Manchester City lead the way among Europe’s big leagues in having the most expensively assembled starting XI across the campaign so far.
The Premier League champions have so far averaged a starting XI costing around £560m in a CIES study based on fixtures played up to October 26, in a top six that is largely dominated by clubs from England.
Given their relative financial muscle, City have tended to steer away from paying headline grabbing fees on major stars, with the exception of Jack Grealish’s £100m move from Aston Villa last year.
Instead Pep Guardiola’s outfit have consistently bought many of their first-team stars costing between £50m and £60m such as Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and summer arrival Erling Haaland
Yet they are way ahead of any of their European rivals when it comes to fielding a costly starting XI, with Paris Saint-Germain closest to them with a team costing around £121m cheaper at £439m – although much of that is made up of the world record £198m paid for Neymar and the second largest fee ever paid of £163m for Kylian Mbappe.
City’s local rivals Manchester United complete the top three at £413m, bumped up by the £200million spent on transfers during the summer as part of Erik ten Hag’s revolution on new first-team stars including Antony at £86million, Casemiro at around £70m from Real Madrid while Lisandro Martinez arrived as a centre-back from Ajax at £51m.
PSG are the only club from outside the Premier League to break into the top six, with Liverpool (£352m), Chelsea (£338m) and Arsenal (£329m) also rounding up the top of the list.
According to the study the figures are average representative of all the starting XIs featured throughout the current.
The rest of Europe’s big hitters make up the top 10, including Real Madrid (£318m), Barcelona (£287m), Juventus (£258m) and Bayern Munich (£253m).
Many expect Newcastle United (£221m) to flex their new found financial muscle following their Saudi backed takeover last year, and already they are starting to feature high up in the table.
This is despite Eddie Howe having spent sensibly in his two transfer windows as manager, with Bruno Guimaraes arriving for around £38m last January in their main headline arrival that would have influenced their first-team selection.
Alex Isak of course arrived from Real Sociedad for a cool £63m in the summer but having only started three games due to a hamstring injury will have unlikely had a major impact on the Newcastle’s overall placing of 11th.
Despite being recognised as one of the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big Six’, Tottenham Hotspur (£198m) only feature down in 13th behind Atletico Madrid, underlining just how well Antonio Conte’s side have competed with the Premier League’s biggest clubs to break into the Champions League despite their prudent approach to the transfer market.
The north London club though do benefit from star striker Harry Kane having come through the academy while fellow key man Son Heung-min signed for the club for just £22m in 2015 before transfer fees escalated.
When adjusted for the most expensive, City still top the list at £625m this season following their 3-1 win over Brighton earlier in October.
Man Utd climb above PSG into second while Chelsea leapfrog Liverpool who complete a top five.
CIES’s figures include transfers where eventual add-ons are also factored in regardless of any down payments made.