Everybody loves a new signing in soccer, but they don’t always work out. There’s something very exciting about your team spending a lot of money on a potential superstar. But finding a hidden gem is also deeply satisfying. So today, we’re going to take a look at every Premier League team’s transfer of the last decade.
Some of them will be obvious, while others definitely have more competition. We’ve considered value for money, their output on the pitch and the length of time they’ve spent at the club. One thing that’s for certain – some clubs are much better at signing players than others. Check out the list below. Enjoy!
Arsenal -Laurent Koscielny
The 2010s were not good to Arsenal, who spent most of the decade desperately treading water. That proved to be unsustainable as they got even worse under Unai Emery. Their transfer policy has also been all over the place, with only Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez truly representing good business.
We’re going with Koscielny here because Arsenal’s defensive record without him is deplorable. The Frenchman was a rock at the back for the Gunners. Calm, composed and tough, Koscielny left the club under bad circumstances, but he still hasn’t been replaced. Without him, the fall would have been even quicker.
This Scottish maestro arrived at Villa Park from Hibernia for about $3 million in 2018. Now Villa is asking for $55 million from potential suitors. In short, that should tell you all you need to know about McGinn’s influence in claret and blue because he’s been nothing short of magnificent.
After suffering their first relegation from the Premier League, Villa was in desperate need of a tenacious midfielder with an eye for goal. That’s exactly what they have in McGinn. His determination on the pitch has made him a popular fan-favorite. McGinn’s highlight moment was scoring the winner in the Playoff Final.
One of the biggest bargains on this list, Fraser arrived from Aberdeen for a mere $500,000. On the face of it, this was a tremendous piece of business for the Cherries. The Scotland international is a very effective winger, who is also capable of dropping back into defense.
Described as a power dynamo, Fraser’s squat frame gives him excellent ball control. Furthermore, he’s remarkably robust and is able to deal with tough challenges from opposition players. Finally, he is very good at producing assists. Liverpool and Arsenal are reportedly considering a swoop for the forward.
Murray is the first of two unfashionable strikers on this list. But Brighton fans adore him for his commitment and goalscoring exploits. Despite numerous attempts to bring in a younger pair of legs, they’ve kept going back to the veteran forward. That’s a testament to his professionalism.
The 36-year-old is actually in his second spell at the club following his return in 2016. Murray has blasted in 48 goals for the Seagulls. That’s an outstanding return considering his age. Although he’s starting to slow down, Murray is still a massive fan favorite at Amex Stadium.
Barnes truly looks like a builder, not a soccer player. His sturdy, broad build looks more suited to lugging hefty bags of concrete. But instead, he spends his days attacking the best defenses in the Premier League. Since his arrival in 2014 for a mere $1.5 million, he’s been nothing but consistent for Burnley.
What’s more, is that he epitomizes the way Burnley plays. Barnes is physical by nature and that fits in perfectly with his manager Sean Dyche’s vision of the game. He’s not the most prolific scorer, with 41 goals in 184 appearances for the side, but he’s definitely a workhorse. They appreciate that at Turf Moor.
One of the few genuinely elite players to star in the Premier League over the past 10 years, Hazard was a true tour de force for Chelsea. On his best days, he was untouchable. The Belgian arrived from Lille in 2012 and stayed at Stamford Bridge for an electrifying seven years.
Possessing mesmerizing pace and technical ability, Hazard’s low center of gravity made it impossible for opposition defenders to handle him. The Belgian international scored 85 goals during his time in blue. Finally, he moved to Real Madrid for $60 million. They definitely miss him.
Zaha endured a miserable time at Old Trafford under David Moyes before returning to Selhurst Park where his career began. Instead of losing all of his confidence, the return to his roots reinvigorated him. Now he’s one of the most dangerous attacking players outside of the elite clubs today.
The Ivorian international’s speed and trickery have made him one of the most fouled players in the league. Will a Champion’s League take a chance on him? Zaha’s blinding skill makes him one of the most sought-after players in soccer. You can’t imagine him playing for Palace forever.
Everton made a $30 million profit when they sold Gueye to PSG. That sounds amazing on paper but the problem is that they haven’t replaced him properly. The Toffees are only realizing how important he was to them now. Gueye was a key cog in their engine room and in short, a diamond of a midfielder.
Comparisons to N’Golo Kante automatically arise. Gueye is also an effective shield in front of his defense and tough in the tackle. Furthermore, he’s highly intelligent and capable of a defense-splitting pass. Now playing in France, he’s already one of the first names on the team sheet at the Parc des Princes.
Vardy’s story is worthy of a movie. After rising from non-league obscurity he became the face of Leicester’s glorious Premier League title win in 2016. The former England international is still in remarkable condition and scoring goals for fun despite his age. In short, for Leicester, this has been the Vardy decade.
Possessing a searing pace and a vicious right foot, Vardy’s goal record is remarkable. In the 2015–16 Premier League season, he scored in 11 consecutive Premier League matches, a domestic record. Vardy is ridiculously prolific and looks like he’s going to keep on firing Leicester up the table. All that for $1.3 million.
When Van Dijk arrived at Liverpool for a world-record breaking $80 million, people were balking. But the Dutch defender has proven to be worth every cent. In short, his charisma and fortitude have helped strengthen the Reds as no other player has in the last ten years. He is a gamechanger.
