5 Most expensive Bundesliga exports of all time

Manchester City v Sheffield United - Premier League
Manchester City v Sheffield United - Premier League
Sai Teja

The Bundesliga has seen immense success in being able to export their top talents to other leagues in the last few years.

Year on year, clubs from Germany manage to unearth lesser-known talents from various leagues as well as produce some high-profile names through their academies. After giving them a sense of exposure and a respectable amount of experience at a high level, their performances attract interest from top clubs who pay top dollar to sign these players.

This process has served several German top-flight clubs well over the past few decades. In fact, this has even proven to be a great bargaining chip for Bundesliga sides in transfer negotiations as Germany is one of the go-to destinations for young footballers all over the world.

Erling Haaland is a great example of the Bundesliga's record of being able to attract some of the best talents in Europe.

The Norwegian was courted by the likes of Manchester United and Juventus, but he ended up moving to Borussia Dortmund. Haaland has grown into one of the best strikers in the world, and Dortmund are, effectively, a stepping stone in this case as they could sell him for a massive fee either this summer or next.

Similarly, Dortmund signed Jadon Sancho for just under €8m four years ago, and if reports are to be believed, they could be set to make a profit worth nearly tenfold of their investment.

There have been several such cases where German clubs have made incredible profits on talented young players. On that note, here, we take a look at the five biggest exports in Bundesliga history in terms of the transfer fees involved.

#5 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal | €63.75m

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg
Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was one of the final big-name signings made by the legendary Arsene Wenger. Despite his ongoing struggles at the Emirates, the current Gunners skipper is brilliant striker on his day and has a Premier League Golden Boot to his name. Aubameyang also fired Arsenal to the FA Cup under Mikel Arteta, scoring in the semi-final and final of the competition.

The eccentric 31-year-old has scored 64 goals and set up a further 15 in 113 Premier League games since 2017/18, but he enjoyed an even better time in Germany.

Aubameyang scored 98 goals and assisted 22 in just 144 Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund. His overall tally of 141 goals in 213 games for BVB makes him the club's sixth-highest goalscorer in their history. The French-born Gabonese striker enjoyed a surreal time in Germany since moving from St. Etienne and even won the Golden Boot in 2016/17 with 31 goals.

#4 Christian Pulisic | Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea | €64m

Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League Group A
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League Group A

Next up is Chelsea's tricky forward Christian Pulisic, who completed his move to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2019. The American international is one of the most exciting young wingers in England, and while he still hasn't been at his very best at Chelsea, his talent is there for the world to see. He's been involved in 20 Premier League goals in 51 games for Chelsea so far.

Currently playing alongside a group of mighty talented attackers, Pulisic has found it hard to seal his place as a starter. However, he proved his worth to the Blues with an incredible display in the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, scoring and assisting across both legs.

Prior to signing for the west London giants, Pulisic spent three years of his professional career at the Westfalenstadion after joining as a youth player. Pulisic scored 13 Bundesliga goals and registered 18 assists during his time with Borussia Dortmund.

Also read: Premier League 2020-21: Final Golden Boot, most assists, and Golden Glove standings after Matchday 38

#3 Kevin De Bruyne | Wolfsburg to Manchester City |


Arsenal v VfL Wolfsburg - Emirates Cup
Arsenal v VfL Wolfsburg - Emirates Cup

Kevin De Bruyne's purchase from Wolfsburg could possibly go down as the Cityzens' and possibly one of the Premier League's most influential transfers of all time. The mercurial Belgian is one of the best players in the world and has played an instrumental role in their success under Pep Guardiola, helping them win three Premier League titles in the last four campaigns.

De Bruyne was shipped to the Bundesliga after an unsuccessful spell at Stamford Bridge. The midfielder established himself as one of the hottest properties in Europe, with a couple of brilliant seasons in the Bundesliga. He scored 23 and assisted 36 goals in 84 Bundesliga games before sealing a big-money move to City in 2015, and there was no looking back for him ever since.

He went on to become one of the central figures in one of the most star-studded squads in football and fired them to numerous honours, including a first-ever UEFA Champions League final. De Bruyne registered 41 goals and 78 assists in 179 Premier League appearances for City.

#2 Kai Havertz | Bayer 04 Leverkusen to Chelsea |


Chelsea v Fulham - Premier League
Chelsea v Fulham - Premier League

Kai Havertz's blockbuster move to Chelsea is the most recent addition to this list. The German superstar ended his ten-year stay at the BayArena in the summer of 2020 to join fellow Bundesliga export Timo Werner at Stamford Bridge. Much like Pulisic, Havertz is yet to fully adapt to life at Chelsea and nail down a starting berth for himself at Chelsea.

That being said, there is no denying that Havertz is one of the most unique top-tier talents in Europe. Capable of playing as an inside forward, false nine, out wide or even deeper in midfield, he provides his coaches with several options from a tactical viewpoint. Thomas Tuchel branded him a 'hybrid', a player with 'unlimited talent' whose jurisdiction lies between a pure number nine and number ten.

The 21-year-old came through the ranks at Leverkusen and was regarded as an exciting talent from very early on, and reached the 100-game mark quicker than anyone in Bundesliga history. Havertz registered 36 goals and 25 assists in his 118 German top-flight games before moving to Chelsea.

#1 Ousmane Dembele | Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona |


Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League

Borussia Dortmund have made more than their fair share of outrageous profits over the last decade or so, but their sale of Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona is a cut above the rest. BVB paid just €15m to sign the exciting young Frenchman from Stade Rennais in 2016, and he had an excellent campaign in Germany, scoring ten goals and setting up a further 22 in 50 games across all competitions.

Following Neymar's world record €222m sale to Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona were in the market for a new forward and earmarked Dembele as his replacement. Dortmund capitalised on the situation and dug in their heels during negotiations with the Blaugrana. The end result was Barcelona signing the then-20-year-old in a record-breaking €135m deal, making him their most expensive purchase ever.

This also saw Dembele become the most expensive export made in Bundesliga history, smashing the record held by De Bruyne's transfer to City. The move has been, so far, an ill-fated one as Dembele went on to miss a staggering 86 games via injury at the Nou Camp, translating to over 500 days on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Dembele's replacement and heir to BVB's number seven shirt, Jadon Sancho, is currently one of the hottest prospects in football and could be sold for upwards of €80m this summer. They bought the Englishman for roughly €8 in 2017. Borussia Dortmund are, simply put, one of the shrewdest clubs in the transfer market.

Also read: Top 5 goalscorers in La Liga this season (2020-21)

Edited by Sai Teja


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