Top 10 most expensive signings by Premier League sides
With Paul Pogba inching ever closer to a €120million blockbuster move to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United revolution, the Premier League’s gigantic €6.9 billion TV deal is already showing its incredible, unstoppable pulling power. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich & Paris St-Germain have all been pursuing the jewel from Juventus, but super-agent Mino Raiola and his man are about to seal the deal that will shatter the British and global transfer record.
In fact, some might say it’s only the beginning as Leicester City’s incredible title win last season only boosts the Premier League’s popularity around the globe. The twists and turns of the most-watched league on the planet don’t only happen on the pitch; the drama in the conference room, the touchline tantrums and managerial merry-go-round all add to the Premier League’s fantasy-like attraction.
More than anything, the Premier League’s big-money signings in summer & winter are always a sign of its rude health. Now, as we watch all the major summer transfers unfold, is a perfect time to go back to the days when the Premier League transfer record was smashed. Will it be done again this season? Mr. Paul Pogba, it’s your call!
10 . Juan Mata (from Chelsea to Manchester United 2013/2014) – €44.7 million
They have unthinkably been reunited at Manchester United, but for Jose Mourinho & Juan Mata, it will not all be hugs and kisses. Back at the start of the 2013/2014 season, everything seemed rosy for both parties. Juan Mata had just won the Chelsea Player of the Year award for a second consecutive time – and it was just as well-deserved as the first.
He’d become a key part of the Chelsea side that won 2 European titles in two years, sweeping in the corner for Drogba’s equalizer in Munich (2012) & Ivanovic’s injury-time winner in Amsterdam (2013). He had scored 32 goals and made over 50 assists in his 2 years there, becoming Chelsea’s widely-loved “Johnny Kills” – one of their best No.10s ever.
On the other side was the returning hero, Jose Mourinho. After the dire football and vociferous reaction from the fans in the terraces at the unjust sacking of legendary footballer and European Cup-winning manager Roberto Di Matteo and the appointment of ex-Liverpool Rafael Benitez, this was the signing to unite everyone.
With so much unfinished business from his first stint and a dire time at Real Madrid, he’d gone back to his home. The media nicknamed him “The Happy One”, a play on his former moniker “The Special One”. Everyone did seem quite happy at that point.
Although Mourinho stated how much he liked Brazilian youngster Oscar, nobody could have imagined how things would pan out. In the football Jose Mourinho wanted his Chelsea team to play, Juan Mata was the odd man out. Despite his 4-dimensional vision, incredible skill, and deadly set-pieces, he was not the hardworking box-to-box No10 hybrid Mourinho wanted.
Simultaneously, Oscar’s hard running, clever passing, and impressive tenacity won him a starting spot. Things came to boil at the St. Mary’s Stadium when Chelsea were struggling against Mauricio Pochettino’s strong Southampton side.
Juan Mata was far from the worst player on the pitch, but after about an hour of play Mourinho had seen enough. He brought the diminutive Spaniard off, and he could not hide his frustration, clearly protesting the decision on the substitutes bench. Oscar came on in his place, and within minutes Chelsea were 3-0 up.
It was a damning moment for Mata’s Chelsea career and despite Mourinho stating that he wanted Mata to stay, he was moved on to Moyes’ Manchester United in January for an enormous €44.7 million.
His time there has yielded a series of mixed reviews. Despite his eagerness to involve himself in their football, he has been played in the same wide position that saw him register the most average performances in his career. In Moyes’ team, he was an alright part of a very mediocre outfit.
In Van Gaal’s United, he scored and assisted more but couldn’t nail down a consistent starting XI spot as players were played out of position and in an uncomfortable system. Despite posting 26 goals and over 20 assists in 104 appearances, his only truly splendid moment came with a brace at Anfield (including a terrific bicycle kick). Now, he’s back with the man who didn’t trust him to lead his Chelsea side. Will it be different this time round?