was around €20 million. He currently boasts a €15 million market value and we will have to wait and see if he can reach his best once again in the coming months.

Danilo Pereira

  • Transfer: FC Porto – PSG

  • Transfer fee: €16M

Paris Saint-Germain decided to make Danilo Pereira’s loan move permanent after the Guinea-Bissau-born Portuguese midfielder managed to perform well during his loan spell with the Parisians. Pereira’s market value soared through the sky in 2019 thanks to his phenomenal form, but it slowly decreased as the Portugal international failed to keep up with his rising status.

Having joined

FC Porto

from Martimo for €4.5 million in 2015, Pereira turned into the Portuguese side’s main midfielder from the very first season of his stay as he went on to make a total of 202 appearances for Porto, during which he also managed to score 19 goals while providing 8 assists. The defensive midfielder first joined PSG from Porto on a loan deal in 2020 and earned a place amongst the regular starting-XI as he made a total of 42 appearances for the French side in a single season.

Pereira showed his versatility by playing as both a midfielder and a center-back, which convinced the club’s board to sign him from Porto for €16 million. His transfer fee obviously earned Danilo Periera a place on the list of most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021. The 30-year-old has retained his position at

Paris Saint-Germain

as he is still the main midfielder at Parc de Princes.

He lost the chance to win the Ligue 1 title last season as Lille beat them to the championship to everyone’s surprise. Perhaps with arrivals such as Lionel Messi, Gini Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma, Pereira can finally win the league title. Being on the list of 2021 Ligue 1 summer transfer window most expensive signings has attracted more attention towards the Portuguese midfielder and he is certainly loving it.

Loic Bade

  • Transfer: Lens – Stade Rennais

  • Transfer fee: €17M

Next on our list of most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021 is Loic Bade, who joined Stade Rennais from RC Lens as the French club paid €17 million to acquire his services in the recent transfer window. The 21-year-old is quite a tall center-back with his 1.91 meter height. He only spent a single season at Lens as he made a total of 33 appearances for his former side, gaining prominence as an exciting young defender. Bade is yet to make an international appearance and is slowly gaining experience as Rennais’ main center-back.

The Frenchman is the last Rennais signing on this prestigious list. His transfer fee takes the overall amount of money that the Ligue 1 side have spent to bring in the most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021 to a whopping €73 million. While clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona might get to spend double this amount to sign only a single player, such a transfer fee is quite a lot for the less well-endowed clubs.

Bade’s start to the season was quite phenomenal as he got to become his new side’s main center-back for a couple of weeks. But his luck ran out in recent weeks as he lost his place in the starting line-up and went on to spend several weeks on the sidelines.

It seems that Bruno Genesio is slowly getting used to the idea of using Bade once again as he gave the young center-back another chance to prove himself in a 2-0 win over Montpellier. As the French talent stays on the list of

2021 Ligue 1 summer transfer window most expensive signings

, we will have to wait and see how he fares in the coming months.

Myron Boadu

  • Transfer: AZ Alkmaar – Monaco

  • Transfer fee: €17M

Myron Boadu earned his place on the list of most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021   when he switched clubs and joined Monaco from AZ Alkmaar for €17 million. Thankfully for Ligue 1 fans, this particular signing was not made by Stade Rennais, who have been quite brilliant so far in the league thanks to their recent signings. Boadu is a 20-year-old center-forward who was born in and raised in the Netherlands.

The young striker started his professional career at AZ Alkmaar as he rose up the ranks at the club’s youth academy to finally earn his place in the senior squad. Having joined Alkmaar’s main side in 2017, Boadu gradually became a vital part of his parent club as he made more and more appearances as time passed. He went on to make a total of 88 appearances for the Dutch club as he managed to score 38 goals while providing 18 assists in the process.

Perhaps the Dutchman might have to work on his defensive skills and his aggression since he managed to rack up 7 yellow cards and 2 red cards in those 88 appearances. The Netherlands international has already made more than 15 appearances for his new side, but he has not managed to accumulate a significant number of minutes in the process.

He is currently being deployed as a fresh set of lungs in the dying moments of the game instead of being a rather tactical advantage for Monaco. Boadu has managed to bag himself a goal and an assist in his first 15 games for the French side.


  • Transfer: Flamengo – Marseille

  • Transfer fee: €25M

Gerson Santos da Silva, simply known as Gerson, has finally gotten the second chance in Europe that he longed for. The Brazilian first moved to Europe as he joined

AS Roma

from Fluminense for €18.5 million in 2016. His time at the Italian side was short-lived as he failed to earn a spot amongst the regular starting-XI, which led to him spending a season on loan at Fiorentina, for whom he made a total of 40 appearances and proved integral for their plans.

Seeing how he had improved during his loan move, Gerson decided to move back to Brazil to join Flamengo for €13 million in 2019. Returning to his home country was the best decision Gerson could have made as he quickly earned a place amongst the regular starting eleven and went on to make more than 100 appearances in the two years that he spent with the Brazilian side.

The central midfielder also proved to be incredibly versatile throughout the games as he played in a multitude of positions for Flamengo. These performances were more than enough for Marseille to splash €25 million to acquire Gerson’s signature in July, which led to the midfielder joining the elite club of most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021.

The Brazil international’s time at Olympique Marseille has been fine enough so far. The club’s manager Jorge Sampaoli has been experimenting with his new arrival by deploying him in several key positions on the pitch. But perhaps Gerson has shown to be an adept midfielder on the left wing for the time being.

Achraf Hakimi

  • Transfer: Inter – PSG

  • Transfer fee: €60M

Paris Saint-Germain might not have as many players on the list of most expensive Ligue 1 signings of summer 2021 as Stade Rennais, but they certainly have the top spot with a single €60 million signing. The Parisians paid such a hefty fee to bring in Achraf Hakimi from Inter to include the Moroccan defender amongst the most expensive right-backs in the world. Hakimi could have easily become Real Madrid’s main right-back had it not been for the strong presence of Daniel Carvajal.

While the Spaniard thrived at the back, the Morocco international struggled to earn more minutes from his managers during the few months that he spent with Los Blancos. That is why he left the Spanish side on loan to join Borussia Dortmund on a two-year loan deal. Hakimi returned to

Real Madrid

as a new man with great potential and more experience than ever before after making more than 70 appearances for the Bundesliga side, during which he had managed to score 12 goals and provide 17 assists.

These phenomenal stats would have put Achraf Hakimi amongst the best right-backs in the world had it not been for Carvajal’s presence at Real Madrid. Not getting enough game time in the Spanish capital, the young full-back decided to join Inter for a whopping €43 million in 2020 and somehow helped the Italian club end Juventus’ reign over the Serie A. Inter won the famed Scudetto after several years thanks to Hakimi’s heroics as the club’s main right-back.

That is when he attracted quite a lot of attention from top clubs in Europe and earned himself a move to Paris Saint-Germain for a massive €60 million in the summer of 2021. Since joining the Parisians, Hakimi has managed to become his new side’s main right-back and has already made more than 15 appearances across all competitions. He has even managed to accumulate 3 goals and 2 assists during these appearances, which is quite an outstanding record for any right-back.




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