MANCHESTER CITY have made Jack Grealish the most expensive player in British football history.
It was over 42 years ago that Nottingham Forest became the first English club to break the £1million barrier to sign Trevor Francis, and a quarter of a century ago Newcastle hit the eight-figure mark to snap up Alan Shearer.
Now, a British team has finally handed over a £100m fee to sign a star player, in England ace Grealish’s move from Aston Villa.
The new British transfer record comes five years after Paul Pogba and Manchester United set the previous best of £89m.
Angel Di Maria, Fernando Torres and Robinho are among its other previous holders, outlining how huge fees do not always produce results on the pitch.
It must be said that City themselves do not have a brilliant history with these deals having broken British records with one-season wonder Robinho and the £1.4m signing of famous flop Steve Daley back in 1979.
Grealish however comes with a hugely impressive CV including 32 goals and 43 assists for Villa in over 200 appearances despite being just 25.
The midfielder helped drag the Midlands club out of the Championship and, after netting the goal that secured survival on their first season back, helped guide the team to 11th last time out before starring at Euro 2020.
Pep Guardiola will hope to build on this and turn Grealish into one of the world’s top players, alongside his existing star line-up of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and more.
The Birmingham-born playmaker is the third City player inside the ten-highest British transfer fees of all time.
Rodri and Ruben Dias both broke the club record when signing for over £60m in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
They sit above 12th-placed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the leaderboard, after the Arsenal captain cost £60m in January 2018.
Chelsea’ top two deals, for £70m forward Kai Havertz and £71.6m goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, are next on the list.
Like reserve shot-stopper Kepa, the seventh-placed Nicolas Pepe has yet to live up to the £72m fee that Arsenal paid Lille in 2019.
Jadon Sancho cost Manchester United £73m earlier this summer and, in fifth, is arguably the best buy of the lot in Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman moved from Southampton for £75m three-and-a-half years ago and has been worth every penny, winning the Premier League and Champions League at Anfield.
In fact, to date only three of the top 12 have won the league crown.
Manchester United provide the three players directly beneath Grealish in the ranking, in Romelu Lukaku (£75m), the world’s most expensive defender Harry Maguire (£85m), and Pogba (£89m).
Grealish tops the list and yet Villa will not take the record for the most expensive sale in British football history, which belongs to Liverpool and the initial £105m Barcelona paid for Philippe Coutinho.
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