Davinson Sanchez has joined the list of the most expensive defenders in world football after completing a club-record move to Tottenham from Ajax.
The 21-year-old is the youngest player in our top 10, eight of whom were part of deals involving Premier League clubs and four of those featuring Manchester City.
Sanchez’s move ensures that five of the 10 priciest deals involving defenders in football history have all been completed in the current transfer window, as spending across Europe – and England in particular – continues to skyrocket.
Here are the 10 most expensive defenders ever, as things stand – are they worth the money?
BENJAMIN MENDY – Monaco to Manchester City, £51.75m
Pep Guardiola broke the record for a defender when he signed Mendy from Monaco on July 24 this year, the left-back having quickly himself as one of Europe’s most exciting attacking full-backs in 2016-17 as his side won the Ligue 1 title and reached the Champions League semi-final.
His arrival was part of a spectacular overhaul of the City backline, which has seen them spend close to £165m on three defenders and goalkeeper Ederson.
DAVID LUIZ – Chelsea to PSG, £50m
Mendy’s fee eclipses the whopping £50m Paris Saint-Germain paid to sign Brazil international Luiz from Chelsea in 2014.
Luiz won the Ligue 1 title in both of his seasons at PSG and he made it three in a row after he returned to Chelsea for £34m in a surprise move in August 2016, claiming his first Premier League winners’ medal.
— David Luiz (@DavidLuiz_4) May 9, 2017
KYLE WALKER – Tottenham to Manchester City, £50m
When Walker joined Spurs from hometown club Sheffield United for £5m in 2009, few would have guessed he would one day become the most expensive English player ever.
The significant sum means Walker – who has never won a trophy in his career – has a massive price tag to live up to at the Etihad Stadium.
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) July 14, 2017
JOHN STONES – Everton to Manchester City, £47.5m
City have shown a willingness to pay massive amounts for English talent, with Stones having joined the club from Everton last year.
But the 23-year-old had a difficult first year as Guardiola’s side under-performed, conceding far too many sloppy goals as they finished third in the table. Stones’ potential should still see him develop into a top talent, however.
DAVINSON SANCHEZ – Ajax to Tottenham, £36.6m
Spurs waited weeks to make their first signing of the transfer window, but did so in some style, smashing their club record to bring Sanchez to north London.
The former Atletico Nacional man reportedly caught Barcelona’s attention during Ajax’s run to the Europa League final last year, but, after Manchester United beat them 2-0, Jose Mourinho cast doubt on the player’s ability with the ball at his feet.
2018 – Davinson Sanchez was the only player in the Eredivisie last season to play more than 2000 successful passes (2018). Composure. pic.twitter.com/zpSjPPg3EH
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 18, 2017
LEONARDO BONUCCI – Juventus to AC Milan, £35.2m
A row with Juve head coach Massimiliano Allegri saw Bonucci allowed to join Serie A rivals AC Milan, who have been splashing the cash in a bid to return to the Champions League.
Bonucci has won six Serie A titles at Juventus, but he twice lost in the Champions League final. Signing the Italy international – a reported target for Chelsea – constituted a massive coup for Milan.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 14, 2017
SHKODRAN MUSTAFI – Valencia to Arsenal, £35m
Arsenal are not normally known for their big spending, with Arsene Wenger one of world football’s more parsimonious managers, but they forked out £35m to sign Mustafi from Valencia in August 2016.
The Germany international had a solid first campaign at the Emirates Stadium, but the Gunners missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time since 1997.
ANTONIO RUDIGER – Roma to Chelsea, £34m
With club icon John Terry having left Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were in need of a new defensive lynchpin and they turned to Mustafi’s international colleague Rudiger, who joined from Roma.
The 24-year arrived in London fresh from Germany’s success at the Confederations Cup.
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) July 9, 2017
THIAGO SILVA – Milan to PSG, £33m
PSG’s second entry is their club captain, Thiago Silva, with the Brazilian having been a major success since joining in 2012.
Although PSG were unceremoniously overhauled by Monaco to end their dominance of Ligue 1 last season, the 32-year-old has won four league titles and three Coupes de France in Paris.
ELIAQUIM MANGALA – Porto to Manchester City, £32m
A huge flop, Mangala’s fee of £32m to join City from Porto looked overpriced enough after he was allowed to join Valencia on loan. But subsequent leaked documents suggested the total cost of Mangala’s move rose to £42m as City had to buy out third party owners.
Mangala is expected to be allowed to leave by Pep Guardiola, having made 48 Premier League appearances for the club.
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(*Prices are as reported at the time of transfers being completed.)
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