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10 Most Expensive Transfers Defenders

It is unbelievable who much football teams are willing to pay for defenders these days, as modern football changes from an attackers game to a tactical game. Coaches valuing clean sheets before goals. The concept of you score and we will score more than you, does not exist anymore! Arsène Wenger in his time at Arsenal refused to spend money on defenders, which led to his failure to win more English Premier League (EPL) titles and the elusive UEFA Champions League trophy.

Centre backs are a rare commodity in world football and 6 of the defenders in the top 10 list of highest transfers paid for defenders are centre backs. Right back's and left back's now play an even more crucial role in modern football, in many occasions assisting in creating goal scoring opportunities. Manchester City has 6 defenders on the list which not only shows the team's financial muscle but emphasizes the importance of a solid defense is critical in modern football. While Manchester United has spent 125 million pounds on 2 defenders. 

1. Harry Maguire - 80 million pounds


Harry Maguire Manchester United Defender

Centre back Harry Maguire left Leicester FC for an unbelievable 80 million pounds making him the most expensive defender in the world. In South African rands this equates to a whopping estimated R1 499 200 200 million rands as per conversion rate of 18.74 rands on the 19 of August 2019. He is also 13th on the all time list of expensive players.

Maguire was also a target for Manchester City which pushed up his transfer fee. Pep Guardiola refused to pay the amount Manchester United paid for Maguire. He said in an interview that it is crazy the money Leicester FC is asking for Maguire.

2. Virgil Van Dyke - 75 million pounds


Virgil Van Dyke - Liverpool defender

Two years ago Liverpool spent 75 million pounds on Virgil Van Dyke, undoubtedly the best defender in the world football. Like Maguire his a centre back and scores a lot of goals from set pieces. In fact, the Dutch defender has a remarkable 37 club career goals. Since his arrival at Liverpool FC, Liverpool has grown stronger and have become the best team in Europe after winning the 2019 UEFA Champions League Trophy as well as the UEFA Super Cup.

Estimated rand price for Virgil Van Dyke: R 1 405 500 000

3. Lucas Hernandez - 70 million pounds

Henandez Bayern Munich defender

Bayern Munich signed young French centre back defender from Atletico Madrid FC for 70 million pounds. Henandez might be only 23 years old at time of his signing but he has already won the Football World Cup 2018 trophy. He has 15 appearances for Les Bleus and 7 of those coming from the 2018 World Cup. Lucas is a versatile defender, who can play centre back and left back positions. Unbelievably, Bayern Munch FC signed Lucas Hernandez while he was injured, which is very rare in football. Furthermore, this shows how much the centre back is valued. If he was fit he may have been more expensive to acquire than Harry Maguire - The most expensive defender.

Notably, 3 of the defenders on the top list are French players which shows why they won the World Cup 2018 cup.

Estimated rand price for Lucas Hernandez:  R 1 311 800 000

4. Matthijs de Ligt - 67.5 million pounds


Mattijs de Ligt - Juventus defender

Rising dutch centre back cost Juventus FC 67.5 million pounds. The defender was bought by Juventus after his performances knocked Juventus out in the 2018-19 UEFA Quarter Final. He was 19 when Juventus put pen to paper for his services, making him the youngest most expensive defender in the world.

Estimated rand price for Matthijs: R 1 264 950 000

5. Ruben Dias - 62 million pounds

The Portuguese 23 year old defender is now one of the most expensive defenders in the world. This makes Manchester City's defense the most expensive in world football; With 4 of their defenders featuring in the top 10 list of most expensive defenders. It is unbelievable that the tika taka master has chosen to spend all his money of defenders than strikers especially with the departure of David Silva and an aging Sergio Leonel Agüero.

Ruben Dias - Manchester City

6. João Cancelo - 60 million pounds

Joao Cancelo - Manchester City

João Cancelo singed for Manchester City FC for 60 million pounds, making him the most expensive defender signed by Pep Guardiola. The Portugal footballer plays right back but can play right wing and left back positions.

Estimated rand price for João Cancelo: R 1 124 400 000

7. Aymeric Laporte - 57 million pounds

Larporte was purchased from Athletic Bilbo FC for 57 million pounds by Manchester City. He has solidified the Manchester City defense and has scored crucial goals. Larporte was the most expensive transfer at Athletic Bilbo FC until Kepa moved to Chelsea for an unbelievable 71.6 million pounds - A record fee for goalkeeper!

Estimated rand price for Laporte: R 1 068 180 000 

Aymeric Laporte - Manchester City

8. Benjamin Mendy - 52 million pounds

Banjamin Mendy - Manchester City

Benjamin Mendy is the most expensive left back defender in world football. The left back moved from Monaco to Manchester City for a fee of 52 million pounds. His time at Manchester City has been plagued with serious injuries. In fact, since Manchester City signed Mendy in 2017 he has only played 17 games. There has been no return on investment for Manchester City for a player who was once the most expensive defender in the world.

Estimated rand price for Benjamin Mendy: R 974 480 000

9. Kyle Walker - 50 million pounds

Kyle Walker - Manchester City

Kyle Walker transferred from Tottenham FC for 50 million pounds after being unhappy of being benched in some games for Kieran John Trippier. His one of the best right backs in the world. Additional can attack and defend equally, very rare attribute. His also versatile, can play centre back.

Estimated rand price for Kyle Walker: R 937 000 000

10. Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 50 million pounds

Aaron Wan-Bissaka -Machester United defender

Aaron Wan-Bissaka cost Manchester United a whooping 50 million pounds. Wan-Bissaka is a 20 year old right back. His an attacking right back that can really defend! At age of 20 years he has already been selected by coach Gareth Southgate to play for England national team. Gareth Southgate was a brilliant defender in his team and one can only expect that he has seen a abundance of talent in Aaron. He is of Congolese decent and has caused England to naturalise him to play for England from under 20 division.

Estimated rand price for Aron Wan-Bissaka: R 937 000 000

Other Expensive Defenders

John Stone - Manchester City defender

John Stones was Pep's solution to a leaking defense after his first year at Manchester City.  The Catalan born coach liked John Stones not only because he could defend but for his ability to start the ball from the back. Starting the ball from the back was a critical component of tika-taka which Pep is the creator off.

Estimated rand price for John Stones: R 880 780 000

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