€650m worth of players signed by Premier League sides over the last three seasons were only used in 50% or less of the total minutes of their club’s season, according to the latest Soccerex Transfer Review by Prime Time Sport.
Manchester United (€161m) and Tottenham (€138m) topped the list of players that failed to succeed, spending a combined €300m on 12 players. Manchester City (€73m), Liverpool (€69m), Arsenal (€47m) and Chelsea (€45m) also spent highly on players who failed to deliver.
Former Manchester United midfielder Ángel Di María (€75m) tops the list as the biggest disappointment of the last three seasons while Marouane Fellaini (€32m) sits second.
Alexis Sanchez was the most profitable signing last season in Europe (playing 86% of minutes), followed by Lukaku, David Luiz and James Rodríguez. Herrera, Di Maria and Shaw (injured) played just 55%, 48% and 33% of the minutes respectively.
The Premier League stayed as the driving force of European football by again surpassing €1billion in players spending, which is up 14% on last year and sets another record high spend. Serie A is also back in the top 2 with €579m spent on squad renovation. All leagues (except France’s Ligue 1) hit record high investment figures.
Manchester City spent the highest amount of the summer across Europe (€200m) after their release from the Financial Fair Play limitations. Manchester rivals United were second, spending another €140m (adding to €196m spent last year).
Madrid and Barcelona lead the way on Most Expensive Transfers Ever
EIGHT of the top ten most expensive transfers ever made were completed by Real Madrid (5) or FC Barcelona (3).
Kevin De Bruyne becomes the fifth most expensive signing in football history and puts Manchester City in the top 10 for the first time.
However, splashing out on expensive new players does not guarantee immediate pitch success. Only five out of the ten highest summer expenditures resulted in League or Champions League success.
England Dominates Second Division Spending
The Championship also saw the biggest expenditure by country for second division leagues. English Championship sides invested a massive €137m. That was four times more than 2nd Bundesliga (€35m), Serie B (€20m), Liga Adelante (€5m) and Ligue 2(€1m)
Strong TV income for all Premier League teams also resulted in strong purchasing power even for promoted teams. Watford (€47m) spent more than every other promoted team combined in the other European leagues.
Homegrown Talent Prices Climb
Premier League sides hunting for English talent has resulted in the average cost of homegrown players climbing to €6,7m – the highest amount ever (+67% on last year’s average).
Manchester City’s capture of Raheem Sterling stands out as the most expensive English player ever in the Premier League (€60m).
Tottenham have taken over from Manchester United as the side with the most home grown players in first team squad (6). However, the Premier League continues to have the lowest number of national players (just 32%). On the opposite side, Spanish La Liga has the highest (58%).
The Premier League teams have invested €1billion in foreign players in this period. A massive 86% of the total spent is on foreign talent – the highest amount ever.
Other key stats revealed in the review include:
• Premier League or La Liga sides were involved in 9 out of 10 of the most expensive signings
• Real Madrid continue to be the team with the highest accumulated investment during the last 7 years. Manchester City sit in second.
• AS Monaco were the European leader in player sales income with a whopping €160m – the highest amount in football history.
• Everton are again named the most stable squad of the EPL (players stayed 3.6 years in the team on average).