The fact that Manchester City sit top of a new FIFA report of the biggest spenders over the last 10 years is likely to be used as fuel for those arguing that the Blues are spending their way to success.
However, a closer look at the new data released on Monday shows how City have grown into a club who combine canny incoming transfers with clever outgoings through loans or sales.
And while City might have completed more transfers than any other side in the last decade, there have been 22 transfers costing more money than City’s highest deal between 2011 and 2020.
The report looks at international transfers in the 10-year period, with City completing 130 incoming transfers during that time (beaten only by Juventus), and topping the chart as biggest spenders as a result.
No club comes close to City’s buying, with Chelsea second with 95 transfers and Barcelona third with 75. Of those 130 deals, 59.2 per cent saw City paying a transfer fee (77 transfers).
This is the statistic that will see the regular critics of the Blues’ spending get excited, however a further look at the report shows how City are also high up in the players sold and players loaned tables.
City saw 307 transfers out of the club, with sales and loans included in the figures. That sees them 11th in the table for clubs receiving the most from transfer fees, with 44.6 per cent of those deals recouping fees for the club (137 transfers). Only Benfica sold or loaned more players out of the club in the same period among the most active selling clubs.
So City sold or loaned more than double the players they signed over 10 years, and were involved in more deals with fees for outgoing players than they were involved in total incomings, regardless of fees paid.
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When it comes to loans, City sanctioned 232 loans or loan extensions in the decade, just topping Chelsea’s 207.
On the list of the 70 transfers worth the most in transfer fees, City are represented nine times. Kevin De Bruyne is the highest at 23rd on the list, followed by Ruben Dias (26), Aymeric Laporte (28), Rodri (32), Joao Cancelo (39), Benjamin Mendy (54), Eliaquim Mangala (58), Sergio Aguero (62) and Leroy Sane (63).
So while City have clearly spent money — more than any other club, in fact — they are also among the most active clubs in selling players and loaning young talent out. While no specific figures are given, that will go some way to offsetting City’s spend, showing how the club have been working to fund their first team spending and continue their march to domestic and European success.
Top ten clubs by spending on transfer fees 2011-2020:
- Manchester City – 130 transfers (59.2 per cent with fees)
- Chelsea – 95 (80 per cent)
- Barcelona – 75 (74.7 per cent)
- Paris Saint-Germain – 59 (76.4 per cent)
- Real Madrid – 55 (80 per cent)
- Atletico Madrid – 93 (64.5 per cent)
- Manchester United – 68 (55.9 per cent)
- Arsenal – 76 (65.8 per cent)
- Juventus – 137 (77.4 per cent)
- Tottenham – 59 (72.9 per cent)