Paul Pogba cost Manchester United a reported £89m—a new world transfer record that speaks to ridiculous money being earned and spent by the world’s biggest soccer clubs. For perspective, £89m is currently $115 million according to the day’s exchange rates. While that’s not enough to buy an MLS franchise anymore, it is an insane amount of money to spend on one player.
Pogba returns to Manchester after several years developing into a world class midfielder at Juventus. He’s big, strong, fast, has excellent technique, sees the game well, and may one day actually measure up to the insane amount of money the Red Devils are paying to get him at the age of 23. At the very least, United is selling a lot of shirts with the name “Pogba” on the back to offset the expenditure.
While United is breaking records because they can, the rest of the Premier League is doing a decidedly different sort of business. Some clubs—the Chelseas, Liverpool, and Man Cities of the world—are still spending vast amounts of money. None is putting as much into one player as United is into Pogba, but that doesn’t mean they’re spending cheap (or wisely for that matter).
Even further down the ladder, everyone else is making due with players who, at least compared to Pogba, might count as bargains. To illustrate just how out-of-control the fee for Pogba is, we’ve put together a list of seven incoming transfers—all of them the most expensive purchase from outside of Britain made by their respective clubs—who roughly total to the cost of one Paul Pogba. Keep in mind that the amounts that even smaller Premier League clubs are spending is well above what their contemporaries across Europe can afford. Such is the power of the Prem and it’s massive, massive (did we say “massive”?) television rights fees.
1 of 7
Steve Mandanda (Marseille £1.5m)
This is where Crystal Palace live when it comes to transfers--paying a million and a half pounds for France's backup goalkeeper. Mandanda won't be a starter in London, either, with Wayne Hennessey installed as the number one.
2 of 7
Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, £18m)
The defending champs were never going to be big spenders in the transfer market, and were more concerned with holding onto the stars that won them a title. But for a reasonable fee of 18m they picked up Musa, a Nigerian goalscorer of immense talent.
3 of 7
Marten De Roon (Atalanta, £12m)
Borough's top incoming foreign transfer is a tough-tackling Dutchman who should fit right in at a club that will need to play strong defensive football if they're to stay up.
4 of 7
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Bayern Munich, £12m)
Southampton went the young-and-promising route with their big expenditure, snagging Hojbjerg from Bayern Munich. Only 20, the midfield talent was once a favorite of Pep Guardiola in Germany.
5 of 7
Borja Baston (Atletico Madrid, £15.5m)
While Man United was setting world transfer records at nearly £90m, Swansea was setting a club record with the signing of 23-year old Borja from Atleti.
6 of 7
Vincent Janssen (AZ Alkmaar, £18.5m)
Janssen is the latest of the Eredivisie's top scorers to make his way to England via a big money transfer. There's a bit of a romance about Janssen's story--in 2014/15, he was playing in the Dutch second division.
7 of 7
Isaac Success (Granada, £12m)
The Nigerian Success not only possesses a great name, but has plenty of talent to back it up. Just 20, he moves to Watford from Grenada, where he scored six times in 30 appearances.