The 2022 summer transfer window was an absolute rollercoaster of a ride. It was packed with dramatic, unexpected moments and A LOT of money was spent. The Premier League clubs spent £1.9bn on transfers – more than the La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga clubs combined.
Transfer records were set.
Teams grossly overspent for players just to get deals done. Chelsea – with the aid of new owners – set a record of spending the most money on transfer fees in transfer window history (£272m). Barcelona spent big on major players when it looked they were riddled with debt. Manchester United also splurged over £200m on six players.
Some transfers were ridiculously expensive and helped players set their own records. Here we look at the top five most expensive transfers of the 2022 window.
Most expensive transfer: Antony to Manchester United (£85.5m)
Manchester United’s transfer saga for Antony was extremely drawn out. The Red Devils chased him for months and at one point looked set to walk away. But then Antony did things to force the transfer, including refusing to report to Ajax’s training sessions and making a public plea for the club to let him leave.
In the end, United relented to pay the gigantic fee demanded by the Dutch side, paying over £85m to reunite the Brazilian winger with Erik ten Hag. In doing so, he has become the third-most expensive signing in United history after Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.
After being bought for such a high amount, expectations are high. He’s scored once in three appearances so far, but must score a lot more to prove worthy of the most expensive signing of the 2022 window.
Wesley Fofana to Chelsea (£72.3m)
Speaking of long dragged-out transfer sagas, Wesley Fofana’s adventure with Chelsea ranks up there as well. Chelsea spent over £150m just on defenders this summer and the highest fee they paid for a single player was the fee they paid for Fofana.
Leicester City was a thorn in their side, refusing to let their star defender leave after a shaky start to the season. But Fofana pushed hard to make his dream a reality, urging the Foxes to let him leave and refusing to play for them.
The deal happened late in the transfer window, but Chelsea got their man for a major fee, though they didn’t have to eclipse the £80m Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire three years ago. Now it’s up to Fofana to prove why he’s one of the most expensive centre-backs around.
Aurelien Tchouameni to Real Madrid (£72m)
Real Madrid had a very interesting summer. Before the window even started, they realized Kylian Mbappe would be staying at PSG and not joining them. Los Blancos were willing to pay Mbpape a fortune to join them as a free agent, but suddenly had all that money available to use on other players.
After winning the La Liga and Champions League titles last season, Carlo Ancelotti saw fit to improve his midfield line. Madrid eyed highly rated French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni as a successor to Casemiro. PSG tried to hijack the move, but Tchouameni’s heart was set on Spain.
Madrid had to shell out a major £72m fee, making him among the most expensive transfers ever. But with Tchouameni already setting in well with the team and even assisting on a goal in the 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid, the investment seems to be paying off.
Darwin Nuñez to Liverpool (£67.5m)
Liverpool had quite the dramatic start to the summer window, with striker Sadio Mane pushing for an exit from the get-go. They ultimately granted him his wish, and he ended up joining Bayern Munich. Suddenly, the Reds required reinforcements in their attacking line.
They acted swiftly, making a move for one of the most highly rated young strikers in European football, Darwin Nuñez. The Uruguayan’s heroics with Benfica last season, for whom he scored 34 times in all competitions, included 6 goals in the Champions League.
But the Portuguese side weren’t selling for cheap. In the end, Liverpool had to pay a whopping £67.5m for the striker – making him one of the most expensive signings of the summer. Nuñez has big shoes to fill but he has had a topsy-turvy to the start to his career at Anfield.
Casemiro to Manchester United (£63.5m)
Manchester United had a very interesting transfer window when it came to pursuing midfielders. They were able to wrap up the free signing of Christian Eriksen relatively early into the window. But Erik ten Hag’s search for a new defensive midfielder dragged on for a long time.
Frenkie de Jong, their priority target, refused to leave Barcelona. This forced United to change directions and sign a huge talent. The Red Devils ended up sealing the stunning acquisition of Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, almost out of nowhere.
They paid a hefty £63m fee for him, making him among the summer’s most expensive signings. So far into his United career, Casemiro has only started one game and been on the bench on a number of occasions as he settles into his new environment.