Home Premier League Big-money defensive signings have become key to Premier League teams’ success

Big-money defensive signings have become key to Premier League teams’ success


Premier League clubs spending large sums of money on world-class defenders was something of a taboo over the last two decades in England.

Forwards became priority transfers for Premier League sides, who wouldn’t see skilful defenders as the players who could help them take a step forward, but their transfer policies seem to have changed over the last few years.

Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have all spent big money in the acquisition of talented defenders and their bets have already paid dividends.

Eight out of the ten most expensive defensive signings in history have been made by Premier League sides.

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Ferdinand and Guardiola’s influence
As many as 15 years had to pass from Rio Ferdinand’s move from Leeds to Manchester United back in 2002/03, for a Premier League to break the record set by the Red Devils with Virgil van Dijk’s move to Liverpool.

Following Pep Guardiola’s appointment at Manchester City, the Catalan coach identified the Sky Blues’ vulnerability in defence and decided to invest over 400 million euros in defenders over the last few years.

Guardiola has spent 235.6 million euros on centre-backs during his time at Manchester City, with his latest signing, Ruben Dias, standing out last season and winning the Premier League Player of the Year award.

Van Dijk, Maguire and Arsenal’s target
When back in 2017/18 Liverpool decided to break the world transfer record for a defender by luring Virgil van Dijk out of Southampton, many eyebrows were raised due to the fee the Reds spent to sign the Dutchman.

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At that point, not many would have thought that Liverpool brought in the player who instantly became their leader on the pitch and inspired them to a Champions League title and their first Premier League triumph in 30 years.

To understand what Van Dijk means to Liverpool, one can just take a look at the team’s form before his injury last season and what happened next.

Following in Liverpool’s steps, Manchester United paid Leicester City a world-record fee for a defender to acquire the services of Harry Maguire, who has since become a vital cog for both the Red Devils and the English national team.

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Meanwhile Arsenal, a team which has been blamed over the last decade for their instability in defence, seem willing to do something similar and bet on a quality defender by signing Ben White from Brighton in exchange for more than 55m euros and make him the latest big-money defensive signing in the Premier League.

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