Liverpool broke the bank last week to make Brazilian international Alisson Becker the most expensive goalkeeper of all time.
The former Roma man made the switch to Anfield in a deal that could be worth up to £65m, surpassing the record that Gianluigi Buffon had held for 17 years.
Indeed, the deal also represents the second position for which Liverpool now hold a record signing, following the £75m purchase of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton earlier this year.
But how do the two names above compare with other most expensive signings in world football, and how much have the recent splurges changed the face of the footballing landscape compared to even last year or the year before?
Alisson Becker – £65m (Roma – Liverpool, 2018). Liverpool have put an end to what has been a problem position for some time now with the £56m signing of Alisson, which could rise to £65m in add-ons. The Brazilian shot to prominence with Roma last season, and Liverpool had been tracking him for a number of months.
Kyle Walker – £50m (Tottenham Hotspur – Manchester City, 2017). City had to come in with a huge offer for Walker for Spurs to even consider selling – £50m fell under that category. That said, the England international had a wonderful first season at the Etihad, and has been worth the investment.
Virgil van Dijk – £75m (Southampton – Liverpool), 2018). With relations somewhat frosty between Liverpool and Southampton, the Reds had to make a gargantuan offer to the Saints in order to tempt them into selling their star defender last January. That said, his performances since joining Liverpool have largely been tremendous.
Aymeric Laporte – £57m (Athletic Bilbao – Manchester City, 2018). A player that Pep Guardiola had been tracking for some time, Laporte had to wait until his injury problems were fully behind him before getting his move to England. A decent first-half season, followed, but there is surely much more to come from the 24-year-old.
Benjamin Mendy – £52m (Monaco – Manchester City, 2017). The £52m fee was, reportedly, Monaco’s reaction to Kyle Walker’s price tag – if they can afford to spend that much on a right-back, they could do the same with the left. Mendy’s first-year was severely disrupted by injury, but his place in France’s World Cup squad has suggested that he is ready to kick on next year.
Paul Pogba – £89m (Juventus – Manchester United, 2016). Man United caused a massive stir when they smashed their transfer record to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford in 2016. Whether it has proven to be a success is still up in the air but there have certainly been more good performances than bad over the past two seasons.
Kevin De Bruyne – £55m (Wolfsburg – Manchester City, 2015). Accusations of overspending were rife when Man City paid £55m to bring De Bruyne back to the Premier League in 2015, but the Belgian international’s performances – last season in particular – have singled him out as one of the best players in the country.
Philippe Coutinho – £142m (Liverpool – Barcelona, 2018). Coutinho finally got his wish to join Barcelona midway through last season, in a deal that suited all parties given the astronomical fee involved. The playmaker made an encouraging start to his Barca career, and will be hoping to kick on even more this season.
Ousmane Dembele – £133m (Borussia Dortmund – Barcelona, 2017). With the Neymar money burning a hole in their pockets and Liverpool playing hardball with Coutinho, Barca turned to Dortmund’s French forward for an initial £95m that could rise much higher in add-ons. Despite the fee, however, Dembele is still yet to fully convince in a Barca shirt.
Kylian Mbappe – £160m (Monaco – Paris Saint-Germain, 2018). The undisputed golden boy of French football following the World Cup, Mbappe still has some way to go to fully justify his fee – but at just 19 years of age, the forward has plenty of time on his side.
Neymar – £198m (Barcelona – Paris Saint-Germain, 2017). A true statement of intent by PSG, the world-record signing of Neymar was supposed to propel the French giants to the top of the European ladder. That hasn’t quite been the case and, despite a solid first season, those Real Madrid rumours just refuse to go away.