Five most expensive centre-back signings of all time in football featuring Harry Maguire, Matthijs de Ligt, and others

Five most expensive centre-back signings of all time in football featuring Harry Maguire, Matthijs de Ligt, and others

The day when center defenders would just stand back and scan the area for threats is long gone. Football has advanced significantly over the years, and as a result, the defense has become an essential component of the team’s assault from the back. Today, we’ll examine five of history’s priciest defenders.

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Here is the list:

Aymeric Laporte – Joined Manchester City from Athletic Bilbao for £57m

Aymeric Laporte was Pep Guardiola’s choice when he was looking to add a ball-playing center-back to Manchester City in 2016. But it took the Spanish coach 1.5 years to persuade him to sign with the Cityzens.

Laporte ultimately arrived in England in January 2018 and became the most expensive signing for City when he agreed to a five-year deal with them for £57 million. The 26-year-old has experienced ongoing ailments since his arrival, but when healthy, he is fully capable of performing to expectations.

Matthijs de Ligt – Joined Juventus from Ajax for £67.5m

Defender Matthijs de Ligt finds himself in the middle of a pure tug-of-war between Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain a season after leading Ajax through their first UEFA Champions League semi-final since the 1996–97 season. However, the Turin club was the one who was able to persuade him.


Juventus handed up a five-year deal for the prodigy to Ajax in exchange for £67.5 million. His contract now includes a buyout clause of €150 million (£135.6 million), which will take effect after June 2022.

After making a splash upon joining the team, the Dutch center back has had a rather trying start to life in his new home. But the Old Lady may now breathe a great sigh of relief thanks to recent changes.

Lucas Hernandez – Joined Bayern Munich from Atletico Madrid for £68m

Lucas Hernandez, a defender, transferred from Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich for a club record cost of £68 million, making him one of the most expensive defenders in history a year after France won the coveted FIFA World Cup.


Hernandez, a versatile defender who can play both left-back and center-back, has struggled to make an impact at Bayern, making just 19 league games in the 2019–20 Bundesliga season. Knee and ankle problems have also contributed to his expulsion from the starting lineup, with David Alaba and Jerome Boateng taking his place as the temporary center backs.

Virgil van Dijk – Joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75m

Virgil van Dijk’s move resulted in a nasty fight between Liverpool and Southampton. When he submitted a transfer request in August 2017, his transfer to the red side of Merseyside was about to happen.

However, Liverpool revealed in December 2017 that they had completed a deal with Southampton for Van Dijk. The Dutch became history’s most expensive defender after the Reds paid a then-record amount of £75 million for him.


They made a wise investment since van Dijk not only strengthened Jurgen Klopp’s defense but also led them to Premier League and UEFA Champions League triumphs in only two years. He played an astonishing 64 games in the 2018–19 season without getting passed by a dribble, demonstrating the degree of his talent. 

Harry Maguire – Joined Manchester United from Leicester City for £80m

One of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first Manchester United acquisitions, defender Harry Maguire joined the club from Leicester City in August 2019 for a then-record £80 million transfer price.

And despite what has been written about the transfer cost, Maguire has significantly strengthened a weak Manchester United defense. But since joining United, he has struggled to justify his high price tag.


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