The proof is in the results. First of all, they won the Champion’s League, then the Super Cup, and finally, the Club World Cup. A first Premier League title looks inevitable. Liverpool’s business has generally been excellent since Jurgen Klopp arrived. An honorable mention goes to free agent James Milner.
Silva was one of City’s first signings of the decade. The Spaniard is a strong, effective player. He’s capable of operating in the hole behind the strikers or on the wings. In short, his signing proved that City was serious about bridging the gap between the elite and the rest.
During his time at the Etihad, Silva has won an astounding 11 trophies, including four Premier League titles. Furthermore, his skill and sublime talents on the pitch have led to fans calling him Merlin. Arguably he’s been even more valuable than Sergio Aguero because he’s been undroppable.
It’s remarkable to think now that De Gea was a weak link when he first arrived at Old Trafford. But as he grew, his body filled out and suddenly, United had one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The decade hasn’t been good to the Red Devils, but De Gea remains the best business they’ve achieved in the past 10 years.
With 102 clean sheets in 296 games, De Gea is a very safe pair of hands. He has excellent reflexes and is also exceptionally agile. Furthermore, the Spaniard uses futsal techniques to improve his all-round game. He often makes unorthodox saves with his feet. To sum up, he’s a beacon of light for United.
This France international was a genuine class act. Alongside Cheick Tiote he was one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. This finally saw him get a move to Paris Saint-Germain. Despite his diminutive stature, Cabaye was very strong in the tackle and difficult to bully on the field.
Cabaye’s passing range was exceptional during his days a St. James’s Park. He also had an eye for goals, scoring several long-range screamers during his time in black and white. To sum up, he’s probably the last truly elite player to star for the Magpies. It could be a long time until they sign another one.
First of all, Pukki was definitely a bargain. The Finnish international arrived at Carrow Road on a free transfer. That’s proven to be an inspired bit of business because he’s been banging in the goals for club and country ever since. Remarkably, his career was uninspiring up until this point.
But Pukki has blasted his country to their first-ever major tournament. Meanwhile, he was the main man during the Canaries’ promotion quest in 2018/19. Now he’s still popping in the goals in the Premier League. Norwich hasn’t had a player like him for a long time.
Definitely not the most fashionable name on this list, Egan has nonetheless been fantastic for the Blades. The Republic of Ireland defender is calm and composed in possession. Furthermore, he’s excellent at reading the game. He’s one of the first names on Chris Wilder’s teamsheet.
Egan arrived at Bramall Lane for a then-club record fee of $5 million from Brentford. Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength and has been a massive part of their successful maiden season back in the Premier League. A move to a bigger side could be on the cards for Egan.
Mane has developed into one of the world’s best players at Liverpool. But Southampton were the first beneficiaries of his prodigious talent in the Premier League. The 2019 African Player of the Year is a mesmerizing attacker. On his day, he’s simply unplayable and lit up St. Mary’s during his time on the south coast.
He only spent two seasons in Southampton colors but is the most exciting attacker they’ve had in the past decade. That convinced Liverpool to part with $45 million and bring him to Anfield where he’s got even better. Another current Liverpool man, Virgil Van Dijk, could have gotten this spot too.
South Korea’s Son is a brilliant and underrated player. Two-footed and fast, he’s like few other players in the league. He’s also apparently tireless and capable of operating as a lone striker when necessary. Since arriving at Spurs, he has scored 47 goals. But it’s his all-around game that makes him so valuable.
That’s why he arrived at White Hart Lane for a world record fee for an Asian player. Son has become a fan-favorite for his work ethic and his class. The Korean captain is one of the few Spurs players who would walk into any team in the country. A truly brilliant signing and a fantastic player.
Watford are one of the flakiest teams in the world. They chop and change managers like they’re going out of fashion. But Deeney has been their one beacon of consistency. The striker arrived in 2010 and has been present in their starting lineup ever since. He spent some brief time in prison at the start of the decade. However, he’s a different man now.
Deeney is Watford. The captain adds steel to his side and is a real handful for defenses due to his physicality and aerial ability. He’s scored 117 goals since 2020 for the Hornets and is still their most important signing. The Birmingham native is also arguably the best striker to play in the championship in the last decade.
We almost went for Dimitri Payet here, but the way the Frenchman left the club has eliminated him from the discussion. Instead, we’ve gone with Fabianski. The Polish goalkeeper was a canny signing from relegated Swansea in 2017. In short, it’s one of the few times that West Ham has made a good decision.
West Ham suffered after Fabianski’s injury in 2019. Roberto came in but it quickly became clear that the Spaniard just wasn’t good enough. When you have a player that consistent, it’s often easy to overlook their ability. But this Polish goalkeeper is definitely one of the best in the division.
This Mexican international came from nowhere to suddenly become one of the best forwards in the Premier League. Jimenez leads the line for Wolves and is now a cult hero. With 34 goals in 77 games, he’s a fantastic striker. Those figures don’t tell the full story either.
It’s his all-around play that makes him so important to this Wolves side. He can play the role of a target man, bringing other attackers into dangerous areas. Of course, he also offers an individual goal threat but his work rate and other strengths combine to make him a complete striker.