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The 5 most expensive defenders of all time

Rushabh Shah
Top 5 / Top 10

United snapped up Harry Maguire for a whopping amount of money
United snapped up Harry Maguire for a whopping amount of money

Up until a few years ago, every summer compilation list of the most expensive football transfers during the off-season boasted of strikers or midfielders.

Defenders would barely make it to the list. However, as the years passed by, football has also evolved.

The owners have realized that defence is as integral to winning matches as the attack. We now see owners, not flinching before shelling out money over £50 million on defenders.

Manchester City, in particular, has set the trend with signing deals involving top defenders at unbelievable fees. Since then, European giants have also not shied away from breaking the bank to secure the signature of top defenders. Here's a list of the most expensive defenders in the history of football.

Honorable mentions

While these were the top five most expensive defenders in the history of football, 2019 has been a bountiful year for defenders in general with two major signings just missing the cut.

Real Madrid splashed out £42.7 million on 21-year old Éder Militão from Porto while Manchester United signed the captivating youngster Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for £50 million.

#5 Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City, 2018)

Aymeric Laporte joined Etihad in the winter of 2018
Aymeric Laporte joined Etihad in the winter of 2018

Transfer fee: £57 million


Pep Guardiola, on his quest to make Manchester City one of the best teams in the world, added another weapon to his army of defenders by signing Aymeric Laporte in the closing stages of the January transfer window last year. 

Laporte had become a regular at Athletic Bilbao under Ernesto Valverde due to his spectacular performances at the back. Reports suggested that he rejected a move to Manchester City in 2016.

Concern about Vincent Kompany's injury led Guardiola to believe there's a need for one more center-back and hence, he shelled out £57m - a record for both the clubs.

Laporte scored three goals, assisted three goals and made 121 clearances in 44 matches that he played for City since joining in January 2018.

With such a strong line-up at the back, City managed to concede only 23 goals with 20 clean sheets in the Premier League 2018-19 season. 

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